This Decisive Hour

Messages from Shoghi Effendi to the North American Bahá’ís 1932–1946

Shoghi Effendi

– 1 –

The Passing of Abu’l-Qásim Khurásání

26 February 1932

PROFOUND SORROW PREOCCUPATIONS OCCASIONED BY UNEXPECTED PASSING OF ABU’L-QÁSIM CUSTODIAN INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES AND CARETAKER GARDENS BÁB’S HOLY SHRINE CAUSING UNAVOIDABLE DELAY PREPARATION MANUSCRIPT “BAHÁ’Í WORLD.”1 URGE EMPHASIZE IN “BAHÁ’Í NEWS” HIS MARVELOUS SELF-ABNEGATION AND TRUSTWORTHINESS AS OUTSTANDING QUALITIES OF A REMARKABLE CHARACTER.2 WRITING.

– 2 –

Nabíl’s Narrative

20 June 1932

FEEL IMPELLED APPEAL ENTIRE BODY AMERICAN BELIEVERS HENCEFORTH REGARD NABÍL’S SOUL-STIRRING NARRATIVE3 AS ESSENTIAL ADJUNCT TO RECONSTRUCTED TEACHING PROGRAM, AS UNCHALLENGEABLE TEXTBOOK IN THEIR SUMMER SCHOOLS, AS SOURCE OF INSPIRATION IN ALL LITERARY ARTISTIC PURSUITS, AS AN INVALUABLE COMPANION IN TIMES OF LEISURE, AS INDISPENSABLE PRELIMINARY TO FUTURE PILGRIMAGE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND AND AS UNFAILING INSTRUMENT TO ALLAY DISTRESS AND RESIST ATTACKS OF CRITICAL DISILLUSIONED HUMANITY.

– 3 –

Immortal Spirit

15 July 1932

GREATEST HOLY LEAF’S IMMORTAL SPIRIT WINGED ITS FLIGHT GREAT BEYOND COUNTLESS LOVERS HER SAINTLY LIFE IN EAST AND WEST SEIZED WITH PANGS OF ANGUISH, PLUNGED IN UNUTTERABLE SORROW. HUMANITY SHALL ERE LONG RECOGNIZE ITS IRREPARABLE LOSS. OUR BELOVED FAITH, WELL-NIGH CRUSHED BY DEVASTATING BLOW OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S UNEXPECTED ASCENSION,4 NOW LAMENTS PASSING LAST REMNANT OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ITS MOST EXALTED MEMBER. HOLY FAMILY CRUELLY DIVESTED ITS MOST PRECIOUS MOST GREAT ADORNING. I, FOR MY PART, BEWAIL SUDDEN REMOVAL MY SOLE EARTHLY SUSTAINER THE JOY AND SOLACE OF MY LIFE. HER SACRED REMAINS WILL REPOSE VICINITY HOLY SHRINES. SO GRIEVOUS A BEREAVEMENT NECESSITATES SUSPENSION FOR NINE MONTHS THROUGHOUT BAHÁ’Í WORLD EVERY MANNER RELIGIOUS FESTIVITY. INFORM LOCAL ASSEMBLIES AND GROUPS HOLD BEFITTING MANNER MEMORIAL GATHERINGS EXTOL A LIFE SO LADEN SACRED EXPERIENCES, SO RICH IMPERISHABLE MEMORIES. ADVISE HOLDING ADDITIONAL COMMEMORATION SERVICE OF STRICTLY DEVOTIONAL CHARACTER AUDITORIUM MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR.5

– 4 –

Evidences of Sympathy

1 August 1932

PRAY ASSURE AMERICAN BELIEVERS BEHALF HOLY FAMILY MYSELF ABIDING APPRECIATION NUMEROUS EVIDENCES THEIR VALUED SYMPATHY. OUR SORROW-LADEN HEARTS MUCH RELIEVED FILLED WITH GRATITUDE. OUT OF PANGS OF ANGUISH WHICH BEREAVED AMERICA EXPERIENCED IN HER SUDDEN SEPARATION FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ ADMINISTRATION GOD’S INVINCIBLE FAITH WAS BORN. MIGHT NOT HER PRESENT GRIEF AT LOSS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S PRECIOUS DAUGHTER RELEASE SUCH FORCES AS WILL ENSURE SPEEDY COMPLETION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR—ADMINISTRATION’S MIGHTY BULWARK SYMBOL OF ITS STRENGTH AND HARBINGER ITS PROMISED GLORY?

– 5 –

United Will, Concerted Action

27 October 1932

I am deeply conscious of the many obstacles that stand in the path of the American believers in their stupendous endeavor to attain their goal—a goal on which our dearly beloved Greatest Holy Leaf had set her fondest hopes. I cannot, however, overlook, much as I sympathize with them in their financial tribulation and anxieties, the mysterious power which resides in the united will and concerted action of all the members of that self-sacrificing community—a community which, since the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has lent an impetus to the advancement of the Cause out of all proportion to its numerical strength, its youthfulness, and experience of the powers latent in this sacred Faith. What an untold wealth of blessings will flow out of a renewed, an irrevocable resolution, representing the combined will of the steadfast lovers of the Cause of God in that land, to carry out, in its entirety, during the few remaining months, a Plan on which so much that is vital to its worldwide interests depends! The American believers, the stouthearted supporters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, have already given too many evidences of their preponderating influence in the direction of its affairs to allow the slightest disappointment to mar the radiance of their past achievements. Their will to succeed must eventually triumph.

– 6 –

Champion-Builders of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

16 February 1933

REPEATED EVIDENCES AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ SLEEPLESS VIGILANCE COURAGEOUS LOYALTY EXEMPLARY SELF-SACRIFICE ESTABLISHED THEM IN EVERY BAHÁ’Í HEART AS CHAMPION-BUILDERS WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. FOUNDER OF OUR FAITH WELL PLEASED TOKENS THEIR WISE STEWARDSHIP ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ PROUD OF THEIR VALOR GREATEST HOLY LEAF RADIANT WITH JOY AT THEIR FIDELITY.

– 7 –

Non-Participation in Political Affairs

16 March 1933

The handling of this delicate and vital problem regarding non-participation by Bahá’ís of East and West in political affairs calls for the utmost circumspection, tact, patience and vigilance on the part of those whose function and privilege is to guard, promote and administer the activities of a worldwide ever-advancing Cause. The misgivings and apprehensions of individual Bahá’ís should be allayed and eventually completely dispelled. Any misconception of the sane and genuine patriotism that animates every Bahá’í heart, if it ever obscures or perplexes the minds of responsible government officials, should be instantly and courageously dissipated. Any deliberate misrepresentation, by the enemies of the Cause of God, of the aims, the tenets and methods of the administrators of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh should be vigorously faced and its fallacy pitilessly exposed. The Cause, to which we belong, stands on the threshold of an era of unprecedented expansion. Its problems are many, divers and challenging. Our methods and ways of approach must likewise be characterized by unusual sagacity, consummate skill and wisdom. He will surely never fail us in meeting the needs of a critical hour.

– 8 –

Personalities Subordinated

11 April 1933

I greatly value the Tablets addressed to Sarah Farmer6 and I thank you for having sent them to me. Will you kindly send me a few more copies of the Study Guide to Nabíl’s narrative7 and of the reprint of the Declaration of Trust,8 copies of both of which I wish to distribute among those who are deeply interested. Your letters of March 31 and 30th, written on behalf of the assembly have just reached me. Concerning the removal of believers I feel that such a vitally important matter should be given the most serious consideration and preferably be referred to the National Assembly for further consideration and final decision. We should be slow to accept and reluctant to remove. I fully approve and wholeheartedly and unreservedly uphold the principle to which you refer that personalities should not be made centers around which the community may revolve, but that they should be subordinated under all conditions and however great their merits to the properly constituted Assemblies. You and your co-workers can never overestimate or overemphasize this cardinal principle of Bahá’í Administration.

– 9 –

Momentous Convention

Message to 1933 Convention

1 June 1933

ENTIRE BAHÁ’Í WORLD STIRRED WITH EXPECTATION WITNESS RESULTS AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ MOMENTOUS CONVENTION. ON ITS PROCEEDINGS HANG ISSUES OF INCALCULABLE BENEFIT WORLDWIDE FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. TO ITS DELEGATES GIVEN GREAT OPPORTUNITY RELEASE FORCES WHICH WILL USHER IN ERA WHOSE SPLENDOR MUST OUTSHINE HEROIC AGE OUR BELOVED CAUSE. SUPREME CONCOURSE WAITING FOR THEM TO SEIZE IT.

– 10 –

An Eminent Rank

28 October 1933

KEITH’S9 PRECIOUS LIFE OFFERED UP SACRIFICE BELOVED CAUSE IN BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND. ON PERSIAN SOIL FOR PERSIA’S SAKE SHE ENCOUNTERED CHALLENGED AND FOUGHT FORCES OF DARKNESS WITH HIGH DISTINCTION, INDOMITABLE WILL, UNSWERVING EXEMPLARY LOYALTY. MASS OF HER HELPLESS PERSIAN BRETHREN MOURN SUDDEN LOSS THEIR VALIANT EMANCIPATOR. AMERICAN BELIEVERS GRATEFUL AND PROUD MEMORY THEIR FIRST AND DISTINGUISHED MARTYR. SORROW-STRICKEN I LAMENT EARTHLY SEPARATION INVALUABLE COLLABORATOR UNFAILING COUNSELOR ESTEEMED AND FAITHFUL FRIEND. URGE LOCAL ASSEMBLIES BEFITTINGLY ORGANIZE MEMORIAL GATHERINGS IN MEMORY ONE WHOSE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES ENTITLE HER EMINENT RANK AMONG HANDS OF CAUSE OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

– 11 –

Hour of Victory at Hand

17 November 1933

BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES EAST AND WEST ACCLAIM WITH ONE VOICE STUPENDOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS LATEST MANIFESTATION OF AMERICA’S SUPERB SUSTAINED SELF-SACRIFICE. SUPREME CONCOURSE ECHO PRAISES THOSE WHOSE SHINING DEEDS ARE SHEDDING ON BAHÁ’Í NAME A GREAT IMPERISHABLE LUSTER. MY HEART SWELLS WITH ADMIRATION GRATITUDE AS I CONTEMPLATE INCREASING EVIDENCES AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ WELL-DESERVED STEADILY ADVANCING FAME. HOUR OF VICTORY IS AT HAND. AMERICA’S INVINCIBLE HEROISM MUST AND WILL ACHIEVE IT.10

– 12 –

Potentialities of Majestic Edifice

Message to 1934 Convention

2 June 1934

AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ INSPIRED LEADERSHIP STEADILY UNFOLDING TO BAHÁ’ÍS WORLD OVER POTENTIALITIES MAJESTIC EDIFICE HERALDING FORMATIVE PERIOD FAITH OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. THEIR UNERRING VISION CONCEIVED ITS MATCHLESS DESIGN. ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S OWN HANDS LAID ITS CORNERSTONE. THEIR DYNAMIC FAITH REARED ITS STRUCTURE. THEIR SUSTAINED SELF-SACRIFICE CROWNED IT WITH IMMORTAL GLORY. MAY FLAME THEIR UNCONQUERABLE ENTHUSIASM CONTINUE GLOWING UNDIMMED IN THEIR HEARTS TILL ITS NAKED FLAME IS ENVELOPED IN ITS SHINING MANTLE.

– 13 –

The Passing of Susan Moody

28 October 1934

PASSING DEARLY BELOVED SUSAN MOODY DEPRIVES BAHÁ’Í WORLD FAR-FAMED PIONEER WHO THROUGH HER INDOMITABLE SPIRIT CEASELESS SERVICES EARNED UNIQUE DISTINCTION FORGE FIRST LINK IN CHAIN UNITING SPIRITUAL DESTINIES CRADLE OF OUR FAITH AND COMMUNITY OF ITS STALWART DEFENDERS IN GREAT AMERICAN REPUBLIC. INSTRUCTING PERSIA REAR MONUMENT PERPETUATE MEMORY HER NOBLE MISSION AM GLADLY DEFRAYING WHATEVER EXPENSES INCURRED AS TOKEN MY ADMIRATION FOR COMMUNITY TO WHICH SHE ORIGINALLY BELONGED AND ON WHICH HER CONSECRATED LIFE SHED IMPERISHABLE LUSTER ADVISE HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERING TEMPLE FOUNDATION HALL.11

– 14 –

Unprecedented Impetus

Message to 1935 Convention

27 April 1935

HEARTILY RECIPROCATE SENTIMENTS CONVEYED YOUR MESSAGE.12 APPEAL ASSEMBLED DELEGATES AND INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY EARNESTLY DELIBERATE MEASURES REQUIRED STIMULATE ALL LOCAL COMMUNITIES GROUPS LEND IMMEDIATE UNPRECEDENTED IMPETUS TEACHING ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT STATES CANADA. SUSTAINED CONCENTRATION THIS PARAMOUNT ISSUE CAN ALONE REVEAL POTENTIALITIES BELOVED TEMPLE AND ENABLE SUPERB SELF-SACRIFICE ASSOCIATED WITH IT YIELD ITS FAIREST FRUIT.

– 15 –

The Voting Right

28 April 1935

I feel I must reaffirm the vital importance and necessity of the right of voting—a sacred responsibility of which no adult recognized believer should be deprived, unless he is associated with a community that has not as yet been in a position to establish a Local Assembly. This distinguishing right which the believer possesses, however, does not carry with it nor does it imply an obligation to cast his vote, if he feels that the circumstances under which he lives do not justify or allow him to exercise that right intelligently and with understanding. This is a matter which should be left to the individual to decide for himself according to his own conscience and discretion. Praying for your success in the maintenance and application of this principle.

– 16 –

Separation from Outworn Creeds

15 June 1935

The separation that has set in between the institutions of the Bahá’í Faith and the Islamic ecclesiastical organizations that oppose it—a movement that has originated in Egypt and is now spreading steadily throughout the Middle East, and will in time communicate its influence to the West—imposes upon every loyal upholder of the Cause the obligation of refraining from any word or action that might prejudice the position which our enemies have, in recent years and of their own accord, proclaimed and established.13 This historic development, the beginnings of which could neither be recognized nor even anticipated in the years immediately preceding ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, may be said to have signalized the Formative Period of our Faith and to have paved the way for the consolidation of its Administrative Order. As this movement gains momentum, as it receives added impetus from the attitude and future action of the civil authorities in Persia, it will inevitably manifest its repercussions in the West and will rouse the leaders of the Church and finally the civil authorities to challenge the claims and eventually to recognize the independent status of the Religion of Bahá’u’lláh. Nothing whatever in the mean time should be said or done by any one of us, whether in the political field or in our relations with ecclesiastical organizations, that would tend to confuse the issues with which our struggling Cause will sooner or later be confronted. We should accept no position, should avoid any affiliations or commitments that could in any way harm our future position or provide our potential enemies with weapons with which they can resist the complete emancipation of our Cause or retard its ultimate recognition and victory. Though our Cause unreservedly recognizes the Divine origin of all the religions that preceded it and upholds the spiritual truths which lie at their very core and are common to them all, its institutions, whether administrative, religious or humanitarian, must, if their distinctive character is to be maintained and recognized, be increasingly divorced from the outworn creeds, the meaningless ceremonials and man-made institutions with which these religions are at present identified. Our adversaries in the East have initiated the struggle. Our future opponents in the West will, in their turn, arise and carry it a stage further. Ours is the duty, in anticipation of this inevitable contest, to uphold unequivocally and with undivided loyalty the integrity of our Faith and demonstrate the distinguishing features of its divinely appointed institutions.

– 17 –

The National Fund

29 July 1935

As the activities of the American Bahá’í community expand, and its worldwide prestige correspondingly increases, the institution of the national Fund, the bedrock on which all other institutions must necessarily rest and be established, acquires added importance, and should be increasingly supported by the entire body of the believers, both in their individual capacities, and through their collective efforts, whether organized as groups or as Local Assemblies. The supply of funds, in support of the national Treasury, constitutes, at the present time, the lifeblood of these nascent institutions which you are laboring to erect. Its importance cannot surely be overestimated. Untold blessings shall no doubt crown every effort directed to that end. I am eagerly and prayerfully awaiting the news of an unprecedented expansion in so vital an organ of the Administrative Order of our Faith.

– 18 –

A New Hour Has Struck

25 October 1935

CONVEY ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS CELEBRATING TERMINATION ENTIRE DOME UNIT MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS TRIUMPHANT PROGRESS THEIR UNDENIABLY GLORIOUS ENTERPRISE. TO PRAYERS TESTIMONIES ASCENDING TO THRONE OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AM MOVED ADD VERY FERVENT THOUGH INADEQUATE TRIBUTE TO SOLIDARITY SELF-SACRIFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR SO DAZZLING AN ACHIEVEMENT. FORCES WHICH PROGRESSIVE REVELATION OF THIS MIGHTY SYMBOL OF OUR FAITH IS FAST RELEASING IN HEART OF A SORELY TRIED CONTINENT NO ONE OF THIS GENERATION CAN CORRECTLY APPRAISE. A NEW HOUR HAS STRUCK IN HISTORY OUR BELOVED CAUSE CALLING FOR NATIONWIDE, SYSTEMATIC, SUSTAINED EFFORT IN TEACHING FIELD, ENABLING THEREBY THESE FORCES TO BE DIRECTED INTO SUCH CHANNELS AS SHALL REDOUND TO GLORY OF OUR FAITH AND HONOR OF ITS INSTITUTIONS.

– 19 –

This Is Truly Providential

10 January 1936

This new stage in the gradual unfoldment of the Formative Period of our Faith into which we have just entered—the phase of concentrated teaching activity—synchronizes with a period of deepening gloom, of universal impotence, of ever-increasing destitution and widespread disillusionment in the fortunes of a declining age. This is truly providential and its significance and the opportunities it offers us should be fully apprehended and utilized. Now that the administrative Organs of a firmly established Faith are vigorously and harmoniously functioning, and now that the Symbol14 of its invincible might is lending unprecedented impetus to its spread, an effort unexampled in its scope and sustained vitality is urgently required so that the moving spirit of its Founder may permeate and transform the lives of the countless multitudes that hunger for its teachings. That the beloved friends in America, who have carried triumphantly the banner of His Cause through the initial stages of its development, will in a still greater measure prove themselves capable of meeting the challenge of the present hour I for one can never doubt. Of the evidences of their inexhaustible vitality I am sufficiently and continually conscious. My fervent plea will not, I feel certain, remain unanswered. For them I shall continue to pray from all my heart.

– 20 –

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Historic Appeal

Message to 1936 Convention

29 April 1936

CONVEY AMERICAN BELIEVERS ABIDING GRATITUDE EFFORTS UNITEDLY EXERTED TEACHING FIELD. INAUGURATED CAMPAIGN SHOULD BE VIGOROUSLY PURSUED SYSTEMATICALLY EXTENDED. APPEAL ASSEMBLED DELEGATES POWER HISTORIC APPEAL VOICED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ TABLETS DIVINE PLAN. URGE EARNEST DELIBERATION WITH INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ENSURE ITS COMPLETE FULFILLMENT. FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA DRAWING TO A CLOSE. HUMANITY ENTERING OUTER FRINGES MOST PERILOUS STAGE ITS EXISTENCE. OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT HOUR UNIMAGINABLY PRECIOUS. WOULD TO GOD EVERY STATE WITHIN AMERICAN REPUBLIC AND EVERY REPUBLIC IN AMERICAN CONTINENT MIGHT ERE TERMINATION THIS GLORIOUS CENTURY15 EMBRACE LIGHT FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND ESTABLISH STRUCTURAL BASIS OF HIS WORLD ORDER.

– 21 –

Fresh Conquests and Unprecedented Triumphs

30 May 1936

I fervently hope and pray that the year into which we have just entered may be signalized by fresh conquests and unprecedented triumphs in the teaching field within the United States and beyond its confines. A systematic, carefully conceived, and well-established plan should be devised, vigorously pursued and continuously extended. Initiated by the national representatives of the American believers, the vanguard and standard-bearers of the valiant army of Bahá’u’lláh, this plan should receive the wholehearted, the sustained and ever-increasing support, both moral and financial, of the entire body of His followers in that continent. Its supreme immediate objective should be the permanent establishment of at least one center in every state of the American Republic and in every Republic of the American continent not yet enlisted under the banner of His Faith. Its ramifications should gradually be extended to the European continent, and its scope should be made to include those countries, such as the Baltic states, Poland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, where no avowed believer has established any definite residence. The field is immense, the task gigantic, the privilege immeasurably precious. Time is short, and the obligation sacred, paramount and urgent. The American community must muster all its force, concentrate its resources, summon to its aid all the faith, the determination and energies of which it is capable, and set out single-minded and undaunted, to attain still greater heights in its mighty exertions for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

– 22 –

Intensify Teaching Work a Thousandfold

28 July 1936

I am eagerly awaiting the news of the progress of the activities initiated to promote the teaching work within, and beyond the confines of, the American continent. The American believers, if they wish to carry out, in the spirit and the letter, the parting wishes of their beloved Master, must intensify their teaching work a thousandfold and extend its ramifications beyond the confines of their native land and as far as the most distant outposts of their far-flung Faith. The Tablets of the Divine Plan invest your Assembly with unique and grave responsibilities, and confer upon it privileges which your sister Assemblies might well envy and admire. The present opportunity is unutterably precious. It may not recur again. Undaunted by the perils and the uncertainties of the present hour, the American believers must press on and prosecute in its entirety the task which now confronts them. I pray for their success from the depths of my heart.

– 23 –

Call for Rededication to Fulfillment of Divine Plan

[circa 30 July 1936]16

ENTREAT AMERICAN BELIEVERS PONDER AFRESH URGENCY REDEDICATE THEMSELVES TASK COMPLETE FULFILLMENT DIVINE PLAN. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S ENERGETIC LEADERSHIP CAREFUL PLANNING INEFFECTUAL UNLESS SUPPLEMENTED BY VIGOROUS ACTION BY EVERY BELIEVER HOWEVER HUMBLE HOWEVER INEXPERIENCED. TIME IS SHORT. SANDS CHAOTIC DESPAIRING CIVILIZATION STEADILY RUNNING OUT. FOUNDED ON UNITY UNDERSTANDING SO SPLENDIDLY ACHIEVED, FUNCTIONING WITHIN FRAMEWORK ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER LABORIOUSLY ERECTED, INSPIRED VISION TEMPLE EDIFICE NOBLY REARED, GALVANIZED INTO ACTION REALIZATION RAPIDLY DETERIORATING WORLD SITUATION, AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SHOULD RISE AS NEVER BEFORE HEIGHT OPPORTUNITY NOW CONFRONTING IT. AUDACITY, RESOLUTION, SELF-ABNEGATION IMPERATIVELY DEMANDED. IMPATIENTLY PRAYERFULLY WAITING.

– 24 –

Spiritual Descendants of the Dawn-Breakers

[circa 29 October 1936]17

OVERJOYED UNSPEAKABLY GRATEFUL AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ SIGNAL RESPONSE MY REITERATED APPEALS. INAUGURATED CAMPAIGN FRAUGHT CONSEQUENCES INVOLVING IMMEDIATE DESTINIES AMERICAN COMMUNITY. SHADOWS ENCIRCLING SORE-TRIED HUMAN SOCIETY NOTICEABLY DEEPENING. WORLD CRISIS INEXORABLY MOVING TOWARDS CLIMAX CHALLENGING TORCHBEARERS BAHÁ’Í CIVILIZATION SCALE NOBLER HEIGHTS INDIVIDUAL HEROISM SCATTER MORE WIDELY THROUGHOUT LENGTH BREADTH AMERICAN CONTINENTS PARTICIPATE MORE STRENUOUSLY CONCERTED EFFORT ORGANIZED BY NATIONAL REGIONAL LOCAL AGENCIES DEDICATED PROSECUTION NOBLE ENTERPRISE POUR FORTH MORE ABUNDANTLY RESOURCES IN SUPPORT FUND CREATED FOR ITS FURTHERANCE RESOLVE MORE DETERMINEDLY CONQUER WHATEVER OBSTACLES MIGHT RETARD ITS ULTIMATE FRUITION. DAWN-BREAKERS PREVIOUS AGE HAVE ON PERSIAN SOIL SIGNALIZED BY THEIR ACTS BIRTH FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. MIGHT NOT AMERICAN BELIEVERS THEIR SPIRITUAL DESCENDANTS PROVE THEMSELVES IN TURN CAPABLE USHERING IN ON WORLD SCALE THE CIVILIZATION OF WHICH THAT FAITH IS DIRECT SOURCE AND SOLE BEGETTER?

– 25 –

The Significance of the Undertaking

14 November 1936

I cannot allow this communication to be sent without adding a few words in person and stressing afresh the significance of the undertaking in which the entire Bahá’í community has embarked. The promulgation of the Divine Plan, unveiled by our departed Master in the darkest days of one of the severest ordeals which humanity has ever experienced,18 is the Key which Providence has placed in the hands of the American believers whereby to unlock the doors leading them to fulfill their unimaginably glorious Destiny. As the proclamation of the Message reverberates throughout the land, as its resistless march gathers momentum, as the field of its operation widens and the numbers of its upholders and champions multiply, its potentialities will correspondingly unfold, exerting a most beneficent influence, not only on every community throughout the Bahá’í world, but on the immediate fortunes of a travailing society. The repercussions of this campaign are already apparent in Europe, India, Egypt, Iraq and even among the sorely tried communities in Persia and Russia. The Faith of God is gaining in stature, effectiveness and power. Not until, however, the great enterprise which you are now conducting runs its full course and attains its final objective, at its appointed time, can its world-encompassing benefits be fully apprehended or revealed. The perseverance of the American believers will, no doubt, ensure the ultimate realization of these benefits. Praying with undiminished fervor for you all.

– 26 –

A Complete Rededication

22 March 1937

Pressure of work in connection with my recent translation of the prayers and meditations of Bahá’u’lláh19 has been responsible for the unfortunate delay in acknowledging the receipt of your communications, all of which testify most strikingly to the vigor, the efficiency, and the exemplary loyalty with which you are conducting and coordinating the manifold teaching and administrative activities of our beloved Faith. The progress of the teaching campaign is most remarkable and reassuring. The uninterrupted prosecution of this holy enterprise and its extension to the South American continent and the islands of the Pacific will no doubt attract unimaginable blessings and must entail far-reaching consequences. In the course of this year, when the American believers are commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to America, a mighty impetus should be lent to this campaign which you have so splendidly initiated. A complete rededication to its ideals, its purposes and requirements, on the part of all individuals and Assemblies, can alone befit such a nationwide celebration. I pray that you may all fulfill your high destiny.

– 27 –

Institution of Guardianship Now Further Reinforced

28 March 1937

DEEPLY MOVED YOUR MESSAGE. INSTITUTION GUARDIANSHIP HEAD CORNERSTONE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER CAUSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ALREADY ENNOBLED THROUGH ITS ORGANIC CONNECTION WITH PERSONS OF TWIN FOUNDERS BAHÁ’Í FAITH IS NOW FURTHER REINFORCED THROUGH DIRECT ASSOCIATION WITH WEST AND PARTICULARLY WITH AMERICAN BELIEVERS WHOSE SPIRITUAL DESTINY IS TO USHER IN WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLAH. FOR MY PART DESIRE CONGRATULATE COMMUNITY AMERICAN BELIEVERS ON ACQUISITION TIE VITALLY BINDING THEM TO SO WEIGHTY AN ORGAN OF THEIR FAITH.20

– 28 –

The Passing of Dr. Zia Baghdádí

11 April 1937

DISTRESSED SUDDEN PASSING DEARLY BELOVED DR. BAGHDÁDÍ. LOSS INFLICTED NATIONAL INTERESTS FAITH IRREPARABLE. HIS EXEMPLARY FAITH AUDACITY UNQUESTIONING LOYALTY INDEFATIGABLE EXERTION UNFORGETTABLE. ADVISE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES CHICAGO SURROUNDING REGIONS HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERING TEMPLE FOR WHICH HE SO VALIANTLY AND DEVOTEDLY LABORED. ARDENTLY PRAYING FOR HIM AND BEREAVED FAMILY.

– 29 –

Dual Gift

Message to 1937 Convention

30 April 1937

DUAL GIFT PROVIDENTIALLY CONFERRED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY INVESTS RECIPIENTS WITH DUAL RESPONSIBILITY FULFILL HISTORIC MISSION. FIRST PROSECUTE UNINTERRUPTEDLY TEACHING CAMPAIGN INAUGURATED LAST CONVENTION IN ACCORDANCE DIVINE PLAN. SECOND RESUME WITH INFLEXIBLE DETERMINATION EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION ENTIRE STRUCTURE TEMPLE. ADVISE PONDER MESSAGE CONVEYED DELEGATES ESTEEMED CO-WORKER FRED SCHOPFLOCHER.21 NO TRIUMPH CAN MORE BEFITTINGLY SIGNALIZE TERMINATION FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA THAN ACCOMPLISHMENT THIS TWOFOLD TASK. ADVISE PROLONGATION CONVENTION SESSIONS ENABLE DELEGATES CONSULT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO FORMULATE FEASIBLE SEVEN YEAR PLAN ENSURE SUCCESS TEMPLE ENTERPRISE. NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT FOR COMMUNITY SO ABUNDANTLY BLESSED REPEATEDLY HONORED.22

– 30 –

The Call Has Gone Forth … The Path Is Clear

4 June 1937

The responsibilities which, under your direction and in response to my plea, the American community is now assuming, over and above the task they have already undertaken in connection with the Divine Plan, proclaim in unmistakable terms their unswerving determination to prove themselves worthy of the sublimity of their mission, and of their privileged position among their sister communities in both the East and the West. The twofold task they have arisen to perform will, if carried out in time, release the potentialities with which the community of the Greatest Name has been so generously and mysteriously endowed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.23 To carry out in its entirety and to its final consummation this dual enterprise would shed on the closing years of this first century of the Bahá’í Era a luster no less brilliant than the immortal deeds which have signalized its birth in the Heroic Age of our Faith. To the American believers, the spiritual descendants of the heroes of God’s Cause, I again address my plea, to arise as one soul and to prosecute, with unrelaxing resolve, the high mission with which their immediate destinies are inextricably interwoven. The call has gone forth, the path is clear, the goal manifest and within their reach. Though their responsibilities be pressing and heavy and the obstacles formidable and manifold, yet the spirit of our invincible Faith will enable them to conquer if they arise unitedly and determinedly and persevere till the very end.

– 31 –

Impassioned Plea

[circa 4 August 1937]24

MUCH HEARTENED COMPELLING EVIDENCES ACCELERATED SPEED WITH WHICH TEACHING CAMPAIGN INAUGURATED THROUGHOUT AMERICAS NOW PROGRESSING. GREATLY CHEERED REALIZATION NO MORE THAN FIVE STATES AND THREE CANADIAN PROVINCES REMAIN STILL DEPRIVED RADIANT LIGHT WHICH UNFOLDING DIVINELY CONCEIVED PLAN IS RAPIDLY DIFFUSING. IN A WORLD PERILOUSLY NEAR CATACLYSMIC CONVULSIONS DESTINED EXPERIENCE AT A TIME WHEN FORCES OF REPRESSION ARE LAUNCHING THEIR ASSAULTS AND CONSPIRING UNDERMINE FOUNDATION MOST POWERFUL STRONGHOLDS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH IN LAND OF ITS BIRTH AND IN HEART OF BOTH ASIATIC EUROPEAN CONTINENTS AN INESCAPABLE WELL-NIGH STAGGERING RESPONSIBILITY RESTS ON AMERICA ITS ONE CHIEF REMAINING CITADEL. WHO AMONG ITS STALWART DEFENDERS WILL ARISE UNTRAMMELED UNAFRAID TO IMPLANT ITS BANNER IN THOSE STATES PROVINCES COUNTRIES WHERE ITS STANDARD IS STILL UNHOISTED? ENTREAT AFRESH AMERICAN COMMUNITY HEED VITAL URGENCY MY IMPASSIONED PLEA SPUR EFFORTS BRING SPEEDY TERMINATION FIRST STAGE IN EVOLUTION SO IMPORTANT PHASE OF DUAL TASK THEY HAVE NOBLY ENTHUSIASTICALLY SHOULDERED.25

– 32 –

The Passing of Alfred Lunt

16 August 1937

SHOCKED DISTRESSED PREMATURE PASSING ESTEEMED WELL-LOVED LUNT. FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL APPRAISE HIS MANIFOLD OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO RISE AND ESTABLISHMENT FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AMERICAN CONTINENT. COMMUNITY HIS BEREAVED CO-WORKERS COULD ILL AFFORD LOSE SUCH CRITICAL PERIOD SO FEARLESS CHAMPION THEIR CAUSE. REQUEST ENTIRE BODY THEIR NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ASSEMBLE HIS GRAVE PAY TRIBUTE MY BEHALF TO HIM WHO SO LONG AND SINCE INCEPTION ACTED AS PILLAR INSTITUTION THEY REPRESENT. CONVEY BOSTON COMMUNITY ASSURANCE PRAYERS DEEPEST BROTHERLY SYMPATHY THEIR CRUEL IRREPARABLE LOSS.

– 33 –

Convention Delegates Increased

19 November 1937

ELECTION OF HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE DELEGATES FOR THIS YEAR’S AND FUTURE CONVENTIONS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. ADMITTED EXPANSION AMERICAN COMMUNITY VITALLY DEMANDS IT. APPEAL DELEGATES UNABLE ATTEND IN PERSON EXERCISE CONSCIENTIOUSLY BALLOT RIGHT BY MAIL. INCREASED PARTICIPATION BY BELIEVERS IN CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS REINFORCES AUTHORITY AND BROADENS BASIS BODY NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND KNITS THEM CLOSER TO ENTIRE BODY ELECTORATE. ADVISE SHARE MESSAGE AMERICAN BELIEVERS.

– 34 –

All Should Arise

25 November 1937

To this letter, dealing chiefly with the day-to-day administration of your Assembly’s activities, I wish to add a few observations connected with the wider and more challenging issues with which the American believers as a body are now being confronted. As I lift up my gaze beyond the strain and stresses which a struggling Faith must necessarily experience, and view the wider scene which the indomitable will of the American Bahá’í community is steadily unfolding, I cannot but marvel at the range which the driving force of their ceaseless labors has acquired and the heights which the sublimity of their faith has attained. The outposts of a Faith, already persecuted in both Europe and Asia, are in the American continent steadily advancing, the visible symbols of its undoubted sovereignty are receiving fresh luster every day and its manifold institutions are driving their roots deeper and deeper into its soil. Blest and honored as none among its sister communities has been in recent years, preserved through the inscrutable dispensations of Divine Providence for a destiny which no mind can as yet imagine, such a community cannot for a moment afford to be content with or rest on the laurels it has so deservedly won. It must go on, continually go on, exploring fresh fields, scaling nobler heights, laying firmer foundations, shedding added splendor and achieving further renown in the service and for the glory of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. The Seven Year Plan,26 which it has sponsored and with which its destiny is so closely interwoven, must at all costs be prosecuted with increasing force and added consecration. All should arise and participate. Upon the measure of such a participation will no doubt depend the welfare and progress of those distant communities which are now battling for their emancipation. To such a priceless privilege the inheritors of the shining grace of Bahá’u’lláh cannot surely be indifferent. The American believers must gird up the loins of endeavor and step into the arena of service with such heroism as shall astound the entire Bahá’í world. Let them be assured that my prayers will continue to be offered on their behalf.

– 35 –

Archbreaker of Covenant

18 December 1937

HAND OMNIPOTENCE REMOVED ARCHBREAKER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S COVENANT.27 HIS HOPES SHATTERED HIS PLOTTINGS FRUSTRATED SOCIETY HIS FELLOW CONSPIRATORS EXTINGUISHED. GOD’S TRIUMPHANT FAITH FORGES ON ITS UNITY UNIMPAIRED ITS PURITY UNSULLIED ITS STABILITY UNSHAKEN. SUCH DEATH CALLS FOR NEITHER EXULTATION NOR RECRIMINATION BUT EVOKES OVERWHELMING PITY SO TRAGIC DOWNFALL UNPARALLELED IN RELIGIOUS HISTORY.

– 36 –

Certain Vital Requirements of Seven Year Plan

30 January 1938

The Seven Year Plan, with which the immediate fortunes of the American Bahá’í community are so closely interwoven, demands, at this critical stage in its development, serious and prayerful consideration of certain vital requirements, without which such a stupendous task can never be brought to a successful completion. The evolution of the Plan imposes a threefold obligation, which all individual believers, all Local Assemblies, as well as the National Assembly itself, must respectively recognize and conscientiously fulfill. Each and every believer, undaunted by the uncertainties, the perils and the financial stringency afflicting the nation, must arise and ensure, to the full measure of his or her capacity, that continuous and abundant flow of funds into the national Treasury, on which the successful prosecution of the Plan must chiefly depend. Upon the Local Assemblies, whose special function and high privilege is to facilitate the admission of new believers into the community, and thereby stimulate the infusion of fresh blood into its organic institutions, a duty no less binding in character devolves. To them I wish particularly to appeal, at this present hour, when the call of God is being raised throughout the length and breadth of both continents in the New World, to desist from insisting too rigidly on the minor observances and beliefs, which might prove a stumbling-block in the way of any sincere applicant, whose eager desire is to enlist under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh. While conscientiously adhering to the fundamental qualifications already laid down, the members of each and every Assembly should endeavor, by their patience, their love, their tact and wisdom, to nurse, subsequent to his admission, the newcomer into Bahá’í maturity, and win him over gradually to the unreserved acceptance of whatever has been ordained in the teachings. As to the National Assembly, whose inescapable responsibility is to guard the integrity, coordinate the activities, and stimulate the life, of the entire community, its chief concern, at the present moment, should be to anxiously deliberate on how best to enable both individual believers and Local Assemblies to fulfill their respective tasks. Through their repeated appeals, through their readiness to dispel all misunderstandings and remove all obstacles, through the example of their lives, their unrelaxing vigilance, their high sense of justice, their humility, consecration and courage, they must demonstrate to those whom they represent their capacity to play their part in the progress of the Plan in which they, no less than the rest of the community, are involved. May the all-conquering Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh be so infused into each component part of this harmoniously functioning System as to enable it to contribute its proper share to the consummation of the Plan.

– 37 –

A Year Has Almost Elapsed

14 April 1938

A year has almost elapsed since the Seven Year Plan has been launched with characteristic vigor and noble enthusiasm by the American Bahá’í community. For no less than six consecutive years this twofold and stupendous enterprise, which has been set in operation, must, if the American believers are to prove themselves worthy of their high calling, be wisely conducted, continually reinforced and energetically prosecuted to its very end. Severe and unprecedented as may be the internal tests and ordeals which the members of this community may yet experience, however tragic and momentous the external happenings which might well disrupt the fabric of the society in which they live, they must not, throughout these six remaining years, allow themselves to be deflected from the course they are now steadily pursuing. Nay rather, as the impelling forces which have set in motion this mighty undertaking acquire added momentum and its potentialities are more fully manifested, they who are responsible for its success must as time goes on evince a more burning enthusiasm, demonstrate a higher sense of solidarity, reveal greater depths of consecration to their task, and display a more unyielding determination to achieve its purpose. Then and only then will the pleas, the hopes and the wishes of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, eternally enshrined in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, be worthily acknowledged and fulfilled. “Let your exertions henceforth increase a thousandfold” is the earnest appeal voiced by Him in those Tablets. “Summon the people,” He exhorts them, “in these countries, capitals, islands, assemblies and churches to enter the Abhá Kingdom. The scope of your exertions must needs be extended. The wider its range, the more striking will be the evidence of divine assistance.” “The moment,” He solemnly affirms, “this divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America and is propagated through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa and of Australasia … this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion.… Then will the whole earth resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness.” The Seven Year Plan, to which every American believer is fully and irrevocably pledged, during the closing years of the First century of the Bahá’í Era, is in itself but an initial stage in the unfoldment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s vision of America’s spiritual destiny—a destiny which only those who will have successfully accomplished this preliminary task can enable the rising generations who will labor after them to fulfill in the course of the succeeding century.

– 38 –

Draw Nigh unto Bahá’u’lláh

Message to 1938 Convention

25 April 1938

ON THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION WHEN NUMBER ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY IS WELL-NIGH DOUBLY REINFORCED MOVED CONVEY ON EVE CONVENTION TO ALL DELEGATES FRIENDS EXPRESSION MOST LOVING WELCOME. GATHERED WITHIN HOUSE OF WORSHIP WHICH ENTERPRISE PERSEVERING LOYALTY SELF-ABNEGATION AMERICAN BELIEVERS REARED AND ADORNED SUMMONING THEIR AID VITALIZING INFLUENCE PRAYERS MEDITATIONS WHICH AUTHOR THEIR FAITH HIMSELF REVEALED LET THEM DELEGATES VISITORS ALIKE DRAW NIGH UNTO BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THAT HE MAY DRAW NIGH UNTO THEM. COMMUNITY AMERICAN BELIEVERS WHOSE HEARTS HAVE BEEN STIRRED BY TRAGIC TALE EVENTS IMMORTALIZING EARLY HISTORY THEIR FAITH WHOSE MINDS HAVE BEEN ENRICHED BY FURTHER MEASURE FUNDAMENTAL BAHÁ’Í TEACHINGS WHOSE HANDS HAVE BEEN FORTIFIED BY FASHIONING INSTRUMENTS WHEREIN EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER CAN MATURE MUST AT SO CRITICAL STAGE IN FORTUNES DECLINING CIVILIZATION SEEK PURGE GALVANIZE THEIR SOULS THROUGH DAILY PRAYER MEDITATION THAT CAN BEST SUSTAIN THEM IN DISCHARGE TASK STILL INITIAL STAGE DEVELOPMENT. AS TOKEN MY GRATITUDE TO SUCH COMMUNITY ENTRUSTED BELOVED CO-WORKER MRS. COLLINS28 LOCKS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S MOST PRECIOUS HAIR ARRANGED PRESERVED BY LOVING HANDS GREATEST HOLY LEAF TO REST BENEATH DOME OF TEMPLE NOBLY RAISED BY DEARLY LOVED BELIEVERS IN AMERICA.

– 39 –

The Passing of Munírih Khánum

28 April 1938

HOLY MOTHER MUNÍRIH KHÁNUM29 ASCENDED ABHÁ KINGDOM. WITH SORROWFUL HEARTS BAHÁ’ÍS WORLD OVER RECALL DIVERS PHASES HER RICH EVENTFUL LIFE MARKED BY UNIQUE SERVICES WHICH BY VIRTUE HER EXALTED POSITION SHE RENDERED DURING DARKEST DAYS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S LIFE. ALL RIDVÁN FESTIVITIES SUSPENDED. ADVISE CONVENTION DELEGATES DEVOTE SPECIAL SESSION HER MEMORY HOLD BEFITTING GATHERING AUDITORIUM MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR.

– 40 –

Progressive Unfoldment of Seven Year Plan

3 June 1938

REJOICED THANKFUL INITIATIVE RESOURCEFULNESS NEWLY ELECTED NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PROMPTING THEM SIGNALIZE INAUGURATION PERIOD STEWARDSHIP BY LAUNCHING THIRD STAGE IN PROGRESSIVE UNFOLDMENT SEVEN YEAR PLAN.30 SUCH FAR-SIGHTED ACTION EVOKES IN ME DEEPEST LONGING THAT THEY WILL NOT ALONE ACCOMPLISH PLACING FINAL CONTRACT BUT WILL HAVE ALSO ERE EXPIRY ALLOTTED YEAR EMBARKED ON CONCLUDING STAGE BY ENSURING UNINTERRUPTED PROSECUTION OF CLOSING PHASE OF AN ENTERPRISE WHICH FOR NO LESS THAN THIRTY YEARS HAS ENGAGED ATTENTION AND CHALLENGED RESOURCES OF ENTIRE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY. PRAYING INSTANTANEOUS RESPONSE SUSTAINED SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHOM DESTINY HAS PRIMARILY ASSOCIATED WITH REVELATION IN SO GLOOMY EPOCH OF THIS LUMINOUS SYMBOL OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S TRANSCENDENT SOVEREIGNTY.

– 41 –

Marching toward Their Goal

5 July 1938

I wish to reaffirm in person my sense of joy and gratitude, as expressed in my last cable to your Assembly, at the new spirit of alertness and determination which you have so clearly demonstrated while yet on the threshold of your year of stewardship in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. I am filled with fresh hopes, and yearn to witness, ere the present year draws to a close, not only the fulfillment of an unexampled record of service but the revelation of such depths of consecration as will astonish, nay thrill, both the members of your own community and the rest of the Bahá’í world. Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated every day and are inexorably moving towards a climax. The rumblings that must precede the eruption of those forces that must cause “the limbs of humanity to quake” can already be heard. “The time of the end,” “the latter years,” as foretold in the Scriptures, are at long last upon us. The Pen of Bahá’u’lláh, the voice of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have time and again, insistently and in terms unmistakable, warned an unheeding humanity of impending disaster. The Community of the Most Great Name, the leaven that must leaven the lump, the chosen remnant that must survive the rolling up of the old, discredited, tottering Order and assist in the unfoldment of a new one in its stead, is standing ready, alert, clear-visioned, and resolute. The American believers, standard-bearers of this worldwide community and torchbearers of an as yet unborn civilization, have girt up their loins, unfurled their banners and stepped into the arena of service. Their Plan has been formulated. Their forces are mobilized. They are steadfastly marching towards their goal. They cannot afford either to turn back or hesitate. The hosts of the Abhá Kingdom are rushing forth, as promised, to direct their steps and reinforce their power. Through their initial victories they have provided the impulse that must now surge and, with relentless force, sweep over their sister-communities and eventually overpower the entire human race. The generality of mankind, blind and enslaved, is wholly unaware of the healing power with which this community has been endowed, nor can it as yet suspect the role which this same community is destined to play in its redemption. Fierce and manifold will be the assaults with which governments, races, classes and religions, jealous of its rising prestige and fearful of its consolidating strength, will seek to silence its voice and sap its foundations. Unmoved by the relative obscurity that surrounds it at the present time, and undaunted by the forces that will be arrayed against it in the future, this community, I cannot but feel confident, will, no matter how afflictive the agonies of a travailing age, pursue its destiny, undeflected in its course, undimmed in its serenity, unyielding in its resolve, unshaken in its convictions.

– 42 –

Unbroken Solidarity, Unquenchable Enthusiasm

10 September 1938

I feel truly exhilarated as I witness the ever-recurrent manifestations of unbroken solidarity and unquenchable enthusiasm that distinguish every stage in the progressive development of the nationwide enterprise which is being so unflinchingly pursued by the whole American Bahá’í community. The marked deterioration in world affairs, the steadily deepening gloom that envelops the storm-tossed peoples and nations of the Old World, invest the Seven Year Plan, now operating in both the North and South American continents, with a significance and urgency that cannot be overestimated. Conceived as the supreme agency for the establishment, in the opening century of the Bahá’í Era, of what is but the initial stage in the progressive realization of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan for the American believers, this enterprise, as it extends its ramifications throughout the entire New World, is demonstrating its power to command all the resources and utilize all the facilities which the machinery of a laboriously evolved Administrative Order can place at its disposal. However we view its aspects, it offers in its functioning a sharp contrast to the workings of the moribund and obsolescent institutions to which a perverse generation is desperately clinging. Tempestuous are the winds that buffet and will, as the days go by, fiercely assail the very structure of the Order through the agency of which this twofold task is being performed. The potentialities with which an almighty Providence has endowed it will no doubt enable its promoters to achieve their purpose. Much, however, will depend upon the spirit and manner in which that task will be conducted. Through the clearness and steadiness of their vision, through the unvitiated vitality of their belief, through the incorruptibility of their character, through the adamantine force of their resolve, the matchless superiority of their aims and purpose, and the unsurpassed range of their accomplishments, they who labor for the glory of the Most Great Name throughout both Americas can best demonstrate to the visionless, faithless, and restless society to which they belong their power to proffer a haven of refuge to its members in the hour of their realized doom. Then and only then will this tender sapling, embedded in the fertile soil of a Divinely appointed Administrative Order, and energized by the dynamic processes of its institutions, yield its richest and destined fruit. That the community of the American believers, to whose keeping so vast, so delicate and precious a trust has been committed, will, severally and collectively, prove themselves worthy of their high calling, I for one, who in my association with them have been privileged to observe more closely than perhaps anyone else the nature of their reactions to the momentous issues that have confronted them in the past, will refuse to doubt.

– 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.

– 49 –

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

– 55 –

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.

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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

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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.

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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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Interment Beloved Remains

26 December 1939

CHRISTMAS EVE BELOVED REMAINS PUREST BRANCH AND MASTER’S MOTHER LAID IN STATE BÁB’S HOLY TOMB. CHRISTMAS DAY ENTRUSTED CARMEL’S SACRED SOIL. CEREMONY PRESENCE REPRESENTATIVES NEAR EASTERN BELIEVERS PROFOUNDLY MOVING. IMPELLED ASSOCIATE AMERICA’S MOMENTOUS SEVEN-YEAR ENTERPRISE IMPERISHABLE MEMORY THESE TWO HOLY SOULS WHO NEXT TWIN FOUNDERS FAITH AND PERFECT EXEMPLAR TOWER TOGETHER WITH GREATEST HOLY LEAF ABOVE ENTIRE CONCOURSE FAITHFUL. REJOICE PRIVILEGE PLEDGE THOUSAND POUNDS MY CONTRIBUTION BAHÍYYIH KHÁNUM FUND DESIGNED INAUGURATION FINAL DRIVE ENSURE PLACING CONTRACT NEXT APRIL LAST REMAINING STAGE CONSTRUCTION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR. TIME PRESSING OPPORTUNITY PRICELESS POTENT AID PROVIDENTIALLY PROMISED UNFAILING.

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The Seal of Complete Triumph

30 December 1939

The association of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West with the hallowed memories of the Purest Branch and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mother, recently reinterred under the shadow of the Báb’s holy Shrine, inaugurates a new, and at long last the final, phase of an enterprise which, thirty years ago, was providentially launched on the very day the remains of the Forerunner of our Faith were laid to rest by our beloved Master in the sepulcher specifically erected for that purpose on Mount Carmel.45 The birth of this holy enterprise, pregnant with such rich, such infinite possibilities, synchronized with, and was consecrated through, this historic event which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself has affirmed, constitutes the most signal act of the triple mission He had been prompted to perform. The site of the Temple itself was honored by the presence of Him Who, ever since this enterprise was initiated, had, through His messages and Tablets, bestowed upon it His special attention and care, and surrounded it with the marks of His unfailing solicitude. Its foundation-stone was laid by His own loving hands, on an occasion so moving that it has come to be regarded as one of the most stirring episodes of His historic visit to the North American continent.46 Its superstructure was raised as a direct consequence of the pent-up energies which surged from the breasts of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s lovers at a time when His sudden removal from their midst had plunged them into consternation, bewilderment and sorrow. Its external ornamentation was initiated and accelerated through the energizing influences which the rising and continually consolidating institutions of a divinely established Administrative Order had released in the midst of a community that had identified its vital interests with that Temple’s destiny. The measures devised to hasten its completion were incorporated in a Plan which derives its inspiration from those destiny-shaping Tablets wherein, in bold relief, stands outlined the world mission entrusted by their Author to the American Bahá’í community. And finally, the Fund, designed to receive and dispose of the resources amassed for its prosecution, was linked with the memory, and bore the name, of her whose ebbing life was brightened and cheered by those tidings that unmistakably revealed to her the depth of devotion and the tenacity of purpose which animate the American believers in the cause of their beloved Temple. And now, while the Bahá’í world vibrates with emotion at the news of the transfer of the precious remains of both the Purest Branch and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mother to a spot which, watched over by the Twin holy Shrines and in the close neighborhood of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, is to become the focus of the administrative institutions of the Faith at its world center, the mere act of linking the destiny of so far-reaching an undertaking with so significant an event in the Formative Period of our Faith will assuredly set the seal of complete triumph upon, and enhance the spiritual potentialities of, a work so significantly started and so magnificently executed by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North American continent.

The Plan which your Assembly has suggested to raise the sum of fifty thousand dollars by next April, which will enable you to place the necessary contract for the final completion of the entire First Story of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, meets with my unqualified approval. It was specially in order to initiate and encourage the progress of such a plan that I felt impelled to pledge the sum of one thousand pounds in the memory of these two glorious souls who, apart from the Founders of our Faith and its Exemplar, tower, together with the Greatest Holy Leaf, above the rank and file of the faithful.

The interval separating us from that date is admittedly short. The explosive forces which lie dormant in the international field may, ere the expiry of these fleeting months, break out in an eruption that may prove the most fateful that mankind has experienced. It is within the power of the organized body of the American believers to further demonstrate the imperturbability of their faith, the serenity of their confidence and the unyielding tenacity of their resolve.

We stand at the threshold of the decade within which the centenary of the birth of our Faith is to be celebrated. Scarcely more than four years stand between us and that glorious consummation. No community, no individual, neither in the East nor in the West, however afflictive the circumstances that now prevail, can afford to hesitate or falter. The few years immediately ahead are endowed with potencies that we can but dimly appreciate. Ours is the duty and privilege to utilize to the full the opportunities which these fate-laden years offer us. The American Bahá’í community, already responsible, over such a long period, for such heroic acts, under such severe handicaps, cannot and will not hesitate or falter. The past is a witness of their splendid triumphs. The future will be no less a witness of their final victory.

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Dual, Vitally Urgent Obligation

18 January 1940

URGE ASSEMBLY FOCUS ATTENTION FORTHCOMING MEETING DUAL VITALLY URGENT OBLIGATION CONSERVATION VIGOR SPIRITUAL HEALTH COMMUNITY AND INTENSIFICATION EFFORT AIMING REALIZATION RECENTLY APPROVED TEMPLE PLAN. SLEEPLESS VIGILANCE WARD OFF SUBTLE ATTACKS ENEMIES FIRST PREREQUISITE SOUND UNFOLDMENT PROCESSES ENTERPRISE ALREADY OPERATING. FATEFUL FORTIES PREGNANT WEAL WOE USHERED IN. AMERICAN BELIEVERS ENTER THEM FIRMLY ROOTED FERTILE SOIL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER BOUNTIFULLY NOURISHED VITAL SAP ANIMATING ITS INSTITUTIONS SPREADING ITS SHELTERING SHADOW FARTHEST CORNERS WESTERN HEMISPHERE. CENTENARY BIRTH FAITH APPROACHING. VICTORIES UNSUSPECTED WITHIN REACH COMMUNITY. SOONER ACHIEVED SHARPER CONTRAST OFFERED DISTRACTING MISERIES AFFLICTING GENERATION FAITH ALONE CAN MUST EVENTUALLY REDEEM.

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Dare Greatly, Toil Unremittingly

26 February 1940

CONGRATULATE ALIKE NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES NEWLY FLEDGED ASSEMBLIES RECENTLY DISPATCHED PIONEERS FRESHLY ENROLLED BELIEVERS ALL CONCURRING COMMON MISSION ENERGIZE PROCESSES PROPELLING PLAN ALONG DESTINED COURSE. APPEAL ONCE AGAIN EVERY PARTICIPANT NOTWITHSTANDING THREATENING TEMPEST STEADILY MAINTAIN HIGH AIM DARE GREATLY TOIL UNREMITTINGLY SACRIFICE WORTHILY ENDURE RADIANTLY UNFLINCHINGLY TILL VERY END. HARVEST TO BE REAPED FOREORDAINED INCALCULABLY RICH EVERLASTINGLY GLORIOUS VISIBLY APPROACHING.

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Beloved Handmaid

3 March 1940

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S BELOVED HANDMAID DISTINGUISHED DISCIPLE MAY MAXWELL GATHERED GLORY ABHÁ KINGDOM. HER EARTHLY LIFE SO RICH EVENTFUL INCOMPARABLY BLESSED WORTHILY ENDED. TO SACRED TIE HER SIGNAL SERVICES HAD FORGED PRICELESS HONOR MARTYR’S DEATH. DOUBLE CROWN DESERVEDLY WON. SEVEN YEAR PLAN PARTICULARLY SOUTH AMERICAN CAMPAIGN DERIVE FRESH IMPETUS EXAMPLE HER GLORIOUS SACRIFICE. SOUTHERN OUTPOST FAITH GREATLY ENRICHED THROUGH ASSOCIATION HER HISTORIC RESTING-PLACE DESTINED REMAIN POIGNANT REMINDER RESISTLESS MARCH TRIUMPHANT ARMY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. ADVISE BELIEVERS BOTH AMERICAS HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS.

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Their God-Given Task

15 April 1940

The fourth year of the Seven Year Plan enters upon its course in circumstances that are at once critical, challenging, and unprecedented in their significance. The year that has passed has, insofar as the rise and establishment of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the Western Hemisphere is concerned, been one of the most eventful since the Plan began to operate and exercise its potent and beneficent influence. Both within and without the community of the Most Great Name, the events which the last twelvemonth has unfolded have in some mysterious way, whether directly or indirectly, communicated their force to the Plan’s progressive unfoldment, contributed to the orientation of its policy and assisted in the consolidation of the diversified undertakings, both primary and subsidiary, that fall within its orbit. Even the losses which the ranks of its stouthearted upholders have sustained will, when viewed in their proper perspective, be regarded as gains of incalculable value, affecting both its immediate fortunes as well as its ultimate destiny.

The successive international crises which agitated the opening months of the year that has elapsed, culminating in the outbreak of the war in Europe, far from drowning the enthusiasm or daunting the spirit of the prosecutors of God’s Plan, served, by deflecting their gaze from a storm-tossed continent, to focus their minds and resources on ministering to the urgent needs of that Hemisphere in which the first honors and the initial successes of the heroes of the Formative Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh are to be scored and won. The sudden extinction of the earthly life of that star-servant of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, Martha Root, who, while on the last lap of her fourth journey round the world—journeys that carried her to the humblest homes as well as the palaces of royalty—was hurrying homeward to lend her promised aid to her fellow countrymen in their divinely appointed task—such a death, though it frustrated this cherished resolution of her indomitable spirit, steeled the hearts of her bereaved lovers and admirers to carry on, more energetically than ever, the work which she herself had initiated, as far back as the year 1919, in every important city in the South American continent.47 The subtle and contemptible machinations by which the puny adversaries of the Faith, jealous of its consolidating power and perturbed by the compelling evidences of its conspicuous victories, have sought to challenge the validity and misrepresent the character of the Administrative Order embedded in its teachings have galvanized the swelling army of its defenders to arise and arraign the usurpers of their sacred rights and to defend the long-standing strongholds of the institutions of their Faith in their home country. And now as this year, so memorable in the annals of the Faith, was drawing to a close, there befell the American Bahá’í community, through the dramatic and sudden death of May Maxwell, yet another loss, which viewed in retrospect will come to be regarded as a potent blessing conferred upon the campaign now being so diligently conducted by its members. Laden with the fruits garnered through well-nigh half a century of toilsome service to the Cause she so greatly loved, heedless of the warnings of age and ill health, and afire with the longing to worthily demonstrate her gratitude in her overwhelming awareness of the bounties of her Lord and Master, she set her face towards the southern outpost of the Faith in the New World, and laid down her life in such a spirit of consecration and self-sacrifice as has truly merited the crown of martyrdom. To Keith Ransom-Kehler, whose dust sleeps in far-off Iṣfahán; to Martha Root, fallen in her tracks on an island in the midmost heart of the ocean; and to May Maxwell, lying in solitary glory in the southern outpost of the Western Hemisphere—to these three heroines of the Formative Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh they who now labor so assiduously for its expansion and establishment owe a debt of gratitude which future generations will not fail to adequately recognize.

I need not expatiate on other, though less prominent, events that have contributed their share to the furtherance of the Seven Year Plan, or marked its systematic development. The association of the Fund, specifically inaugurated for its prosecution, with the hallowed memories of both the Mother and Brother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; the establishment of at least one pioneer in each of the Republics of Central and South America; the ushering in of the last phase of the external ornamentation of the Temple; the conjunction of the institutions of the Ḥaẓíratu’l-Quds and the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in the heart of the North American continent; the founding of yet another institution designed as a training school for Inter-America teaching work;48 the steady rise in the number of groups and Assemblies functioning within the Administrative Framework of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—these stand out as further evidences of the animating Force that propels the Plan towards its final consummation.

Varied and abundant as have been the past manifestations of this driving, resistless Force, they cannot but pale before the brilliant victories which its progressive and systematic development must achieve in the future.

The American believers, standing on the threshold of the fourth year of the Seven Year Plan, pursue their God-given task with a radiance that no earthly gloom can dim, and will continue to shoulder its ever-growing duties and responsibilities with a vigor and loyalty that no earthly power can either sap or diminish.

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Bahá’u’lláh’s Spiritual Sovereignty

Message to 1940 Convention

24 April 1940

OVERJOYED ELATED DYNAMIC ENERGY INVINCIBLE VALOR AMERICAN BELIEVERS IMPELLED THEM FAR OUTSTRIP GOAL FIXED THIRD YEAR SEVEN YEAR PLAN. TEMPLE ORNAMENTATION UNINTERRUPTEDLY PURSUED. THEATER OPERATION TEACHING CAMPAIGN ALREADY EMBRACING ENTIRE CENTRAL AMERICA AND EVERY SOUTH AMERICAN REPUBLIC EXCEPTING PARAGUAY COLOMBIA. NUMBER COUNTRIES WITHIN ORBIT FAITH NOW EXCEEDING SIXTY. INTERCONTINENTAL CRUSADE THROUGH PATH BROKEN MARTHA ROOT AND SEAL SET MAY MAXWELL’S DEATH YIELDING DESTINED FRUIT, GALVANIZED PERMANENTLY SAFEGUARDED. TOGETHER WITH KEITH THEY FORGED THROUGH SACRIFICE TRIPLE CORD INDISSOLUBLY KNITTING COMMUNITY NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS TO CRADLE FAITH, EVERY CONTINENT OLD WORLD AND LATIN AMERICA. UNPERTURBED GATHERING GLOOM TOTTERING CIVILIZATION WITHOUT CONTEMPTUOUS ASSAULTS PERFIDIOUS ENEMIES WITHIN EXECUTORS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S MANDATE MUST WILL STRAIN EVERY NERVE COURSE ENSUING YEAR MULTIPLY NUMBER ENROLLED PIONEERS CONSOLIDATE WORK ACHIEVED NEWLY OPENED NORTH AMERICAN STATES PROVINCES ENSURE PROMPT SETTLEMENT REMAINING REPUBLICS PROSECUTE UNREMITTINGLY ORNAMENTATION LAST UNIT MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR EXPEDITE FORMATION IN ISOLATED CENTERS NUCLEI CAPABLE ESTABLISHMENT LOCAL ASSEMBLIES. URGENTLY PLEAD FERVENTLY PRAY ALL RANKS VALIANT FORERUNNERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S COMMONWEALTH MAY ERE EXPIRY ALLOTTED TERM BRING FRUITION MISSION ENSURE ASCENDANCY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SPIRITUAL SOVEREIGNTY OVER ENTIRE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

– 72 –

Section of Ornamentation

27 April 1940

SECTION ORNAMENTATION PLACED PRECINCTS BÁB’S SHRINE MAGNIFICENT REMINDER AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ STUPENDOUS EFFORTS.49

– 73 –

Continuous Consecration

15 May 1940

To these words, written on my behalf, and in answer to your particular questions relating to the administrative issues that confront you in these days, I wish to add my own tribute to the magnificent manner in which you face the problems, both spiritual and administrative, which the expansion of the Faith is continually raising, and to the way in which you resolve them, explain their nature, and derive fresh strength from your experience of any one of them. The text of the annual reports demonstrates this fact, and establishes for all time the high standard according to which the administrative machinery of the Faith is functioning, developing and consolidating itself under your able and energetic direction. As the administrative processes expand, as their operation steadily improves, as their necessity is more fully and strikingly demonstrated, and their beneficent influence correspondingly grows more apparent and evident, so will the blessings, the strength, and guidance bestowed by Him Who animates and directs these processes be more abundantly vouchsafed to those who have been called upon to utilize them, in this age, for the execution of God’s Purpose and for the ultimate redemption of a sore-stricken, travailing humanity. Many will be the setbacks, the shocks and the disturbances, which the commotions of a convulsive age must produce; yet no force, however violent and worldwide in its range and catastrophic in its immediate consequences, can either halt these processes or deflect their appointed course. How great, then, the privilege, and how staggering the responsibility, of those who are destined to guard over them and to bring them eventually to full fruition. Nothing short of utter, of continuous, consecration to His Will and Purpose can enable them to fulfill their high destiny.

– 74 –

Emergence of Spiritual World Order

12 June 1940

STUPENDOUS STRUGGLE NOW CONVULSING MAJOR PART EUROPEAN CONTINENT PROGRESSIVELY REVEALING OMINOUS FEATURES INCREASINGLY ASSUMING PROPORTIONS TITANIC UPHEAVAL FORESHADOWED SEVENTY YEARS AGO PROPHETIC PEN BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. DISRUPTIVE FORCES ASSOCIATED HUMANITY’S WORLD-SHAKING ORDEAL CLOSELY INTERRELATED CONSTRUCTIVE POTENTIALITIES INHERENT AMERICAN BELIEVERS DIVINELY ORDAINED PLAN. BOTH DIRECTLY HASTENING EMERGENCE SPIRITUAL WORLD ORDER STIRRING WOMB TRAVAILING AGE. ENTREAT AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WHATEVER IMMEDIATE OR DISTANT REPERCUSSIONS PRESENT TURMOIL ON THEIR OWN CONTINENT HOWEVER VIOLENT ITS IMPACT WORLD CENTER THEIR FAITH PLEDGE THEMSELVES ANEW BEFORE THRONE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH DISCHARGE WITH UNSWERVING AIM UNFAILING COURAGE INVINCIBLE VIGOR EXEMPLARY FIDELITY EVER-DEEPENING CONSECRATION DUAL RESPONSIBILITY SOLEMNLY UNDERTAKEN UNDER SEVEN YEAR PLAN. IMPLORE THEM ACCELERATE EFFORTS INCREASE VIGILANCE DEEPEN UNITY MULTIPLY HEROIC FEATS MAINTAIN DISTANT OUTPOSTS TEACHING FIELD LATIN AMERICA EXPEDITE TERMINATION LAST STAGE ORNAMENTATION TEMPLE. PRAYING CONTINUALLY REDOUBLED FERVOR.

– 75 –

Supremely Challenging Hour

20 July 1940

LONG-PREDICTED WORLD-ENCIRCLING CONFLAGRATION ESSENTIAL PREREQUISITE WORLD UNIFICATION INEXORABLY MOVING APPOINTED CLIMAX. ITS FIRES FIRST LIT FAR EAST SUBSEQUENTLY RAVAGING EUROPE ENVELOPING AFRICA NOW THREATEN DEVASTATION BOTH NEAR EAST FAR WEST RESPECTIVELY ENSHRINING WORLD CENTER AND CHIEF REMAINING CITADEL FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. DIVINELY APPOINTED PLAN MUST WILL LIKEWISE PURSUE UNDEFLECTED PREDESTINED COURSE. TIME PRESSING. SETTLEMENT TWO REMAINING LATIN REPUBLICS SOUNDER CONSOLIDATION THROUGH FORMATION FIRMLY KNIT GROUPS IN NEWLY OPENED TERRITORIES PROVISION ADEQUATE MEANS ORNAMENTATION LAST SIX FACES FIRST STORY TEMPLE STAND OUT VITAL REQUIREMENTS APPROACHING SUPREMELY CHALLENGING HOUR. EYES HEART ANXIOUSLY LONGINGLY TURNED NEW WORLD WITNESS EVIDENCES NEW STILL MORE HEROIC PHASE ENTERPRISE CONFIDENTLY ENTRUSTED VIGILANT CARE AMERICAN BELIEVERS BY EVER-WATCHFUL POWERFULLY SUSTAINING MASTER. REFUSE BELIEVE COMMUNITY SO RICHLY ENDOWED GREATLY ENVIED REPEATEDLY HONORED WILL SUFFER SLIGHTEST RELAXATION ITS RESOLUTION JEOPARDIZE SPIRITUAL PRIZES PAINSTAKINGLY DESERVEDLY WON THROUGHOUT STATES PROVINCES REPUBLICS WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

– 76 –

Bear All, Dare All

14 October 1940

HEARTS UPLIFTED REALIZATION INCREASING TURMOIL GREAT TESTING HOUR IS STIFFENING RESOLUTION GIVING FRESH RESILIENCE SPLENDID SPIRIT ANIMATING AMERICAN BELIEVERS. PIONEERS EMBARKING HOLY TASK SOUTHERN REPUBLICS REINFORCING TEACHING WORK SOUTHERN STATES OBJECT SPECIAL PRAYERS. ASSURE EACH DEEPEST GRATITUDE LOVING ADMIRATION. RENEW PLEA BEAR ALL DARE ALL PATH SERVICE MATCHLESS CAUSE.

– 77 –

Chaos and Redemption

28 October 1940

PRESENT WORLD CHAOS EXHIBITING IMPETUOSITY FOLLIES VIOLENCE REBELLIOUSNESS CHARACTERISTIC HUMANITY’S ADOLESCENT STAGE DEVELOPMENT AND HARBINGER LONG-PROMISED GOLDEN AGE MATURITY HUMAN RACE RELENTLESSLY SPREADING DISTRESSINGLY INTENSIFIED. ALTERNATING VICTORIES REVERSES HERALDING PARALLEL TRANSITION PROSCRIBED CAUSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH STRUGGLING TOWARDS EMANCIPATION WORLD RECOGNITION SPIRITUAL UNIVERSAL DOMINION SIMULTANEOUSLY MULTIPLYING. RECRUDESCENCE CHRONIC PERSECUTION AFFLICTING CRADLE FAITH, GRAVE DANGER THREATENING APPROPRIATED TEMPLE DISBANDED CENTERS TURKISTAN CAUCASUS, REPRESSIVE MEASURES SUCCESSIVELY CHOKING LIFE PARALYZING ACTION LONG-STANDING NEWLY FLEDGED COMMUNITIES CENTRAL WESTERN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE, INTERMITTENT OUTBURSTS RELIGIOUS FANATICISM DIRECTED NORTH AFRICAN ASSEMBLIES, AGGRAVATION SITUATION WORLD SPIRITUAL ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER, CONTRAST WITH, OUTWEIGHED BY, SURGING SPIRIT, STARTLING EXPANSION, SWEEPING CONQUESTS, SUPERB CONSOLIDATION, SWIFTLY ACCUMULATING RESOURCES ONE REMAINING COMMUNITY SINGLED OUT PROCLAMATION ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER THROUGHOUT LENGTH BREADTH WESTERN HEMISPHERE. APPEAL NEW WORLD CHAMPIONS NEW WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH STAND FAST THIS TRAGIC HOUR FORTUNES MANKIND CHALLENGING STAGE EVOLUTION FAITH. BEG THEM CLOSE RANKS JOINTLY SEVERALLY VOW THEMSELVES INCOMPARABLY SUBLIME TASK WHOSE OPERATION MUST HASTEN, WHOSE CONSUMMATION WILL SYNCHRONIZE, BOTH TRIUMPHANT ASCENDANCY BELOVED CAUSE SPIRITUAL REDEMPTION RECONSTRUCTED MANKIND.

– 78 –

Translation of Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

26 November 1940

GREATLY WELCOME NEWS STRIKING PROGRESS CONVEYED YOUR CABLE. ADVISE UTILIZE WINTER MONTHS INCREASED CONCENTRATION CONSOLIDATE TEACHING ACTIVITIES INITIATED LATIN AMERICA. TRANSLATION EPISTLE SON WOLF COMPLETED; MAILING REMAINDER MANUSCRIPT.50 DEVOUTLY HOPE ITS STUDY MAY CONTRIBUTE FURTHER ENLIGHTENMENT DEEPER UNDERSTANDING VERITIES ON WHICH EFFECTUAL PROSECUTION TEACHING ADMINISTRATIVE UNDERTAKINGS ULTIMATELY DEPENDS. DEEPEST LOVE.

– 79 –

Torchbearer of World Civilization

3 December 1940

My heart is thrilled with delight as I witness, in so many fields, and in such distant outposts, and despite such formidable difficulties, restrictions, obstacles and dangers, so many evidences of the solidarity, the valor, and the achievements of the American Bahá’í community. As the end of the First Century of the Bahá’í Era approaches, as the shadows descending upon and enveloping mankind steadily and remorselessly deepen, this community, which can almost be regarded as the solitary champion of the Faith in the Western World, is increasingly evincing and demonstrating its capacity, its worth, and ability as the torchbearer of the New, the World civilization which is destined to supplant in the fullness of time the present one. And more particularly in the virgin and far-flung territories of Latin America, it has, in recent months, abundantly given visible evidence of its merits and competence to shoulder the immense responsibilities which the carrying of the sacred fire to all the Republics of the Western Hemisphere must necessarily entail.

Through these initial steps which, in pursuance of the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, this community has taken, through the settlement in each of these sovereign states of the New World of American Bahá’í pioneers, through the formation of Bahá’í groups and the establishment of two Assemblies in Buenos Aires and Bahia, the American National Assembly, as well as its Inter-America Committee, and all subsidiary agencies, no less than the individual members of the North American Bahá’í community who have sacrificed and are still sacrificing so much in their support of this Divine and momentous Plan, have earned the unqualified admiration and the undying gratitude of sister Assemblies and fellow workers throughout the Bahá’í world.

Their work, however, is only beginning. The dispatch of pioneers, the provision of adequate means for their support, their settlement and initiation of Bahá’í activities in these far-off lands, however strenuous and meritorious, are insufficient if the Plan is to evolve harmoniously and yield promptly its destined fruit. The extension by the Parent Assembly—the immediate source from which this vast system with all its ramifications is now proceeding—of the necessary support, guidance, recognition, and material assistance to enable these newly fledged groups and Assemblies to function in strict accordance with both the spiritual and administrative principles of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh would seem as essential and urgent as the preliminary task already achieved. To nurse these tender plants of the Vineyard of God, to foster their growth, to direct their development, to accord them the necessary recognition, to help resolve their problems, to familiarize them, with gentleness, patience and fidelity, with the processes of the Administrative Order and thus enable them to assume independently the conduct of future local and national Bahá’í activities, would bring the Plan to swift and full fruition and would add fresh laurels to the crown of immortal glory already won by a community that holds, in these days of dark and dire calamities, valiantly and almost alone, the Fort of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Fortified by these reflections, let them gird up their loins for still mightier exertions and more brilliant victories.

– 80 –

Veteran Warrior

20 February 1941

SHARE SORROW LOSS PARTICIPATE REJOICINGS TRIUMPH BELOVED FATHER DUNN.51 MAGNIFICENT CAREER VETERAN WARRIOR FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH REFLECTS PUREST LUSTER WORLD HISTORIC MISSION CONFERRED AMERICAN COMMUNITY BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ. TO THREE HEROINES WHOSE DUST REPOSES HEART IRAN PACIFIC ISLANDS AND SOUTHERN EXTREMITY AMERICAN CONTINENT A FOURTH WITNESS IN FAR-OFF AUSTRALASIA NOW ADDED ATTESTING FIRST VITAL SPARKS FAR-FLUNG SPIRITUAL DOMINION AMERICAN BELIEVERS COMMISSIONED ESTABLISH. MOVED CONGRATULATE THEM RESPLENDENT SUCCESSES PLAN DESTINED ENCIRCLE ENTIRE GLOBE. ADVISE HOLD NATIONAL MEMORIAL GATHERING MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR.

– 81 –

Fifth Year of Plan

Message to 1941 Convention

22 April 1941

FIFTH YEAR SEVEN YEAR PLAN OPENING CIRCUMSTANCES UTMOST GRAVITY EASTERN WESTERN HEMISPHERES. FEVER OF THE TIMES STEADILY MOUNTING THROWING SHARPER RELIEF CONTRAST BETWEEN RISING GREATNESS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH FALLING FORTUNES MORIBUND CIVILIZATION. AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY RAPIDLY PURSUING CAREER TRACED UNERRING FINGER ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ CAN NEITHER HALT NOR WAVER. CANNOT FORBEAR ADDRESS MY PARTICULAR PLEA FOCUS OWING VIRTUAL TERMINATION TEMPLE ORNAMENTATION ATTENTION TEACHING REQUIREMENTS PLAN. APPEAL INCOMING NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ITS AUXILIARY TEACHING COMMITTEE AND SUBSIDIARY AGENCIES DELIBERATE DEVISE MEANS ENSURE PROMPT REINSTATEMENT ASSEMBLIES RECENTLY DISBANDED FORMATION ASSEMBLY EACH NEWLY OPENED STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICA AND CONTINUITY CONSOLIDATION PIONEER WORK INITIATED EVERY LATIN REPUBLIC. UNDISMAYED AGGRAVATION FURY WORLD TEMPEST THREATENING THEIR SHORES SCORNFUL AGITATION STIRRED UP ADVERSARIES BREAKERS COVENANT RESOLUTE UPHOLDERS DIVINE PLAN WILL INDEED CANNOT BUT PERSIST ORDAINED TASK PROPAGATE FLAME ENLARGE ADMINISTRATIVE LIMITS STRIKE DEEPER ROOTS WORLD-ENCIRCLING WORLD-REDEEMING FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

– 82 –

The Anger of God and His Correction

25 May 1941

The internecine struggle, now engulfing the generality of mankind, is increasingly assuming, in its range and ferocity, the proportions of the titanic upheaval foreshadowed as far back as seventy years ago by Bahá’u’lláh. It can be viewed in no other light except as a direct interposition by Him Who is the Ordainer of the Universe, the Judge of all men, and the Deliverer of the nations. It is the rod of both the anger of God and of His correction. The fierceness of its devastating power chastens the children of men for their refusal to acclaim the century-old Message of their promised, their Heaven-sent Redeemer. The fury of its flames, on the other hand, purges away the dross, and welds the limbs of humanity into one single organism, indivisible, purified, God-conscious and Divinely directed. Its immediate cause can be traced to the forces engendered by the last war of which it may truly be regarded as the direct continuation.

Its first sparks were kindled on the eastern shores of the Asiatic continent, enveloping two sister races of the world in a conflagration which no force seems able to either quench or circumscribe. This cataclysmic process was accelerated by the outbreak of a fierce conflict in the heart of Europe, fanning into flame age-long animosities and unchaining a series of calamities as swift as they were appalling. As the turmoil gathered momentum it swept remorselessly into its vortex the most powerful nations of the European continent—the chief protagonists of that highly vaunted yet lamentably defective civilization. The mounting tide of its havoc and devastation soon overspread the northernmost regions of that afflicted continent, subsequently ravaged the shores of the Mediterranean, and invaded the African continent as far as Ethiopia and the surrounding territories. The Balkan countries, as predicted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, were soon to sustain the impact of this tragic ordeal, communicating in their turn the commotions to which they had been subjected to both the Near and Middle East, wherein are enshrined the Heart of the Faith itself, its Cradle, its chief Center of Pilgrimage, and its most sacred and historic sites.

Its menace is overleaping the limits of the Old World and is plunging into consternation the Great Republic of the West, as well as the peoples of Central and South America. The New World, as well as the Old, is experiencing the terrific impact of this disruptive force. Even the peoples of the Antipodes are trembling before the approaching tempest that threatens to burst on their heads.

The races of the world, Nordic, Slavonic, Mongolian, Arab and African are alike subjected to its consuming violence. The world’s religious systems are no less affected by the universal paralysis which is creeping over the minds and souls of men. The persecution of world Jewry, the rapid deterioration of Christian institutions, the intestine divisions and disorders of Islám, are but manifestations of the fear and trembling that has seized humanity in its hour of unprecedented turmoil and peril. On the high seas, in the air, on land, in the forefront of battle, in the palaces of kings and the cottages of peasants, in the most hallowed sanctuaries, whether secular or religious, the evidences of God’s retributive act and mysterious discipline are manifest. Its heavy toll is steadily mounting—a holocaust sparing neither prince nor peasant, neither man nor woman, neither young nor old.

The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—that priceless gem of Divine Revelation, enshrining the Spirit of God and incarnating His Purpose for mankind in this age—can neither aspire nor expect to escape unhurt amid the hurricane of human disasters that blows around it. By most men unnoticed, scorned and ridiculed by some, feared and challenged by others, this world-redemptive Faith, for whose precious sake the world is undergoing such agony, finds its virgin strength assailed, and its infant institutions hemmed in by the dark forces which a godless civilization has unloosed over the face of the planet. In the Old World, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, it is being buffeted about, ostracized, arraigned and repressed. In certain countries its community life is being extinguished, in others a ban is severely imposed on its propagation, in still others its members are denied all intercourse with its World Center. Dangers, grave and unsuspected, confront its Cradle and surround its very Heart.

Not so, however, with the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The call of Bahá’u’lláh summons, at this challenging hour, the peoples of the New World and its leaders to redress the balance of the Old. “O Rulers of America,” He thus addresses the Chief Magistrates of that continent, “and the Presidents of the Republics therein! … Adorn the temple of your dominion with the ornament of Justice and of the fear of God, and its head with the crown of the remembrance of your Lord, the Maker of the heavens.” The Great Republic of the West, an object of special solicitude throughout the ministry of the Center of the Covenant, whose soil has been hallowed by His footsteps, and the foundation of whose Edifice—the Mother Temple of the West—has been consecrated by His hand, has been singled out through the operation of His Will and been invested by His pen with a unique, an inescapable, a weighty and most sacred responsibility. The Mission entrusted to the community of the North American believers in the darkest days of the last war is, after a period of incubation of well-nigh twenty years, and through the instrumentality of the administrative agencies erected after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, efflorescing under our very eyes. Already, since the inception of the Seven Year Plan, this community can well claim to have attained, through its deeds, a stature that dwarfs its sister communities, and can glory in a parentage that embraces every Republic of Latin America. The first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West, its beauteous and noble handiwork, is virtually completed. A nucleus for a future flourishing local community is already formed in every state and province in North America. The administrative structure, following the pattern of its prototype in the U.S.A., is, through the agency of that same Plan, raising its triumphant head in the Central and South American Republics. The Plan itself, propelled by the energies released by those immortal Tablets which constitute its charter, bids fair, in the fifth year of its operation, to exceed the highest expectations of those who have so courageously launched it. Its consummation, coinciding with the termination of the first century of the Bahá’í Era, will mark the opening of yet another phase in a series of crusades which must carry, in the course of the succeeding century, the privileged recipients of those epoch-making Tablets beyond the Western Hemisphere to the uttermost ends of the earth, to implant the banner, and lay an unassailable basis for the administrative structure of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The quality and magnitude of the work already achieved by these stalwart champions of God’s New World Order are inexpressibly exhilarating and infinitely meritorious. The immensity of the tasks still to be performed staggers our fancy and inflames our imagination. The potentialities with which those tasks are endowed elude our shrewdest calculations. The promise they enshrine is too dazzling to contemplate. What else can we do but bow our heads in thanksgiving and reverence, steel our hearts in preparation for the strenuous days ahead, and intensify a hundredfold our resolution to carry on the task to which our hands are set at present?

– 83 –

Fate-Laden World Ordeal

30 June 1941

FATE-LADEN WORLD ORDEAL REMORSELESSLY MOVING IN STEADY PREORDAINED CRESCENDO. BLAZE SEEMINGLY UNCONTROLLABLE FIRE LEAPING RAVAGING LAST REMAINING GREAT POWER EUROPEAN CONTINENT. SHADOWS GOD’S RETRIBUTIVE ACT FAST GATHERING. AS ARENA WORLD-CONVULSING CONTEST BROADENS, AS WOUNDS IT INFLICTS DEEPEN, AS ISSUES IT RAISES AGGRAVATE MULTIPLY SO WILL OPERATION SPIRITUAL FORCES DESTINED CAST BURDEN TRAVAILING AGE BE ACCELERATED. AS OLD WORLD SINKS BENEATH WEIGHT CRUMBLING OLD ORDER SO MUST NEW WORLD EXPONENTS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NASCENT INTEGRATING WORLD ORDER CLIMB LOFTIER SUMMITS THEIR SUBLIME CALLING. URGENTLY INSISTENTLY PLEAD ALL AMERICAN BELIEVERS PARTICULARLY NATIONAL TEACHING INTER-AMERICA COMMITTEES ABOVE ALL NATIONAL ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ARM THEIR SOULS LABOR MORE RESOLUTELY COOPERATE MORE CLOSELY SCATTER MORE WIDELY SACRIFICE MORE ABUNDANTLY ENSURE DURING REMAINING YEARS SEVEN YEAR PLAN BRILLIANT DISCHARGE ONE REMAINING OBLIGATION THEIR DUAL TASK WHOSE CONSUMMATION MUST SIGNALIZE TERMINATION SEAL TRIUMPH FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

– 84 –

Elizabeth Greenleaf

6 August 1941

SHARE DEEP GRIEF BEREAVED COMMUNITY PASSING ELIZABETH GREENLEAF BELOVED HANDMAID BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. HER RADIANT SPIRIT STAUNCH LOYALTY NOBLE CHARACTER EFFECTIVE TEACHING METHOD DISTINGUISHING FEATURES CONSECRATED LIFE. PRAYING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS LIFE BEYOND.

– 85 –

Unconquerable Power

12 August 1941

As I survey the activities and accomplishments of the American believers in recent months, and recall their reaction to the urgent call for service, embodied in the Seven Year Plan, I feel overwhelmed by a threefold sense of gratitude and admiration which I feel prompted to place on record, but which I cannot adequately express. Future generations can alone appraise correctly the value of their present services, and the Beloved, Whose mandate they are so valiantly obeying, can alone befittingly reward them for the manner in which they are discharging their duties.

The virtual completion of a thirty-year-old enterprise, which was initiated in His days and blessed by His hand, is the first and foremost accomplishment that must shed imperishable luster not only on the administrative annals of the Formative Age of the Faith, but on the entire record of the signal achievements performed in the course of the First Century of the Bahá’í Era.52 The steady expansion and consolidation of the world Mission, entrusted by that same Master to their hands, and set in operation after His passing, constitutes the second object of my undying gratitude to a community that has abundantly demonstrated its worthiness to shoulder the superhuman tasks with which it has been entrusted. The spirit with which that same community has faced and resisted the onslaught of the enemies of the Faith who, for various reasons, and with ever-increasing subtlety and malice, have persistently striven to disrupt the administrative machinery of an Order, foreshadowed by the Báb, enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh, and established by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, is yet another testimony to the unrivaled merits and the eminent position attained by its privileged members since the ascension of the Center of the Covenant.

The extinction of the influence precariously exerted by some of these enemies, the decline that has set in in the fortunes of others, the sincere repentance expressed by still others and their subsequent reinstatement and effectual participation in the teaching and administrative activities of the Faith, constitute in themselves sufficient evidence of the unconquerable power and invincible spirit which animate those who stand identified with, and loyally carry out the provisions and injunctions of, the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

And now more particularly concerning the prime mover of this latest agitation,53 which, whatever its immediate consequences, will sooner or later come to be regarded as merely one more of those ugly and abortive attempts designed to undermine the foundation, and obscure the purpose, of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh: Obscure in his origin, ambitious of leadership, untaught by the lesson of such as have erred before him, odious in the hopes he nurses, contemptible in the methods he pursues, shameless in his deliberate distortions of truths he has long since ceased to believe in, ludicrous in his present isolation and helplessness, wounded and exasperated by the downfall which his own folly has precipitated, he, the latest protagonist of a spurious cause, cannot but in the end be subjected, as remorselessly as his infamous predecessors, to the fate which they invariably have suffered.

Generated by the propelling and purifying forces of a mysterious Faith, born of delusion or malice, winning a fleeting notoriety derived from the precarious advantages of wealth, fame, or fortune, these movements, sponsored by deluded, self-seeking adventurers, find themselves, sooner or later, enmeshed in the machinations of their authors, are buried in shame, and sink eventually into complete oblivion.

The schism which their foolish leaders had contrived so sedulously to produce within the Faith, will soon, to their utter amazement, come to be regarded as a process of purification, a cleansing agency, which, far from decimating the ranks of its followers, reinforces its indestructible unity, and proclaims anew to a world, skeptical or indifferent, the cohesive strength of the institutions of that Faith, the incorruptibility of its purposes and principles, and the recuperative powers inherent in its community life.

Were anyone to imagine or expect that a Cause, comprising within its orbit so vast a portion of the globe, so turbulent in its history, so challenging in its claims, so diversified in the elements it has assimilated into its administrative structure, should at all times be immune to any divergence of opinion, or any defection on the part of its multitudinous followers, would be sheer delusion, wholly unreasonable and unwarranted, even in the face of the unprecedented evidences of the miraculous power which its rise and progress have so powerfully exhibited. That such a secession, however, whether effected by those who apostatize their faith or preach heretical doctrines, should have failed, after the lapse of a century, to split in twain the entire body of the adherents of the Faith, or to create a grave, a permanent and irremediable breach in its organic structure, is a fact too eloquent for even a casual observer of the internal processes of its Administrative Order to either deny or ignore.

Therein every loyal and intelligent upholder of Bahá’u’lláh’s incomparable Covenant—a Covenant designed by Him as the sole refuge against schism, disruption, and anarchy—will readily recognize the hallmark of His Faith, and will acclaim it as the supreme gift conferred by Him Who is the Lord of Revelation upon the present and future generations who are destined, in this greatest of all Dispensations, to flock, from every creed and religion, to the banner, and espouse the Cause, of His Most Great Name.

Dear friends! Manifold, various, and at times extremely perilous, have been the tragic crises which the blind hatred, the unbounded presumption, the incredible folly, the abject perfidy, the vaulting ambition of the enemy have intermittently engendered within the pale of the Faith. From some of its most powerful and renowned votaries, at the hands of its once trusted and ablest propagators, champions, and administrators, from the ranks of its most revered and highly placed trustees, whether as companions, amanuenses, or appointed lieutenants of the Herald of the Faith, of its Author, and of the Center of His Covenant, from even those who were numbered among the kindred of the Manifestation, not excluding the brother, the sons and daughters of Bahá’u’lláh, and the nominee of the Báb Himself, a Faith, of such tender age, and enshrining so priceless a promise, has sustained blows as dire and treacherous as any recorded in the world’s religious history.

From the record of its tumultuous history, almost every page of which portrays a fresh crisis, is laden with the description of a new calamity, recounts the tale of a base betrayal, and is stained with the account of unspeakable atrocities, there emerges, clear and incontrovertible, the supreme truth that with every fresh outbreak of hostility to the Faith, whether from within or from without, a corresponding measure of outpouring grace, sustaining its defenders and confounding its adversaries, has been providentially released, communicating a fresh impulse to the onward march of the Faith, while this impetus, in its turn, would, through its manifestations, provoke fresh hostility in quarters heretofore unaware of its challenging implications—this increased hostility being accompanied by a still more arresting revelation of Divine Power and a more abundant effusion of celestial grace, which, by enabling the upholders of that Faith to register still more brilliant victories, would thereby generate issues of still more vital import and raise up still more formidable enemies against a Cause that cannot but in the end resolve those issues and crush the resistance of those enemies, through a still more glorious unfoldment of its inherent power.

The resistless march of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, viewed in this light, and propelled by the stimulating influences which the unwisdom of its enemies and the force latent within itself both engender, resolves itself into a series of rhythmic pulsations, precipitated, on the one hand, through the explosive outbursts of its foes, and the vibrations of Divine Power, on the other, which speed it, with ever-increasing momentum, along that predestined course traced for it by the Hand of the Almighty.

As opposition to the Faith, from whatever source it may spring, whatever form it may assume, however violent its outbursts, is admittedly the motive-power that galvanizes, on the one hand, the souls of its valiant defenders, and taps for them, on the other, fresh springs of that Divine and inexhaustible Energy, we, who are called upon to represent, defend, and promote its interests, should, far from regarding any manifestation of hostility as an evidence of the weakening of the pillars of the Faith, acclaim it as both a God-sent gift and a God-sent opportunity which, if we remain undaunted, we can utilize for the furtherance of His Faith and the routing and complete elimination of its adversaries.

The Heroic Age of the Faith, born in anguish, nursed in adversity, and terminating in trials as woeful as those that greeted its birth, has been succeeded by that Formative Period which is to witness the gradual crystallization of those creative energies which the Faith has released, and the consequent emergence of that World Order for which those forces were made to operate.

Fierce and relentless will be the opposition which this crystallization and emergence must provoke. The alarm it must and will awaken, the envy it will certainly arouse, the misrepresentations to which it will remorselessly be subjected, the setbacks it must, sooner or later, sustain, the commotions to which it must eventually give rise, the fruits it must in the end garner, the blessings it must inevitably bestow and the glorious, the Golden Age it must irresistibly usher in, are just beginning to be faintly perceived, and will, as the old Order crumbles beneath the weight of so stupendous a Revelation, become increasingly apparent and arresting.

Not ours, dear friends, to attempt to survey the distant scene; ours rather the duty to face the trials of the present hour, to ponder its meaning, to discharge its obligations, to meet its challenge, and utilize the opportunity it offers to the fullest extent of our ability and power.

– 86 –

Completion of Ornamentation of Temple’s Main Story

25 September 1941

HEARTILY JOYOUSLY CONGRATULATE ENTIRE BODY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY REMARKABLY RAPID COMPLETION ORNAMENTATION FIRST MAIN STORY TEMPLE UNIT. WHOLE BAHÁ’Í WORLD JOINS ME EXPRESSION UNDYING GRATITUDE. CONCLUSION EXTERNAL DECORATION SACRED HISTORIC EDIFICE MUST NEEDS SIGNALIZE INTENSIFICATION CONCENTRATION UNBOUNDED EFFORTS VICTORIOUS COMMUNITY EARLY FULFILLMENT TEACHING REQUIREMENTS SEVEN YEAR PLAN. PROMPTED CONSECRATE COURSE REMAINING YEARS PLAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S LOVING CONTRIBUTION DESTINED INTERNATIONAL FUNDS FURTHERANCE INTERCONTINENTAL TEACHING CAMPAIGN. APPEAL NOBLER WIDER MORE SUSTAINED EFFORTS ENSURE ATTAINMENT ONE REMAINING SHINING GOAL.

– 87 –

The Process of Integration and Disintegration

20 November 1941

HEART THRILLED PRIDE MESSAGE ANNOUNCING APPROACHING COMPLETION ORNAMENTATION SEVEN FACES MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR PROCLAIMING INTENSIFICATION NORTH AMERICAN TEACHING CAMPAIGN REVEALING ADAMANTINE RESOLUTION TEMPLE BUILDERS STALWART CRUSADERS IN FACE PERFIDY INGRATITUDE OPPOSITION ENEMIES BOTH WITHIN WITHOUT HOLY FAITH. AS FURY DESTRUCTIVENESS TREMENDOUS WORLD ORDEAL ATTAINS MOST INTENSIVE PITCH SO MISSION CONFERRED TWENTY YEARS AGO BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S SACRED WILL ON WORLDWIDE INDIVISIBLE INCORRUPTIBLE BODY HIS FOLLOWERS UNFOLDS ITS FULLEST POTENTIALITIES. SECURELY ABIDING CONFIDENTLY BATTLING WITHIN IMPREGNABLE STRUCTURE THAT WILL HAS DIVINELY ESTABLISHED DWELLERS ARK DIVINE COVENANT WORLD OVER WATCH WITH AWE PRIDE DELIGHT EVIDENCES MOUNTING MOMENTUM ETERNAL PROCESS INTEGRATION DISINTEGRATION HURRYING FAITH ALONG PREDESTINED COURSE. ROYAL ADVERSARY PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE RECRUDESCENCE PERSECUTION CLOSING ALL BAHÁ’Í SCHOOLS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND HUMBLED DUST.54 SUFFERINGS ENDURED BY BUILDERS FIRST MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR BEING AVENGED.55 CORNERSTONE NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS EGYPTIAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CEREMONIOUSLY LAID.56 FIRST OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED BAHÁ’Í CEMETERY READY RECEIVE PRECIOUS REMAINS ILLUSTRIOUS ABU’L-FADL IMMORTAL LUA.57 ḤAZÍRATU’L-QUDS BAGHDÁD EXTENDED NEARING COMPLETION. PROPERTY DEDICATED FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER SYRIAN BAHÁ’ÍS PURCHASED. GROUP FAMILIES PERSIAN BELIEVERS MUSLIM JEWISH ZOROASTRIAN ORIGIN AFIRE EXAMPLE SET AMERICAN PIONEERS SETTLING ADJOINING TERRITORIES ḤIJÁZ YEMEN AFGHANISTAN BALUCHISTAN BAHRAIN ISLANDS. SPIRITUAL COMPETITION GALVANIZING ORGANIZED FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH EAST WEST WAXES KEENER AS FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY SPEEDS TO CLOSE. WITH BOWED HEAD EXULTANT SPIRIT THANKFUL HEART I ACCLAIM THESE RECURRENT INCREASINGLY COMPELLING MANIFESTATIONS SOLIDARITY LOYALTY UNQUENCHABLE SPIRIT ANIMATING THROUGHOUT FIVE CONTINENTS COMMUNITY FOLLOWERS MOST GREAT NAME.

– 88 –

The Crucible of World Conflagration

8 December 1941

MOST GREAT CONVULSION ENVISAGED BY PROPHETS FROM ISAIAH TO BAHÁ’U’LLÁH CATACLYSMIC IN VIOLENCE PLANETARY IN RANGE ASSAILING AT LONG LAST PREDOMINANT NATIONS ASIATIC AMERICAN CONTINENTS. LEADING POWER WESTERN HEMISPHERE WHICH TOGETHER WITH SISTER REPUBLICS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S RINGING CALL SIGNIFICANTLY SUMMONED IN HIS MOST HOLY BOOK, OBJECT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S TENDER SOLICITUDE ARDENT PRAYERS, CENTER HIS HOPES, RECIPIENT HIS PROMISES, BENEFICIARY HIS BLESSINGS, SUDDENLY THOUGH NOT UNEXPECTEDLY PLUNGED INTO CRUCIBLE WORLD CONFLAGRATION.58 PURGED TESTED GALVANIZED COALESCING WITH ITS SORELY TRIED FELLOW NATIONS THE WORLD OVER GREAT REPUBLIC NEW WORLD, ENVIABLE PARENT OF SYSTEM HERALDING WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH MUST ASSUME THROUGH ADVERSITY ITS PREPONDERATING SHARE RESPONSIBILITY LAY DOWN ONCE FOR ALL BROAD WORLDWIDE UNASSAILABLE FOUNDATIONS THAT DISCREDITED YET IMMORTAL SYSTEM. THOUGH IMMEDIATE FUTURE BE DARK CRITICAL FRAUGHT ANGUISH FEEL IT MY BOUNDEN DUTY APPEAL THIS HOUR AS NEVER BEFORE TRUSTEES BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S PRICELESS REVELATION, WHETHER TEACHERS OR ADMINISTRATORS INDIVIDUALS OR ASSEMBLIES NORTH SOUTH WHITE COLORED YOUNG OLD. REFUSE AT ALL COSTS SURRENDER SOLEMN SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITIES REFRAIN RELAXING TEACHING EFFORTS DETERMINE NEVER SLACKEN SACRED TASK BUILDING INSTITUTIONS WHOSE PROGRESS DESTINY INDISSOLUBLY LINKED FORTUNES MOST DISASTROUS MOST CHALLENGING MOST PREGNANT PERIOD HUMAN HISTORY.

– 89 –

True Upholders of the Covenant

6 January 1942

COMFORTED FORTIFIED FERVENT MESSAGES TESTIFYING SOLIDITY BONDS SPIRITUAL KINSHIP UNITING ME TRUE UPHOLDERS COVENANT. PRIZE THEIR LOYALTY, GLORY THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS, HAIL THEIR RESOLVE, INVOKE STILL GREATER BLESSINGS THEIR SUPERB EXERTIONS.

– 90 –

A Truly World-Embracing Crisis

15 January 1942

The entry of the United States of America into the war invests it with the character of a truly world-embracing crisis, designed to release world-shaking, world-shaping forces, which, as they operate, and mount in intensity, will throw down the barriers that hinder the emergence of that world community which the world Religion of Bahá’u’lláh has anticipated and can alone permanently establish. It marks a milestone on the road which must lead the peoples of the North American continent to the glorious destiny that awaits them. It confronts the American Bahá’í community, already so well advanced in the prosecution of their Seven Year Plan, with a challenge at once severe and inescapable. The exterior ornamentation of their consecrated Edifice has been providentially expedited to a point where its completion is now assured. The intercontinental and national teaching campaigns that constitute the second and even more vital aspect of that Plan, though progressing magnificently in the States, in Canada and throughout Latin America, are still far from having attained their consummation. The obstacles which the extension of the war to the Western Hemisphere has raised are, I am well aware, manifold and formidable. The heroic self-sacrifice exhibited by the North American Bahá’í community will, I am confident, surmount them. The Hand of Omnipotence, which has led so mighty a member of the human race to plunge into the turmoil of world disaster, that has provided thereby the means for the effective and decisive participation of so promising a nation in the immediate trials and the future reconstruction of human society, will not and cannot allow those who are directly, consciously and worthily promoting the highest interests of their nation and of the world to fall short of the accomplishment of their God-given task. He will, more than ever before in their history, pour out His blessings upon them, if they refuse to allow the present circumstances, grievous though they are, to interfere with the full and uninterrupted execution of this initial undertaking in pursuance of their world Mission. The coming two years must witness, fraught as they may well be with the greatest ordeal afflicting their countrymen, a manifestation of spiritual vitality and an output of heroic action, commensurate with the gravity and afflictions of the present hour, and worthy of the concluding years of the first Bahá’í century.

– 91 –

Ordeal Tests Spirit, Challenges Audacity

5 February 1942

IMMERSION MATERIALLY MOST POWERFUL SPIRITUALLY MOST ENDOWED NATION IN MANKIND’S MOST CRITICAL PREGNANT ORDEAL TESTS SPIRIT CHALLENGES AUDACITY PROMOTERS DIVINE PLAN. PRIVILEGES CONFERRED IMMEASURABLE. TIME THEIR DISPOSAL HOURLY SHORTENING. RESPONSIBILITIES COMMENSURATELY MOUNTING. FIRST FRUITS ALREADY GARNERED UNBELIEVABLY RICH. BAHÁ’Í WORLD’S ATTENTION FOCUSED WINNERS SUCH PRIZES MORE FIRMLY FIXED. SISTER COMMUNITIES EUROPEAN CONTINENT ENGULFED SEVERED WORLD CENTER FAITH. OTHER COMMUNITIES AUSTRALIA INDIA PERSIA EGYPT NOT EXCEPTING HOLY LAND FACING INCREASINGLY GRAVE SITUATION. ENVIABLE NORTH AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY MUST, SUPPORTED BY DAUGHTER ASSEMBLIES WESTERN HEMISPHERE, HOLD FORT ALONE IF NECESSARY. PROMPTED DIRECT SPECIAL ATTENTION BÁB’S CLARION CALL ADDRESSED PEOPLE WEST ISSUE FORTH THEIR CITIES AID CAUSE, BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SUBSEQUENT SPECIFIC UNIQUE SUMMONS ALL PRESIDENTS REPUBLICS NEW WORLD, ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S STILL MORE SPECIFIC FORMULATION PLAN ENTRUSTED NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT. IMPELLED URGE ALL BELIEVERS GIVE HENCEFORTH URGENT SUSTAINED PRIMARY CONSIDERATION ALL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS SUMMER SCHOOL SESSIONS CONVENTION DELIBERATIONS NINETEEN DAY FEASTS REGIONAL CONFERENCES TEACHING GATHERINGS SPEEDY ACCOMPLISHMENT SPECIFIC TEACHING TASKS NORTH AMERICAN STATES PROVINCES CENTRAL SOUTHERN REPUBLICS. SEVENTH YEAR FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY WITNESSED TERMINATION LAST OF THREE SUCCESSIVE UPHEAVALS INVOLVING SACRIFICE LIVES MAJORITY DAWN-BREAKERS HEROIC AGE. CAN SACRIFICE HOME POSSESSIONS COMFORT SECURITY BY THEIR DESCENDANTS CHAMPION BUILDERS FORMATIVE AGE BE DEEMED TOO GREAT FOR SAKE PLAN ASSOCIATED WITH LAST SEVEN YEARS SAME CENTURY AND WHOSE UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS CAN ALONE BEFITTINGLY CROWN IT?

– 92 –

The American Believers’ Supreme, Remaining Responsibility

12 March 1942

OVERBURDENED MIND RELIEVED SADDENED HEART COMFORTED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY’S HIGH RESOLVE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S DUAL DECISION CONSUMMATE EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION AUTHORIZE CONSTRUCTION STEPS MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR. UNDISMAYED VASTNESS UNFINISHED TASKS UNDAUNTED PHYSICAL OBSTACLES RAISED WORLD ENCIRCLING CONFLICT FORTIFIED CONSCIOUSNESS PAST VICTORIES SPURRED ON URGENCY SOLEMNITY HOUR UNDEFLECTED MACHINATIONS FAITHLESSNESS BREAKERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S COVENANTS AMERICAN BELIEVERS MUST UNANIMOUSLY PLEDGE THEMSELVES SUBORDINATE EVERY ACTIVITY CANALIZE EVERY RESOURCE EXERT EVERY OUNCE EFFORT ENSURE BEFITTING DISCHARGE SUPREME ONE REMAINING RESPONSIBILITY CARRY LIGHT FAITH CAST ANCHOR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER EVERY CANADIAN PROVINCE EVERY NORTH AMERICAN STATE EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA. CONCOURSE ON HIGH APPLAUD BLESS ENVY MISSION FALLEN LOT SUCH STALWART CHAMPIONS LABORING SO ABLY VALIANTLY FOR SO MIGHTY CAUSE UNDER SUCH TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCES IN SO PROMISING FIELD AT SO SIGNIFICANT PERIOD BAHÁ’Í HISTORY.

– 93 –

Impelled to Deputize Five Members

Message to 1942 Convention

25 April 1942

LAST PHASE SEVEN YEAR PLAN SO AUSPICIOUSLY BEGUN SO VIGOROUSLY PROSECUTED OPENING. FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY FAST RUNNING OUT. AGONIES TRAVAILING AGE INEXORABLY CULMINATING. BÁB’S STIRRING UNIQUE INJUNCTION DIRECTING PEOPLES WEST LEAVE THEIR CITIES ENSURE TRIUMPH DIVINE CAUSE RECORDED CENTURY AGO QAYYÚMU’L-ASMÁ’. BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SIGNIFICANT SUMMONS CALLING UPON ALL PRESIDENTS REPUBLICS WESTERN HEMISPHERE CHAMPION CAUSE JUSTICE ISSUED SEVENTY YEARS AGO HIS MOST HOLY BOOK. BROAD OUTLINES ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S MATCHLESS DESIGN CONCEIVED TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO BENEFIT NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS TRANSMITTED POSTERITY TABLETS DIVINE PLAN. SEVEN-YEAR ENTERPRISE REGARDED INITIAL STAGE EXECUTION WORLD MISSION ALREADY LAUNCHED. GIGANTIC TEMPLE UNDERTAKING CONSTITUTING MAJOR OBLIGATION THIS ENTERPRISE VIRTUALLY CONSUMMATED. VAST INTERCONTINENTAL TEACHING CAMPAIGN VISIBLY YIELDING FIRST FRUITS EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA. UPON CRUCIAL YEAR AHEAD HINGE FORTUNES HISTORIC CRUSADE. FROM ALASKA TO CHILE AMERICAS ASTIR LEAVENING INFLUENCES RISING ORDER NEWBORN REVELATION. GREAT REPUBLIC WEST INESCAPABLY SWEPT SWELLING TIDE WORLD TRIBULATIONS PRESAGING ASSUMPTION PREPONDERATING SHARE ESTABLISHMENT ANTICIPATED LESSER PEACE. INVISIBLE HOSTS MARSHALED EAGER RUSH FORTH CROWN EVERY EFFORT HOWEVER HUMBLE HOWEVER BELATED EXERTED SPEED UNFINISHED TASKS PLAN. AGAIN RENEW PLEA CLOSER COMMUNION SPIRIT BAHÁ’U’LLÁH MORE PASSIONATE RESOLVE MORE ABUNDANT FLOW MATERIAL RESOURCES WIDER DISPERSION INTENSER CONCENTRATION BY STILL GREATER NUMBER PIONEERS SETTLERS ITINERANT TEACHERS ENSURE FOR PLAN TERMINATION COMMENSURATE WONDROUS EXPLOITS MARKING OPENING DECADE FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. MYSELF DEPRIVED PERSONAL PARTICIPATION TASK ALLOTTED PROSECUTORS EPOCH-MAKING PLAN IMPELLED DEPUTIZE FIVE MEMBERS AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY HELP FULFILL MY BEHALF WHATEVER PIONEER FIELD MOST VITAL ITS URGENT REQUIREMENTS. PLEDGING FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ACCOMPLISHMENT THIS PURPOSE.

– 94 –

The Seven Year Plan

26 May 1942

Viewed in the perspective of Bahá’í history, the Seven Year Plan, associated with the closing years of the First Bahá’í Century, will come to be regarded as the mightiest instrument yet forged, designed to enable the trustees of a firmly established, steadily evolving Administrative Order to complete the initial stage in the prosecution of the world mission confidently entrusted by the Center of the Covenant to His chosen disciples. The Divine Plan, thus set in operation, may be said to have derived its inspiration from, and been dimly foreshadowed in, the injunction so significantly addressed by Bahá’u’lláh to the Chief Magistrates of the American continent. It was prompted by the contact established by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself, in the course of His historic journey, with the entire body of His followers throughout the United States and Canada. It was conceived, soon after that contact was established, in the midst of what was then held to be one of the most devastating crises in human history. It underwent a period of incubation, after His ascension, while the machinery of a divinely appointed Administrative Order was being laboriously devised and its processes set in motion. Its initial operations were providentially made to synchronize with the final years of a century that witnessed the birth and rise of a Faith of which it is the direct consequence. The opening stage in its execution has been faced by, and will survive, the severe challenge of a crisis of still greater magnitude than that which baptized its birth. The conclusion of the first phase of its tremendous and irresistible unfoldment is now approaching. The hopes and aspirations of a multitude of believers, in both the East and the West, young and old, whether free or suppressed, hang on its triumphant consummation. The Temple itself, that fair incarnation of the soul of an unconquerable Faith, and the first fruit of the Plan now set in motion, stands, in its silent beauty, ready to reinforce the strenuous endeavors of its prosecutors. Towering in grandeur and resplendent in its majesty it calls aloud incessantly for a greater, a far greater, number of pioneers who, both at home and in foreign fields, will scatter to sow the Divine seeds and gather the harvest into its gates. The Author of the Plan Himself, looking down from His retreats above, and surveying the prodigious labors of His defeatless disciples, voices, with even greater insistence, the same call. The time in which to respond to it is relentlessly shortening. Let men of action seize their chance ere the swiftly passing days place it irretrievably beyond their reach.

– 95 –

Imperative Need for Multiplication of Pioneers

8 June 1942

HEART AGLOW PRIDE GRATITUDE FORMATION TEN ASSEMBLIES LATIN AMERICA ESTABLISHMENT FOURTEEN ADDITIONAL ASSEMBLIES UNITED STATES CANADA. HOWEVER MUCH ELATED REFUSE BELIEVE STOUTHEARTED FAR-SIGHTED STERNLY RESOLVED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WILL BE WILLING REST AT SO CRITICAL JUNCTURE LAURELS TOILSOMELY DESERVEDLY WON. SPURRED NEWLY ACHIEVED VICTORIES ROUSED SIGHT PROGRESSIVE RESTRICTION TEACHING FIELD EASTERN HEMISPHERE GALVANIZED CEASELESS ASSAULTS DELUDED ADVERSARIES DAUNTLESS DEFENDERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S INDESTRUCTIBLE COVENANT NEW WORLD MUST, WILL ARISE ENSURE FURTHER DEPLOYMENT FORCES PIONEER FRONT EXTENDING LENGTH BREADTH AMERICAS. IMMEDIATE UNPRECEDENTED MULTIPLICATION PIONEERS IMPERATIVE. EXTENSION FACILITIES CONSTANT ENCOURAGEMENT BY ALL ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES URGENTLY REQUIRED. NOTHING SHORT PROMPT WIDE SYSTEMATIC SUSTAINED DISPERSION CAN PROPERLY SAFEGUARD FRUITS PAST LABORS SACRIFICES CAN COMPENSATE DISABILITIES AFFLICTING INCAPACITATED COMMUNITIES OTHER CONTINENTS CAN ADEQUATELY FULFILL PURPOSE FOR WHICH ENTIRE ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY PAINSTAKINGLY FASHIONED CAN CONCLUSIVELY CONFOUND MACHINATIONS CONTEMPTIBLE ENEMIES CAN SUBSTANTIALLY REINFORCE IMPETUS ALREADY IMPARTED PIONEER ACTIVITIES ORIENTAL BELIEVERS CAN SUFFICIENTLY EMPOWER AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS DISCHARGE PARAMOUNT OBLIGATION CONTRIBUTE FULFILLMENT AMERICA’S SPIRITUAL DESTINY OR CAN PRECIPITATE FLOW SPIRITUAL ENERGIES ENABLING SOUL COMMUNITY AND INDIVIDUALS COMPRISING IT DRAW NIGH IMBIBE SPIRIT BAHÁ’U’LLÁH PROVE WORTHY UNTOLD BLESSINGS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ HAND DOWN UNIMPAIRED FUTURE GENERATIONS TORCH TRANSMITTED THEM HEROIC SPIRITUAL PREDECESSORS PERSIA. EAGERLY PRAYERFULLY AWAITING STILL MORE COMPELLING MANIFESTATIONS INVINCIBLE VALOR EXECUTORS DIVINE MANDATE NOW APPROACHING FATEFUL MILESTONE BAHÁ’Í HISTORY.

– 96 –

Consecrated to Teaching Tasks

17 June 1942

The completion of the Temple should, and I feel confident will, release tremendous and unprecedented forces of spiritual energy destined to be wholly consecrated to the teaching tasks now confronting the American believers. The concentrated, the sustained, and undivided attention of the individual believers and all Bahá’í agencies, local, regional, as well as national, should be directed to the attainment of this supreme, this shining goal. The increase in the number of pioneers, of every class, race, age and outlook, is the vital need of the present hour. May the Beloved bless richly and continually this mighty and glorious endeavor.

– 97 –

The Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Jalíl Bey Sa‘d

25 June 1942

‘ABDU’L-JALÍL BEY SA‘D ABU’L-FAḌL’S MOST RENOWNED DISCIPLE FOREMOST CHAMPION FAITH EGYPT, OUTSTANDING BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATOR BRILLIANT AUTHOR, INDEFATIGABLE TEACHER ASCENDED ABHÁ KINGDOM LOSS IRREPARABLE HEARTS GRIEF-STRICKEN. ADVISE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERING TEMPLE TO ASSOCIATE AMERICAN BELIEVERS UNIVERSAL MOURNING DISTINGUISHED HAND CAUSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.59

– 98 –

A Befitting Climax

15 August 1942

I am thrilled with admiration as I contemplate, at this advanced stage in the unfoldment of the Seven Year Plan, the vastness of the field already covered by the pioneer activities of its stalwart and valiant prosecutors. The heights of heroic self-sacrifice to which they have attained, the depths of faith and devotion they have plumbed in the course of their ceaseless exertions are no less noteworthy than the immensity of the task they have already performed. An effort so prodigious, a mission so sublime, a solidarity so truly remarkable, an achievement which in its scope and quality stands unparalleled in American Bahá’í history, provide a befitting climax to the century-old record of magnificent accomplishments associated with the rise and progress of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Such a glorious century, so unique in the annals of mankind’s spiritual history, is, however, not yet completed. The gigantic enterprises which the American believers are pledged to consummate are as yet but partially concluded. The remaining two years must witness an intensification of Bahá’í activity, throughout the entire Western Hemisphere, on such a scale as to eclipse the splendor of all past achievements, and worthily crown this initial phase in the progressive evolution of the Divine Plan. An unprecedented multiplication in the number of pioneer teachers and settlers; an unexampled flow of material resources for their maintenance and the extension of their labors; a still wider dissemination of Bahá’í literature, to aid and support them in their presentation of the Faith to Latin American peoples; an immediate increase in the number of groups and Assemblies in the states and provinces of North America; an increased awareness on the part of all believers, whether in the North or in the South, whether newly enrolled or of old standing in the Faith, that every one of them shares, vitally and directly and without any exception, in the responsibility for the successful prosecution of the Plan; a still firmer resolution not to allow a world-convulsing conflict, with its attendant miseries, perils, dislocations, and anxieties, to deflect them from their course or distract their attention—these are the crying needs of this critical, this challenging, this swiftly passing hour. To exploit its possibilities, to meet its challenge, to grasp its implications, is the manifest, the inescapable and urgent duty of every member of the Bahá’í communities now laboring so assiduously in the Western Hemisphere. May the cumulative effect of their concentrated and sustained labors shed further luster on the concluding years of this, the first century of the Bahá’í Era.

