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– 43 –

Loyalty to World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

22 September 1938

LOYALTY WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SECURITY ITS BASIC INSTITUTIONS BOTH IMPERATIVELY DEMAND ALL ITS AVOWED SUPPORTERS PARTICULARLY ITS CHAMPION-BUILDERS AMERICAN CONTINENT IN THESE DAYS WHEN SINISTER UNCONTROLLABLE FORCES ARE DEEPENING CLEAVAGE SUNDERING PEOPLES NATIONS CREEDS CLASSES RESOLVE DESPITE PRESSURE FAST-CRYSTALLIZING PUBLIC OPINION ABSTAIN INDIVIDUALLY COLLECTIVELY IN WORD ACTION INFORMALLY AS WELL AS IN ALL OFFICIAL UTTERANCES PUBLICATIONS FROM ASSIGNING BLAME TAKING SIDES HOWEVER INDIRECTLY IN RECURRING POLITICAL CRISES NOW AGITATING ULTIMATELY ENGULFING HUMAN SOCIETY. GRAVE APPREHENSION LEST CUMULATIVE EFFECT SUCH COMPROMISES DISINTEGRATE FABRIC CLOG CHANNEL GRACE THAT SUSTAINS SYSTEM GOD’S ESSENTIALLY SUPRANATIONAL SUPERNATURAL ORDER SO LABORIOUSLY EVOLVED SO RECENTLY ESTABLISHED.

– 44 –

American Community Summoned to New Level of Heroism

27 November 1938

VIRTUAL TERMINATION APPOINTED TIME ORNAMENTATION GALLERY SECTION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR TRIUMPHANTLY USHERS IN FINAL PHASE MAJOR TASK COURAGEOUSLY SHOULDERED CHAMPIONS SEVEN YEAR PLAN. ACCUMULATION NO MORE THAN ONE THIRD FUNDS REQUIRED COMPLETION LAST REMAINING UNIT SUFFICIENT PREREQUISITE PLACING CONTRACT. ON SUCH AUSPICIOUS OCCASION IN EVOLUTION DIVINELY ORDAINED INSTITUTIONS WITHIN FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND AT SO CRITICAL STAGE IN DISINTEGRATION MAN-MADE INSTITUTIONS BEYOND ITS PALE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SUMMONED AFRESH RISE LEVEL HEROISM THIS TWOFOLD OPPORTUNITY DEMANDS. POIGNANT MEMORY EVER-LOVED GREATEST HOLY LEAF INSEPARABLY LINKED TO AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ TEMPLE EXERTIONS IMPELS ME OFFER THIS DECISIVE HOUR ONE THOUSAND POUNDS IN HER NAME AND AS TOKEN HER DEBT OF GRATITUDE FOR THEIR RESPONSE HER LAST APPEAL ADDRESSED TO THEM EVENING OF HER LIFE. CONFIDENT TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION FUND WHICH FROM NOW ON WILL BEAR HER NAME AND BE CONSECRATED HER MEMORY WILL FOLLOWING THIS OFFERING SWELL SUCH PROPORTIONS AS WILL CARRY FORWARD STUPENDOUS UNDERTAKING GLORIOUS CONSUMMATION.

– 45 –

Nine Holy Souls

24 January 1939

RECENT SWIFT PROGRESS TEMPLE ORNAMENTATION PROMPTS ME ENTREAT AMERICAN COMMUNITY FOCUS IMMEDIATE ATTENTION CENTER ENERGIES CORRESPONDING ACCELERATION TEACHING ENTERPRISE FORMULATED SEVEN YEAR PLAN. FINAL PHASE CONSTRUCTION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR ALREADY ENTERED. INITIAL STAGE INAUGURATED TEACHING CAMPAIGN STILL UNTRAVERSED. END FIRST CENTURY RAPIDLY APPROACHING. ALASKA DELAWARE NEVADA SOUTH CAROLINA UTAH VERMONT WEST VIRGINIA MANITOBA NOVA SCOTIA STILL UNSETTLED. UNIVERSAL PROLONGED INTENSIFICATION PIONEER ACTIVITY CRYING NEED FATEFUL HOUR. ESTABLISHMENT ONE RESIDENT BELIEVER EACH VIRGIN TERRITORY PRECONDITION FULL LAUNCHING SUBSEQUENT EAGERLY ANTICIPATED STAGE AIMING SPIRITUAL CONQUEST SOUTHERN HALF WESTERN HEMISPHERE. CONCOURSE ON HIGH EXPECTANTLY AWAIT READY ASSIST ACCLAIM NINE HOLY SOULS WHO INDEPENDENTLY OR AS DEPUTEES WILL PROMPTLY FEARLESSLY VOLUNTEER FORSAKE HOMES CAST AWAY ATTACHMENTS DEFINITELY SETTLE THESE TERRITORIES LAY FIRM ANCHORAGE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER UNDEFEATABLE FAITH. IRRESISTIBLY URGED PROUD PRIVILEGE PLEDGE NINE HUNDRED POUNDS FACILITATE PERMANENT SETTLEMENT PIONEERS THESE STATES PROVINCES WHOSE ACTS HEROIC SELF-ABNEGATION WILL MARK CONCLUSION SHINING EPOCH AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY.

– 46 –

The Rarest Privilege Ever Conferred by Providence upon the American Bahá’í Community

28 January 1939

I have, in a recent cable addressed to your Assembly, felt it necessary to stress the paramount need of maintaining the proper balance between the Temple construction work and the teaching activities which have been initiated and are being so energetically conducted under your direction in accordance with the Seven Year Plan. The twofold aim you are now pursuing should at no time become obscured, nor should either one of the dual responsibilities you have assumed be allowed to preponderate over the other. The urgency of the task connected with the ornamentation of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár has been rightly recognized, and its immediate needs have been generously and promptly met. A similar, nay a mightier, effort should now be deliberately and persistently exerted in the field of pioneer teaching, in both the United States and Canada. Every facility and encouragement, moral and material, should be extended to the National Teaching Committee and its auxiliary agencies to ensure the speedy termination of the first stage in the teaching campaign to which every American believer is now pledged.

Very soon we shall be entering the second half of the last decade of this, the first century of the Bahá’í Era. The five remaining years should essentially be consecrated to the imperative, the spiritual needs of the remaining republics of both Central and South America, for whose entry into the fellowship of Bahá’u’lláh the Plan was primarily formulated. The prime requisite for the definite opening of what may come to be regarded as one of the most brilliant chapters in American Bahá’í history is the completion of the initial task which American Bahá’í pioneers must perform in the nine remaining states and provinces as yet unassociated with the organic structure of the Faith.

The period ahead is short, strenuous, fraught with mortal perils for human society, yet pregnant with possibilities of unsurpassed triumphs for the power of Bahá’u’lláh’s redemptive Cause. The occasion is propitious for a display, by the American Bahá’í Community, in its corporate capacity, of an effort which in its magnitude, character, and purpose must outshine its past endeavors. Failure to exploit these present, these golden opportunities would blast the hopes which the prosecution of the Plan has thus far aroused, and would signify the loss of the rarest privilege ever conferred by Providence upon the American Bahá’í Community. It is in view of the criticalness of the situation that I was led to place at the disposal of any pioneer willing to dedicate himself to the task of the present hour such modest resources as would facilitate the discharge of so enviable a duty.

