Your email message of 24 June 1996 … regarding the distinction between maturation of Bahá’í institutions and of the members of those institutions, was forwarded to the Universal House of Justice, which has asked us to reply as follows.
Maturation should be regarded as a process of evolution which is destined to lead to the stage when the institutions become developed and capable of accomplishing the great tasks assigned them for achieving the ultimate unfoldment of the Bahá’í World Order.
There is, of course, a close link between the maturation of the individual members and that of the institutions. While the process of evolution which maturation entails is equally applicable to individuals, it should be remembered that even when all members may be highly developed in terms of Bahá’í virtues and spiritual qualities, the collective entity itself needs time to evolve and achieve maturity as an institution. This evolutionary process requires the unwavering support of individuals through considerable courage and vigilance in demonstrating their love, respect and trust for the institutions, as well as loyal obedience to the decisions made by them.
Shoghi Effendi stated, in a letter written on his behalf to an individual believer, that difficulties and evidences of immaturity seem to be an inevitable phase in the growth of the Bahá’í Administration, which is so much more perfect than the believers called upon to establish it.