November 30, 2014

The “heart and nerve center” of each community

Each Local Spiritual Assembly should become the heart and nerve center of its community. The Assemblies should be so educated and equipped with guidance from you that they become pillars of strength for the believers, and sources of knowledge and guidance. The Local Assemblies should neither be like private agents prying into the lives of the believers and seeking out their personal problems, nor should they condone glaring disregard of the Holy Laws. Whenever it becomes known that one of the believers is flagrantly disobeying the Teachings of the Faith, whether spiritual, ethical, moral or administrative, the Assemblies should not allow such a situation to become a source of backbiting among the friends or deteriorate into either the loss of the dignity of the Teachings in the eyes of the Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís, or the eventual inactivity of the believers, as you have observed. The Assemblies, with the encouragement and under the continuous guidance of your National Assembly, should, in the name of protecting the interests of the Faith, themselves initiate action for the solution of the problem, and handle it with love, wisdom and firmness.
(Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated November 12, 1965, to a National Spiritual Assembly; Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies by US NSA, 2014)