The day is drawing near when, for the third time, we shall commemorate the world over the passing of our well-beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. May we not pause for a moment, and gather our thoughts? How has it fared with us, His little band of followers, since that day? Whither are we now marching? What has been our achievement?
We have but to turn our eyes to the world without to realize the fierceness and the magnitude of the forces of darkness that are struggling with the dawning light of the Abhá Revelation. Nations, though exhausted and disillusioned, have seemingly begun to cherish anew the spirit of revenge, of domination, and strife. Peoples, convulsed by economic upheavals, are slowly drifting into two great opposing camps with all their menace of social chaos, class hatreds, and worldwide ruin. Races, alienated more than ever before, are filled with mistrust, humiliation and fear, and seem to prepare themselves for a fresh and fateful encounter. Creeds and religions, caught in this whirlpool of conflict and passion, appear to gaze with impotence and despair at this spectacle of unceasing turmoil.
Such is the plight of mankind three years after the passing of Him from whose lips fell unceasingly the sure message of a fast-approaching Divine salvation. Are we by our thoughts, our words, our deeds, whether individually or collectively, preparing the way? Are we hastening the advent of the Day He so often foretold?
None can deny that the flame of faith and love which His mighty hand kindled in many hearts has, despite our bereavement, continued to burn as brightly and steadily as ever before. Who can question that His loved ones, both in the East and the West, notwithstanding the insidious strivings of the enemies of the Cause, have displayed a spirit of unshakable loyalty worthy of the highest praise? What greater perseverance and fortitude than that which His tried and trusted friends have shown in the face of untold calamities, intolerable oppression, and incredible restrictions? But such staunchness of faith, such an unsullied love, such magnificent loyalty, such heroic constancy, such noble courage, however unprecedented and laudable in themselves, cannot alone lead us to the final and complete triumph of such a great Cause. Not until the dynamic love we cherish for Him is sufficiently reflected in its power and purity in all our dealings with our fellow-men, however remotely connected and humble in origin, can we hope to exalt in the eyes of a self-seeking world the genuineness of the all-conquering love of God. Not until we live ourselves the life of a true Bahá’í can we hope to demonstrate the creative and transforming potency of the Faith we profess. Nothing but the abundance of our actions, nothing but the purity of our lives and the integrity of our characters, can in the last resort establish our claim that the Bahá’í spirit is in this day the sole agency that can translate a long-cherished ideal into an enduring achievement.
With this vision clearly set before us, and fortified by the knowledge of the gracious aid of Bahá’u’lláh and the repeated assurances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, let us first strive to live the life and then arise with one heart, one mind, one voice, to reinforce our numbers and achieve our end. Let us recall, and seek on this sad occasion the comfort of, the last wishes of our departed yet ever-watchful Master:—
“It behooveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime, and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred, without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the triumphal cry ‘Ya Bahá’u’l-Abhá!’ (O Thou the Glory of Glories).… The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the peoples of the world to the divine guidance; till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their last hour proved self-sacrificing in the pathway of that beloved One of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps!”
Having grasped the significance of these words, having obtained a clear understanding of the true character of our mission, the methods to adopt, the course to pursue, and having attained sufficiently the individual regeneration—the essential requisite of teaching—let us arise to teach His Cause with righteousness, conviction, understanding and vigor. Let this be the paramount and most urgent duty of every Bahá’í. Let us make it the dominating passion of our life. Let us scatter to the uttermost corners of the earth; sacrifice our personal interests, comforts, tastes and pleasures; mingle with the divers kindreds and peoples of the world; familiarize ourselves with their manners, traditions, thoughts and customs; arouse, stimulate and maintain universal interest in the Movement, and at the same time endeavor by all the means in our power, by concentrated and persistent attention, to enlist the unreserved allegiance and the active support of the more hopeful and receptive among our hearers. Let us too bear in mind the example which our beloved Master has clearly set before us. Wise and tactful in His approach, wakeful and attentive in His early intercourse, broad and liberal in all His public utterances, cautious and gradual in the unfolding of the essential verities of the Cause, passionate in His appeal yet sober in argument, confident in tone, unswerving in conviction, dignified in His manners—such were the distinguishing features of our Beloved’s noble presentation of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.
If we all choose to tread faithfully His path, surely the day is not far distant when our beloved Cause will have emerged from the inevitable obscurity of a young and struggling Faith into the broad daylight of universal recognition. This is our duty, our first obligation. Therein lies the secret of the success of the Cause we love so well. Therein lies the hope, the salvation of mankind. Are we fully conscious of our responsibilities? Do we realize the urgency, the sacredness, the immensity, the glory of our task?
I entreat you, dear friends, to continue, nay, to redouble your efforts, to keep your vision clear, your hopes undimmed, your determination unshaken, so that the power of God within us may fill the world with all its glory.
In this fervent plea joins me the Greatest Holy Leaf. Though chagrined in the evening of her life at the sorrowful tales of repression in Persia, she still turns with the deepest longings of her heart to your land where freedom reigns, eager and expectant to behold, ere she is called away, the signs of the universal triumph of the Cause she loves so dearly.
The letters which our able and devoted friend, Mr. Horace Holley, has addressed in your behalf to the Greatest Holy Leaf and myself have all been received, and, together with their enclosures, read with the closest attention. It is indeed highly gratifying to observe that notwithstanding the strain and stress of the critical period through which our beloved Cause is passing, the elected representatives of the friends in America have, with unflinching faith, undaunted courage, and conspicuous ability, persevered in their task and fulfilled their arduous duties.
The splendid contribution you have made to the efforts of your fellow-workers in England in connection with the Conference on the Living Religions within the British Empire, we all heartily appreciate and regard as a fresh evidence of the growing power and solidarity of the Cause of God. Both in the admirable paper which you arranged to be drafted and prepared, and in the person of your devout, trusted and talented President, who performed his duty with absolute fidelity and high distinction, you have rendered the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh a fresh and distinguished service. May the results achieved lend a fresh impetus to the onward march of the Cause in the West.
The recent measures you have adopted in view of the necessity of promoting fuller confidence and a greater measure of understanding and cooperation between the body of the believers and the local and National Assemblies, will, I am confident, be of the greatest value, and indicate clearly that you are fully aware of the true position, the privileges and responsibilities of every Bahá’í Assembly.
We all long to hasten by wise and effective measures the completion of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, and we fervently supplicate the All-Bountiful to bless richly our teaching work that our numbers may be reinforced in time by men who with sufficient means at their disposal may voluntarily and abundantly support this vast and noble endeavor. I trust that you will encounter no further obstacles in receiving the necessary support to meet the immediate needs of this Universal House of Worship as decided at your recent general gathering in Chicago.
The Star of the West, the latest issues of which I have read with genuine satisfaction, has admittedly made a notable advance towards the ideal which the Master has set before it. Articles on broad humanitarian lines, well-conceived, adequately treated, and powerfully presented, should have their proper place in every issue together with such accounts of the history and the teachings of the Cause as will portray to the Bahá’í and non-Bahá’í alike the unique beauty as well as the compelling power of the Bahá’í spirit. Matters political and partisan in character should be carefully avoided as they would eventually lead to entanglements that would be not only futile but positively harmful. As regards the Persian Section: I feel that in view of the severe restrictions imposed on the friends in Persia its temporary suspension would be well-advised, particularly as it makes such a disproportionate demand on the meagre resources of the friends in America.
The increasing efforts displayed by my beloved brothers and sisters in America, both individually and collectively, and the action taken by you in constituting regional Teaching Committees are of vital importance to the spread of the Cause in the present stage of our work. I feel that we should all collaborate in widening its scope, intensifying its influence, assuring its continuity, and endeavoring to subordinate every other activity to this most urgent and vital task. It is our bounden duty to do all in our power to give the Cause from day to day a fuller publicity, to maintain and stimulate the interest aroused, and to concentrate at the same time our attention on a chosen few, endeavoring tactfully and persistently to make of them earnest and unreserved supporters of the Bahá’í Faith.
I am deeply conscious of the manifold and unavoidable difficulties that confront you in your labors for the administration of the affairs of the Cause. Vast distances; personal professional preoccupations; insufficient number of capable and experienced teachers, unhampered by the necessity of earning their means of livelihood; the inadequacy of the means at your disposal, financial and otherwise; the prevailing tendencies in the general thought, sentiment, and manners of the people in whose midst you work—all these, though insuperable obstacles at present, will, if we stand steadfast and faithful, be one by one removed, and pave the way for the ultimate ascendency of the Cause and the fruition and triumph of our labors.
