December 26, 2009

Distinction between the statements issued by the Guardian and those written on his behalf by his secretaries

I wish to call your attention to certain things in "Principles of Bahá'í Administration" which has just reached the Guardian; although the material is good, he feels that the complete lack of quotation marks is very misleading. His own words, the words of his various secretaries, even the Words of Bahá'u'lláh Himself, are all lumped together as one text. This is not only not reverent in the case of Bahá'u'lláh's Words, but misleading. Although the secretaries of the Guardian convey his thoughts and instructions and these messages are authoritative, their words are in no sense the same as his, their style certainly not the same, and their authority less, for they use their own terms and not his exact words in conveying his messages. He feels that in any future edition this fault should be remedied, any quotations from Bahá'u'lláh or the Master plainly attributed to them, and the words of the Guardian clearly differentiated from those of his secretaries.
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, published in The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 259)

December 10, 2009

A Message from an Enlightened Queen - Queen Marie of Rumania

A woman [Martha Root] brought me the other day a Book. I spell it with a capital letter because it is a glorious Book of love and goodness, strength and beauty. She gave it to me because she had learned I was in grief and sadness and wanted to help. . . . She put it into my hands saying: "You seem to live up to His teachings." And when I opened the Book I saw it was the word of ‘Abdu'l-Baha, prophet of love and kindness, and of his father the great teacher of international good-will and understanding -- of a religion which links all creeds.

Their writings are a great cry toward peace, reaching beyond all limits of frontiers, above all dissension about rites and dogmas. It is a religion based upon the inner spirit of God, upon the great, not-to-be-overcome verity that God is love, meaning just that. It teaches that all hatreds, intrigues, suspicions, evil words, all aggressive patriotism even, are outside the one essential law of God, and that special beliefs are but surface things whereas the heart that beats with divine love knows no tribe nor race.

December 8, 2009

Which One Is More Important: Teaching Work or Family Responsibilities?

"Therefore it is not so much a matter of which is more important, the teaching work or family and personal responsibilities, but how we can seek a balance in our lives to accomplish both of these sacred tasks. But in addition to the progress and development of the spiritual life of each believer, individually and as a member of a family unit, the foundations of the administrative institutions of the Faith must likewise be continually strenghtened. ..these two goals go hand in hand. .." (Excerpt of a letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, dated April 19, 1979; printed in Duties of an Assembly Member prepared by the Canadian National Spiritual Assembly)

December 5, 2009

Did The Bab and Baha’u’llah Physically Meet?

En route to Tihran, the Bab spent three nights in the city of Kashan, located between Isfahan and Tihran, in the home of a believer who had realized in a dream that the Bab would be his guest. The Bab and His escort then arrived at the fortress of Kinar-Gird located about 45 kilometers from Tihran. There, the head of the escort received a message from the Persian prime minister telling him to transfer the Bab to the village of Kulayn and to wait there for further instructions. This village was owned by the prime minister and was located about 30 some kilometers south of Tihran. The Bab stayed in Kulayn for 20 days. During His stay there, the Bab received a letter and gifts from Baha’u’llah Who was in Tihran. The letter apparently cheered His heart, which had been despondent since His arrest and departure from Shiraz. One night the Bab disappears and is found the next morning on the road coming from the direction of Tihran. A look of confidence had settled on Him and His words had a new power.
(Adapted and obtained from A Basic Baha’i Chronology, Dawn-Breakers, God Passes By, A Traveller’s Narrative, and The Bab by Balyuzi)