– 99 –

Supremely Urgent Call

21 September 1942

FATE SEVEN YEAR PLAN PERILOUSLY HANGING BALANCE. PIVOTAL YEAR, BORN AMIDST HIGH HOPES UNPRECEDENTED UPSURGE UNBREAKABLE SPIRIT AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY, ALREADY HALF SPENT. OBSTACLES, ENGENDERED BY STEADILY DEEPENING, WORLD-CONVULSING CONFLICT, HOURLY INCREASING. MOVED PLEAD AFRESH IMMEDIATE MULTIPLICATION PIONEERS IN TEACHING FIELD, NORTH, SOUTH, SCALE FAR SURPASSING ANYTHING HITHERTO CONTEMPLATED. PRESENT TEMPO TEACHING ACTIVITIES CLEARLY INSUFFICIENT ENSURE DEFINITIVE, ALL-EMBRACING VICTORY. IMPELLED BY EXTREME GRAVITY SWIFTLY PASSING HOUR ADDRESS APPEAL INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, ASSEMBLIES, EMBRACE IRREVOCABLE RESOLUTION, GIRD THEMSELVES SUPERHUMAN EFFORT, AND DEPUTIZE PIONEERS, WHATEVER COST, HOWEVER INADEQUATE QUALIFICATIONS, FOR IMMEDIATE SETTLEMENT AREAS NEEDING ASSISTANCE. STRICTEST ECONOMY ALL ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS HENCEFORTH IMPERATIVE. STILL MORE ABUNDANT FLOW RESOURCES NATIONAL FUND, INVOLVING STILL NOBLER SELF-SACRIFICE, DEMANDED. DEFINITE REMOVAL EVERY RESTRICTION, EXTENSION EVERY FACILITY, ENCOURAGEMENT PROSPECTIVE SETTLERS URGED. ADVERSARIES FAITH JEALOUSLY VIGILANT. SISTER COMMUNITIES WATCHING ANXIOUS SUSPENSE BEHOLD BEFITTING CONSUMMATION AMERICA’S EPOCH-MAKING ACHIEVEMENTS. SWIFT ACTION, BOLDLY CONCEIVED, UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED, SYSTEMATICALLY CONDUCTED, CAN ALONE RETRIEVE PRESENT SITUATION. TIME TOO SHORT, CONDITIONS TOO CRITICAL, NEED TOO GREAT, OPPORTUNITY TOO PRECIOUS, ISSUES AT STAKE TOO MOMENTOUS TO JUSTIFY SLIGHTEST COMPLACENCY, ALLOW LEAST RELAXATION STUPENDOUS EXERTIONS REQUIRED SEAL TRIUMPH GREATEST COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISE LAUNCHED DURING FIFTY YEARS AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY. PRAYERFULLY, LONGINGLY AWAITING DECISIVE ANSWER, AT THIS LATE HOUR, SUPREMELY URGENT CALL.

– 100 –

Acclaim with Grateful Heart

25 November 1942

ACCLAIM WITH GRATEFUL HEART ON TWENTY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S ASCENSION GLORIOUS EMERGENCE FIRMLY WELDED INCORRUPTIBLE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY FROM SEVEREST CRISIS SINCE HIS PASSING WHICH BLINDNESS BREAKERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S AND ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S COVENANTS HAS AMIDST HIS KINDRED AND IN CITY COVENANT60 RECENTLY TRAGICALLY PRECIPITATED. POSTERITY WILL UNHESITATINGLY RECOGNIZE SO SPONTANEOUS SHINING STIRRING DEMONSTRATION FIDELITY ALIKE TO LORD OF COVENANT AND ITS CENTER AS VICTORY MORE CONSPICUOUS MORE ENDURING MORE MOMENTOUS THAN ANY TRIUMPHS HOWEVER NOTABLE WHICH STANDARD-BEARERS ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER CHAMPION-BUILDERS TEMPLE STALWART EXECUTORS DIVINE PLAN HAVE ACHIEVED OR MAY YET ACHIEVE CLOSING YEARS EXPIRING FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. NURSED SINCE BIRTH LOVE UNFAILING SOLICITUDE CENTER COVENANT TORCHBEARER DIVINE ORDER RECOGNIZED AS CHILD THAT COVENANT VANGUARD HOST DESTINED DIFFUSE LIGHT THAT SAME COVENANT OVER FACE ENTIRE GLOBE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY NOW ASSUMING RIGHTFUL PLACE FOREFRONT WORLDWIDE LOYAL UNBREACHABLE SPIRITUAL ARMY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH PREPARING BOTH EAST WEST LAUNCH STILL GREATER CAMPAIGNS SCALE LOFTIER HEIGHTS DAWNING SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

– 101 –

The Immortal Lua

21 December 1942

IMMORTAL LUA61 MOTHER TEACHER AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY HERALD OF DAWN DAY COVENANT CEREMONIOUSLY REVERENTLY TRANSFERRED BY EGYPTIAN BRETHREN REPRESENTING LOCAL BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES IMMEDIATE VICINITY GRAVE FAR-FAMED ABU’L-FAḌL IN NEWLY ESTABLISHED BAHÁ’Í CEMETERY CAIRO. ISMÁ‘ÍLÍYYIH BELIEVERS TOGETHER ASSEMBLY DELEGATES EGYPT HELD INAUGURAL CEREMONY SECOND BAHÁ’Í CEMETERY ALLOCATED BY EGYPTIAN AUTHORITIES. SACRED RIGHTS PERSECUTED EXPELLED COMMUNITY REPEATEDLY DENIED LEGITIMATE BURIAL NOW VINDICATED. PROGRESSIVE EMANCIPATION FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH TRADITIONAL SHACKLES RELIGIOUS ORTHODOXY INCREASINGLY EVIDENT HUMBLY GRATEFULLY RECOGNIZED BY FOLLOWERS FAITH WORLD OVER.

– 102 –

Magnificent Response to Teaching Appeal

23 December 1942

JUST INFORMED BY MAIL MAGNIFICENT RESPONSE AMERICAN BELIEVERS MY RECENT TEACHING APPEAL. CONVEY PIONEERS NEWLY LAUNCHED SACRIFICIAL CAMPAIGN ASSURANCE INEXPRESSIBLE GRATITUDE. AREA UNFINISHED TASKS VISIBLY DIMINISHING AS BAHÁ’Í CENTURY SPEEDS TO CLOSE. URGE EVERY HESITANT BELIEVER HOWEVER UNPREPARED INEXPERIENCED AUDACIOUSLY ARISE DETERMINEDLY PRESS FORWARD NOBLY PERSEVERE REINFORCE RANKS TRAILBREAKERS FORMATIVE AGE FAITH NOW UNITEDLY ARISEN SEAL TRIUMPH INITIAL UNDERTAKING MARKING OPENING PHASE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DIVINE PLAN.

– 103 –

The Unfinished Tasks

8 January 1943

The recent response of the American friends to my appeal for pioneers to go forth and settle in virgin territories and places where the need is greatest has raised a load from my heart, and mightily reinforced the hopes and expectations which their past achievements have aroused within me. We stand at the threshold of the last year of the first Bahá’í century. The unfinished tasks, however much they have been reduced, are still formidable. The Temple is as yet unfinished. The initiation of a nationwide publicity campaign, intelligently directed and energetically pursued, utilizing to the full the advantages gained in recent years in so many fields of Bahá’í activity still remains to be undertaken. Measures for a befitting celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Faith must be carefully considered and duly executed. The aims and purposes of our beloved Cause, the achievements of its heroes, martyrs, teachers, pioneers, and administrators, the unity of its followers, the character of the institutions they have reared, should, one and all, be ably presented, widely broadcast, carefully explained in publications, through the radio and the press. There is no time to lose. A great responsibility rests on the elected representatives of the most envied community in the Bahá’í world, whose advantages are unique, whose capacities are incomparable, whose vision, courage, tenacity, resolution and loyalty are exemplary, and which has amply demonstrated its worthiness to be the recipient of the countless favors showered upon it by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and of the specific bounty conferred upon the rulers and presidents of the continent of which it is a part by no one less than Bahá’u’lláh Himself, in His Most Holy Book. To His “Apostles,” as testified by the Center of His Covenant, I direct my fervent plea that they establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt in these concluding months of the first Bahá’í century, their indisputable right to be designated by so exalted a title, and vindicate their ability to execute the mission with which that title has invested them.

– 104 –

Completion of Temple Exterior

13 January 1943

HEART AGLOW PRIDE LOVE GRATITUDE SUPERB ACHIEVEMENT COMPLETION EXTERIOR HOUSE WORSHIP MOTHER TEMPLE WEST. BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S HIGH BEHEST ENSHRINED HIS MOST HOLY BOOK BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED. THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD ENTERPRISE INITIATED SAME DAY BÁB’S SACRED REMAINS TRANSLATED MOUNT CARMEL TRIUMPHANTLY CONSUMMATED. UNIQUE EDIFICE SINGLED OUT CONSECRATION HANDS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ NOBLY REARED. GREATEST HOLY LEAF’S LAST ARDENT WISH BEFITTINGLY FULFILLED. CONCOURSE ON HIGH JUBILANT. MYSELF BOW HEAD JOYOUS REVERENT RECOGNITION PRODIGIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT DESERVES RANK AMONG OUTSTANDING ENTERPRISES LAUNCHED HEROIC AGE AND MOST SIGNAL VICTORY WON SINCE INCEPTION FORMATIVE PERIOD BAHÁ’Í DISPENSATION.

– 105 –

His Services Unforgettable

17 January 1943

ASSURE RELATIVES MATHEW KASZAB HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES PROFOUND SYMPATHY LOSS HEROIC PIONEER. HIS SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE ABUNDANTLY REWARDED. LOVING PRAYERS.

– 106 –

Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb

27 February 1943

HIGHLY APPROVE MEMORANDUM REGARDING SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION.62 ADVISE YOUR ASSEMBLY UNDERTAKE PREPARATION IMMEDIATELY. PRAYING DIVINE GUIDANCE HISTORIC TASK. CENTENARY CELEBRATION SHOULD BE HELD CONJUNCTION ANNUAL CONVENTION MAY 1944.

– 107 –

Call for Immediate Increase in Pioneers, Settlers in Virgin Areas

12 March 1943

OVERJOYED MULTIPLYING EVIDENCES EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESS MANIFOLD ACTIVITIES CONSECRATED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY. PLEAD AFRESH EVE LAST REMAINING YEAR FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY STRAIN EVERY NERVE CONCENTRATE ALL RESOURCES ENSURE FURTHER IMMEDIATE INCREASE NUMBER PIONEERS SETTLERS VIRGIN AREAS. CALL URGENT, HOUR CRUCIAL, GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES SLIPPING AWAY. NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT ACHIEVE CONSUMMATION HOPES EMBODIED SEVEN YEAR PLAN. DIRECT SPECIAL APPEAL LARGE FLOURISHING COMMUNITIES PROMPTLY EFFECTUALLY CAST WEIGHT SCALES STIMULATE DISPERSION VITALLY REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE FINAL VICTORY. PRAYING WATCHFUL MASTER SPEED VALIANT STEWARDS COVENANT PATH LEADING SHINING GOAL.

– 108 –

So Meritorious an Undertaking

28 March 1943

The completion of the exterior ornamentation of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Wilmette, the most hallowed Temple ever to be erected by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh and the crowning glory of the first Bahá’í century, is an event of unique and transcendental significance. Neither the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Bahá’í world, reared in the City of ‘Ishqábád, nor any House of Worship to be raised in succeeding centuries, can claim to possess the vast, the immeasurable potentialities with which this Mother Temple of the West, established in the very heart of so enviable a continent, and whose foundation stone has been laid by the hand of the Center of the Covenant Himself, has been endowed. Conceived forty years ago by that little band of far-sighted and resolute disciples of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, members of the first Bahá’í community established in the Western Hemisphere; blessed and fostered by a vigilant Master Who directed its course from the hour of its inception to the last days of His life; supported by the spontaneous contributions of Bahá’ís poured in from the five continents of the globe; this noble, this mighty, this magnificent enterprise deserves to rank among the immortal epics that have adorned the annals of the Apostolic Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The debt of gratitude owed by the entire Bahá’í world to its champion builders is indeed immeasurable. The admiration which this brilliant exploit has evoked in the breasts of countless followers of the Faith in East and West knows no bounds. The creative energies its completion must unleash are incalculable. The role it is destined to play in hastening the emergence of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, now stirring in the womb of this travailing age, cannot as yet be fathomed. We stand too close to so majestic, so lofty, so radiant, so symbolic a monument raised so heroically to the glory of the Most Great Name, at so critical a stage in human history, and at so significant a spot in a continent so richly endowed, to be able to visualize the future glories which the consummation of this institution, this Harbinger of an as yet unborn civilization, must in the fullness of time disclose to the eyes of all mankind.

That so laborious, so meritorious, an undertaking has been completed a year before its appointed time is a further cause for rejoicing and gratitude and an added testimony to the vision, the resourcefulness, and enterprising spirit of the American believers.

No need, however, to dwell at length on their past achievements, remarkable and exemplary though they have been, nor is this the time to expatiate on the superb spirit that has characterized their stewardship in the service of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Tasks, of extreme urgency, of great magnitude, of the utmost significance, await them in this concluding year of the first Bahá’í century, and at this hour of great peril, of stress and trial for all mankind. The sacred, the pressing, the inescapable teaching responsibilities, assumed under the Seven Year Plan, must be resolutely faced as befits those whose record has shed so brilliant a light on the annals of the first Bahá’í century. The consolidation of each and every nucleus, formed so painstakingly in every Republic of Central and South America, the formation of a Bahá’í Assembly in every virgin state and province in the North American continent, call for undivided attention, for further heroism, for a concerted, a persistent, and herculean effort on the part of the stalwart builders of that beauteous Edifice which posterity will recognize as the greatest shrine in the Western world.

Nor must the elaborate preparations in connection with the forthcoming celebration of the centenary of our glorious Faith be overlooked or neglected, if we would befittingly consummate this first, this most fecund, century of the Bahá’í Era. An unprecedented, a carefully conceived, efficiently coordinated, nationwide campaign, aiming at the proclamation of the message of Bahá’u’lláh, through speeches, articles in the press, and radio broadcasts, should be promptly initiated and vigorously prosecuted. The universality of the Faith, its aims and purposes, episodes in its dramatic history, testimonials to its transforming power, and the character and distinguishing features of its World Order should be emphasized and explained to the general public, and particularly to eminent friends and leaders sympathetic to its cause, who should be approached and invited to participate in the celebrations. Lectures, conferences, banquets, special publications should, to whatever extent is practicable and according to the resources at the disposal of the believers, proclaim the character of this joyous Festival. An All-America Convention, at which representatives of Bahá’í centers in every republic in Central and South America will be invited to participate and, to which, for the first time, all isolated believers, all groups, and all communities already possessing Local Spiritual Assemblies, will have the right to appoint delegates and to share in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly, will moreover have to be held to commemorate this epoch-making event. A dedication ceremony, in consonance with the solemnity of the occasion, and held beneath the dome of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár on the very day and at the very hour of the Báb’s historic Declaration, followed by a public session, consecrated to the memory of both the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, should constitute the leading features of this historic Convention.

For it should be borne in mind that in the year 1944 we celebrate not only the termination of the first century of the Bahá’í Era, but also the centenary of the birth of the Bábí Dispensation, of the inception of the Bahá’í cycle, and of the birth of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and commemorate as well the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith in the western world.63

No effort nor any sacrifice can be deemed too great to ensure the decisive, the brilliant success of the celebrations which this historic year, of such manifold significance, must witness. He Who in the past has, in divers ways and on so many occasions, graciously and unfailingly guided, blessed, and sustained the members of this privileged community will, no doubt, continue to aid and inspire them to carry to a victorious conclusion the unfinished tasks which still confront them, and will enable them to crown their labors in a manner that will befit their high destiny.

– 109 –

All-America Centennial Convention

Message to 1943 Convention

14 April 1943

DESIRE ANNOUNCE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES VALIANT BLESSED TRIUMPHANT AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY ASSEMBLED BENEATH DOME RECENTLY COMPLETED MOTHER TEMPLE WEST ON OCCASION CONVENTION INAUGURATING HUNDREDTH YEAR FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY MOMENTOUS DECISION CONVENE MAY 1944 ALL-AMERICA CENTENNIAL CONVENTION COMPRISING DELEGATES TO BE SEPARATELY ELECTED BY EACH STATE PROVINCE IN NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT AND TO WHICH EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA MAY SEND ONE REPRESENTATIVE. ALL GROUPS ALL ISOLATED BELIEVERS AS WELL AS ALL LOCAL COMMUNITIES ALREADY POSSESSING ASSEMBLIES WILL HENCEFORTH SHARE IN ELECTION CONVENTION DELEGATES. MULTIPLICATION BAHÁ’Í CENTERS AND REMARKABLE INCREASE NUMBERS GROUPS ISOLATED BELIEVERS PROMPT MY DECISION. HISTORIC OCCASION NEXT YEAR’S FESTIVITIES COMMEMORATING ALIKE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY BIRTH FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY ITS ESTABLISHMENT WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND CELEBRATING COMPLETION EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION FIRST HOUSE WORSHIP WESTERN WORLD IMPERATIVELY DEMAND IT. DETAILS PROJECT ALREADY MAILED. CONGRATULATE BEST BELOVED AMERICAN BELIEVERS SHARE THEIR JOY WISH THEM GODSPEED CONFIDENT STILL GREATER VICTORIES AS THEY FORGE AHEAD COURSE SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY ALONG PATH LEADING THEM HIGH DESTINY. HOPE FORWARD IN TIME FOR SOLEMN THANKSGIVING SERVICE TO BE HELD IN AUDITORIUM TEMPLE EVENING MAY TWENTY-SECOND HOUR EPOCH-MAKING DECLARATION SACRED PORTRAIT BÁB ONLY COPY EVER SENT OUT FROM HOLY LAND TO BE UNVEILED DEDICATION CEREMONY AND REPOSE FOR ALL TIME TOGETHER WITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S BLESSED HAIR BENEATH DOME HOLY EDIFICE WITHIN HEART NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT.64

– 110 –

Eleventh Hour of Seven Year Plan

22 April 1943

ELEVENTH HOUR SEVEN YEAR PLAN HAS STRUCK. LAST TWELVEMONTH FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY OPENING. EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION MIGHTIEST STRUCTURE REARED GLORY FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH CONSUMMATED A YEAR AHEAD SCHEDULE. REPUBLICS CENTRAL SOUTH AMERICA ORIGINALLY EXPECTED EACH ESTABLISH NO MORE THAN A SINGLE NUCLEUS RESIDENT BELIEVERS ALREADY BOAST FORMATION TEN SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES. HOPES CENTERING MAJOR TASKS PLAN AMPLY FULFILLED NAY EXCEEDED. NEITHER CONVULSIONS WORLD CATASTROPHIC CONFLICT FROM WITHOUT NOR SEVERITY TESTS ENGENDERED COVENANT-BREAKERS FROM WITHIN PROVED ABLE DIVERT AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CHOSEN COURSE OR DIM RADIANT FAITH OR DEFLECT HIGH PURPOSE. ONE REMAINING TASK CONFRONTING IT IN VIRGIN AREAS NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT DEMANDS ONE LAST SUPREME EFFORT HARNESS AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACHIEVE TOTAL VICTORY. HOUR REQUIRES ALL RANKS FAITHFUL UNITEDLY ARISE WIDELY DISPERSE SPEEDILY SETTLE TIRELESSLY PERSEVERE UNSTINTINGLY SACRIFICE DESERVEDLY WIN IMMORTAL PRIZE SEAL TRIUMPH INITIAL STAGE PLAN BEQUEATHED AMERICAN BELIEVERS BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ QUARTER CENTURY AGO.

– 111 –

Completion and Dedication of Maxwell Memorial

12 May 1943

DELIGHTED COMPLETION DEDICATION MAXWELL MEMORIAL65 SYMBOLIC ACT NOBLY CONSUMMATED CONVEY BUENOS AIRES ASSEMBLY CONGRATULATIONS GRATITUDE ASSURANCE LOVING PRAYERS SPIRITUAL PARTICIPATION HISTORIC CEREMONY. APPRECIATE PHOTOGRAPHS DEDICATION GATHERING.

– 112 –

Bahá’í Communities of East and West

25 May 1943

SUCCESSIVE REPORTS PROCLAIMING AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ BRILLIANT FEAT COMPLETION EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION TEMPLE HISTORIC EXPLOITS SPIRITUAL CONQUEST EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA AS WELL AS THEIR IMPENDING VICTORY THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT STRUCTURAL BASIS BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER VIRGIN STATES PROVINCES NORTH AMERICA THRILLING EASTERN COMMUNITIES BAHÁ’Í WORLD DELIGHT ADMIRATION WONDER. NINETY-FIVE PERSIAN FAMILIES EMULATING EXAMPLE AMERICAN TRAILBLAZERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH HAVE RECENTLY FORSAKEN HOMES FOLLOWED FOOTSTEPS PIONEERS ALREADY DEPARTED FROM PERSIA YEAR AGO HOIST ITS BANNER ADJOINING TERRITORIES AFGHANISTAN BALUCHISTAN SULAYMÁNÍYYIH ḤIJÁZ BAHRAIN ISLAND. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES FOUNDED KASHMIR VALLEY EXTREME NORTH MADRAS PRESIDENCY EXTREME SOUTH AS WELL AS HYDERABAD LEADING STRONGHOLD MUSLIM ORTHODOXY INDIA. NATIONAL BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS EGYPTIAN BELIEVERS NEARING COMPLETION. SIMILAR INSTITUTION PROCESS ESTABLISHMENT INDIA’S CAPITAL CITY DELHI. GUEST-HOUSE ADJUNCT NEWLY BUILT ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS BAHÁ’ÍS IRAQ CONSTRUCTED. BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES EAST WEST ARISING FOURTH YEAR DEVASTATING CONFLICT FULL STRENGTH THEIR UNDISRUPTIBLE SOLIDARITY RESOLVED WRITE THROUGH IMMORTAL DEEDS FURTHER GLORIOUS PAGES LAST CHAPTER FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. APPEAL STANDARD-BEARERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S EVER-ADVANCING ARMY SAFEGUARD SPIRITUAL PRIZES ALREADY WON MAINTAIN EVERY OUTPOST FAITH ESTABLISHED SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. ENTREAT EXERT STILL MORE MAGNIFICENT EFFORTS DISCHARGE BEFITTINGLY ONE REMAINING RESPONSIBILITY NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT.66 PRAYING ACHIEVEMENT RESOUNDING TOTAL VICTORY ALL AMERICAS THEREBY SEALING TRIUMPH FIRST STAGE DIVINE PLAN FOR WHOSE EXECUTION ENTIRE MACHINERY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WAS FOR NO LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS PATIENTLY LABORIOUSLY ERECTED.

– 113 –

The Passing of Mabel Ives

20 June 1943

PROFOUNDLY DEPLORE LOSS SELF-SACRIFICING DISTINGUISHED TEACHER FAITH MABEL IVES. HER MANIFOLD CONTRIBUTIONS TEACHING ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND SINCE INCEPTION SEVEN YEAR PLAN OUTSTANDING MEMORABLE HIGHLY MERITORIOUS. ASSURE DAUGHTER DEEPEST LOVING SYMPATHY PRAYERS. ABIDING FELICITY CROWNING NOBLE LABORS.

– 114 –

The Formation of Local Spiritual Assemblies

22 June 1943

INFORM BELIEVERS LOCAL ASSEMBLIES MAY BE FORMED AS SOON AS NINE OR MORE BELIEVERS AVAILABLE WITHOUT POSTPONING ELECTION UNTIL APRIL IN ORDER SPEED STIMULATE TEACHING WORK LAST YEAR FIRST CENTURY.

– 115 –

Centenary Celebration

30 June 1943

GREATLY REJOICE VIGOROUS MANIFOLD MEASURES UNDERTAKEN ENSURE SUCCESS FORTHCOMING CELEBRATION. THOUGH PHYSICALLY ABSENT WILL PARTICIPATE IN SPIRIT REJOICING THANKSGIVING SIGNAL VICTORIES AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CROWNING FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

– 116 –

The Crowning Crusade

31 July 1943

AMERICAN BELIEVERS’ SEVEN-YEAR ENTERPRISE CONSECRATED SERVICE FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH DERIVING DIRECT INSPIRATION FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DIVINE PLAN LAUNCHED EVE WORLD CATASTROPHIC CONFLICT RECOGNIZED GREATEST COLLECTIVE UNDERTAKING IN ANNALS FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY RAPIDLY CULMINATING. SISTER COMMUNITIES PERSIA BRITISH ISLES EGYPT IRAQ INDIA SYRIA AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND MARVEL SCALE PRODIGIOUS LABORS AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY GRATEFULLY REJOICE ACCUMULATING EVIDENCES ITS INCOMPARABLE VICTORIES GALVANIZED INTO ACTION INSPIRED EMULATE ITS EXAMPLE. MULTIPLICATION BAHÁ’Í CENTERS RECENT YEARS BOTH EAST WEST ERECTION ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS PURCHASE HISTORIC SITES SETTLEMENT VIRGIN AREAS MIGRATION NEIGHBORING TERRITORIES ALL DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE POTENT IMPULSE COMMUNICATED THROUGH SUPERB ACTION INITIATED EXECUTED BY AMERICAN ADHERENTS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. INITIAL STAGES MOMENTOUS PLAN BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED. MOST FORMIDABLE OBSTACLES IMPEDING ITS PROGRESS COURAGEOUSLY FACED PROGRESSIVELY SWEPT AWAY. ITS FIRST FRUITS EXEMPLIFIED BY COMPLETION EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION TEMPLE AND FORMATION NUCLEUS FAITH EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA TRIUMPHANTLY GATHERED. PIVOTAL YEAR MARKING TURNING-POINT ITS FORTUNES IMMORTALIZED BY UNPARALLELED EXPLOIT FORMATION TWENTY-EIGHT ASSEMBLIES IN STATES PROVINCES NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT. RANGE UNFINISHED TASKS SWIFTLY DIMINISHING. TOTAL VICTORY WITHIN SIGHT SIX REMAINING VIRGIN AREAS ALASKA SASKATCHEWAN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND SOUTH CAROLINA NORTH SOUTH DAKOTA AS WELL AS INADEQUATELY REINFORCED REPUBLICS NICARAGUA SAN DOMINGO PARAGUAY BOLIVIA VENEZUELA PERU STILL DEMAND CONCENTRATED SUSTAINED ATTENTION NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SPEEDY ASSISTANCE NATIONAL TEACHING INTER-AMERICA COMMITTEES SYSTEMATIC SUPPORT ALL SUBSIDIARY AGENCIES BOTH REGIONAL LOCAL. GOAL CITIES AND FAR-OFF REPUBLICS CALLING FOR FRESH RECRUITS COMPLETE PIONEER ROLL OF HONOR. VETERAN BELIEVERS HOWEVER BRILLIANT THEIR RECORD NEOPHYTES HOWEVER LIMITED THEIR EXPERIENCE ALIKE SUMMONED AS FINAL HOUR APPROACHES RUSH FORTH LAST SUPREME EFFORTS BRIDGE REMAINING GAPS IN SPIRITUAL FRONT EXTENDING ENTIRE LENGTH WESTERN HEMISPHERE. ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING FRESH OUTPOURINGS SUSTAINING GRACE LORD HOSTS ENABLE STALWART WARRIORS BEFITTINGLY CONSUMMATE CROWNING CRUSADE FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA.