As to the projected prayer-book, I feel the need for a specially prepared compilation of the prayers of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá designed for the general public which would both prove of value for devotional purposes and act as a fresh incentive to eager and inspiring minds. I am enclosing copies of prayers which you may have not yet received and trust to send you more in future. I should be glad to receive any particulars you might wish me to consider in this connection.
Our untiring and devoted sister, Dr. Moody (the handmaid of the Most High), has had to her profound regret to discontinue for a time the invaluable and unique services she has been rendering to the Cause in Persia. She is proceeding to America, and will familiarize you with the deplorable state of affairs in that unhappy country. You will get first-hand information from her regarding the present condition and activities of our long-suffering friends in Persia, and she will take counsel with you as to the best way to meet the needs and serve the Cause of Education in Ṭihrán. I hope and pray that as soon as circumstances permit, the friends in America may enable Dr. Moody to take back with her to Persia suitable, capable and ardent collaborators who will contribute their distinct share towards the uplift and the advancement of their brethren and sisters in that land.
Concerning the magazine … I feel we must make it unmistakably plain to those in charge of it that the Bahá’ís would gladly and gratefully respond to the invitation to cooperate with those that are responsible for it immediately they are fully satisfied that nothing is or will be published by them, whether in the magazine or elsewhere, that would, however indirectly, prejudice or reflect upon their conception of what the Bahá’í Movement is or stands for. Should this be refused, and unfriendly and harmful matters be published against them, the attitude of all of us should be a definite refusal to help and absolute non-interference, as well as the absence of any form of retaliation which will instead of achieving our end defeat our purpose. We should leave him in the hands of God.
As to the suggestion of the Annual Convention being held next summer at Green Acre, I believe it to be both wise and helpful, and trust that it will forge another link between the Bahá’ís as a body and its founders and trustees, and will serve to draw them closer and closer to the outward form as well as to the spirit of the activities of the friends in America.
The financial help extended recently by the friends in America to their fellow-workers of the Faith in Qadiyán, Punjab, has given us all intense satisfaction and made us deeply grateful. Their contribution has immediately been forwarded to them through the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, and will, I am certain, enhance the prestige and the influence of the Cause.
I feel that the conditions are now favorable for the circulation of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá only in manuscript form and among recognized believers in America. Every such believer should be trusted with a single copy with the express understanding that no duplicate copies or extracts of it be made or published anywhere.
The suggestion made by my dear and able friend, Mr. Horace Holley, as to the compilation of an annual “Bahá’í Year Book” is extremely valuable and timely. I am much impressed by it, and feel that an immediate start should be made. I believe it can best be now undertaken under the direction and supervision of your Assembly until the time should come for the friends in the East and particularly Persia to participate effectually in its development. I trust you will send me a copy of the skeleton of the material you propose to include, and I shall here attempt to fill up any gap and render any assistance I can to make it as comprehensive, as attractive, and as authoritative as possible.
I am sending through my dear brother, Mr. M. Mills, various relics and Tablets of our beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the only and priceless treasures of the devoted gardener of Bahá’u’lláh’s Shrine, Ustad Abu’l-Qasim Khurasani, who has offered them to be preserved in his behalf in the Archives of the friends in America. I am hoping to be able to send you in future precious additions to what the Archives Committee has already collected, and may I in this connection express to those who have conceived so admirable a plan my profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude.
I wish to assure you in conclusion of my readiness and genuine desire to help you and serve you to the utmost of my ability. I fully realize the enormous burden that weighs on your shoulders, and am constantly mindful of the distinct and eminent share you are contributing to the advancement of the Cause. I wish you from the depths of my heart entire satisfaction in your glorious work. Our beloved Master is surely watching from the Realm Beyond over His children whom He nurtured and loved so well, and will certainly guide you in every step you take, and crown your patient efforts with signal success.
The three communications dated November 19, November 22 and December 22, which I have recently received from that indefatigable servant of Bahá’u’lláh, my esteemed spiritual brother, Mr. Holley, have given me great satisfaction and have cheered and sustained me in my work. I have read most carefully the minutes of your December meeting and am particularly pleased to note in many respects the notable advance you have made in establishing the Cause upon a wider and surer foundation.