The Bahá’í world, increasingly subjected to the rigors of repression, in both the East and the West, watches with unconcealed astonishment, and derives hope and comfort from, the rapid unfoldment of the successive stages of God’s Plan for so blest a community. Its eyes are fixed upon this community, eager to behold the manner in which its gallant members will break down, one after another, the barriers that obstruct their progress towards a divinely appointed goal. On every daring adventurer in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh the Concourse on high shall descend, “each bearing aloft a chalice of pure light.” Every one of these adventurers God Himself will sustain and inspire, and will “cause the pure waters of wisdom and utterance to gush out and flow copiously from his heart.” “The Kingdom of God,” writes ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “is possessed of limitless potency. Audacious must be the army of life if the confirming aid of that Kingdom is to be repeatedly vouchsafed unto it … Vast is the arena, and the time ripe to spur on the charger within it. Now is the time to reveal the force of one’s strength, the stoutness of one’s heart and the might of one’s soul.

Dearly beloved friends! What better field than the vast virgin territories, so near at hand, and waiting to receive, at this very hour, their full share of the onrushing tide of Bahá’u’lláh’s redeeming grace? What theater more befitting than these long-neglected nine remaining states and provinces in which the true heroism of the intrepid pioneers of His World Order can be displayed? There is no time to lose. There is no room left for vacillation. Multitudes hunger for the Bread of Life. The stage is set. The firm and irrevocable Promise is given. God’s own Plan has been set in motion. It is gathering momentum with every passing day. The powers of heaven and earth mysteriously assist in its execution. Such an opportunity is irreplaceable. Let the doubter arise, and himself verify the truth of such assertions. To try, to persevere, is to ensure ultimate and complete victory.

– 47 –

God’s Creative Plan

8 February [1939]

I was deeply stirred by the news conveyed in your recent cable. The abiding assurance I derived from its contents eases the burden of my cares and fortifies me in my tasks. The illustrious community of the American believers, contemptuous of risk or peril, is driving ahead, relentlessly and with its whole vigor, towards the dual goal which the Seven Year Plan has set before it. The virtual completion of the contract for the gallery section of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, the inauguration of the First Story Construction Fund, the signature of the contract for the models of the Main Story, the prompt response to the Fund newly associated with the memory of the Greatest Holy Leaf, the consequent placing of a further contract for the construction of the molds, the acceleration of pioneer teaching activity and the resultant penetration of the Faith into practically every state and province in the United States and Canada—all these have, in the course of the second year of the Seven Year Plan, followed in amazingly swift succession. With dramatic swiftness, with unyielding resolve, with uncompromising fidelity and superb courage, the community responsible for such a unique demonstration of Bahá’í initiative and enterprise is overcoming the barriers, whether material or moral, that threaten to interfere with the execution of its declared purpose.

The task regarded as an essential preliminary to the crusade destined to embrace the whole of Latin America is now in full swing and is being rapidly carried out. A further step, designed to hasten the conclusion of the final phase of the ornamentation of the Temple, has also been taken. As the days roll by, as the perturbations of an imperiled civilization are more alarmingly manifested, the potentialities of God’s creative Plan correspondingly unfold, and the valor and heroism of its intrepid supporters are more widely and convincingly demonstrated. With every successful effort to muster its young and scattered forces, to perfect its methods, to extend the range of its operations, to deepen its spiritual life and to scale loftier heights of individual heroism, there will, I cannot but feel confident, be granted to this community a greater opportunity to prove its worth, and a fuller measure of celestial strength to enable it to re-enact, on the soil of the United States and Canada and throughout the entire Western Hemisphere, those stirring exploits that have shed such luster on the Apostolic Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Though much has thus far been achieved, yet the processes now set in motion through the evolution of the Plan are still far too rudimentary to permit even a faint glimpse of the brilliancy of the epoch in which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own Plan must come to fruition. Not ours to attempt, at the present moment, a survey of the distant scene, or to seek to visualize its glories, or to dwell on the consequences of the eventual attainment of an as yet far-off goal. Ours is the solemn, the inescapable duty to labor faithfully and unremittingly to ensure that no opportunity is being missed, that no avenues are left unexplored, that might, however indirectly, contribute to the furtherance of those tasks that claim so insistently our immediate attention. That those into whose hands this dynamic Plan has been entrusted are aware of the essential character of their obligations and will discharge worthily their duties no one, viewing the range and quality of their achievements, can entertain the slightest doubt.

– 48 –

Approach of Final Eruption

22 March 1939

FRESH OMINOUS RUMBLINGS DEMONSTRATE INEVITABILITY FORESHADOW APPROACH FINAL ERUPTION INVOLVING DISSOLUTION LAMENTABLY DEFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL ORDER. PRIVILEGED COMMUNITY AMERICAN BELIEVERS FOREWARNED UNDISMAYED SPIRITUALLY EQUIPPED. NOTWITHSTANDING GRAVITY TIMES WILL PURSUE UNSWERVINGLY DIVINELY CHARTERED COURSE THEIR ATTENTION UNDISTRACTED OBJECTIVE UNOBSCURED RESOLVE UNIMPAIRED SUPPORT UNDIMINISHED LOYALTY UNSULLIED. IMMEDIATE OBLIGATION COMPLETE SETTLEMENT DELAWARE UTAH MANITOBA NOVA SCOTIA ERE TERMINATION BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE YEAR. RESPONSIBILITY SOLEMN PRESSING UNAVOIDABLE.

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Gratitude to Pioneers

30 March 1939

ASSURE EACH PIONEER IMMEASURABLE GRATITUDE. SUCH VIGOROUS RESPONSE SUCH PERILOUS TIMES TO SO VITAL CALL OPENS BRILLIANT EPOCH FORMATIVE AGE FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. IMPELLED CONGRATULATE ASSEMBLY WISE EFFICIENT TRUSTEESHIP.

– 50 –

My Plea, My Supreme Entreaty

17 April 1939

I have in two recent successive messages, cabled to your Assembly, given expression, as far as it lay in my power, to the feelings of overflowing gratitude which the response of so many pioneers to the call of teaching has evoked in my heart. I have moreover felt impelled to convey my congratulations to the members of your Assembly, who, through their resource, unity and single-mindedness, have lent so needed and timely an impetus to the mighty work associated with the second year of the Seven Year Plan. There can be no doubt whatever that what the American believers, no less than their elected national representatives, have accomplished, the long and assiduous care of the former and the potent methods employed by the latter have witnessed to the uprising of a new spirit on which the defamers of the Cause may well pause to reflect, and from which its lovers cannot but derive deep joy and solace. I again wish to thank with all my soul those whose acts have stirred the imagination of friend and foe alike.