– 117 –

Preparations for the Centenary

8 August 1943

The latest evidences of the magnificent success that has marked the activities of the members of the American Bahá’í community have been such as to excite the brightest hopes for the victorious consummation of the collective undertaking they have so courageously launched and have so vigorously prosecuted in recent years. As the first Bahá’í Century approaches its end, the magnitude and quality of their achievements acquire added significance and shed increasing luster on its annals. The proceedings of the recently held annual Convention; the formation of twenty-eight Assemblies in the course of the year that has just elapsed; the splendid progress achieved in the inter-American field of Bahá’í activity; the superb spirit evinced by the pioneers holding their lonely posts in widely scattered areas throughout the Americas; the exemplary attitude shown by the entire body of the faithful towards the machinations of those who have so sedulously striven to disrupt the Faith and pervert its purpose—these have, to a marked degree, intensified the admiration of the Bahá’í communities for those who are contributing so outstanding a share to the enlargement of the limits, and the enhancement of the prestige of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The preparations which the American believers are undertaking for the celebration of the Centenary of the Faith must be such as to crown with immortal glory the fifty-year-long record of their stewardship in the service of that Faith. Such a celebration must, in its scope and magnificence, fully compensate for the disabilities which hinder so many Bahá’í communities in Europe and elsewhere, and even in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, from paying a befitting tribute to their beloved Faith at so glorious an hour in its history. The few remaining months of this century must witness a concentration of effort, a scale of achievement, a spirit of heroism that will outshine even the most daring exploits that have already immortalized the Seven Year Plan and covered with glory its valiant prosecutors. The plea I address to them, at this late hour, will, I am sure, meet with a response no less remarkable than their past reactions to the appeals I have felt impelled to make to them ever since the inception of the Plan. He Who at every stage of their collective enterprise has so abundantly blessed them will, no doubt, continue to vouchsafe His blessings until the seal of unqualified victory is set upon their epoch-making task.

– 118 –

The Beloved Faith Is Surging Forward

30 September 1943

HEART OVERFLOWING JOYOUS GRATITUDE MAGNIFICENT ADVANCE NUMEROUS SPHERES BAHÁ’Í ACTIVITY. FORMATION ASSEMBLIES FEW REMAINING AREAS NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT, CONSOLIDATION FOUNDATIONS NEWLY ESTABLISHED ASSEMBLIES AND PRESERVATION STATUS BAHÁ’Í CENTERS ALL REPUBLICS LATIN AMERICA IMPERATIVELY DEMAND VIGILANT CARE, CONCENTRATED ATTENTION, FURTHER SELF-SACRIFICE VANGUARD VALIANT ARMY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. BELOVED FAITH SURGING FORWARD ALL FRONTS. ITS UNDEFEATABLE, STALWART SUPPORTERS, BOTH TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS, STEELING THEMSELVES NOBLE TASKS, BRAVING ACUTE DANGERS, SWEEPING AWAY FORMIDABLE OBSTACLES, CAPTURING NEW HEIGHTS, FOUNDING MIGHTY INSTITUTIONS, WINNING FRESH RECRUITS, CONFOUNDING SCHEMES INSIDIOUS ENEMIES. AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY MUST, WILL, AT WHATEVER COST, DESPITE PRESSURE EVENTS DESOLATING WAR, MAINTAIN AMONG SISTER COMMUNITIES EXALTED STANDARD OF STEWARDSHIP INCONTESTABLY SET DURING CONCLUDING YEARS FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. CONFIDENT SPIRIT UNFALTERING RESOLUTION ANIMATING ITS MEMBERS, THEIR TENACIOUS VALOR, ELEVATED LOYALTY, NOBLENESS OF SPIRIT, MIGHTY PROWESS, WILL, ERE EXPIRY CENTURY, CROWN WITH COMPLETE VICTORY MONUMENTAL ENTERPRISES SUCCESSIVELY UNDERTAKEN COURSE FIFTY-YEAR EXISTENCE.

– 119 –

A Still More Compelling Display

16 November 1943

The vigorous action promptly taken by your Assembly to ensure the success of the forthcoming Centenary celebrations is highly commendable, and provides a fresh demonstration of the magnificent response made by the American believers to every call demanding renewed exertion on their part in the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. The progress recently achieved in building up Spiritual Assemblies in the virgin areas of the North American continent has been truly remarkable. To consummate so vast an enterprise, however, a still more compelling display of the vitality of the spirit animating the American Bahá’í community is required, a still greater concentration of effort is needed, an even more stirring evidence of the daring boldness of its members is imperative. Whoever will arise, in these concluding, fast-fleeting months of the last year of the first Bahá’í Century, to fill the remaining posts, and thereby set the seal of total victory on a Plan so pregnant with promise, will earn the lasting gratitude of the present generation of believers in both the East and the West, will merit the acclaim of posterity, will be vouchsafed the special benediction of the Concourse on High, and be made the recipient of the imperishable bounties of Him Who is the Divine Author of the Plan itself. Whoever will rush forth, at this eleventh hour, and cast his weight into the scales, and contribute his decisive share to so gigantic, so sacred and historic an undertaking, will have not only helped to seal the triumph of the Plan itself but will also have notably participated in the fulfillment of what may be regarded as the crowning act of an entire century. The opportunity that presents itself at this crucial hour is precious beyond expression. The blessings destined to flow from a victory so near at hand are rich beyond example. One final surge of that indomitable spirit that has carried the American Bahá’í community to such heights is all that is required, as the first Bahá’í Century speeds to a close, to release the flow of those blessings that must signalize the termination of the first, and usher in the dawn of the second, Bahá’í Century.

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Progress of Teaching Campaign and Pioneer Activities

11 December 1943

EXTREMELY DELIGHTED NEWS PROGRESS TEACHING CAMPAIGN PIONEER ACTIVITIES. GRATEFULLY FERVENTLY PRAYING CONSUMMATION HOPES CHERISHED BY WORLDWIDE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY FOR BEFITTING CONCLUSION FIRST STAGE DIVINE PLAN PROVIDENTIALLY ASSOCIATED CLOSING YEARS FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA.

– 121 –

The Auspicious Year

2 January 1944

AUSPICIOUS YEAR DESTINED WITNESS CENTENARY BIRTH FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BRILLIANTLY OPENING. LAST YEAR FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY MORE THAN HALF SPENT. TEMPO ORGANIZED CONCERTED ACTIVITIES MEMBERS WORLDWIDE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CORRESPONDINGLY ACCELERATING. TEACHING CAMPAIGNS ENTERPRISES OF INSTITUTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE PUBLICITY MEASURES PUBLICATION PROJECTS CELEBRATION PLANS RAPIDLY MULTIPLYING. INTER-COMMUNITY COMPETITION STEADILY MOUNTING. WORLD-DESOLATING CONFLICT NOW FIFTH YEAR POWERLESS CLOUD SPLENDID PROSPECT TRIUMPHANT TERMINATION FIRST MOST SHINING CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA. TIHRÁN REPORTS THIRTY-FOUR BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES CONSTITUTED FIFTY-FOUR GROUPS REINFORCED FIFTY-EIGHT NEW CENTERS ESTABLISHED. MESSAGES FROM DELHI INDICATE BAHÁ’ÍS ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE OVER SIXTY LOCALITIES IN INDIA AND EIGHTEEN ASSEMBLIES ALREADY FUNCTIONING. TO NATIONAL BAHÁ’Í HEADQUARTERS PREVIOUSLY FOUNDED IN TIHRÁN WILMETTE AND BAGHDÁD ARE NOW ADDED SIMILAR CENTERS IN CAIRO DELHI AND SYDNEY OFFICIALLY REGISTERED NAMES RESPECTIVE NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND REPRESENTING ADDITION TO BAHÁ’Í NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS AMOUNTING APPROXIMATELY EIGHTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS. BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS FURTHER ENRICHED RECENT ACQUISITION ON MOUNT CARMEL VICINITY BÁB’S SHRINE TRANSFERRED NAME PALESTINE BRANCH AMERICAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. TWENTY-FIVE ACRES LAND SITUATED JORDAN VALLEY JUST DEDICATED TOMB BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. RECENT ACQUISITION LAND ADJACENT SITE PROJECTED TIHRÁN TEMPLE RAISES HOLDING TO OVER THREE AND HALF MILLION SQUARE METERS. SEVEN YEAR PLAN PROVIDING CHIEF IMPULSE EXTRAORDINARY EXPANSION THESE MAGNIFICENT ACTIVITIES MUST DURING REMAINING FIVE MONTHS AS BEFITTING THANKSGIVING ACT FOR CONTINUED OUTPOURINGS GOD’S UNFAILING GRACE SURGE AHEAD TO DAZZLING VICTORY SURPASSING HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS. PROSECUTION PLAN WHOSE SCOPE TRANSCENDS EVERY OTHER ENTERPRISE LAUNCHED BY BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT WHOLE CENTURY MUST ERE HUNDRED YEARS RUN OUT CULMINATE IN ONE LAST SUPREME EFFORT WHOSE REPERCUSSIONS WILL RESOUND THROUGHOUT BAHÁ’Í WORLD.

– 122 –

Addition to Endowments

13 January 1944

SINCE TRANSMISSION RECENT MESSAGE CONVEYING NEWS MAGNIFICENT PROGRESS ACHIEVED CRUSADE, BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES SUBSTANTIAL ADDITION ENDOWMENTS DEDICATED SHRINES RAISES HOLDINGS JORDAN VALLEY TO OVER 500 ACRES. EXTENSION TEACHING ENTERPRISES EAST WEST MULTIPLICATION BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATION ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS ABOVE ALL SUPERB EVIDENCES INCORRUPTIBLE LOYALTY TO ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AND HIS WILL EQUALLY PROCLAIM UNYIELDING DETERMINATION WORLD COMMUNITY SEAL TRIUMPH FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

– 123 –

Participation of Latin American Believers

27 January 1944

PARTICIPATION LATIN AMERICAN BELIEVERS BAHÁ’Í CENTENNIAL CONVENTION VITAL FUTURE DEVELOPMENT FAITH AMERICAS. URGE INDIVIDUALS AS WELL AS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY EXTEND ASSISTANCE FINANCIAL AND OTHERWISE ENABLE AS MANY REPRESENTATIVES AS POSSIBLE JOIN NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS PROCEEDINGS GATHERING SUCH MOMENTOUS IMPORTANCE HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE EVOLUTION FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

– 124 –

Befittingly Consummate the Enterprises

31 March 1944

BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENTS HEROIC PIONEERS ITINERANT TEACHERS INDEFATIGABLE ADMINISTRATORS BAHÁ’Í TEACHING ACTIVITIES WHETHER LOCAL REGIONAL OR NATIONAL SET SEAL TOTAL VICTORY SEVEN YEAR PLAN BEFITTINGLY CONSUMMATE FIFTY-YEAR-LONG ENTERPRISES UNDERTAKEN BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY ADORN CONCLUDING CHAPTER HISTORY FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. HEART THRILLED JOY LOVE PRIDE GRATITUDE CONTEMPLATION STUPENDOUS SHINING DEEDS IMMORTALIZING VALIANT PROSECUTORS GREATEST COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISE EVER LAUNCHED COURSE HISTORY FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

– 125 –

Turning-Point in Bahá’í History

13 April 1944

The one remaining, and indeed the most challenging, task confronting the American Bahá’í Community has at long last been brilliantly accomplished. The structural basis of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh has, through this superb victory, and on the very eve of the worldwide celebrations of the Centenary of His Faith, been firmly laid by the champion-builders of His World Order in every state of the Great Republic of the West and in every province of the Dominion of Canada. In each of the republics of Central and South America, moreover, the banner of His undefeatable Faith has been implanted by the members of that same community, while in no less than thirteen republics of Latin America, as well as in two dependencies in the West Indies, Spiritual Assemblies have been established and are already functioning—a feat that has outstripped the goal originally fixed for the valiant members of that community in their intercontinental sphere of Bahá’í activity. The exterior ornamentation of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West—the culmination of a forty-year-old enterprise repeatedly blessed and continually nurtured by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—has, furthermore, through a remarkable manifestation of the spirit of Bahá’í solidarity and self-sacrifice so powerfully animating the members of that stalwart community, been successfully completed, more than a year in advance of the time set for its termination.

The triple task undertaken with such courage, confidence, zeal and determination—a task which ever since the inception of the Seven Year Plan has challenged and galvanized into action the entire body of the American believers and for the efficient prosecution of which the processes of a divinely appointed Administrative Order had, during no less than sixteen years, been steadily evolving—is now finally accomplished and crowned with total victory.

The greatest collective enterprise ever launched by the Western followers of Bahá’u’lláh, and indeed ever undertaken by any Bahá’í community in the course of an entire century, has been gloriously consummated. A victory of undying fame has marked the culmination of the fifty-year-long labors of the American Bahá’í Community in the service of Bahá’u’lláh and has shed imperishable luster on the immortal records of His Faith during the first hundred years of its existence. The exploits that have marked the progress of this prodigious, this threefold enterprise, covering a field stretching from Alaska in the North to the extremity of Chile in the South, affecting the destinies of so great a variety of peoples and nations, involving such a tremendous expenditure of treasure and effort, calling forth so remarkable a spirit of heroism and self-sacrifice, and undertaken notwithstanding the vicious assaults and incessant machinations of the breakers of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Covenant, and despite the perils, the trials and restrictions of a desolating war of unexampled severity, augur well for the successful prosecution, and indeed assure the ultimate victory, of the remaining stages of the Plan conceived a quarter of a century ago by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North American continent.

To the band of pioneers, whether settlers or itinerant teachers, who have forsaken their homes, who have scattered far and wide, who have willingly sacrificed their comfort, their health and even their lives for the prosecution of this Plan; to the several committees and their auxiliary agencies that have been entrusted with special and direct responsibility for its efficient and orderly development and who have discharged their high responsibilities with exemplary vigor, courage and fidelity; to the national representatives of the community itself, who have vigilantly and tirelessly supervised, directed and coordinated the unfolding processes of this vast undertaking ever since its inception; to all those who, though not in the forefront of battle, have, through their financial assistance and through the instrumentality of their deputies, contributed to the expansion and consolidation of the Plan, I myself, as well as the entire Bahá’í world, owe a debt of gratitude that no one can measure or describe. To the sacrifices they have made, to the courage they have so consistently shown, to the fidelity they have so remarkably displayed, to the resourcefulness, the discipline, the constancy and devotion they have so abundantly demonstrated future generations, viewing the magnitude of their labors in their proper perspective, will no doubt pay adequate tribute—a tribute no less ardent and well-deserved than the recognition extended by the present-day builders of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh to the Dawn-Breakers, whose shining deeds have signalized the birth of the Heroic Age of His Faith.

To the elected representatives of all the Bahá’í communities of the New World, assembled beneath the Dome of the Mother Temple of the West, on the occasion of the historic, first All-America Bahá’í Convention—a convention at which every state and province in the North American continent is represented, in which the representatives of every republic of Latin America have been invited to participate, whose delegates have been elected, for the first time in American Bahá’í history, by all local communities already possessing Assemblies, by all groups and isolated believers throughout the United States and Canada, and whose proceedings will be for ever associated with the celebration of the Centenary of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Bahá’í Faith in the Western Hemisphere, and of the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the First Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West—to all the privileged attendants of such an epoch-making Convention, I, on my own behalf, as well as in the name of all Bahá’í communities sharing with them, at this great turning-point in the history of our Faith, the joys and triumphs of this solemn hour, feel moved to convey the expression of our loving admiration, our joy and our gratitude for the brilliant conclusion of what posterity will no doubt acclaim as one of the most stirring episodes in the history of the Formative Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, as well as one of the most momentous enterprises undertaken during the entire course of the first century of the Bahá’í Era.

– 126 –

International Achievement

4 May 1944

ADVISE SHARE FOLLOWING FACTS WITH BELIEVERS AT CONVENTION CELEBRATING HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. BAHÁ’ÍS ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE SEVENTY-EIGHT COUNTRIES FIFTY-SIX OF WHICH ARE SOVEREIGN STATES. BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE TRANSLATED PUBLISHED FORTY-ONE LANGUAGES. TRANSLATIONS UNDERTAKEN TWELVE ADDITIONAL LANGUAGES. THIRTY-ONE RACES REPRESENTED BAHÁ’Í WORLD COMMUNITY. FIVE NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND SIXTY-ONE LOCAL ASSEMBLIES BELONGING TEN COUNTRIES INCORPORATED EMPOWERED HOLD PROPERTY. BAHÁ’Í INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS HOLY LAND ESTIMATED HALF MILLION POUNDS. NATIONAL BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS UNITED STATES ESTIMATED ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. AREA LAND JORDAN VALLEY DEDICATED BAHÁ’Í SHRINES OVER FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY ACRES. SITE PURCHASED FUTURE BAHÁ’Í TEMPLE PERSIA COMPRISES THREE AND HALF MILLION SQUARE METERS. COST STRUCTURE FIRST BAHÁ’Í TEMPLE WEST ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. IN EVERY STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICA BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES FUNCTIONING. IN THIRTEEN HUNDRED LOCALITIES UNITED STATES CANADA BAHÁ’ÍS RESIDING. BAHÁ’Í CENTERS ESTABLISHED EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA FIFTEEN OF WHICH POSSESS SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES. FAITH WESTERN HEMISPHERE NOW STRETCHES FROM ANCHORAGE ALASKA TO MAGALLANES WORLD’S SOUTHERNMOST CITY. SIXTY-TWO CENTERS ESTABLISHED INDIA TWENTY-SEVEN WITH SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES. AMONG HISTORIC SITES PURCHASED PERSIA TIHRÁN HOME BAHÁ’U’LLÁH BÁB’S SHOP BÚSHIHR BURIAL-PLACE QUDDÚS PART VILLAGE CHIHRÍQ THREE GARDENS BADASHT PLACE CONFINEMENT TÁHIRIH. BAHÁ’Í NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS FOUNDED TIHRÁN DELHI CAIRO BAGHDÁD WILMETTE SYDNEY. BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS HOLY LAND AND UNITED STATES EXEMPTED TAXES BY CIVIL AUTHORITIES. CIVIL RECOGNITION EXTENDED BAHÁ’Í ASSEMBLIES IN FIVE STATES UNITED STATES SOLEMNIZE BAHÁ’Í MARRIAGES. SUGGEST UTILIZE ABOVE INFORMATION PUBLICITY PURPOSES WHEREVER ADVISABLE.

– 127 –

Message to Centenary Convention

14 May 1944

HAIL WITH GLAD GRATEFUL HEART HISTORIC ASSEMBLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THROUGHOUT WESTERN HEMISPHERE PARTICIPATING FIRST ALL-AMERICA CONVENTION GATHERED VICINITY FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTER WESTERN WORLD BENEATH DOME FIRST MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR WEST TO COMMEMORATE ALIKE THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY FOUNDING FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND BIRTH ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN OCCIDENT AND CELEBRATE COMPLETION EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION MOST HALLOWED HOUSE WORSHIP ENTIRE BAHÁ’Í WORLD. RECALL WITH PROFOUND EMOTION ON THIS SOLEMN AUSPICIOUS OCCASION MILESTONES PATH PROGRESS COMMUNITY WHOSE RISE ESTABLISHMENT CONSTITUTE ONE OF NOBLEST EPISODES HISTORY FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. CALLED INTO BEING THROUGH OPERATION WILL CENTER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S COVENANT ENERGIZED AT HOUR BIRTH BY DYNAMIC SPIRIT COMMUNICATED TO IT BY BAND FIRST RETURNING PILGRIMS PURGED IN ITS INFANCY FIERY TESTS INVOLVING DEFECTION ITS ACKNOWLEDGED FOUNDER67 NURSED THROUGH DESPATCH UNNUMBERED TABLETS BY VIGILANT MASTER AS WELL AS SUCCESSIVE MESSENGERS DESIGNED SUPPORT ITS INFANT STRENGTH LAUNCHED ITS RAPID CAREER THROUGH SERIES INSTITUTIONAL ACTS AND MISSIONARY JOURNEYS SIGNALIZING FIRST STIRRINGS ITS COMMUNITY LIFE INFINITELY ENRICHED BY PRICELESS BENEFITS CONFERRED ITS MEMBERS COURSE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S SOJOURN THEIR MIDST INVESTED UNIQUE MISSION THROUGH REVELATION TABLETS DIVINE PLAN FIRMLY KNIT THROUGH PROCESSES PROCLAIMING EMERGENCE DIVINELY APPOINTED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER IMMORTALIZED THROUGH SIGNAL ACTS ITS ILLUSTRIOUS MEMBER WHO SUCCEEDED WINNING ALLEGIANCE ROYALTY ITS CAUSE CONSUMMATING ITS FIFTY-YEAR RECORD ACHIEVEMENTS THROUGH TOTAL VICTORY SEVEN YEAR PLAN THEREBY SEALING TRIUMPH FIRST STAGE MISSION BESTOWED ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ THIS REPEATEDLY BLESSED MUCH ENVIED COMMUNITY DESERVES BE ACCLAIMED TORCHBEARER CIVILIZATION FOUNDATIONS OF WHICH FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH IS DESTINED UNASSAILABLY ESTABLISH COURSE SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. AM MOVED PAY WELL DESERVED TRIBUTE AT THIS GREAT TURNING-POINT CAREER SO PRIVILEGED COMMUNITY TO GALLANT BAND ITS APOSTOLIC FOUNDERS WHOSE DEEDS HERALDED DAWN DAY COVENANT WEST TO ITS INTREPID PIONEERS WHO LABORED ENLARGE BOUNDS FAITH FIVE CONTINENTS TO ITS INDEFATIGABLE ADMINISTRATORS WHOSE HANDS REARED FABRIC ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER TO ITS HEROIC MARTYRS WHO FOLLOWED FOOTSTEPS DAWN-BREAKERS HEROIC AGE TO ITS ITINERANT TEACHERS WHO BROADCAST ITS MESSAGE TO ITS VALIANT DEFENDERS WHO WITH WRITTEN SPOKEN WORD PLEADED ITS CAUSE AND REPULSED ATTACKS ITS ADVERSARIES TO ITS MUNIFICENT SUPPORTERS WHOSE LIBERALITY ACCELERATED EXPANSION ITS MANIFOLD ACTIVITIES AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST TO MASS ITS STOUTHEARTED SELF-DENYING MEMBERS WHOSE STRENUOUS CEASELESS CONCERTED EFFORTS SO DECISIVELY CONTRIBUTED CONSOLIDATION AND BROADENING ITS FOUNDATIONS. DESIRE DIRECT PARTICULAR APPEAL LATIN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVES PARTICIPATING CENTENNIAL CONVENTION DELIBERATE MEASURES REINFORCE TIES BINDING THEM SISTER COMMUNITY UNITEDLY DEVISE MEANS INAUGURATION TEACHING CAMPAIGNS RESPECTIVE REPUBLICS DISSEMINATION BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE MULTIPLICATION BAHÁ’Í ADMINISTRATIVE CENTERS AS PRELIMINARY STEPS FORMATION BAHÁ’Í NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND LEND INCREASING IMPETUS TO PROSECUTION ANY ENTERPRISE LAUNCHED CARRY STILL FURTHER PLAN CONCEIVED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ FOR AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

– 128 –

Decision to Complete the Structure of the Báb’s Sepulcher

Convention Greetings 1944

23 May 1944

OVERJOYED AUSPICIOUS OPENING CENTENNIAL CONVENTION. DEARLY BELOVED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY REMEMBERED HISTORIC NIGHT GLORIOUS DECLARATION BÁB’S HOLY SHRINE. ANNOUNCE FRIENDS JOYFUL TIDING HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DECLARATION MARTYRED HERALD FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SIGNALIZED BY HISTORIC DECISION COMPLETE STRUCTURE HIS SEPULCHER ERECTED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ ON SITE CHOSEN BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. RECENTLY DESIGNED MODEL UNVEILED PRESENCE ASSEMBLED BELIEVERS.68 PRAYING EARLY REMOVAL OBSTACLES CONSUMMATION STUPENDOUS PLAN CONCEIVED BY FOUNDER FAITH AND HOPES CHERISHED BY CENTER HIS COVENANT.

– 129 –

Consolidation of Nobly Won Victories

25 May 1944

MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES ACHIEVED TEACHING FIELD AND SPHERE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITY BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CROWNED WITH GLORY HISTORIC SERVICES RENDERED BY FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THROUGHOUT WEST LAST FIFTY YEARS FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. REJOICE BRILLIANT CELEBRATIONS BEFITTINGLY CONSUMMATING RECORD SPLENDID ACHIEVEMENTS. IMMEDIATE ATTENTION SHOULD BE FOCUSED COURSE OPENING YEAR SECOND CENTURY CONSOLIDATION NOBLY WON VICTORIES THROUGH REINFORCEMENT NEWLY FORMED ASSEMBLIES MULTIPLICATION GROUPS INCREASE NUMBER ASSEMBLIES AS WELL AS CORRESPONDING EFFORT THROUGHOUT LATIN AMERICA. PRAYING CONTINUOUS FLOW DIVINE OUTPOURINGS.

– 130 –

A Spiritual Assembly in Every Remaining Republic

15 July 1944

REJOICE SUCCESS VITALLY NEEDED TIMELY CONFERENCE LATIN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVES.69 GREATLY WELCOME DECISIONS REACHED PLANS FORMULATED. FIRST YEAR SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY SHOULD WITNESS ESTABLISHMENT SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY EVERY REMAINING REPUBLIC AND BE SIGNALIZED STEADY INCREASE PIONEERS BOTH LATINS NORTH AMERICANS FURTHER MULTIPLICATION GROUPS WIDER DISSEMINATION BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE BOTH SPANISH PORTUGUESE CLOSER RELATIONSHIPS CONSOLIDATING COMMUNITIES MORE EFFECTIVE CONTACT THESE COMMUNITIES WITH MASSES POPULATION ALL RACES CLASSES. ARDENTLY PRAYING MIGHTY VICTORIES EVERY FIELD AS ESSENTIAL PRELIMINARY EMERGENCE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES AND INDISPENSABLE PRELUDE LAUNCHING IN OTHER CONTINENTS SOON AFTER TERMINATION WORLD CONFLICT SECOND STAGE MOMENTOUS WORLD PLAN SO INTIMATELY ASSOCIATED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ WITH FUTURE DESTINIES ILLUSTRIOUS AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

– 131 –

The Seal of Spiritual Triumph

18 August 1944

The splendid and unique success that has attended the centenary celebrations so admirably conducted by the American Bahá’í community has befittingly crowned not only the fifty-year record of services rendered by its valiant members, but the labors associated with the entire body of their fellow workers in East and West in the course of an entire century. The consummation of the Seven Year Plan, immortalizing the fame of this richly blessed community, set the seal of complete spiritual triumph on these historic celebrations. A memorable chapter in the history of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the West has been closed. A new chapter is now opening, a chapter which, ere its termination, must eclipse the most shining victories won so heroically by those who have so fearlessly launched the first stage of the Great Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the American believers. The prizes won so painstakingly in both the North and South American continents must be preserved at all costs. A mighty impetus should, at however great a sacrifice, be lent to the multiplication of Bahá’í centers in Latin America, to the expansion of Bahá’í literature, to the translation of the Bahá’í sacred writings, to the proclamation of the verities of the Faith to the masses, to the strengthening of the bonds binding the newly fledged communities to each other, and to the deepening of the spiritual life of their members.

The task so marvelously initiated in the Latin republics must be further consolidated ere the prosecutors of the world Plan bequeathed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá can embark on further stages, of still greater significance, in their world teaching Mission. The cessation of hostilities will open before them fields of service of tremendous fertility and undreamed of magnitude. The advantages and opportunities these fields will offer them cannot be exploited unless and until the work to which they have already set their hands in the Western Hemisphere is sufficiently advanced and consolidated. Time is pressing. The new tasks are already beginning to loom on the horizon. The work that still remains to be accomplished ere the next stage is ushered in is still considerable and exacting. I feel confident that the American Bahá’í community will, as it has in the past, rise to the occasion and discharge its high duties as befits the unique position it occupies.

– 132 –

Covenant-Breaking Activities

6 November 1944

MONEEB SHAHEED GRANDSON BOTH ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AND KING OF MARTYRS MARRIED ACCORDING MUSLIM RITES DAUGHTER OF POLITICAL EXILE WHO IS NEPHEW OF GRAND MUFTI OF JERUSALEM. TREACHEROUS ACT ALLIANCE ENEMIES FAITH MERITS CONDEMNATION ENTIRE BAHÁ’Í WORLD.

– 133 –

Faithful Pioneer

18 November 1944

SHARE GRIEF PASSING DEVOTED FAITHFUL PIONEER70 HIS SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE HIGHLY MERITORIOUS ADVISE CONSTRUCTION MEMORIAL ASSURE FRIENDS LIMA71 DEEPEST LOVING SYMPATHY.