With reference to the need, so often expressed, for an authentic and comprehensive history of the Cause, I am glad to inform you of the action contemplated by the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia in instructing and urging the local Assemblies throughout the country to take immediate steps for the formation in every locality of a special committee which will seek the assistance and the testimony of the remnants of the earliest believers and pioneers of the Cause in Persia in collecting most carefully all available evidence and data for the compilation of a comprehensive, reliable and representative history of the Movement from its earliest dawn to the present day. I have communicated with the National Assembly of Persia, regarding this urgent and vital necessity, and I feel the time is not far distant when a free rendering into English of this stirring narrative as well as an abridged form of it will be made available for both the Bahá’ís and the general public in the West.
The efforts recently displayed by the Publishing Committee so clearly reflected in the minutes of their meeting of November 2, 1924, a copy of which I have read with the closest attention, indicate the efficiency, the zeal and the determination with which they are conducting this vital branch of Bahá’í activity. The scope of their effective work is expanding rapidly, and I wish to assure them one and all of my prayers for the fruition of their labors and the further development and consolidation of their work.
There have been of late no fresh developments in the situation of the House of Baghdád. The case, which is now before the court of First Instance, has been postponed for some time and we still await anxiously the decision of the court. Any hope of an immediate and final solution of this intricate problem seems for the present remote. In the event of our success the case may still be referred by our powerful opponents to the Court of Appeal—the highest in the land—and should its decision be in our favor the government may at any time—as it does not seem unlikely—decide, by retaining the keys in its custody, to postpone indefinitely the execution of such a verdict in order to allay the fierce hostility of the clerical element as well as the Shi’ite population of ‘Iráq.
Should a crisis occur, I will immediately inform you and endeavor to define more clearly any measure that I feel should be taken by the American Assemblies to insure the security of the House of Bahá’u’lláh.
Regarding the publication of Bahá’í periodicals in America, there is no doubt whatsoever that every individual Bahá’í is free to inaugurate and conduct any magazine of his own provided that nothing is published therein which in the estimation of the National Assembly tends in the least to become detrimental or injurious to the highest interests of the Cause. Within these limits, and these limits only, private initiative should in no wise be discouraged and is indeed highly praiseworthy. It is for the National Assembly, however, to exercise its judgment as to what extent the resources at their disposal enable them to aid financially the individual undertakings of the friends. Should the response of the friends and Assemblies to the appeals made on behalf of the National Fund be prompt, sustained and generous, the National Assembly will, I am certain, justify its sympathy, good-will and genuine cooperation with every individual Bahá’í enterprise. I would, however, at this early state of our work, strongly urge, nay entreat, the friends not to dissipate their efforts, but to seek, after frank, mature and continuous deliberation, to arrive at a common conclusion as to the most urgent requirements and needs of the hour, and having unified their views to strive to uphold and enforce them with promptitude, wholeheartedness and understanding.
The first printed issue of the National Assembly’s News Letter prepared and signed on behalf of the Assembly by its able secretary, stands as a bright and eloquent testimony of his thoroughness, his industry, his conspicuous ability, his undoubted self-sacrifice. The Cause is entering upon a new era of renewed and concerted activity. Its method of presentation has unmistakably improved, and this general advancement in standard is in no small measure attributable to the distinctive capacity of your Assembly. My constant prayer is that He who watches over and inspires your manifold activities may bless more richly than ever before your noble endeavors.
With reference to the matter of meeting in the Foundation Hall of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, I feel that the Foundation Hall should serve the purpose both of devotional gatherings where the revealed Word of God is read and chanted, and meetings at which subjects strictly Bahá’í in character are presented, propounded and discussed. I have no doubt that every conscientious and thoughtful Bahá’í will scrupulously and at all times observe the commandment of Bahá’u’lláh and the instructions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá relative to the maintenance of the sacredness, the dignity, and the universality of an edifice that will in time become God’s universal House of Worship.
I have perused your recent communication, dated December 29th, and signed on your behalf by your vigilant and capable secretary, with an interest and attention worthy of the paramount importance of the issues it raises.
The matter of the revision of the English version of the Hidden Words, in view of the rapidity of the sale of the copies recently printed, is of urgent importance. I shall as soon as my multitudinous preoccupations permit avail myself of the opportunity of Dr. Esslemont’s happy sojourn in the Holy Land to collaborate with him in any necessary alterations of the text. I strongly hope, except in the event of unforeseen circumstances, to undertake this task in the course of this coming month.