In my desire not to omit anything that might help to spur on or reinforce the community of the American believers as they move on to their destiny, I feel it necessary to add a word of warning in connection with the work that has been so splendidly begun lest it should be jeopardized or frustrated. The initial phase of the teaching work operating under the Seven Year Plan has at long last been concluded. They who have pushed it forward have withstood the test gloriously. By their acts, whether as teachers or administrators, they have written a glorious page in the struggle for the laying of a continent-wide foundation for the Administrative Order of their Faith. At this advanced stage in the fulfillment of the purpose to which they have set their hand, there can be no turning back, no halting, no respite. To launch the bark of the Faith, to implant its banner, is not enough. Support, ample, organized and unremitting, should be lent, designed to direct the course of that bark and to lay an unassailable foundation for the fort destined to stand guard over that banner.

The National Spiritual Assembly, the National Teaching Committee, the Regional and Local Teaching Committees, no less than the itinerant teachers, should utilize every possible means calculated to fan the zeal, enrich the resources, and ensure the solidity and permanency of the work, of those who, actuated by so laudable and shining a spirit of self-sacrifice, have arisen to face the hazards and perils of so holy and historic an adventure. Indeed every believer, however humble and inexperienced, should sense the obligation to play his or her part in a mission that involves so very deeply the destinies not only of the American Bahá’í community but of the nation itself.

Whether through the frequency of their visits, the warmth of their correspondence, the liberality of their support, the wisdom of their counsels, the choice of the literature placed at the disposal of the pioneers, the members of the community should, at this hour when the sands of a moribund civilization are inexorably running out, and at a time when they are preparing themselves to launch yet another stage in their teaching activities, ensure the security, and provide for the steady expansion, of the work initiated in those territories so recently set alight from the torch of an inextinguishable Faith.

This is my plea, my supreme entreaty.

– 51 –

Penetration of Latin America

Message to 1939 Convention

26 April 1939

BRILLIANT CONCLUSION SECOND YEAR SEVEN YEAR PLAN EVOKES UNIVERSAL ADMIRATION BAHÁ’Í WORLD DEEPENS SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS MITIGATES HARDSHIPS ITS INCREASINGLY HARASSED COMMUNITIES. CLOSING PHASE TEMPLE ORNAMENTATION ALREADY ENTERED. INITIAL STAGE INTERCONTINENTAL TEACHING CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFULLY TERMINATED. FIRM ANCHORAGE INSTITUTIONS ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER PERMANENTLY ESTABLISHED EVERY STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT. MEXICO LYING FOREFRONT SOUTHWARD MARCHING ARMY RECENTLY ENLISTED. PEDRO ESPINOSA’S AUSPICIOUS ATTENDANCE CONVENTION WELCOME EVIDENCE.31 SETTLEMENT CENTRAL AMERICAN REPUBLICS NEXT STEP PROGRESSIVE SYSTEMATIC PENETRATION LATIN AMERICA. UPSURGE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S IMPELLING SPIRIT CANNOT WILL NOT BE STEMMED IMPEDED. METHODICAL ADVANCE ALONG LINE TRACED PEN ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ IRRESISTIBLE. GUATEMALA HONDURAS SALVADOR NICARAGUA COSTA RICA PANAMA CUBA DOMINICA32 HAITI IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES. THOUGH POLITICALLY UNSETTLED RELIGIOUSLY INTOLERANT SOCIALLY BACKWARD CLIMATICALLY INHOSPITABLE THESE UNEXPLORED TERRITORIES HOLD FORTH INESTIMABLE PRIZES AUDACIOUS ADVENTURERS PATH BAHÁ’Í SERVICE. DEARLY BELOVED MARTHA’S33 UNRIVALED EXPERIENCE INDOMITABLE FAITH INDEFATIGABLE LABORS WILL SOON REINFORCE POWERS RELEASED CONTEMPLATED CAMPAIGN. TASK ADMITTEDLY LABORIOUS HOUR LADEN WITH FATE PRIVILEGE INCOMPARABLE PRECIOUS DIVINELY PROMISED AID UNFAILING REWARD PREDESTINED IMMEASURABLE. APPEAL ALL BELIEVERS WHITE NEGRO ALIKE ARISE ASSUME RIGHTFUL RESPONSIBILITIES. URGE PROLONGATION SESSIONS CONVENTION ENABLE DELEGATES EXERCISE INALIENABLE RIGHT DELIBERATE FORMULATE RECOMMENDATIONS DESIGNED AID INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTELY PROSECUTE MOMENTOUS ENTERPRISE. FERVOR PRAYERS INTENSIFIED.

– 52 –

Message to Thirty-First Convention

29 April 1939

INEXPRESSIBLY MOVED GRATEFUL STIRRING UNIQUE MESSAGE.34 MOMENTOUS DELIBERATIONS THIRTY-FIRST CONVENTION OPENING STERNER MORE GLORIOUS CHAPTER IN CORPORATE LIFE EVER-ADVANCING STEADILY EXPANDING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY. ADMIRATION HEIGHTENED CONFIDENCE IMMENSELY FORTIFIED FRESH REVELATIONS COMMUNITY’S LATENT STRENGTH VISIBLY HASTENING INEVITABLE HOUR SIGNALIZING SPIRITUAL CONQUEST ENTIRE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

– 53 –

Twofold Obligation

3 May 1939

WELCOME DEEPEST SATISFACTION CONVENTION’S VIGOROUS INSTANT RESPONSE35 CONFIDENT NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY WILL WITH STILL GREATER DISTINCTION DISCHARGE TWOFOLD OBLIGATION MEET SUBSEQUENT NEEDS TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION ENSURE COMPLETE SUCCESS NEWLY UNDERTAKEN CAMPAIGN CENTRAL AMERICA PRAYERS LOVE.

– 54 –

Inspiring, Significant Progress

7 May 1939

PROGRESS REFLECTED RECENTLY PUBLISHED NATIONAL REPORTS INSPIRING SIGNIFICANT. CONVEY RESPONSIBLE COMMITTEES ABUNDANT GRATITUDE HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS. ADVISE MAIL ONE COPY EACH COMMUNITY “BAHÁ’Í WORLD” AS EXAMPLE WORTHY EMULATION AS SOURCE ABIDING COMFORT AS STIMULUS GREATER EXERTIONS NOBLER PERSEVERANCE.36

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That Priceless Heritage

22 May 1939

The concerted activities of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North American continent assume, as they multiply and develop, a dual aspect, and may be said to fall into two distinct categories, both equally vital and complementary to each other. The one aims at the safeguarding and consolidation of the work already achieved; the other is designed to enlarge the range of its operation. The former depends chiefly for its success upon the capacity, the experience, and the loyalty of wise, resourceful, and judicious administrators who, impelled by the very nature of their task, will be increasingly called upon to exercise the utmost care and vigilance in protecting the interests of the Faith, in resolving its problems, in regulating its life, in enriching its resources, and in preserving the pristine purity of its precepts. The latter is essentially pioneer in nature, demanding first and foremost those qualities of renunciation, tenacity, dauntlessness and passionate fervor that can alone brave the dangers and sweep away the obstacles with which an infant Faith, struggling against vested interests and face to face with the entrenched forces of prejudice, of ignorance and fanaticism, must needs contend. In both of these spheres of Bahá’í activity the community of the American believers, it is becoming increasingly evident, is evincing those characteristics which must be regarded as the essential foundation for the success of their dual task.

