September 30, 2011

September 29, 2011

September 24, 2011

“… the outstanding characteristics of a decadent society…”

The recrudescence of religious intolerance, of racial animosity, and of patriotic arrogance; the increasing evidences of selfishness, of suspicion, of fear and of fraud; the spread of terrorism, of lawlessness, of drunkenness and of crime; the unquenchable thirst for, and the feverish pursuit after, earthly vanities, riches and pleasures; the weakening of family solidarity; the laxity in parental control; the lapse into luxurious indulgence; the irresponsible attitude towards marriage and the consequent rising tide of divorce; the degeneracy of art and music, the infection of literature, and the corruption of the press; the extension of the influence and activities of those "prophets of decadence" who advocate companionate marriage, who preach the philosophy of nudism, who call modesty an intellectual fiction, who refuse to regard the procreation of children as the sacred and primary purpose of marriage, who denounce religion as an opiate of the people, who would, if given free rein, lead back the human race to barbarism, chaos, and ultimate extinction — these appear as the outstanding characteristics of a decadent society, a society that must either be reborn or perish. (Shoghi Effendi, ‘The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: Selected Letters’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Divorce)

September 20, 2011

Advice from ‘Abdu’l-Baha on how we should treat each other …

How many blessed souls have longed for this radiant century, their utmost hopes and desires centered upon the happiness and joy of one such day as this. Many the nights they passed sleepless and lamenting until the very morn in longing anticipation of this age, yearning to realize even an hour of this time. God has favored you in this century and has specialized you for the realization of its blessings. Therefore, you must praise and thank God with heart and soul in appreciation of this great opportunity and the attainment of this infinite bestowal -- that such doors have been opened before your faces, that such abundance is pouring down from the cloud of mercy and that these refreshing breezes from the paradise of Abha are resuscitating you. You must become of one heart, one spirit and one susceptibility. May you become as the waves of one sea, stars of the same heaven, fruits adorning the same tree, roses of one garden in order that through you the oneness of humanity may establish its temple in the world of mankind, for you are the ones who are called to uplift the cause of unity among the nations of the earth.

September 17, 2011

1972: A New Baha'i Center in Micronesia

Partial group of the friends attending the dedication of the first Baha'i Center in Mwalok Village, Sokehs, Ponape, Micronesia, in 1972. Hand of the Cause Featherstone is the back row. (Baha'i News, August 1972)

September 11, 2011

Proclamation “must become part of our regular work” – in countries where we are free to publicize our religion

… in those countries where we are free to publicize our religion, this activity must become part of our regular work, included in budgets, assigned to National and Local Committees for study and implementation and above all for co-ordination with the programmes operating to achieve the goals of the Nine Year Plan. Every effort of proclamation must be sustained by teaching, particularly locally where public announcements should be related to such efforts. This co-ordination is essential, for nothing will be more disheartening than for thousands to hear of the Faith and have nowhere to turn for further information. (The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1967; Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986) (To see the entire message please visits Messages to the Baha’i World Community – by the Universal House of Justice)

September 10, 2011

Comparison of the Revelations of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh – the Báb explains

… He Who will shine resplendent in the Day of Resurrection is the Revelation of the inner reality enshrined in the Point of the Bayan -- a Revelation more potent, immeasurably more potent, than the one which hath preceded it. (The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb)

September 9, 2011

The implication of the Baha’i principle of the “Oneness of Mankind”

The principle of the Oneness of Mankind" he[Shoghi Effendi] writes, "implies an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced." Referring to the "epoch-making changes that constitute the greatest landmarks in the history of human civilization," he states that "... they cannot but appear, when viewed in their proper perspective, except as subsidiary adjustments precluding that transformation of unparalleled majesty and scope which humanity is in this age bound to undergo." In a later document he refers to the civilization to be established by Bahá'u'lláh as one "with a fullness of life such as the world has never seen nor can as yet conceive." (The Universal House of Justice, excerpt from a message dated Ridvan 1967, ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986’) (To read the entire letter please visit Messages to the Baha’i World Community—by the Universal House of Justice)

September 6, 2011

Under what conditions a Baha’i teacher will become inspired with “knowledge and wisdom” so “his words will have effect”

If one teaches one whom he loves because of his love for him, then he will not teach one whom he loves not; and that is not of God. If one teaches in order to derive the promised benefit to himself, this too is not from God. If he teaches because of God's Will that God may be known -- and for that reason only -- he will receive knowledge and wisdom, and his words will have effect -- being made powerful by the Holy Spirit -- and will take root in the souls of those who are in the right condition to receive them. In such a case the benefit to the teacher in growth is as ninety percent compared to the ten percent of gain to the hearer, because he becomes like a tree bearing fruit through the power of God. ('Abdu'l-Baha, cited in Star of the West, vol III, no. 19, 2March 1913)

September 3, 2011

The place where 'Abdu'l-Baha stayed during His first nine days in New York

The Ansonia, Broadway and 73rd Street, where 'Abdu'l-Baha stayed during His first nine days in New York. The Master occupied a 2-bedromm, 1 drawing room suite on the 7th floor. This building is now designated as a landmark and is a condominium. ('Abdu'l-Baha in New York The City of the Covenant, by Elaine Lacroix-Hopson)

September 1, 2011

It is one’s “inner temple” that “takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain”

As this physical frame is the throne of the inner temple, whatever occurs to the former is felt by the latter. In reality that which takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain is the inner temple of the body, not the body itself. Since this physical body is the throne whereon the inner temple is established, God hath ordained that the body be preserved to the extent possible, so that nothing that causeth repugnance may be experienced. The inner temple beholdeth its physical frame, which is its throne. Thus, if the latter is accorded respect, it is as if the former is the recipient. The converse is likewise true.

Therefore, it hath been ordained that the dead body should be treated with the utmost honour and respect. (The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb)