The friends must never mistake the Bahá'í administration for
an end in itself. It is merely the instrument of the spirit of the Faith. This
Cause is a Cause which God has revealed to humanity as a whole. It is designed
to benefit the entire human race, and the only way it can do this is to re-form
the community life of mankind, as well as seeking to regenerate the individual.
The Bahá'í Administration is only the first shaping of what in future will come
to be the social life and laws of community living. As yet the believers are
only just beginning to grasp and practise it properly. So we must have patience
if at times it seems a little self-conscious and rigid in its workings. It is
because we are learning something very difficult but very wonderful -- how to
live together as a community of Bahá'ís, according to the glorious teachings.
- Shoghi Effendi (From a letter dated 14 October 1941 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two
believers; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. 1)