As to those whose function is essentially of an administrative character it can hardly be doubted that they are, steadily and indefatigably, perfecting the structural machinery of their Faith, are multiplying its administrative agencies and are legalizing the status of its newly established institutions. Slowly and patiently they are canalizing the spirit that at once directs, energizes and safeguards its operation. They are exploiting its potentialities, broadcasting its message, publicizing its literature, fostering the aspirations of its youth, devising ways and means for the training of its children, guarding the integrity of its teachings, and paving the way for the ultimate codification of its laws. Through all the resources at their disposal they are promoting the growth and consolidation of that pioneer movement for which the entire machinery of their Administrative Order has been primarily designed and erected. They are visibly and progressively contributing to the enrichment of their unique community life, and are ensuring, with magnificent courage and characteristic promptitude, the completion of their consecrated Edifice—the embodiment of their hopes and the supreme symbol of their ideals.

As to those into whose valiant and trusted hands—and no believer, however humble, is to think himself debarred from joining their ranks—the standards of a forward-marching Faith have been entrusted, they too with no less zest and thoroughness are pushing farther and farther its frontiers, breaking new soil, establishing fresh outposts, winning more recruits, and contributing to the greater diversification and more harmonious blending of the elements comprised in the worldwide society of its followers.

The Edifice of this new World Order, which the Báb has heralded, which the mind of Bahá’u’lláh has envisioned, and whose features ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, its Architect, has delineated, we, whatever our capacities, opportunities or position, are now, at so precarious a period in the world’s history, summoned to found and erect. The community of the Most Great Name in the Western Hemisphere is, through the nature of its corporate life and the scope of its exertions, assuming, beyond the shadow of a doubt, a preponderating share in the laying of such a foundation and the erection of such a structure. The eyes of its sister communities are fixed upon it. Their prayers ascend on its behalf. Their hands are outstretched to lend whatever aid lies within their power. I, for my part, am determined to reinforce the impulse that impels its members forward to meet their destiny. The Founders of their Faith survey from the Kingdom on high the range of their achievements, acclaim their progress, and are ever ready to speed their eventual triumph.

Far be it from me to underrate the gigantic proportions of their task, nor do I for one moment overlook the urgency and gravity of the times in which they are laboring. Nor do I wish to minimize the hazards and trials that surround or lie ahead of them. The grandeur of their task is indeed commensurate with the mortal perils by which their generation is hemmed in. As the dusk creeps over a steadily sinking society the radiant outlines of their redemptive mission become sharper every day. The present world unrest, symptom of a worldwide malady, their world religion has already affirmed, must needs culminate in that world catastrophe out of which the consciousness of world citizenship will be born, a consciousness that can alone provide an adequate basis for the organization of world unity, on which a lasting world peace must necessarily depend, the peace itself inaugurating in turn that world civilization which will mark the coming of age of the entire human race.

Fortified by such reflections, the American believers, in whichever section of the Western Hemisphere they find themselves laboring, whether at home or abroad, and however dire and distressing the processes involved in the disintegration of the structure of present-day civilization, will, I feel convinced, prove themselves, through their lives and deeds, worthy of that priceless heritage which it is their undoubted privilege to proclaim, preserve and perpetuate.

– 56 –

Official Inauguration of World Mission

26 May 1939

NEWLY LAUNCHED CENTRAL AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MARKS OFFICIAL INAUGURATION LONG-DEFERRED WORLD MISSION CONSTITUTING ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DISTINCTIVE LEGACY BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY NORTH AMERICA. CHOSEN COMMUNITY BROADENING ITS BASIS GAINING STATURE DEEPENING CONSECRATION. ITS VANGUARD NOW ENTERING ARENA MONOPOLIZED ENTRENCHED FORCES CHRISTENDOM’S MIGHTIEST ECCLESIASTICAL INSTITUTIONS. LABORING AMIDST RACE FOREIGN IN LANGUAGE CUSTOM TEMPERAMENT EMBRACING VAST PROPORTION NEW WORLD’S ETHNIC ELEMENTS. AMERICAN BELIEVERS ISOLATED OVERSEAS TEACHING ENTERPRISES HITHERTO TENTATIVE INTERMITTENT NOW AT END. NEW EPOCH OPENING DEMANDING EXERTIONS INCOMPARABLY MORE STRENUOUS UNFLINCHINGLY SUSTAINED CENTRALLY DIRECTED SYSTEMATICALLY ORGANIZED EFFICIENTLY CONDUCTED. UPON ALACRITY TENACITY FEARLESSNESS PRESENT PROSECUTORS UNFOLDING MISSION DEPENDS SPEEDY FULLEST REVELATION IN FIRST SECOND CENTURIES POTENTIALITIES BIRTHRIGHT DIVINELY CONFERRED NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS. CONVEY PIONEERS NORTH MIDDLE SOUTH AMERICA MY EAGERNESS MAINTAIN WITH EACH DIRECT PERSONAL CONTACT. ASSURE TEACHING INTER-AMERICA COMMITTEES DELIGHT SUCCESSIVE TESTIMONIES BELIEVERS GLOWING SPIRIT REFLECTED MINUTES LETTERS REPORTS RECENTLY RECEIVED. ENTREAT EVERY SECTION COMMUNITY LABOR UNREMITTINGLY UNTIL EVERY NATION WESTERN HEMISPHERE ILLUMINED RAYS WOVEN FABRIC BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S TRIUMPHANT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER.

– 57 –

Fulfill the Requirements

4 July 1939

The readiness of your Assembly, as expressed in your recently cabled message, to transfer the National Bahá’í Secretariat to the vicinity of the Temple in Wilmette has evoked within me the deepest feelings of thankfulness and joy.37 Your historic decision, so wise and timely, so surprising in its suddenness, so far-reaching in its consequences, is one that I cannot but heartily and unreservedly applaud. To each one of your brethren in the Faith throughout the United States and Canada, who are witnessing, from day to day and at an ever-hastening speed, the approaching completion of their national House of Worship, the great Mother Temple of the West, your resolution to establish within its hallowed precincts and in the heart of the North American continent the Administrative Seat of their beloved Faith cannot but denote henceforward a closer association, a more constant communion, and a higher degree of coordination between the two primary agencies providentially ordained for the enrichment of their spiritual life and for the conduct and regulation of their administrative affairs. To the far-flung Bahá’í communities of East and West, most of which are being increasingly proscribed and ill treated, and none of which can claim to have had a share of the dual blessings which a specially designed and constructed House of Worship and a fully and efficiently functioning Administrative Order invariably confer, the concentration in a single locality of what will come to be regarded as the fountainhead of the community’s spiritual life and what is already recognized as the mainspring of its administrative activities signalizes the launching of yet another phase in the slow and imperceptible emergence, in these declining times, of the model Bahá’í community—a community divinely ordained, organically united, clear-visioned, vibrant with life, and whose very purpose is regulated by the twin directing principles of the worship of God and of service to one’s fellowmen.