In connection with the fundamental questions of general policy referred to in your letter, I feel that the basic principles, laid down but briefly stated in my past letters, which must guide the administration of the affairs of the Bahá’í Movement, pending the definite formation of the first authoritative Universal House of Justice, must be further affirmed, elucidated, and explained in greater detail, for the complete knowledge of all the individual members of the vast and growing community of the believers in America.
Hitherto the National Convention has been primarily called together for the consideration of the various circumstances attending the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. I feel, however, that in view of the expansion and the growing importance of the administrative sphere of the Cause, the general sentiments and tendencies prevailing among the friends, and the signs of increasing interdependence among the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world, the assembled accredited representatives of the American believers should exercise not only the vital and responsible right of electing the National Assembly, but should also fulfill the functions of an enlightened, consultative and cooperative body that will enrich the experience, enhance the prestige, support the authority, and assist the deliberations of the National Spiritual Assembly. It is my firm conviction that it is the bounden duty, in the interest of the Cause we all love and serve, of the members of the incoming National Assembly, once elected by the delegates at Convention time, to seek and have the utmost regard, individually as well as collectively, for the advice, the considered opinion and the true sentiments of the assembled delegates. Banishing every vestige of secrecy, of undue reticence, of dictatorial aloofness, from their midst, they should radiantly and abundantly unfold to the eyes of the delegates, by whom they are elected, their plans, their hopes, and their cares. They should familiarize the delegates with the various matters that will have to be considered in the current year, and calmly and conscientiously study and weigh the opinions and judgments of the delegates. The newly elected National Assembly, during the few days when the Convention is in session and after the dispersal of the delegates, should seek ways and means to cultivate understanding, facilitate and maintain the exchange of views, deepen confidence, and vindicate by every tangible evidence their one desire to serve and advance the common weal. Not infrequently, nay oftentimes, the most lowly, untutored and inexperienced among the friends will, by the sheer inspiring force of selfless and ardent devotion, contribute a distinct and memorable share to a highly involved discussion in any given Assembly. Great must be the regard paid by those whom the delegates call upon to serve in high position to this all-important though inconspicuous manifestation of the revealing power of sincere and earnest devotion.
The National Spiritual Assembly, however, in view of the unavoidable limitations imposed upon the convening of frequent and long-standing sessions of the Convention, will have to retain in its hands the final decision on all matters that affect the interests of the Cause in America, such as the right to decide whether any local Assembly is functioning in accordance with the principles laid down for the conduct and the advancement of the Cause. It is my earnest prayer that they will utilize their highly responsible position, not only for the wise and efficient conduct of the affairs of the Cause, but also for the extension and deepening of the spirit of cordiality and wholehearted and mutual support in their cooperation with the body of their co-workers throughout the land. The seating of delegates to the Convention, i.e., the right to decide upon the validity of the credentials of the delegates at a given Convention, is vested in the outgoing National Assembly, and the right to decide who has the voting privilege is also ultimately placed in the hands of the National Spiritual Assembly, either when a local Spiritual Assembly is for the first time being formed in a given locality, or when differences arise between a new applicant and an already established local Assembly. While the Convention is in session and the accredited delegates have already elected from among the believers throughout the country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the current year, it is of infinite value and a supreme necessity that as far as possible all matters requiring immediate decision should be fully and publicly considered, and an endeavor be made to obtain after mature deliberation, unanimity in vital decisions. Indeed, it has ever been the cherished desire of our Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that the friends in their councils, local as well as national, should by their candor, their honesty of purpose, their singleness of mind, and the thoroughness of their discussions, achieve unanimity in all things. Should this in certain cases prove impracticable the verdict of the majority should prevail, to which decision the minority must under all circumstances, gladly, spontaneously and continually, submit.
Nothing short of the all-encompassing, all-pervading power of His Guidance and Love can enable this newly-enfolded order to gather strength and flourish amid the storm and stress of a turbulent age, and in the fulness of time vindicate its high claim to be universally recognized as the one Haven of abiding felicity and peace.
Regarding the pamphlet entitled “The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,” I believe some additional material, consisting mainly of a few selections from leading American newspapers, would increase its value and extend its scope. I shall be glad to receive a copy of the reprinted edition, and I wish you success in this endeavor.
