When I was in the third grade, I successfully convinced a girl in my class she was an elf. The Santa Clause movie had just come out, and my best friends and I played a game that we were elves. I'd read the hair on the back of their neck and tell them what kind of elf they were. This girl in my class, Emily, didn't know it was a game. So when I labeled her a soap carving elf, she rose to the occasion. She went home and began carving all the soap. Her angry mother explained to her it was fake, and I remember her being devastated, telling me through tear filled eyes that she really believed me.
This experience made me think of religion. How people rise to the occasion when they are told by someone they trust how to live their life. And where they might not have gone on Japanese speaking mission on their own, if they think a prophet called them to it, they make it happen, and it becomes a significant part of who they are. When really, they are just being fooled into carving soap by someone playing a game frown emoticon