The decision you have arrived at is an act that befittingly marks the commencement of your allotted term of stewardship in service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. Moreover, it significantly coincides with the inauguration of that world Mission of which the settlement of Bahá’í pioneers in the virgin territories of the North American continent has been but a prelude. That such a decision may speedily and without the slightest hitch be carried into effect is the deepest longing of my heart. That those who have boldly carried so weighty a resolution may without pause or respite continue to labor and build up, as circumstances permit, around this administrative nucleus such accessories as the machinery of a fast-evolving Administrative Order, functioning under the shadow of, and in such close proximity to, the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, must demand is the object of my incessant and fervent prayer. That such a step, momentous as it is, may prove the starting-point for acts of still greater renown and of richer possibilities that will leave their distinct mark on the third year of the Seven Year Plan is a hope which I, together with all those who are eagerly following its progress, fondly and confidently cherish.

The American believers, while straining to accomplish befittingly this particular task, must simultaneously brace themselves for another sublime effort to discharge, ere the present year draws to a close, their manifold responsibilities allotted to them under the Seven Year Plan. The placing of yet another contract for the casting of the ornamentation of the first story of the Temple, the permanent settlement of the six remaining Republics of Central America, and the extension of continual support, both material and moral, to those weaker states, provinces, and Republics that have been recently incorporated in the body of the Faith, combine to offer, at this hour when the fate of civilization trembles in the balance, the boldest and gravest challenge that has ever faced the community of the American believers both in the propagative and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity. In the field of pioneer teaching, and particularly in connection with the opening of the Republics of Haiti, Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominica and Guatemala, the utmost encouragement should at all times be vouchsafed by the elected representatives of the community to those who, out of the abundance of their hearts, and in direct response to the call of their Faith and the dictates of their conscience, have renounced their comforts, fled their homes, and hazarded their fortunes, for the sake of bringing into operation the majestic Plan of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, while special support should be extended to those who appear to be best qualified for the strenuous labors which pioneering under such exacting circumstances demands. Care should be exercised lest any hindrance should for any reason be placed in the way of those who have, whether young or old, rich or poor, so spontaneously dedicated themselves to so urgent and holy a mission.

Towards this newly appointed enterprise a more definite reorientation is needed. To its purposes a more complete dedication is demanded. In its fortunes a more widespread concern is required. For its further consolidation and speedy fulfillment a larger number and a greater variety of participants are indispensable. For its success a more abundant flow of material resources should be assured.

Let the privileged few, the ambassadors of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, bear in mind His words as they go forth on their errands of service to His Cause. “It behooveth whosoever willeth to journey for the sake of God, and whose intention is to proclaim His Word and quicken the dead, to bathe himself with the waters of detachment, and to adorn his temple with the ornaments of resignation and submission. Let trust in God be his shield, and reliance on God his provision, and the fear of God his raiment. Let patience be his helper, and praiseworthy conduct his succorer, and goodly deeds his army. Then will the concourse on high sustain him. Then will the denizens of the Kingdom of Names march forth with him, and the banners of Divine guidance and inspiration be unfurled on his right hand and before him.

Faced with such a challenge, a community that has scaled thus far such peaks of enduring achievement can neither falter nor recoil. Confident in its destiny, reliant on its God-given power, fortified by the consciousness of its past victories, galvanized into action at the sight of a slowly disrupting civilization, it will—I can have no doubt—continue to fulfill unflinchingly the immediate requirements of its task, assured that with every step it takes and with each stage it traverses, a fresh revelation of Divine light and strength will guide and propel it forward until it consummates, in the fullness of time and in the plenitude of its power, the Plan inseparably bound up with its shining destiny.

– 58 –

The Most Fateful Hour

28 July 1939

A triple call, clear-voiced, insistent and inescapable, summons to the challenge all members of the American Bahá’í community, at this, the most fateful hour in their history. The first is the voice, distant and piteous, of those sister communities which now, alas, are fettered by the galling chains of religious orthodoxy and isolated through the cruel barriers set up by a rampant nationalism. The second is the plea, no less vehement and equally urgent, of those peoples and nations of the New World, whose vast and unexplored territories await to be warmed by the light and swept into the orbit of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The third, more universal and stirring than either of the others, is the call of humanity itself crying out for deliverance at a time when the tide of mounting evils has destroyed its equilibrium and is now strangling its very life.

These imperative calls of Bahá’í duty the American believers can immediately if only partially answer. Their present status, their circumscribed resources, debar them, however great their eagerness, from responding completely and decisively to the full implications of this threefold obligation. They can neither, individually nor through their concerted efforts, impose directly their will upon those into whose hands the immediate destinies of their persecuted brethren are placed. Nor are they as yet capable of launching a campaign of such magnitude as could capture the imagination and arouse the conscience of mankind, and thereby ensure the immediate and full redress of those grievances from which their hapless co-religionists in both the East and the West are suffering. They cannot moreover hope to wield at the present time in the councils of nations an influence commensurate with the stupendous claims advanced, or adequate to the greatness of the Cause proclaimed, by the Author of their Faith. Nor can they assume a position or exercise such responsibilities as would enable them by their acts and decisions to reverse the process which is urging so tragically the decline of human society and its institutions.

And yet, though their influence be at the present hour indecisive and their Divinely conferred authority unrecognized, the role they can play in both alleviating the hardships that afflict their brethren and in attenuating the ills that torment mankind is none the less considerable and far-reaching. By the range and liberality of their contributions to mitigate the distress of the bereaved, the exiled, and the imprisoned; by the persistent, the wise and judicious intervention of their elected representatives through the authorities concerned; by a clear and convincing exposition, whenever circumstances are propitious, of the issues involved; by a vigorous defense of the rights and liberties denied; by an accurate and dignified presentation of the events that have transpired; by every manner of encouragement which their sympathies may suggest, or their means permit, or their consciences dictate, to succor the outcast and the impoverished; and above all by their tenacious adherence to, and wide proclamation of, those principles, laws, ideals, and institutions which their disabled fellow believers are unable to affirm or publicly espouse; and lastly by the energetic prosecution of those tasks which their oppressed fellow workers are forbidden to initiate or conduct, the privileged community of the American Bahá’ís can play a conspicuous part in the great Drama involving so large a company of their unemancipated brethren in the Asiatic, the European and African continents.38