– 134 –

Passages in God Passes By

18 November 1944

COMFORTED STRENGTHENED ASSURANCE SYMPATHY LOYALTY AMERICAN BELIEVERS DEPLORABLE DELICATE SITUATION CREATED DISHONORABLE ALLIANCES MEMBERS FAMILY FIRST WITH COVENANT-BREAKERS NOW EXTERNAL ENEMIES FAITH. MARVELOUS RAPID SOUND EVOLUTION INSTITUTIONS FAITH FIVE CONTINENTS PARTICULARLY WESTERN HEMISPHERE CONSTITUTES BEST MONITION MOST EFFECTIVE COUNTERACTION DETRIMENTAL INFLUENCE THOSE WHOSE VERY ACTS PROCLAIM SEVERANCE FROM HOLY TREE FORFEITURE SACRED BIRTHRIGHT. OCCASION DEMANDS DIRECT SPECIAL ATTENTION PASSAGES “GOD PASSES BY” INDICATING GRAVITY PAST CRISES PRECIPITATED SINCE INCEPTION FAITH BY KINSMEN BOTH MANIFESTATION CENTER COVENANT DEMONSTRATING PITIFUL FUTILITY NEFARIOUS ACTIVITIES AND SAD FATE OVERTAKING DEFECTORS BETRAYERS. PRESENT HOUR CALLS UNRELAXING VIGILANCE CONTINUED HEROISM REDOUBLED EFFORTS RENEWED DEDICATION BY RANK FILE COMMUNITY ENJOYING PREPONDERATING SHARE ALIKE ERECTION DEFENSE CONSOLIDATION WORLDWIDE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SINCE PASSING CENTER HIS COVENANT. URGE ENTIRE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WESTERN HEMISPHERE FOCUS ATTENTION REMAINING MONTHS OPENING YEAR SECOND CENTURY FORMATION LOCAL ASSEMBLIES REMAINING REPUBLICS NICARAGUA PANAMA VENEZUELA BOLIVIA SAN DOMINGO GUARD AGAINST DISSOLUTION ASSEMBLIES ALREADY PAINSTAKINGLY ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT AMERICAS EXERT EFFORT FURTHER MULTIPLICATION GROUPS WIDER DISSEMINATION LITERATURE GREATER USE RADIO CLOSER CONTACT MASSES MORE AUDACIOUS PROCLAMATION FAITH MORE EFFECTIVE COORDINATION LOCAL NATIONAL ACTIVITIES AIMING FULLER DEMONSTRATION RIGHTS CLAIMS FAITH BE REGARDED SOLE REFUGE HUMANITY HOUR BITTEREST AGONY. AMERICAN BELIEVERS MERITORIOUS ACTIVITIES INDIVIDUAL LOCAL INTERSTATE INTERCONTINENTAL OBJECT SPECIAL PRAYERS APPROACHING ANNIVERSARY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S ASCENSION.

– 135 –

The Succeeding Stage in the Evolution of Their World Mission

24 December 1944

1944, a year memorable for the sharp contrast between the rising tide of spiritual victories culminating in the Centenary celebrations of a world-embracing Faith and the swiftly ebbing fortunes of a war-ravaged, disillusioned and bankrupt society, is drawing to a close. In every continent of the globe; in the Holy Land, the Heart and Center of our Faith and Pivot of its institutions; in the land of its birth; in the adjoining territory of ‘Iráq; throughout the Western Hemisphere; in the British Isles, so severely subjected to the violence of a world tempest; throughout the length and breadth of India; in far-off Australasia and in the Nile Valley—all with the sole exception of the distant republics of the West subjected in varying degrees to the imminent danger of becoming the theater of war—the communities laboring for the promotion of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have, throughout five tumultuous years, been providentially spared to hold aloft its banner, to preserve its integrity, to maintain the continuity of its institutions, to enrich its annals, to consolidate its structure, to further disseminate its literature and to befittingly celebrate its Centenary. Preponderant indeed has been the share of that privileged community, which has been invested by the Pen of the Center of the Covenant with a worldwide Mission, in the prosecution of a task which, ever since the onset of this world upheaval and despite its mounting horrors, the builders of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have so unflaggingly pursued. Neither the participation of the Great Republic of the West in this fierce contest, nor the sorrows, burdens and restrictions which such direct association with the agonies of a travailing age has entailed have thus far been capable of dimming the splendor of the exploits that have immortalized the record of the services of this community since the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Indeed, coincident with the period of America’s direct participation in this world struggle and in direct proportion to the turmoil and the tribulations which such a participation has engendered, the members of this community have evinced a heroism and proved themselves capable of a concerted effort that have eclipsed the notable achievements that have heralded the establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith as well as the first stage in the development of the Seven Year Plan.

What the year 1945, on whose threshold we now stand, has in store for the members of this determined, this valiant, this watchful, this exemplary community only the future can reveal. That the trials and afflictions suffered by their country and its people must wax as this world upheaval moves towards a climax no one can any longer doubt. The challenge that will face this stalwart community will no doubt be severe. To allow the prizes so nobly won, over so vast a field, at so great a cost, at so critical an hour, to fall into jeopardy would be unworthy of a career so auspiciously initiated, so completely dedicated to the Cause of God, so rich in promise and so brilliant in almost every phase of its evolution. Every Local Assembly, the ordained pivot of a divinely ordained System, which has been established in the states and provinces of the North American continent, as well as in the republics of Latin America, must, through a supreme effort on the part of pioneers, visiting teachers and Regional Committees, be steadfastly maintained. Simultaneously a no less determined effort should be exerted to enable the admittedly large number of groups scattered throughout the Americas to attain Assembly status. No less urgent is the obligation to proclaim the verities enshrined in the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh by every means which individuals, Assemblies and committees can devise, through the press and radio, through an unprecedented dissemination of literature, through its systematic translation into Spanish and Portuguese and above all through active association with leaders of public thought as well as direct contact with the masses of the people. Through such means as these, and through such means only, can the members of the American Bahá’í community, who have so audaciously and successfully launched the first stage of the Divine Plan, be enabled to pave the way and usher in, soon after the cessation of hostilities, the succeeding stage in the evolution of their world Mission. My prayers and loving thoughts surround them continually in their devoted labors.

– 136 –

The Admission of Persians

18 January 1945

DESIRE REITERATE WARNING NO PERSIAN STUDENT OR OTHERWISE MUST BE ADMITTED COMMUNITY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS PROVIDED FULL CREDENTIALS. EXCEPTION COMPROMISE DETRIMENTAL VITAL INTERESTS FAITH PRESENT JUNCTURE. UTMOST CAUTION VIGILANCE IMPERATIVE.

– 137 –

Appeal to Preserve New Assemblies and Convert Large Groups into Assemblies

22 January 1945

DEEPLY APPRECIATE ASSEMBLY’S LOVING MESSAGE. REJOICE FORMULATION NEW PLANS. DELIGHTED RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS. ANTICIPATE FRESH TRIUMPHS PUBLICITY CAMPAIGNS. GRATEFUL PROVISION FUNDS “BAHÁ’Í WORLD” PUBLICATION. PRAYING REMOVAL OBSTACLES TRAVEL NINE LATIN AMERICAN PIONEERS. URGE UTMOST VIGILANCE PRESERVATION WHATEVER COST NEWLY CONSTITUTED ASSEMBLIES THROUGHOUT AMERICAS. APPEAL EXERT STRENUOUS EFFORTS CONVERT LARGE GROUPS INTO ASSEMBLIES. PRAYING INCREASING FLOW BLESSINGS SUSTAINED CONCERTED EXERTIONS INDEFATIGABLE INCORRUPTIBLE CONSISTENTLY VICTORIOUS DEARLY BELOVED AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

– 138 –

Service by Youth on Committees

26 February 1945

BAHÁ’Í YOUTH UNDER TWENTY-ONE MAY SERVE ON COMMITTEES. DESIRE REITERATE NECESSITY AVOID INTRODUCING NEW REGULATIONS RESTRICTIONS.

– 139 –

Staunch Pioneer

27 March 1945

DEEPLY GRIEVE PASSING INDEFATIGABLE STAUNCH PIONEER72 FAITH DAY COVENANT. RECORD HER SERVICES IMPERISHABLE. REWARD GREAT ABHÁ KINGDOM.

– 140 –

The One Message That Can Extricate Humanity

29 March 1945

The Divine Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the American Bahá’í community, in the midst of one of the darkest periods in human history, and with which the destinies of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North American continent must for generations to come remain inextricably interwoven, has, during the concluding years of the first Bahá’í century, triumphantly emerged from the first stage of its evolution. Its initiation, officially and on a vast scale, had, for well-nigh twenty years, been held in abeyance, while the processes of a slowly emerging Administrative Order were, under the unerring guidance of Providence, creating and perfecting the agencies for its efficient and systematic prosecution. The next stage in the evolution of the Plan cannot, however, be embarked upon, until the external causes, hampering its further unfoldment in other continents of the globe, are removed through the cessation of hostilities, and the signal victories already won through its initial development are sufficiently consolidated throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The tasks confronting those who have so valiantly and brilliantly inaugurated the first stage in the execution of the Great Design unfolded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the promulgation of the Faith of His Father, during this transitional period, are manifold, exacting, urgent and sacred. The local administrative units, so laboriously constituted throughout the Americas, must needs, as already pointed out and repeatedly stressed, be maintained, reinforced, closely integrated and their number steadily multiplied. The spirit that has inflamed the pioneers who have set the seal of triumph on the Seven Year Plan, must, under the vigilant care of the national representatives of the American Bahá’í community, be constantly watched, kept alive and nourished. The literature of the Faith, particularly in Spanish and Portuguese, must be widely disseminated in both Central and South America, as a necessary adjunct to the systematic consolidation of the work that has been undertaken. Above all, the healing Message of Bahá’u’lláh must, during the opening years of the second Bahá’í century, and through the instrumentality of an already properly functioning Administrative Order, whose ramifications have been extended to the four corners of the Western Hemisphere, be vividly, systematically brought to the attention of the masses, in their hour of grief, misery and confusion. A more audacious assertion of the challenging verities of the Faith; a more convincing presentation of its distinguishing truths; a fuller exposition of the character, the aims, and the achievements of its rising Administrative system, as the nucleus and pattern of its future world-embracing order; a more direct and intimate contact and association with the leaders of public thought whose activities and aims are akin to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, for the purpose of demonstrating the universality, the comprehensiveness, the liberality and the dynamic power of His Divine Message; a closer scrutiny of the ways and means whereby its claims can be vindicated, its defamers and detractors silenced, and its institutions safeguarded; a more determined effort to exploit, to the fullest extent possible, the talents and abilities of the rank and file of the believers for the purpose of achieving these ends—these stand out as the paramount tasks summoning to a challenge, during these years of transition and turmoil, the entire body of the American believers. The facilities which the Radio and Press furnish must be utilized to a degree unprecedented in American Bahá’í history. The combined resources of the much-envied, exemplary American Bahá’í community must be harnessed for the effectual promotion of these meritorious purposes. Blessings, undreamt of in their scope and plenteousness, are bound to be vouchsafed to those who will, in these dark yet pregnant times, arise, to further these noble ends, and to hasten through their acts the hour at which a still more momentous stage in the evolution of a Divine and worldwide Plan can be launched.

There is no time to lose. The hour is ripe for the proclamation, without fear, without reserve, and without hesitation, and on a scale never as yet undertaken, of the One Message that can alone extricate humanity from the morass into which it is steadily sinking, and from which they who claim to be the followers of the Most Great Name can and will eventually rescue it. The sooner they who labor for the recognition and triumph of His Faith in the New World arise to carry out these inescapable duties, the sooner will the hopes, the aims and objectives of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as enshrined in His own Plan, be translated from the realm of vision to the plane of actuality and manifest the full force of the potentialities with which they have been endowed.

– 141 –

Faithless Brother Ḥusayn

15 April 1945

FAITHLESS BROTHER ḤUSAYN73 AFTER LONG PERIOD DISHONORABLE CONDUCT ABANDONED MASTER’S HOME TO CONSORT WITH SISTER AND OTHER COVENANT-BREAKERS.

– 142 –

My Heavy-Laden Heart

19 April 1945

HEAVY-LADEN HEART ALREADY OPPRESSED REPEATED DEFECTIONS UNWORTHY KINDRED BELOVED MASTER RELIEVED LATEST SIGNAL EVIDENCE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT MEMBERS DIVINELY CHOSEN AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY NOW UNFURLING BANNER FAITH ESTABLISHING STRUCTURAL BASIS ITS ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WORLD’S SOUTHERNMOST CITY.74 HAIL STAUNCHNESS FIDELITY DISTINGUISHING WINNERS SUCH SUPERB VICTORIES. ACCLAIM THEM TRUE BROTHERS SISTERS WORTHY BEAR NAME ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ. URGE INTER-AMERICA COMMITTEE DEVOTE SPECIAL ATTENTION UNDERTAKE PROMPT MEASURES DESIGNED INCREASE NUMBER BELIEVERS ESTABLISH LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS MULTIPLY SUBSIDIARY AGENCIES INDISPENSABLE MAINTENANCE FLOURISHING COMMUNITY SOUTHERN EXTREMITY WESTERN HEMISPHERE. PRAYING EVER-INCREASING SUCCESS.

– 143 –

Nationwide, Intercontinental Plans

5 May 1945

ASSURE NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS FERVENT PRAYERS DIVINE GUIDANCE STRENGTH ACCOMPLISH TASKS CONFRONTING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY SECOND YEAR SECOND BAHÁ’Í CENTURY. APPEAL NATIONAL TEACHING REGIONAL INTER-AMERICA COMMITTEES INTENSIFY EFFORTS MULTIPLICATION GROUPS ASSEMBLIES LENGTH BREADTH WESTERN HEMISPHERE. EVER-INCREASING FLOW PIONEERS INDISPENSABLE MEET URGENT REQUIREMENTS PRESENT HOUR. RENEWED DETERMINED CONTINUED EXERTIONS BY INDIVIDUALS AIMED UNPRECEDENTED INCREASE NUMBER ENROLLED BELIEVERS VITAL CONSOLIDATION ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY PIONEERS. SYSTEMATIC WELL-CONCEIVED CAREFULLY COORDINATED PLANS NATIONWIDE AND INTERCONTINENTAL DEVISED BY ELECTED NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES COMMUNITY LIKEWISE NECESSARY PRELIMINARY SEED SOWING UNEXAMPLED BOTH RANGE EFFECTIVENESS AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY. ATTAINMENT THIS THREEFOLD OBJECTIVE IN NORTH CENTRAL SOUTH AMERICA WILL SIGNALIZE INITIATION SECOND STAGE IN OTHER CONTINENTS WORLD MISSION CONSTITUTING SACRED BIRTHRIGHT AMERICAN FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

– 144 –

A Single, Organically United World Commonwealth

9 May 1945

FOLLOWERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH THROUGHOUT FIVE CONTINENTS UNANIMOUSLY REJOICE PARTIAL EMERGENCE WAR-TORN HUMANITY FROM TITANIC UPHEAVAL UNERRINGLY PREDICTED SEVENTY YEARS AGO BY PEN AUTHOR THEIR FAITH. CESSATION HOSTILITIES EUROPEAN CONTINENT75 SIGNALIZES CLOSING YET ANOTHER CHAPTER TRAGIC TALE FIERY TRIALS PROVIDENTIALLY DECREED BY INSCRUTABLE WISDOM DESIGNED ULTIMATELY WELD MUTUALLY ANTAGONISTIC ELEMENTS HUMAN SOCIETY INTO SINGLE ORGANICALLY UNITED UNSHATTERABLE WORLD COMMONWEALTH. GRATEFULLY ACCLAIM SIGNAL EVIDENCE INTERPOSITION DIVINE PROVIDENCE WHICH DURING SUCH PERILOUS YEARS ENABLED WORLD CENTER FAITH ESCAPE WHAT POSTERITY WILL RECOGNIZE AS ONE OF GRAVEST DANGERS EVER CONFRONTED NERVE CENTER ITS INSTITUTIONS. PROFOUNDLY AWARE BOUNTIFUL GRACE VOUCHSAFED BY SAME PROVIDENCE ENSURING UNLIKE PREVIOUS WORLD CONFLICT UNINTERRUPTED INTERCOURSE BETWEEN SPIRITUAL CENTER AND VAST MAJORITY COMMUNITIES FUNCTIONING WITHIN ORBIT FAR-FLUNG FAITH. IMMEASURABLY THANKFUL MIRACULOUS PRESERVATION INDIAN PERSIAN EGYPTIAN BRITISH IRAQI COMMUNITIES LONG THREATENED DIRE PERILS OWING PROXIMITY THEATER MILITARY OPERATIONS. DEEPLY CONSCIOUS PROGRESS ACHIEVED DESPITE SIX TEMPESTUOUS YEARS IN BOTH EASTERN WESTERN HEMISPHERES THROUGH COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISES LAUNCHED BY THESE COMMUNITIES OUTSHINES SUM TOTAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS SINCE INCEPTION FORMATIVE AGE FAITH. SEVEN YEAR PLAN INAUGURATED BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY UNDER LOWERING CLOUDS APPROACHING CONFLICT VICTORIOUSLY COMPLETED EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION MOTHER TEMPLE WEST ESTABLISHED STRUCTURAL BASIS FAITH EVERY STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT AND HOISTED ITS BANNER EVERY REPUBLIC LATIN AMERICA. INDIAN BELIEVERS SIX YEAR PLAN LAUNCHED EVE HOSTILITIES MORE THAN QUADRUPLED CENTERS FUNCTIONING WITHIN PALE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER. EDIFICES CONSECRATED ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS EVER-ADVANCING CAUSE INVOLVING EXPENDITURE OVER HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ERECTED PURCHASED OR COMPLETED CAPITAL CITIES INDIA IRAQ EGYPT AS WELL AS SYDNEY AUSTRALIA. ACQUISITION NUMEROUS PROPERTIES BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NATIVE LAND MOUNT CARMEL AND JORDAN VALLEY AS WELL AS PURCHASE SEVERAL IMPORTANT HISTORIC SITES ASSOCIATED LIVES BOTH HERALD AUTHOR FAITH SWELLED UNPRECEDENTED DEGREE BAHÁ’Í ENDOWMENTS. PRELIMINARY STEPS COMPLETION BÁB’S SEPULCHER AND ESTABLISHMENT WORLD ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER THROUGH REMOVAL REMAINS BROTHER MOTHER ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ UNDERTAKEN. TERMINATION FIRST CENTURY BAHÁ’Í ERA SYNCHRONIZING CLIMAX RAGING STORM PUBLICLY BEFITTINGLY CELEBRATED DESPITE MULTIPLICATION RESTRICTIONS. ABOVE ALL UNITY INTEGRITY INCORRUPTIBLE WORLD COMMUNITY CONSISTENTLY SAFEGUARDED IN FACE INSIDIOUS OPPOSITION AVOWED ENEMIES WITHOUT AND COVENANT-BREAKERS WITHIN. SUCH SPLENDID VICTORIES OVER SO VAST FIELD AMIDST SUCH TRIBULATIONS DURING SO PROLONGED ORDEAL AUGUR WELL COLOSSAL TASKS DESTINED BE ACCOMPLISHED COURSE PEACEFUL YEARS AHEAD BY BUILDERS EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AMIDST WRECKAGE DISTRACTED DISRUPTED DISILLUSIONED SOCIETY.

– 145 –

National Teaching Committee’s Remarkable Exploits

28 June 1945

FULLY SHARE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S ADMIRATION GRATITUDE NATIONAL TEACHING COMMITTEE’S REMARKABLE EXPLOITS RECENT YEARS. APPEAL NEW COMMITTEE FOCUS ATTENTION STEADY CONVERSION CONSIDERABLE PROPORTION EXISTING GROUPS INTO ASSEMBLIES THROUGH MULTIPLICATION SETTLERS INTENSIFICATION INDIVIDUAL TEACHING PROCLAMATION MESSAGE MASSES. URGE REGIONAL TEACHING COMMITTEES REDOUBLE EFFORTS LEND CONTINUED ASSISTANCE ATTAINMENT IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES. REJOICE SUCCESS HIGH ENDEAVORS PEACE COMMITTEE SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURE PIONEERS LATIN AMERICA. RENEW PLEA FOR EVER INCREASING NUMBER PIONEERS BOTH NORTHERN SOUTHERN FIELDS UNITEDLY ARISE LEND FURTHER MUCH-NEEDED IMPETUS SUPERB HISTORIC ENTERPRISES INITIATED BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY WESTERN HEMISPHERE CLOSING YEARS FIRST CENTURY AND HASTEN INAUGURATION STILL MORE SHINING PHASE WORLD MISSION OPENING YEARS SECOND CENTURY.

– 146 –

A New Phase of Human Evolution

10 August 1945

The cessation of hostilities on the continent of Europe, the prospect of an early termination of the bloody conflict raging in the Far East, invest the members of the world Bahá’í community, and particularly its standard-bearers in the great Republic of the West, with a great, a unique, and inescapable responsibility. The first stage of the mission laid upon them by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the inauguration of which has been so long retarded while the processes of a slowly emerging Administrative Order were being set in motion, and which coincided with one of the darkest and most tragic periods in human history, has been brought to a triumphant conclusion, and added a golden page to the annals of the closing years of the first Bahá’í century.

As a new phase in the painful evolution of a sorely tried and wayward humanity opens, a new challenge summons the prosecutors of a Divine Plan to gird up their loins, muster their resources, and prepare themselves for the launching of the second stage of an enterprise which, as it reveals its full potentialities, must stretch to embrace the five continents of the globe. World turmoil, grave dangers, severe restrictions, the lethargy of the public engrossed in its war problems, have failed to dampen the zeal, or to undermine the resolve, or to interfere with the successful discharge of the duty assumed by those who have so determinedly embarked on the opening stage of their world-encircling, divinely appointed mission. With the return to more normal conditions, with the improvement of the means of travel and communication, with the lifting of the deadening weight of fear and care and the growing receptivity of the masses, schooled in adversity and groping for the means of ultimate salvation, opportunities without number and unprecedented in their significance present themselves to those whose privilege and obligation it is to pave the way for the launching of the succeeding stage of their historic and ever-unfolding task.

Not until, however, normal conditions are fully restored and the world situation is stabilized, and, above all, the prizes won through the operation of the Seven Year Plan are adequately safeguarded and the basis of the newly established Administrative Order sufficiently consolidated throughout the Western Hemisphere, can the ambassadors of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, carrying aloft the banner of His Name in the American continent, be called upon to undertake, unitedly and systematically, collective responsibility for the diffusion of His Message, and for the erection of the fabric of His Administrative Order, amidst the sorrow-stricken, war-lacerated, sorely bewildered nations and peoples of the European continent.

The sooner the home tasks are fully discharged, and the newly fledged Assemblies in Central and South America enabled to function adequately and vigorously, the sooner will the stalwart members of the American Bahá’í community, who, during so brief a period, and despite the prevailing darkness, achieved such wonders throughout the Americas, extend the healing influence of their Faith, on a scale as yet unprecedented, to the waiting masses of that agitated continent.

As already observed, an intensification of effort is imperatively required, aiming at a bolder proclamation of the verities of a God-given Faith, at a systematic and continent-wide dissemination of its authentic literature, at a closer contact with the masses as well as the leaders of public thought, at a further consolidation and multiplication of the administrative centers scattered throughout the New World, and constituting the nuclei of its future World Order and above all at a more convincing revelation of Bahá’í love, unity, solidarity and self-sacrifice, which alone can hasten the consummation of the preliminary undertakings required to terminate the period of transition intervening between the first and second stages of the greatest crusade ever launched in the history of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Time is pressing, the work that still remains to be accomplished in the New World is vast and urgent, the need of the suffering masses the world over, and particularly in Europe, is pitiable, the sustaining grace destined to be vouchsafed from on high to those who will arise to achieve that task and fulfill this need is boundless and assured. Its potency has been already fully experienced and abundantly demonstrated in the years that have witnessed the most prodigious efforts exerted by the American believers. A still more powerful display of its miraculous force can be confidently anticipated, if those who have felt its impact in the past arise to carry out, in the years that lie immediately ahead, the sublime and twofold task of the redemption of mankind and the establishment of the world sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh.

– 147 –

Hearts Uplifted in Thanksgiving

[17 August 1945]

HEARTS UPLIFTED THANKSGIVING COMPLETE CESSATION PROLONGED UNPRECEDENTED WORLD CONFLICT.76 HAIL PROSPECT REMOVAL RESTRICTIONS ENABLING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY EXPEDITE PRELIMINARY MEASURES REQUIRED LAUNCH SECOND STAGE DIVINE PLAN. APPEAL FOCUS ATTENTION REQUIREMENTS ALL-IMPORTANT VITAL LATIN AMERICAN WORK. ADEQUATE FULFILLMENT THIS VITAL TASK PRELUDE ASSUMPTION COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY BY TRIUMPHANT COMMUNITY SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT ULTIMATE REDEMPTION SORELY TRIED WAR-RAVAGED EUROPEAN CONTINENT DESTINED BE ASSOCIATED WITH EXPLOITS WHICH MUST IMMORTALIZE SECOND STAGE WORLD MISSION ENTRUSTED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ APOSTLES HIS FATHER’S FAITH WESTERN WORLD. OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT HOUR INFINITELY PRECIOUS TIME PRESSING CALL DISTRESSED GROPING PEOPLES EUROPE PITIFUL INSISTENT. WORK STILL TO BE ACCOMPLISHED TO CONSUMMATE MIGHTY ENTERPRISES UNDERTAKEN LATIN AMERICA CONSIDERABLE. ALMIGHTY’S SUSTAINING GRACE ASSURED UNFAILING. PRAYING DEPTHS JOYFUL THANKFUL HEART OUTPOURING BLESSINGS NO LESS REMARKABLE DIVINE BOUNTIES VOUCHSAFED VALIANT PROSECUTORS PLAN COURSE OPENING PHASE WORLD MISSION.

– 148 –

The Work of Rehabilitation

21 December 1945

The reports recently received from various sources, regarding the sad conditions prevailing among the members of the sorely stricken, long-suffering Bahá’í communities in Germany and Burma, are of such a distressing nature as to merit the energetic, the immediate, and collective intervention of their fellow workers in lands which have providentially been spared the horrors of invasion and all the evils and miseries attendant upon it.77 Upon the American Bahá’í community, in particular, which throughout this prolonged and bloody conflict has, of all its sister communities in East and West, enjoyed the greatest immunity and been privileged not only to maintain and preserve its institutions, but to prosecute so successfully a Plan of such magnitude and significance, a special responsibility now rests—a responsibility which, despite its manifold and pressing duties in the Western Hemisphere, it can afford neither to neglect nor ignore.

Particularly in the heart of the European continent, where the present turmoil, suffering and destitution are mysteriously paving the way for the revival of a Faith which the Beloved Himself has unequivocally prophesied, where a once flourishing community is struggling to fulfill the high hopes entertained for it by Him, and where the prosecutors of the Divine Plan are to lend their direct and systematic assistance when launching the second stage of their world mission, must the American believers contribute the major share in the work of rehabilitation which the followers of Bahá’u’lláh must arise to perform.

Through the extension of whatever financial assistance is feasible, through the provision and distribution of adequate literature, through the initiation of any measures, official or otherwise, which they can undertake for the protection, reinstatement, and revival of a greatly tested, highly promising and much loved community, the American believers have the golden opportunity of adding a fresh chapter to the brilliant record of their past international services to the Cause of God.

Nor should the urgency of the task in faraway Burma, where a flourishing community had furnished so shining an example of Bahá’í fellowship and solidarity, be underestimated. The spirit which its remnant has displayed after so many years of persecution, dispersion and danger, merits the widest measure of encouragement and support, both moral and financial. Pressed as the American Bahá’í community must be by the twofold obligation of proclaiming the verities of their Faith to the American public and of consolidating the vast enterprises initiated throughout Latin America, the stalwart and privileged followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in North America cannot allow so great an opportunity to advance the vital international interests of His Cause to slip from their grasp. I feel confident that in the discharge of this additional task they will exhibit those same traits that have distinguished their stewardship for so many years to so glorious a Cause.

– 149 –

Exemplary Pioneer

26 December 1945

DEEPLY GRIEVE PASSING STAUNCH EXEMPLARY PIONEER FAITH EMOGENE HOAGG LONG RECORD NATIONAL INTERNATIONAL SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE REWARD ABHÁ KINGDOM ASSURED ABUNDANT.

– 150 –

The German Bahá’í Community

7 January 1946

GERMAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY DEARLY BELOVED HIGHLY HONORED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ DESTINED PLAY OUTSTANDING ROLE SPIRITUAL REVIVAL OPPRESSED CONTINENT ABUNDANTLY DEMONSTRATED, COURSE TEN YEARS SEVEREST TRIBULATIONS DIRE PERIL COMPLETE SUPPRESSION, HIGH CHARACTER ITS INDOMITABLE FAITH. APPEAL ENTIRE COMMUNITY GREATLY BLESSED HIGHLY PRIVILEGED AMERICAN BELIEVERS ARISE UNITEDLY CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY THROUGH DESPATCH FUNDS LITERATURE DESIGNED ALLEVIATE DISTRESS REHABILITATE INSTITUTIONS WITH WHICH FUTURE PROSECUTORS SECOND STAGE DIVINE PLAN MUST BE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED.

– 151 –

Lidia Zamenhof

[circa 23 January 1946]

HEARTILY APPROVE NATIONWIDE OBSERVANCE FOR DAUNTLESS LIDIA ZAMENHOF.78 HER NOTABLE SERVICES TENACITY MODESTY UNWAVERING DEVOTION FULLY MERIT HIGH TRIBUTE AMERICAN BELIEVERS. DO NOT ADVISE HOWEVER DESIGNATE HER MARTYR.

