June 28, 2015

What are Core Activities?

Core Activities = “portals for entry by troops”
  • Study circles
  • Devotional meetings
  • Children’s classes (“to about age 11”)
  • Junior youth groups
(Extracted from messages from the Universal House of Justice dated Ridvan 2001, Ridvan 2002, Jan. 11, 2009, and Jan. 5, 2015)

June 21, 2015

The scope of the teaching work – a recent explanation by the Universal House of Justice

“The teaching work is broad in scope, encompassing
  • personal efforts as well as
  • collective projects,
  • selected neighborhoods as well as
  • sundry localities,
  • chosen populations as well as
  • chance acquaintances,
  • firesides as well as
  • core activities.” 
- The Universal House of Justice  (the Department of the Secretariat, from a message to the American National Spiritual Assembly dated January 5, 2015)

June 16, 2015

There are mysteries in the Cause of God

We are glad that you have brought to our attention the questions perplexing some of the believers. It is much better for these questions to be put freely and openly than to have them, unexpressed, burdening the hearts of devoted believers. Once one grasps certain basic principles of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh such uncertainties are easily dispelled. This is not to say that the Cause of God contains no mysteries. Mysteries there are indeed, but they are not of a kind to shake one's faith once the essential tenets of the Cause and the indisputable facts of any situation are clearly understood. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 9 March 1965; 'Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986)

June 12, 2015

‘Abdu’l-Baha invites people to His City

I have come to your city and found tall buildings and advancement in material civilization. Now I will lead you to my own city which is the world above. Its administration is the oneness of humanity, its law is international peace, its palaces are ever shining with the lights of the Kingdom, its season is always spring, its trees are ever green, its fruits are fresh and sweet, its sun is ever ascending, its moon is always full, its stars are ever brilliant and its planets are ever circling. That is our city and the Founder is Bahá'u'lláh. We have enjoyed the pleasures of this city and now I invite you to that city. I hope that you will accept this invitation. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 25 September 1912, Denver, Colorado, USA, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

June 8, 2015

Our dependency on Baha’u’llah's mercy

Insights from a prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha:
  • “we come with no provision but our sins,”, “with no good deeds to tell of, only hopes.”
  • “Unless” Baha’u’llah’s “concealing veil” would cover us and His “protection shield and cradle us, what power” do we “helpless souls” have to rise and serve” Him, “what substance” do we the “wretched ones” have “to make a brave display?”
  • We need Him to “help us”, to “favour us”;
  • “ withered as we are,” we need Baha’u’llah to “revive us with showers from” His “clouds of grace”;
  • “lowly as we are,” we need Baha’u’llah to “illumine us with bright rays from the Day-Star” of His “oneness.”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “Cast” “these thirsty fish into the ocean of Thy mercy,”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “guide … this lost caravan to the shelter” of His “singleness;”
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “lead... the ones who have wandered far astray” to the “wellspring of guidance”;
  • We need Baha’u’llah to “grant to those who have missed the path a haven within the precincts” of His “might”;
  • We humbly ask Baha’u’llah to:
    • “Lift Thou to these parched lips the bounteous and soft-flowing waters of heaven,”
    • “raise up these dead to everlasting life.”
    • “Grant Thou to the blind eyes that will see.”
    • “Make Thou the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak.”
    • “Set Thou the dispirited ablaze,”
    • “make Thou the heedless mindful,”
    • “warn Thou the proud,”
    • “awaken those who sleep.”
(Insights from Baha'i Prayers...)

June 4, 2015

The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá -- “God’s purpose, wisdom, universal truths, mysteries and realities of the Kingdom” have been deposited in it by “the mystic revelation of Bahá'u'lláh”

As to the order and the management of the spiritual affairs of the friends, that which is very important now is the consolidation of the Spiritual Assemblies in every centre, because on these fortified and unshakeable foundations, God's Supreme House of Justice shall be erected and firmly established in the days to come. When this most great Edifice shall be reared on such an immovable foundation, God’s purpose, wisdom, universal truths, mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, which the mystic revelation of Bahá'u'lláh has deposited within the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, shall gradually be revealed and made manifest. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 -- translated from the Persian; included in a letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 9 March 1965)

June 2, 2015

We are called upon by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to “unveil” to the whole world the “merits” of Baha’u’llah’s new world order

We are called upon by our beloved Master in His Will and Testament not only to adopt it [Bahá'u'lláh's new world order] unreservedly, but to unveil its merit to all the world. To attempt to estimate its full value, and grasp its exact significance after so short a time since its inception would be premature and presumptuous on our part. We must trust to time, and the guidance of God's Universal House of Justice, to obtain a clearer and fuller understanding of its provisions and implications. ...  
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 23 February 1924, published in ‘Bahá'í Administration’; also included by the Universal House of Justice in a letter dated 9 March 1965)