Their duties towards mankind in general are no less distinct and vital. Their impotence to stem the tide of onrushing calamities, their seeming helplessness in face of those cataclysmic forces that are to convulse human society, do not in the least detract from the urgency of their unique mission, nor exonerate them from those weighty responsibilities which they alone can and must assume. Humanity, heedless and impenitent, is admittedly hovering on the edge of an awful abyss, ready to precipitate itself into that titanic struggle, that crucible whose chastening fires alone can and will weld its antagonistic elements of race, class, religion and nation into one coherent system, one world Commonwealth. “The hour is approaching,” is Bahá’u’lláh’s own testimony, “when the most great convulsion will have appeared.… I swear by God! The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: ‘Taste ye what your hands have wrought!’” Not ours to question the almighty wisdom, or fathom the inscrutable ways of Him in Whose hands the ultimate destiny of an unregenerate yet potentially glorious race must lie. Ours rather is the duty to believe that the worldwide community of the Most Great Name, and in particular at the present time its vanguard in North America, however buffeted by the powerful currents of these troublous times, and however keen their awareness of the inevitability of the final eruption, can, if they will, rise to the level of their calling and discharge their functions, both in the period which is witnessing the confusion and breakdown of human institutions and in the ensuing epoch during which the shattered basis of a dismembered society is to be recast, and its forces reshaped, redirected and unified. With the age that is still unborn, with its herculean tasks and unsuspected glories, we need not concern ourselves at present. It is to the fierce struggles, the imperious duties, the distinctive contributions which the present generation of Bahá’ís are summoned to undertake and render that I feel we should, at this hour, direct our immediate and anxious attention. Though powerless to avert the impending contest the followers of Bahá’u’lláh can, by the spirit they evince and the efforts they exert, help to circumscribe its range, shorten its duration, allay its hardships, proclaim its salutary consequences, and demonstrate its necessary and vital role in the shaping of human destiny. Theirs is the duty to hold, aloft and undimmed, the torch of Divine Guidance, as the shades of night descend upon, and ultimately envelop the entire human race. Theirs is the function, amidst its tumults, perils and agonies, to witness to the vision, and proclaim the approach, of that re-created society, that Christ-promised Kingdom, that World Order whose generative impulse is the spirit of none other than Bahá’u’lláh Himself, whose dominion is the entire planet, whose watchword is unity, whose animating power is the force of Justice, whose directive purpose is the reign of righteousness and truth, and whose supreme glory is the complete, the undisturbed, and everlasting felicity of the whole of humankind. By the sublimity and serenity of their faith, by the steadiness and clarity of their vision, the incorruptibility of their character, the rigor of their discipline, the sanctity of their morals, and the unique example of their community life, they can and indeed must in a world polluted with its incurable corruptions, paralyzed by its haunting fears, torn by its devastating hatreds, and languishing under the weight of its appalling miseries, demonstrate the validity of their claim to be regarded as the sole repository of that grace upon whose operation must depend the complete deliverance, the fundamental reorganization and the supreme felicity of all mankind.

Though the obstacles confronting the followers of Bahá’u’lláh of the American continent in their efforts to completely emancipate their fellow Bahá’ís on the one hand, and to speedily rehabilitate the fortunes of their fellowmen on the other, be in the main insurmountable, such impediments cannot as yet be said to exist that can frustrate their efforts to fully discharge the second duty now incumbent upon them in the intercontinental sphere of Bahá’í teaching. The field, in all its vastness and fertility, is wide open and near at hand. The harvest is ripe. The hour is overdue. The signal has been given. The spiritual forces mysteriously released are already operating with increasing momentum, unchallenged and unchecked. Victory, speedy and unquestioned, is assured to whomsoever will arise and respond to this second, this urgent and vital call. In this field, as in no other, the American believers can most easily evince the full force of their latent energies, can exercise in their plenitude their conspicuous talents, and can rise to the highest level of their God-given opportunities. Fired by their zeal, their love for and faith in Bahá’u’lláh; armed with that Holy Charter,39 wherein ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mandate investing them with their world mission is inscribed; piloted through the instrumentality of those agencies which a divine, a smoothly functioning Administrative Order has providentially placed at their disposal; disciplined and invigorated by those immutable verities, spiritual principles and administrative regulations that distinguish their religious beliefs, govern their individual conduct and regulate their community life; aspiring to emulate the example of those heroes and martyrs, the narrative of whose exploits they have admired and pondered, it behooves all members of the American Bahá’í community to gird themselves as never before to the task of befittingly playing their part in the enactment of the opening scene of the First Act of that superb Drama whose theme is no less than the spiritual conquest of both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Their immediate task under the Seven Year Plan, the object of which is the establishment of a minimum of one Bahá’í center in each of the Republics of Middle and South America, has now been gloriously ushered in through the settlement of one pioneer in most of the Central American Republics, and bids fair to be recognized by posterity as the original impulse imparted to an enterprise that will go round the world. That impulse must, as time goes by, communicate itself to the farthest extremities of Latin America, and must be reinforced, in every manner, by as many of the American believers as possible. The broader the basis of this campaign and the deeper its roots, the finer the flower into which it shall eventually blossom. That its call may be heeded, that its implications may be recognized and its potentialities progressively unfold is my earnest prayer, and the supreme longing of my heart.

– 59 –

Imperiled Humanity

28 August 1939

SHADED NIGHT DESCENDING IMPERILED HUMANITY INEXORABLY DEEPENING. AMERICAN BELIEVERS HEIRS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S COVENANT PROSECUTORS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S PLAN CONFRONTED SUPREME OPPORTUNITY VINDICATE INDESTRUCTIBILITY THEIR FAITH INFLEXIBILITY RESOLUTION INCORRUPTIBILITY SANCTITY APPOINTED TASK. ANXIOUSLY PASSIONATELY ENTREAT THEM WHATEVER OBSTACLES MARCH TRAGIC EVENTS MAY CREATE HOWEVER DISTRESSING BARRIERS PREDICTED CALAMITIES RAISE BETWEEN THEM AND SISTER COMMUNITIES AND POSSIBLY FAITH’S WORLD CENTER UNWAVERINGLY HOLD ALOFT TORCH WHOSE INFANT LIGHT HERALDS BIRTH EFFULGENT WORLD ORDER DESTINED SUPPLANT DISRUPTING CIVILIZATION.

– 60 –

The Passing of Martha Root

2 October 1939

MARTHA’S UNNUMBERED ADMIRERS THROUGHOUT BAHÁ’Í WORLD LAMENT WITH ME EARTHLY EXTINCTION HER HEROIC LIFE. CONCOURSE ON HIGH ACCLAIM HER ELEVATION RIGHTFUL POSITION GALAXY BAHÁ’Í IMMORTALS. POSTERITY WILL ESTABLISH HER AS FOREMOST HAND WHICH ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S WILL HAS RAISED UP FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. PRESENT GENERATION HER FELLOW-BELIEVERS RECOGNIZE HER FIRST FINEST FRUIT FORMATIVE AGE FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH HAS AS YET PRODUCED. ADVISE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERING TEMPLE HONOR ONE WHOSE ACTS SHED IMPERISHABLE LUSTER AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY. IMPELLED SHARE WITH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY EXPENSES ERECTION MONUMENT SYMBOLIC SPOT40 MEETING-PLACE EAST WEST TO BOTH WHICH SHE UNSPARINGLY DEDICATED FULL FORCE MIGHTY ENERGIES.

– 61 –

Historic Act

2 October 1939

HAIL HISTORIC ACT41 SIGNALIZING AUSPICIOUS CONJUNCTION HEART NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT INSTITUTIONS ḤAZÍRATU’L-QUDS MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR TWIN FOCI STEADILY EVOLVING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY LIFE. FORMER HENCEFORWARD REGARDED NATIONAL SEAT UPON WHICH ALL ADMINISTRATIVE CHANNELS BAHÁ’Í ACTIVITY MUST INCREASINGLY CONVERGE. LATTER PERMANENTLY RECOGNIZED ORDAINED SOURCE FROM WHICH RAYS SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE WILL RADIATE. UPON VIGOROUS CONSTANT INTERACTION DYNAMIC FORCES WHICH THESE COMPLEMENTARY INSTITUTIONS, EMBODYING ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY AND INCARNATING SOUL BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY, CAN RELEASE, EFFECTUAL PROSECUTION SEVEN YEAR PLAN AS WELL AS SUCCESS ULTIMATE WORLD MISSION UNQUESTIONABLY DEPENDS. MAY COMMUNITY RESPONSIBLE ESTABLISHMENT THESE NASCENT INSTITUTIONS PROGRESSIVELY CONTRIBUTE ACCELERATION THEIR GROWTH AND DERIVE FULLEST BENEFIT THEIR EVENTUAL FRUITION.