My dearly-beloved friend and fellow-worker, Mr. Mountfort Mills, is now with me in Haifa, and will ere long join you in the discharge of your manifold and arduous duties. I greatly value his assistance in the difficult task and the complex and often urgent problems that are before me, and I trust that his return to America will lend a fresh impetus to the glorious work of service you are rendering to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.
The communications lately received from your distinguished secretary, dated January 8th, February 6th and 13th, and March 17th, together with the enclosed minutes, reports and letters, have been read with profound interest and genuine satisfaction. The methods you pursue, the new measures for publicity which you have adopted, the increasing confidence you have achieved, and the degree of support, both moral and financial, which you have deservedly earned from the body of the believers are all encouraging signs that testify to the growing solidarity of a Cause destined to confer inestimable benefits upon mankind.
Great as is the promise of the Movement for the future, it has already revealed in a remarkable manner to every unprejudiced observer its indomitable spirit of loving sacrifice and true fellowship burning with undiminished ardor in the breasts of its followers both in the land of its birth and in the great Republic of the West. The heroism and fortitude lately displayed by its sorely-tried adherents in Persia, and the prompt and generous contributions of the American believers who have spontaneously responded to the call of their needy brethren of the East have served to kindle the flame of enthusiasm in many a heart, and forged fresh bonds of fellowship which will prove of the highest value for the advancement of the Bahá’í Faith. I would specially request you to convey to all the friends in the name of the oppressed Bahá’ís of Persia, and particularly the homeless sufferers of Nayríz, the expression of their deepest gratitude and highest appreciation. May America’s noble donations draw even as a magnet the blessings of the Almighty Giver upon the task it has set itself to achieve!
I am delighted to learn of the evidences of growing interest, of the sympathetic understanding, and brotherly cooperation on the part of two capable and steadfast servants of the One True God, Dr. H. Randall and Dr. Guthrie, whose participation in our work I hope and pray will widen the scope of our activities, enrich our opportunities, and lend a fresh impetus to our endeavors. I wish them happiness and success from all my heart.
The News Letter which you have lately initiated fulfills a very vital function and has been started admirably well. I would urge you to enlarge its scope, as much as your resources permit, that in time it may devote a special section to every phase of your activities, administrative, devotional, humanitarian, financial, educational and otherwise. That it may attain its object it must combine the essential qualities of accuracy, reliability, thoroughness, dignity and wisdom. It should become a great factor in promoting understanding, providing information on Bahá’í activity, both local and foreign, in stimulating interest, in combating evil influences, and in upholding and safeguarding the institutions of the Cause. It should be made as representative as possible, should be replete with news, up-to-date in its information, and should arouse the keenest interest among believers and admirers alike in every corner of the globe. I cherish great hopes for its immediate future, and I trust you will devote your special attention to its development, and by devising well-conceived and worldwide measures transform this News Letter into what I hope will become the foremost Bahá’í Journal of the world.
As to the title to be adopted for letterheads, I would suggest, pending the formation of the Universal House of Justice, the phrase “The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada,” retaining the word “spiritual” and restricting the meaning of the term “assembly” to be applied only to the body of nine elected by the friends whether for local or national purposes.
I have already replied to your cable in connection with the representation of groups of less than nine adult believers at the annual Convention and the matter of proxy, the latter being left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly. Should the conditions be altered, and the number of Bahá’í localities multiply, the situation will have to be considered afresh and a new basis for representation adopted.
Regarding the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, I would again most emphatically urge the believers in America, and ask you to do the utmost you can to devise every possible means for the removal of every outstanding financial liability incurred in this connection. I would remind you of the supreme and urgent necessity of raising the full sum decided upon by the National Spiritual Assembly at its meeting in Chicago in order to meet the immediate needs of this great future House of Worship. I would welcome a full, authorized and up-to-date statement on its present situation, its assets and liabilities and an estimate of the cost for its completion.
In conclusion I wish to renew the assurance of my ardent prayers for you and for those whom you represent in safeguarding and promoting the sacred interests of so precious a Cause. I am fully alive to the vastness and delicacy of your task, I heartily appreciate your indefatigable efforts and unflinching determination, I am continually reminded of our Master’s assurances of a dazzling future before you. May His love enfold you, His Spirit guide you, and His power enable you to achieve signal victory.