Compilation for the 2018 Counsellors’ Conference


O ye that are enamoured of the divine Beauty! O ye that are enraptured by the true Beloved! In this day when the fierce gales of tests and trials have encompassed the world, and fear and trembling have agitated the planet, ye must appear above the horizon of unwavering constancy with shining faces and radiant brows in such wise that the gloom of terror and confusion may be entirely obliterated and the light of certitude may shine resplendent in the luminous skies.

(From a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá—translated from the Persian)[20]

O ye friends of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá!  The tumult of the nations and the clamour of their peoples are certain and inevitable in the Day of the Manifestation of the Most Great Name. The wisdom of this irrevocable decree is clear and evident. For when the winds of tests blow, the frail trees are uprooted while the blessed trees are made firm and immovable.  Torrents of rain distress and scatter the creeping things that walk upon the earth while the gardens are filled with anemones and bring forth roses and sweet herbs, and the nightingales warble their melodies, chanting a myriad songs at every moment. This is a bounty unto the righteous and a calamity unto those who are weak.  Render thanks unto God that your feet are firm and your faces, like pure gold, are aglow in the fire of tests.  I beseech the one true God that day by day ye may increase in firmness and steadfastness.

(From a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá—translated from the Persian)[21]

I supplicate God that day by day thou mayest become more steadfast, so that like unto an impregnable stronghold thou mayest withstand the surging of the ocean of tests and trials. The people of the world are like unto trees. Those that are rootless are toppled by the slightest breeze, while those that grow deep roots and become strong and firm are not shaken by violent winds, and in time bring forth leaves and blossoms and fruit.

(From a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá—translated from the Persian)[22]

The consummate wisdom of God, however, is manifold and not every soul is apprised of its mysteries. Indeed, His all-encompassing mercy and His all-embracing wisdom entail certain exigencies that transcend the ken of human mind. Sorrow not, then, if trials, tribulations and adversities wax ever more severe, for the grace and bestowals of God are likewise unceasing. How often doth man flee from one thing, fixing all his hopes upon another, yet in the end it becometh apparent that the object of desire is harmful and deleterious, whereas the thing despised is the source of advantage and benefit!

Tread, therefore, the path of acquiescence and resignation. Let no hardship sadden thy heart, nor set thy hope upon any worldly gifts. Be happy and content with whatsoever God hath willed, that thy heart and soul may find tranquillity and thine inner being and conscience may experience true joy. Erelong shall this hardship and tribulation pass away and inner peace and joy be attained.

(From a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá—translated from the Persian)[23]

O thou whose eyes are fixed upon the Abhá Kingdom! In this grievous day, when dire adversities have shaken the pillars of the earth, and the tests and trials sent by God have rocked the foundations of the world, remain thou firm and staunch in His Cause through the power of the Kingdom and the confirmations from on high. Be thou as steadfast as an immovable mountain, an impregnable stronghold, a solid bulwark, and an impenetrable barrier. Be not perturbed by the winds of tribulations or dismayed by grievous calamities. The splendours of divine assistance are shed abroad from the Kingdom of God, and the hosts of heavenly confirmation are continually descending from the throne of the Most High. Rest thou assured and be thou confident.

(From a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá—translated from the Persian)[24]

We should not, however, forget that an essential characteristic of this world is hardship and tribulation and that it is by overcoming them that we achieve our moral and spiritual development. As the Master says, sorrow is like furrows, the deeper they go the more plentiful are the fruits we obtain.

(From a letter dated 5 November 1931 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, p. 7)[25]

You have complained of the unsatisfactory conditions prevailing in the ... Bahá’í Community; the Guardian is well aware of the situation of the Cause there, but is confident that whatever the nature of the obstacles that confront the Faith they will be eventually overcome. You should, under no circumstances, feel discouraged, and allow such difficulties, even though they may have resulted from the misconduct, or the lack of capacity and vision of certain members of the Community, to make you waver in your faith and basic loyalty to the Cause. Surely, the believers, no matter how qualified they may be, whether as teachers or administrators, and however high their intellectual and spiritual merits, should never be looked upon as a standard whereby to evaluate and measure the divine authority and mission of the Faith. It is to the Teachings themselves, and to the lives of the Founders of the Cause that the believers should look for their guidance and inspiration, and only by keeping strictly to such [a] true attitude can they hope to establish their loyalty to Bahá’u’lláh upon an enduring and unassailable basis. You should take heart, therefore, and with unrelaxing vigilance and unremitting effort endeavour to play your full share in the gradual unfoldment of this Divine World Order.

(From a letter dated 23 August 1939 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, pp. 15–16)[26]

Perhaps the greatest test Bahá’ís are ever subjected to is from each other; but for the sake of the Master they should be ever ready to overlook each other’s mistakes, apologize for harsh words they have uttered, forgive and forget. He strongly recommends to you this course of action.

(From a letter dated 18 December 1945 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, pp. 28–29)[27]

Human frailties and peculiarities can be a great test. But the only way, or perhaps I should say the first and best way, to remedy such situations, is to oneself do what is right. One soul can be the cause of the spiritual illumination of a continent.

(From a letter dated 30 September 1949 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Living the Life, p. 39)[28]

Often these trials and tests which all Bahá’í communities inevitably pass through seem terrible, at the moment, but in retrospect we understand that they were due to the frailty of human nature, to misunderstandings, and to the growing pains which every Bahá’í community must experience.

(From a letter dated 25 November 1956 written on his behalf to an individual believer, in Living the Life, p. 49)[29]

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