– 62 –

Mandate Conferred by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

23 October 1939

WEIGHTY RESOLUTIONS SAN FRANCISCO MEETING42 CALL FORTH EMOTIONS TOO DEEP EXPRESSION. FONDEST HOPES EXCELLED. INDOMITABLE COURAGE OVERFLOWING ENERGY FIRMLY WELDED PROVIDENTIALLY DIRECTED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY IMPELLING THEM OUTSTRIP PACE SURPASS LIMITS THEATER ACTION ASSIGNED THIRD YEAR SEVEN YEAR PLAN. WELCOME PARTICULARLY RECENT ACTION DESIGNED EXPEDITE TERMINATION DIVINELY-FOUNDED TEMPLE ORDAINED ARK DESTINED RIDE TRIUMPHANT TIDAL WAVE WORLD-ENCIRCLING CALAMITIES AND OFFERING SOLE REFUGE STORM-TOSSED SUFFERERS OF SINFUL STEADILY SINKING CIVILIZATION. KINDLY RENEW EVERY ESTABLISHED INTENDING PIONEER ENUMERATED REPUBLICS DEPENDENCIES ARDENT PLEA RESOLVE REFUSE DESPITE DEEPENING WORLD CONFUSION ABANDON POSTS SURRENDER RESPONSIBILITIES SOLEMNLY ASSUMED UNDER MANDATE CONFERRED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ.43

– 63 –

Blessed Remains Transferred to Mount Carmel

5 December 1939

BLESSED REMAINS PUREST BRANCH AND MASTER’S MOTHER SAFELY TRANSFERRED HALLOWED PRECINCTS SHRINES MOUNT CARMEL. LONG INFLICTED HUMILIATION WIPED AWAY. MACHINATIONS COVENANT-BREAKERS FRUSTRATE PLAN DEFEATED. CHERISHED WISH GREATEST HOLY LEAF FULFILLED. SISTER BROTHER MOTHER WIFE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ REUNITED ONE SPOT DESIGNED CONSTITUTE FOCAL CENTER BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS AT FAITH’S WORLD CENTER. SHARE JOYFUL NEWS ENTIRE BODY AMERICAN BELIEVERS.

– 64 –

The Spiritual Potencies of That Consecrated Spot

21 December 1939

The transfer of the sacred remains of the brother and mother of our Lord and Master ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Mount Carmel and their final interment within the hallowed precincts of the Shrine of the Báb, and in the immediate neighborhood of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, constitute, apart from their historic associations and the tender sentiments they arouse, events of such capital institutional significance as only future happenings, steadily and mysteriously unfolding at the World Center of our Faith, can adequately demonstrate.

The circumstances attending the consummation of this long, this profoundly cherished hope were no less significant. The swiftness and suddenness with which so delicate and weighty an undertaking was conducted; the surmounting of various obstacles which the outbreak of war and its inevitable repercussions necessarily engendered; the success of the long-drawn-out negotiations which the solution of certain preliminary problems imposed; the execution of the plan in the face of the continued instability and persistent dangers following the fierce riots that so long and so violently rocked the Holy Land, and despite the smoldering fire of animosity kindled in the breasts of ecclesiastics and Covenant-breakers alike—all combined to demonstrate afresh and with compelling power the invincible might of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

The Purest Branch, the martyred son, the companion and amanuensis of Bahá’u’lláh, that pious and holy youth, who in the darkest days of Bahá’u’lláh’s incarceration in the barracks of ‘Akká entreated, on his deathbed, his Father to accept him as a ransom for those of His loved ones who yearned for, but were unable to attain, His presence, and the saintly mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, surnamed Navváb by Bahá’u’lláh, and the first recipient of the honored and familiar title of “the Most Exalted Leaf,” separated in death above half a century, and forced to suffer the humiliation of an alien burial ground, are now at long last reunited with the Greatest Holy Leaf, with whom they had so abundantly shared the tribulations of one of the most distressing episodes of the Heroic Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Avenged, eternally safeguarded, befittingly glorified, they repose embosomed in the heart of Carmel, hidden beneath its sacred soil, interred in one single spot, lying beneath the shadow of the twin holy Tombs, and facing across the bay, on an eminence of unequaled loveliness and beauty, the silver-city of ‘Akká, the Point of Adoration of the entire Bahá’í world, and the Door of Hope for all mankind. “Haste thee, O Carmel,” thus proclaims the pen of Bahá’u’lláh, “for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.” “Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation.

The machinations of Badí‘u’lláh—the brother and lieutenant of the Focal Center of sedition and Archbreaker of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, the deceased Muḥammad-‘Alí—who with uncommon temerity and exceptional vigor addressed his written protest to the civil authorities, claiming the right to oppose the projected transfer of the remains of the mother and brother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have been utterly frustrated. So foolish a claim, advanced by one who in the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been denounced as an “alert and active worker of mischief,” and whose life has been marked by so many instances of extravagance, of betrayal and folly, has been summarily rejected by the fairness and justice of the civil authorities, in whose custody the notorious Sádhij, the daughter of that same Badí‘u’lláh, is still retained, as a direct result of her ceaseless instigations to rebellion and terrorism, and whose acts constitute a clear and double violation of the civil law of the land and of the spiritual ordinances of Bahá’u’lláh, in Whose Faith she professes to believe.

Unabashed by his appalling mistakes and blunders; undeterred by the galling failure of his persistent efforts, in conjunction with his brother, to establish, in the days following the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, their alleged right to the custody of the Most Holy Tomb; unrestrained by the memory of the abortive attempt of Muḥammad-‘Alí to retain the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh44 as a private residence for himself and his family; unchastened by the spiritual and material misery into which he and his kindred have sunk; and impotent to perceive the contrast between that misery and the consolidating strength and ever-enhancing prestige of the institutions heralding the birth of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh at its international center, he has, with characteristic insolence, dared to raise once again his voice against the resistless march of events that are steadily accelerating the expansion and establishment of the Faith in the Holy Land.

For it must be clearly understood, nor can it be sufficiently emphasized, that the conjunction of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf with those of her brother and mother incalculably reinforces the spiritual potencies of that consecrated Spot which, under the wings of the Báb’s overshadowing Sepulcher, and in the vicinity of the future Mashriqu’l-Adhkár which will be reared on its flank, is destined to evolve into the focal center of those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh and anticipated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and which are to function in consonance with the principles that govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. Then, and then only, will this momentous prophecy which illuminates the concluding passages of the Tablet of Carmel be fulfilled: “Erelong will God sail His Ark upon thee (Carmel), and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.

To attempt to visualize, even in its barest outline, the glory that must envelop these institutions, to essay even a tentative and partial description of their character or the manner of their operation, or to trace however inadequately the course of events leading to their rise and eventual establishment is far beyond my own capacity and power. Suffice it to say that at this troubled stage in world history the association of these three incomparably precious souls who, next to the three Central Figures of our Faith, tower in rank above the vast multitude of the heroes, Letters, martyrs, hands, teachers and administrators of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, in such a potentially powerful spiritual and administrative Center, is in itself an event which will release forces that are bound to hasten the emergence in a land which, geographically, spiritually and administratively, constitutes the heart of the entire planet, of some of the brightest gems of that World Order now shaping in the womb of this travailing age.

For such as might undertake, in the days to come, the meritorious and highly enviable pilgrimage to these blessed shrines, as well as for the benefit of the less privileged who, aware of the greatness of their virtue and the preeminence of their lineage, desire to commune with their spirits, and to strive to acquire an added insight into the glory of their position, and to follow in their footsteps, let these testimonies written by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá be their inspiration and guidance in their noble quest:

At this very moment,” Bahá’u’lláh testifies, “My son is being washed before My face, after Our having sacrificed him in the Most Great Prison. Thereat have the dwellers of the Abhá Tabernacle wept with a great weeping, and such as have suffered imprisonment with this Youth in the path of God, the Lord of the promised Day, lamented. Under such conditions My Pen hath not been prevented from remembering its Lord, the Lord of all nations. It summoneth the people unto God, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful. This is the day whereon he that was created of the light of Bahá has suffered martyrdom, at a time when he lay imprisoned at the hands of his enemies.

Upon thee, O Branch of God!” He solemnly and most touchingly, in that same Tablet, bestows upon him His benediction, “be the remembrance of God and His praise, and the praise of all that dwell in the Realm of Immortality, and of all the denizens of the Kingdom of Names. Happy art thou in that thou hast been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, until thou didst sacrifice thyself before the face of thy Lord, the Almighty, the Unconstrained. Thou, in truth, hast been wronged, and to this testifieth the Beauty of Him, the Self-Subsisting. Thou didst, in the first days of thy life, bear that which hath caused all things to groan, and made every pillar to tremble. Happy is the one that remembereth thee, and draweth nigh, through thee, unto God, the Creator of the Morn.

Glorified art Thou, O Lord, my God!” He, in a prayer, astoundingly proclaims, “Thou seest Me in the hands of Mine enemies, and My son bloodstained before Thy face, O Thou in Whose hands is the kingdom of all names. I have, O my Lord, offered up that which Thou hast given Me, that Thy servants may be quickened and all that dwell on earth be united.

Blessed art thou,” He, in another Tablet affirms, “and blessed he that turneth unto thee, and visiteth thy grave, and draweth nigh, through thee, unto God, the Lord of all that was and shall be … I testify that thou didst return in meekness unto thine abode. Great is thy blessedness and the blessedness of them that hold fast unto the hem of thy outspread robe … Thou art, verily, the trust of God and His treasure in this land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired. He, verily, is the Truth, the Knower of things unseen. When thou wast laid to rest in the earth, the earth itself trembled in its longing to meet thee. Thus hath it been decreed, and yet the people perceive not … Were We to recount the mysteries of thine ascension, they that are asleep would waken, and all beings would be set ablaze with the fire of the remembrance of My Name, the Mighty, the Loving.

Concerning the Most Exalted Leaf, the mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh has written: “The first Spirit through which all spirits were revealed, and the first Light by which all lights shone forth, rest upon thee, O Most Exalted Leaf, thou who hast been mentioned in the Crimson Book! Thou art the one whom God created to arise and serve His own Self, and the Manifestation of His Cause, and the Dayspring of His Revelation, and the Dawning-Place of His signs, and the Source of His commandments; and Who so aided thee that thou didst turn with thy whole being unto Him, at a time when His servants and handmaidens had turned away from His Face … Happy art thou, O My handmaiden, and My leaf, and the one mentioned in My Book, and inscribed by My Pen of Glory in My Scrolls and Tablets … Rejoice thou, at this moment, in the most exalted Station and the All-highest Paradise, and the Abhá Horizon, inasmuch as He Who is the Lord of Names hath remembered thee. We bear witness that thou didst attain unto all good, and that God hath so exalted thee, that all honor and glory circled around thee.

O Navváb!” He thus, in another Tablet, addresses her, “O Leaf that hath sprung from My Tree, and been My companion! My glory be upon thee, and My loving-kindness, and My mercy that hath surpassed all beings. We announce unto thee that which will gladden thine eye, and assure thy soul, and rejoice thine heart. Verily, thy Lord is the Compassionate, the All-Bountiful. God hath been and will be pleased with thee, and hath singled thee out for His own Self, and chosen thee from among His handmaidens to serve Him, and hath made thee the companion of His Person in the daytime and in the night season.

Hear thou Me once again,” He reassures her, “God is well pleased with thee, as a token of His grace and a sign of His mercy. He hath made thee to be His companion in every one of His worlds, and hath nourished thee with His meeting and presence, so long as His Name, and His Remembrance, and His Kingdom, and His Empire shall endure. Happy is the handmaid that hath mentioned thee, and sought thy good pleasure, and humbled herself before thee, and held fast unto the cord of thy love. Woe betide him that denieth thy exalted station, and the things ordained for thee from God, the Lord of all names, and him that hath turned away from thee, and rejected thy station before God, the Lord of the mighty throne.

O faithful ones!” Bahá’u’lláh specifically enjoins, “Should ye visit the resting-place of the Most Exalted Leaf, who hath ascended unto the Glorious Companion, stand ye and say: ‘Salutation and blessing and glory upon thee, O Holy Leaf that hath sprung from the Divine Lote-Tree! I bear witness that thou hast believed in God and in His signs, and answered His Call, and turned unto Him, and held fast unto His cord, and clung to the hem of His grace, and fled thy home in His path, and chosen to live as a stranger, out of love for His presence and in thy longing to serve Him. May God have mercy upon him that draweth nigh unto thee, and remembereth thee through the things which My Pen hath voiced in this, the most great station. We pray God that He may forgive us, and forgive them that have turned unto thee, and grant their desires, and bestow upon them, through His wondrous grace, whatever be their wish. He, verily, is the Bountiful, the Generous. Praise be to God, He Who is the Desire of all worlds, and the Beloved of all who recognize Him.’

And, finally, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself, in one of His remarkably significant Tablets, has borne witness not only to the exalted station of one whose “seed shall inherit the Gentiles,” whose Husband is the Lord of Hosts, but also to the sufferings endured by her who was His beloved mother. “As to thy question concerning the 54th chapter of Isaiah,” He writes, “This chapter refers to the Most Exalted Leaf, the mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. As a proof to this it is said: ‘For more are the children of the desolate, than the children of the married wife.’ Reflect upon this statement, and then upon the following: ‘And thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.’ And truly the humiliation and reproach which she suffered in the path of God is a fact which no one can refute. For the calamities and afflictions mentioned in the whole chapter are such afflictions which she suffered in the path of God, all of which she endured with patience and thanked God therefor and praised Him, because He had enabled her to endure afflictions for the sake of Bahá. During all this time, the men and women (Covenant-breakers) persecuted her in an incomparable manner, while she was patient, God-fearing, calm, humble and contented through the favor of her Lord and by the bounty of her Creator.

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