– 152 –

Historic Decisions

24 February 1946

OVERJOYED PROFOUNDLY THANKFUL MUNIFICENT DONATION AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY INTERNATIONAL RELIEF.79 URGE ESTABLISHMENT COMMUNICATION GERMAN BELIEVERS CAREFUL CONSULTATION THEIR REPRESENTATIVES COLLABORATE PUBLICATION EXPANSION MUCH NEEDED GERMAN BAHÁ’Í LITERATURE. DELIGHTED NEWS CONSOLIDATION ACTIVITIES CENTRAL AMERICA PROGRESS PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS DEVELOPMENT YOUTH ACTIVITIES. ADVISE ADDRESS SPECIAL IMMEDIATE APPEAL AMERICAN BELIEVERS ENSURE LARGE REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDANCE APPROACHING CONVENTION OWING MOMENTOUS HISTORIC DECISIONS TO BE DISCLOSED TO ASSEMBLED REPRESENTATIVES EVER-VICTORIOUS INCREASINGLY BLESSED SPIRITUALLY MATURING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY.

– 153 –

Momentous Responsibilities

20 March 1946

The assistance extended by the American Bahá’í Community to the long-suffering German believers is a further evidence of their readiness, so abundantly demonstrated in the past, to champion the interests, and to rehabilitate the institutions, of their sister communities throughout the Bahá’í world. This support, so generously extended, so consistently and faithfully offered by the rank and file of the American believers, and particularly by their elected national representatives, is but a subsidiary aspect of the tremendous undertakings which, in both the North and South American continents, the standard-bearers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have initiated and developed, for the promotion of its interests, during the concluding decades of the first Bahá’í century.

The twofold task which they have so nobly undertaken—the proclamation of the Faith in the North American continent and the consolidation of its nascent institutions in Latin America—must, whatever plan is devised in the coming years for the furtherance of their worldwide mission, be relentlessly prosecuted. That further responsibilities, of a momentous character, will have to be superimposed on the stalwart prosecutors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, as they gird up their loins to carry a stage further their historic labors in obedience to His Wishes, no one can for a moment doubt. As the field of their activities, ranging over entire continents, grows in scope and in importance, the aims and purposes associated with the first stage of their glorious mission must, in no wise, be either neglected or forgotten. The steady multiplication of groups and of Spiritual Assemblies throughout the states of the Great American Republic, the continual broadcasting of the Divine Message to the leaders of public opinion and the masses, as well as the establishment of the newly fledged Local Assemblies throughout Latin America on an unassailable basis, and the dissemination of Bahá’í literature among its people, demand, whatever the nature of the supplementary responsibilities that will have to be assumed in the years to come, the closest attention on the part of the entire body of the American believers, and must continue to be regarded as the fundamental issues facing their national representatives. The exploits immortalizing the first stage of the Divine Plan, however glorious their record, have yet to yield their noblest fruits. Efforts, unremitting, systematic, and continent-wide in their scope, can alone garner a harvest worthy of the high confidence placed in them by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. May they prove themselves increasingly worthy of so high a privilege, so glorious a task.

– 154 –

Inauguration of Second Seven Year Plan

Message to 1946 Convention

23 April 1946

HAIL WITH JOYOUS HEART DELEGATES AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY ASSEMBLED BENEATH DOME MOTHER TEMPLE WEST MOMENTOUS CONVENTION FIRST YEAR PEACE. SOULS UPLIFTED THANKSGIVING PROTECTION VOUCHSAFED PROVIDENCE PREEMINENT COMMUNITY BAHÁ’Í WORLD ENABLING ITS MEMBERS CONSUMMATE DESPITE TRIBULATIONS WORLD-CONVULSING CONFLICT FIRST STAGE ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S PLAN. CAMPAIGN CULMINATING CENTENARY INAUGURATION BAHÁ’Í ERA COMPLETED SIXTEEN MONTHS ERE APPOINTED TIME EXTERIOR ORNAMENTATION MASHRIQU’L-ADHKÁR LAID BASIS ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER EVERY VIRGIN STATE PROVINCE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT ALMOST DOUBLED ASSEMBLIES ESTABLISHED SINCE INCEPTION FAITH AUGMENTED BY THOUSAND LOCALITIES WHERE BAHÁ’ÍS RESIDE ESTABLISHED ASSEMBLIES FOURTEEN REPUBLICS LATIN AMERICA CONSTITUTED ACTIVE GROUPS REMAINING REPUBLICS SWELLED TO SIXTY SOVEREIGN STATES WITHIN PALE FAITH. TWO-YEAR RESPITE WELL EARNED AFTER EXPENDITURE SUCH COLOSSAL EFFORT COVERING SUCH TREMENDOUS RANGE DURING SO DARK PERIOD NOW ENDED.80 PROSECUTORS PLAN WHO COURSE SIX WAR-RIDDEN YEARS ACHIEVED SUCH PRODIGIES SERVICE WESTERN HEMISPHERE FROM ALASKA TO MAGALLANES NOW COLLECTIVELY SUMMONED ASSUME COURSE PEACEFUL YEARS AHEAD STILL WEIGHTIER RESPONSIBILITIES OPENING DECADE SECOND CENTURY. TIME RIPE EVENTS PRESSING HOSTS ON HIGH SOUNDING SIGNAL INAUGURATION SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN DESIGNED CULMINATE FIRST CENTENNIAL YEAR NINE MARKING MYSTIC BIRTH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S PROPHETIC MISSION SÍYÁH-CHÁL TIHRÁN. TWOFOLD RESPONSIBILITY URGENTLY CALLS VANGUARD DAWN-BREAKERS WEST CHAMPION-BUILDERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S ORDER TORCHBEARERS WORLD CIVILIZATION EXECUTORS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S MANDATE ARISE SIMULTANEOUSLY BRING FRUITION TASKS ALREADY UNDERTAKEN LAUNCH FRESH ENTERPRISES BEYOND BORDERS WESTERN HEMISPHERE. FIRST OBJECTIVE NEW PLAN CONSOLIDATION VICTORIES WON THROUGHOUT AMERICAS INVOLVING MULTIPLICATION BAHÁ’Í CENTERS BOLDER PROCLAMATION FAITH MASSES. SECOND OBJECTIVE COMPLETION INTERIOR ORNAMENTATION HOLIEST HOUSE WORSHIP BAHÁ’Í WORLD DESIGNED COINCIDE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY INCEPTION HISTORIC ENTERPRISE. THIRD OBJECTIVE FORMATION THREE NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE DOMINION CANADA CENTRAL SOUTH AMERICA. FOURTH OBJECTIVE INITIATION SYSTEMATIC TEACHING ACTIVITY WAR-TORN SPIRITUALLY FAMISHED EUROPEAN CONTINENT CRADLE WORLD-FAMED CIVILIZATIONS TWICE BLESSED ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S VISITS WHOSE RULERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SPECIFICALLY COLLECTIVELY ADDRESSED AIMING ESTABLISHMENT ASSEMBLIES IBERIAN PENINSULA LOW COUNTRIES SCANDINAVIAN STATES ITALY. NO EFFORT TOO GREAT FOR COMMUNITY BELONGING CONTINENT WHOSE RULERS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH ADDRESSED IN MOST HOLY BOOK WHOSE MEMBERS INVESTED SPIRITUAL PRIMACY BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AND NAMED BY HIM APOSTLES HIS FATHER WHOSE COUNTRY WAS FIRST WESTERN NATION RESPOND DIVINE MESSAGE AND DEEMED WORTHY BE FIRST BUILD TABERNACLE MOST GREAT PEACE WHOSE ADMINISTRATORS EVOLVED PATTERN EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER CONSUMMATED FIRST STAGE DIVINE PLAN AND WHOSE ELEVATION THRONE EVERLASTING DOMINION CENTER COVENANT CONFIDENTLY ANTICIPATED. AS RESISTLESS IMPULSE PROPELLING PLAN ACCELERATES AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY MUST RISE NEW LEVELS POTENCY IN RESPONSE DIVINE MANDATE SCALE LOFTIER HEIGHTS HEROISM ENSURE FULLER PARTICIPATION RANK FILE MEMBERS DEMONSTRATE CLOSER COLLABORATION AGENCIES DESIGNED ENSURE ATTAINMENT FOURFOLD OBJECTIVES EVINCE GREATER AUDACITY TEARING DOWN BARRIERS ITS PATH. UPON SUCCESS SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN DEPENDS LAUNCHING AFTER RESPITE THREE BRIEF YEARS YET MORE MOMENTOUS THIRD SEVEN YEAR PLAN WHICH WHEN CONSUMMATED THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT STRUCTURE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER REMAINING SOVEREIGN STATES AND CHIEF DEPENDENCIES ENTIRE GLOBE MUST CULMINATE IN AND BE BEFITTINGLY COMMEMORATED THROUGH WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS MARKING CENTENNIAL FORMAL ASSUMPTION BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH PROPHETIC OFFICE ASSOCIATED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ DANIEL’S PROPHECY AND WORLD TRIUMPH BAHÁ’Í REVELATION SIGNALIZING TERMINATION INITIAL EPOCH EVOLUTION PLAN WHOSE MYSTERIOUS RESISTLESS PROCESSES MUST CONTINUE SHED EVER-INCREASING LUSTER ON SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS BOTH FORMATIVE GOLDEN AGES FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. PLEDGING TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS MY INITIAL CONTRIBUTION FURTHERANCE MANIFOLD PURPOSES GLORIOUS CRUSADE SURPASSING EVERY ENTERPRISE UNDERTAKEN BY FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH COURSE FIRST BAHÁ’Í CENTURY.

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Overwhelming Responsibility

2 May 1946

OVERWHELMING RESPONSIBILITY RESTS NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY URGE IMMEDIATE MEASURES SET PLAN MOTION ADVISE MORE FREQUENT MEETINGS ASSEMBLY PROMPT FORMATION COMMITTEES CHARGED FURTHERANCE EACH ASPECT PLAN. EXERCISE UTMOST CARE SELECTION MEMBERS COMMITTEES. FEEL NECESSITY ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS ENABLING ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOCUS ATTENTION SESSION DIVERS IMPERATIVE REQUIREMENTS PLAN. PROSPECTIVE PIONEERS EUROPE LATIN AMERICA THOUGH NOT FULLY QUALIFIED SHOULD BE CONSTANTLY ENCOURAGED. PRELIMINARY MEASURES PLACING CONTRACT ORNAMENTATION DEPARTURE SETTLEMENT PIONEERS SHOULD BE EXPEDITED. OBSTACLES HOWEVER FORMIDABLE SHOULD BE DETERMINEDLY SURMOUNTED EVERY OPPORTUNITY SEIZED RANK FILE BELIEVERS CONTINUALLY STIMULATED REMINDED RESPONSIBILITIES DIRECTED CHANNELS ACTIVE SERVICE. NO TIME TO LOSE GREAT SACRIFICES DEMANDED UNITY AUDACITY STERN RESOLUTION ESSENTIAL. DEVOUT PRAYERS OFFERED SHRINES.

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Spiritual Conquest of the Old World

5 June 1946

ADVISE DEVOTE SPECIAL ATTENTION JUNE MEETING URGENT VITAL REQUIREMENTS PLAN EUROPEAN CONTINENT. OPENING PHASE SPIRITUAL CONQUEST OLD WORLD UNDER DIVINELY CONCEIVED PLAN MUST BE SPEEDILY BEFITTINGLY INAUGURATED. FEEL NECESSITY PROMPT DESPATCH NINE COMPETENT PIONEERS AS MANY COUNTRIES FEASIBLE CHARGED INITIATE SYSTEMATIC TEACHING WORK COMMENCE SETTLEMENT PROMOTE DISSEMINATION LITERATURE. URGE ESTABLISH AUXILIARY OFFICE IN GENEVA ADJUNCT INTERNATIONAL BUREAU EQUIPPED FACILITIES FOSTER DEVELOPMENT ASSEMBLIES COUNTRIES FALLING SCOPE PLAN. RECOMMEND EUROPEAN TEACHING COMMITTEE UNDERTAKE WITHOUT DELAY MEASURES AIMING CLOSE COLLABORATION BRITISH PUBLISHING TRUST AND PUBLISHING COMMITTEE GERMAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. ADVISE INCLUDE DUCHY LUXEMBOURG LOW COUNTRIES ENLARGE RANGE PLAN THROUGH ADDITION SWITZERLAND. OWING CONSIDERABLE SUM ALREADY ACCUMULATED TIHRÁN PREFER DIVERT SUM FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIEF NOT YET FORWARDED PERSIA AS WELL AS ASSEMBLY’S ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION WORLD CENTER TO FUNDS EARMARKED ALL-IMPORTANT FAR-FLUNG EUROPEAN TEACHING PUBLICATION ACTIVITIES. CHALLENGE OFFERED VIRGIN FIELDS EUROPE OUTWEIGHS MOMENTOUS CHARACTER TASKS ALREADY CONFRONTING AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AMERICAS. VAST DISTANCES SUNDERING OLD NEW WORLDS VISIBLY PROVIDENTIALLY CONTRACTING ENABLING AMBASSADORS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S NEW WORLD ORDER SWIFTLY DISCHARGE APOSTOLIC MISSION THROUGHOUT CONTINENT DESIGNED STEPPING-STONE STILL VASTER ENTERPRISES ASSOCIATED FUTURE STAGES DIVINELY IMPELLED EVER-UNFOLDING WORLD-ENCIRCLING PLAN.

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Thirty New Assemblies

12 June 1946

APPEAL NATIONAL TEACHING AND REGIONAL COMMITTEES UNITEDLY ARISE PLAY NOTABLE PART STUPENDOUS EXERTIONS NOW BEING MADE BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT AMERICAS FURTHERANCE SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN. PLEAD FOCUS ATTENTION ENABLE OVER THIRTY GROUPS HAVING SIX OR MORE MEMBERS SPEEDILY ATTAIN ASSEMBLY STATUS. DEVOUTLY HOPING FERVENTLY PRAYING NUMBER ASSEMBLIES FUNCTIONING NORTH AMERICA REACH HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE ERE EXPIRY SECOND YEAR SECOND STAGE DIVINE PLAN. ATTAINMENT THIS IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVE WILL CHALLENGE GALVANIZE ALL OTHER AGENCIES FUNCTIONING LATIN AMERICA, EUROPEAN CONTINENT, FOLLOW SUPERB EXAMPLE SET SISTER COMMITTEES LABORING HEART MOTHER COMMUNITY WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

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A God-Given Mandate

15 June 1946

The opening years of the second century of the Bahá’í Era are witnessing the launching of yet another stage of an enterprise the range of whose unfolding processes we can, at the present time, but dimly visualize. However familiar we may be with its origin, however conscious of its magnitude and bold character, however cognizant of the signal success that has attended its initial operation, in the Western Hemisphere, we find ourselves nevertheless incapable of either grasping the import of its tremendous potentialities, or of correctly appraising the significance of the present phase of its development. Nor can we assess its reaction, as the momentum of the mysterious forces driving it onward augments, on the fortunes of the divers communities whose members are consciously laboring for the achievement of purposes akin to the high aims that animate its promoters, or estimate its impact, as its scope is further enlarged and its fruition is accelerated, on the immediate destinies of mankind in general.

The impulse from which this historic world-embracing crusade, which, alike in the character of its Founder and the nature of the tasks committed to its participants, is unprecedented in religious history, derives its creative power may be said to have in a sense originated with the Mandate issued by the Báb in His Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’, one of His earliest and greatest works, as far back as the opening years of the first Bahá’í century, and directed specifically to the “peoples of the West,” to “issue forth” from their “cities” and aid His Cause.

To this initial impulse given by the Herald of our Faith, whilst confined in the heart of faraway Asia, a still greater force was communicated, and a more specific direction given, when the Author of our Faith Himself, having already set foot on the fringes of the continent of Europe, addressed, in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, from behind the walls of the prison-city of ‘Akká, some of the most celebrated passages of that Book to the Chief Magistrates of the entire American continent, bidding them “bind with the hands of justice the broken,” and “crush the oppressor” with the “rod of the commandments” of their Lord. Unlike the kings of the earth whom He had so boldly condemned in that same Book, unlike the European Sovereigns whom He had either rebuked, warned or denounced, such as the French Emperor, the most powerful monarch of his time; the Conqueror of that monarch; the Heir of the Holy Roman Empire; and the Caliph of Islám; the Rulers of America were not only spared the ominous and emphatic warnings which He uttered against the crowned heads of the world, but were called upon to bring their corrective and healing influence to bear upon the injustices perpetrated by the tyrannical and the ungodly. To this remarkable pronouncement, conferring such distinction upon the sovereign rulers of the Western Hemisphere, must be added not only the passages in which the Author of our Faith clearly foreshadows the revelation of the “signs of His dominion” in the West, but also the no less significant verbal affirmations which, according to reliable eyewitnesses, He more than once made in regard to the glorious destiny which America was to attain in the days to come.

That same impulse was markedly accelerated when the Center of the Covenant Himself, through a series of successive acts, chose to disclose, to an unprecedented extent, the character of the Mission reserved for the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in that continent, and to delineate the tasks whereby that God-given design was to be fulfilled. No sooner had He mounted the helm of the Faith than He unmistakably revealed to His followers His purpose of making the establishment of that Faith in the West, and particularly in the New World, one of the chief objectives of His ministry. No sooner had that great feat been accomplished than He undertook to visit those centers which His disciples had labored to establish, and, through a number of symbolic acts and weighty pronouncements, to pave the way for the inauguration of the collective undertaking He was preparing those disciples to carry out. In the Tablets of the Divine Plan, revealed at a later stage, and in circumstances almost as critical as those which had accompanied the inception of the Faith in the West, and which may be designated as the Charter of the Plan with which He was to entrust them in the evening of His life, He, in a language still more graphic and in terms more definite than those used by either the Báb or Bahá’u’lláh, revealed the high distinction and the glorious work which America, and particularly the United States and Canada, was to achieve in both the Formative and Golden Ages of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

His references to the “extraordinary brilliancy” of the light which His Father’s Revelation was to shed in the West; His prediction that “the West will have replaced the East” “through the splendor” of that Faith; His specific prophecies regarding the future of the American continent, as the “land wherein the splendors of His light shall be revealed” and “the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled,” and which “will lead all nations spiritually”; His even more specific tribute to the Great Republic of the West which He proclaims to be “worthy of being the first to build the Tabernacle of the Most Great Peace and proclaim the oneness of mankind,” to be “equipped and empowered to accomplish that which will adorn the pages of history, to become the envy of the world, and be blest in both the East and the West”; His yet more startling words addressed to the followers of the Faith in that Republic, referring to them as “apostles of Bahá’u’lláh,” characterizing their mission as “unspeakably glorious,” and assuring them that “should success crown your enterprise … the throne of the Kingdom of God will, in the plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established”; and finally, His soul-stirring assertion that “the moment this Divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America, and is propagated through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion,” and that “the whole earth” will “resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness”—all these, in conjunction with the explicit and detailed instructions embodied in His Tablets, in connection with the execution of their mission, may be regarded as having fixed the pattern, and revealed a measure of the glory, of the Plan itself, which, after His ascension, was to be collectively and formally prosecuted.

The creation of the administrative machinery of the Faith, according to the precepts laid down in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament, and on which, during the opening years of its Formative Age, the resources and attention of the trustees of the Plan were chiefly concentrated, provided, after several years of assiduous labor, the agencies for its proper and systematic execution. The first stage of that enterprise, which had been held in abeyance, for well-nigh twenty years, while the administrative institutions of the Faith were slowly taking shape and were being perfected, was finally launched during the last decade of that same century whose opening years will be associated with the earliest though veiled intimation of the phenomenal destiny which the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the New World are to fulfill. The successful consummation of the first stage of that long-deferred Mission, made possible through the brilliant execution of a Seven Year Plan, embracing the entire Western Hemisphere, synchronized with, and was befittingly commemorated through, the historic celebrations that marked the termination of that century.81

The opening decade of the second Bahá’í century coincides with the launching of the second Seven Year Plan,82 destined alike to consolidate the exploits that have shed such luster on the last years of the preceding century, and to carry the Plan a stage further across the ocean to the shores of the Old World, and to communicate, through the operation of its regenerative power, its healing influence to the peoples of the most afflicted, impoverished and agitated continent of the globe. We who stand on the threshold of this gigantic and twofold undertaking are unable to discern the exact course which its immediate operation, both on the home front and in fields far from the scene of its earliest victories, is destined to take, the setbacks it may suffer, or the triumphs it must ultimately achieve. The objectives, however, which must orientate its prosecutors, and arouse them to a higher pitch of concerted endeavor, are clearly defined, and by no means beyond their collective power to achieve.

The double task already undertaken to enlarge the basis of the administrative structure of the Faith throughout the states and provinces of the North American continent and throughout Latin America, and to proclaim its truths and principles to the masses, should be relentlessly pursued, whilst the range of the operation of the Plan is being steadily enlarged. The administrative centers—foci at which the ever-expanding activities of a rising Order must converge—whose total number had not exceeded forty at the time of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to America, which at the inception of the first Seven Year Plan had risen to three hundred, and had swelled to over a thousand ere the expiry of the first Bahá’í century, should, through resolute effort and careful planning, be continually and speedily multiplied. Particular care should be constantly exercised to enable the groups scattered throughout the length and breadth of the states and provinces of the United States and Canada to attain Assembly status, and assume gradually the responsibilities and functions assigned to them in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and the Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. A corresponding increase in the number of such centers throughout both Central and South America should likewise be aimed at. Bolder measures designed to proclaim the verities of the Faith, its tenets, its claims and the purpose of its institutions, through the press and radio, through displays, exhibits and conferences, and through a wider dissemination of its literature in English, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as a more convincing presentation of its aims and teachings to the leaders of public opinion, should, moreover, be seriously and systematically undertaken not only in the mother country but also throughout the Latin republics where the structural basis of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic Order has already been established.

Collateral with this process of consolidation in North, Central and South America, a special effort should be exerted to bring to a final conclusion the construction of the most holy Temple which will ever be erected by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and whose inception, forty-three years ago, synchronized with the erection in the city of ‘Ishqábád of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Bahá’í world. The completion of the interior ornamentation of the Temple, following upon its exterior decoration, and fitting it for the purposes for which it was ordained, and coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of its inception, will, in itself, pave the way for the gradual erection of those dependencies which are designed to supplement the functions which the Central Edifice is destined to perform, and whose future development must needs be provided for during successive stages in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan itself.

Parallel with this double process of consolidation and construction particular attention should be devoted to the provision of the necessary means whereby the newly fledged centers in the Dominion of Canada and throughout the republics of Latin America can be coordinated and further consolidated, through the formation of three National Spiritual Assemblies, designed to participate in time in the international elections that must precede the constitution of the First Universal House of Justice. The erection of these three pillars, raising to eleven the number of existing National Spiritual Assemblies, which are to be designated in future as Secondary Houses of Justice, and are designed to support the highest legislative body in the administrative hierarchy of the Faith, will, as the Divine Plan continues to unfold, be supplemented by the formation of similar bodies which, as they multiply, will, of necessity, broaden the basis, and reinforce the representative character, of the supreme elective Institution which, in conjunction with the institution of Guardianship, must direct and coordinate the activities of a world-encircling Faith. Through the formation of these National Spiritual Assemblies, as the implications of the Divine Plan gradually unfold in the coming years, the American Bahá’í community will, in addition to its missionary activities throughout five continents and the islands of the seven seas, be contributing directly to the laying of the foundation, and hastening the formation, of an institution which, when constituted, will have consummated the threefold process involved in the erection of the total structure of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

In conjunction with these aforementioned objectives, and, in a sense, more far-reaching in its repercussions and of greater urgency, is the task of extending the ramifications of the Divine Plan to a continent which not only stands in dire need of the ennobling, the reinvigorating, and spiritualizing influence of a world-redeeming Faith, but must serve as a stepping-stone to the spiritual conquest of the vast and numerous territories, lying as yet beyond the scope of the Plan, in both the Asiatic and African continents, and which must, in the course of successive epochs, be warmed and illuminated by the rays of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation as prescribed in the Tablets revealed by the Center of His Covenant and the Authorized Interpreter of His teachings.

In the western extremity of that continent, in the Iberian Peninsula, the parent land and fountainhead of the culture of those republics which have already been quickened by the first stirrings of the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; in the extreme North, among the Scandinavian peoples, and further south, amidst their Flemish and French neighbors, whose conversion will considerably enrich the diversity of the races to be included within the orbit of its operation; in the extreme South, in the Italian Peninsula, the cradle of a far-famed civilization and the seat and stronghold of the most powerful Church in Christendom; in the very heart of that continent, amidst a freedom-loving, peace-pursuing, high-minded people, the prosecutors of the second Seven Year Plan must, preferably in the capitals of these countries, arise to establish, on an unassailable foundation, the structural basis of the nascent institutions of their Faith, which future promoters of the Divine Plan must, in the course of succeeding epochs, enlarge, and thereon erect the mightiest edifices of that Faith. Any assistance which the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles and of Germany can, through the instrumentality of their Publishing Committees and other agencies, extend, any facilities which the establishment of an office, acting as an adjunct to the International Bahá’í Bureau in Geneva can provide, should be promptly and fully utilized for the speedy accomplishment of the initial tasks to be undertaken in Europe under the present Seven Year Plan.

Through the prompt settlement of nine wholly dedicated souls, aglow with enthusiasm and keenly aware of the plight of the peoples for whose sake they are abandoning the comfort and security of their homeland, and who will head the Roll of Honor as the curtain rises on this new and glorious phase of American Bahá’í enterprise; through the dispatch of itinerant teachers who, either delegated by the American National Spiritual Assembly or of their own accord, will cross and recross the vast distances, now providentially shrunk, which separate the Old and New Worlds, who will assiduously water the seeds sown by these pioneers, consolidate the work already started by isolated believers, and act as intermediaries between the various groups which, as the present Plan develops, must evolve into Spiritual Assemblies; through the vigorous dissemination of literature, properly translated, promptly printed, and comprehensive in range, in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch and each of the Scandinavian languages; through a steady process of concentration on a few receptive souls, who can be relied upon to embrace, wholeheartedly and with alacrity, the truth of the Faith, identify themselves unreservedly with its tenets, actively support its institutions, and join in forming its initial Assemblies; through the persistent efforts, at a later stage, of a considerable number of settlers who, joining forces with the original pioneers and the native and newly enrolled believers, will provide the necessary requisites for the constitution of properly functioning Local Assemblies; through the participation, as the situation on the continent improves and the restrictions are relaxed, of these settlers, itinerant teachers, native and isolated believers in conferences and organizations, humanitarian, educational and otherwise, designed to promote ends akin to our own; through the liberal supply of funds to those who have forsaken their homes and kindred in the New World, and journeyed so far afield in the service of both their Faith and their fellowmen; through the exertion of a special effort, as the present Plan approaches its close and the general condition in most European countries improves, aimed at securing, through the radio and the press, the widest possible publicity for the Faith, its tenets and institutions, to serve as a means of reinforcing the number of its avowed promoters and of consolidating the basis of its evolving institutions—through these, and similar measures which the American National Spiritual Assembly and its European Teaching Committee may initiate and promote, the American Bahá’í Community must demonstrate, in this new field of their intercontinental enterprise, an initiative, a tenacity, a resourcefulness, a self-sacrifice and an audacity comparable to, and even exceeding, the qualities evinced by those who, ever since the inception of the Faith in the West, have, haphazardly, single-handed and with no organization to sustain them, labored with such fidelity and devotion in various countries throughout that continent.

The first century of the Bahá’í Era witnessed in darkest Persia the birth of the Faith, as well as the establishment of the Administrative Order—the Child of that Faith—an Order which, cradled in the heart of the North American continent, has already succeeded, in less than a decade and in direct consequence of the initial operation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, and through the concerted, the sustained, and richly blessed efforts of the champion-builders of that Order, in spreading out its roots and in rearing its institutions in no less than twenty republics throughout the length and breadth of the Western Hemisphere. The second century is destined to witness a tremendous deployment and a notable consolidation of the forces working towards the worldwide development of that Order, as well as the first stirrings of that World Order, of which the present Administrative System is at once the precursor, the nucleus and pattern—an Order which, as it slowly crystallizes and radiates its benign influence over the entire planet, will proclaim at once the coming of age of the whole human race, as well as the maturity of the Faith itself, the progenitor of that Order. As the Plan bequeathed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá unfolds, through successive decades of the present century, its measureless potentialities, and gathers within the field of its operations nation after nation in successive continents of the globe, it will be increasingly recognized not only as the most potent agency for the development of the world Administrative System, but also as a primary factor in the birth and efflorescence of the World Order itself in both the East and the West.

The first Seven Year Plan, ushered in on the eve of the greatest conflict that has ever shaken the human race, has, despite six years of chaos and tribulation, been crowned with a success far exceeding the most sanguine hopes of its ardent promoters. Within so short a period, during such troublous years, such exploits were achieved as will forever illuminate the pages of Bahá’í history. The exterior ornamentation of the House of Worship was completed sixteen months before the appointed time. The administrative basis of the Faith was laid in every virgin state and province of the North American continent. The number of Spiritual Assemblies in the United States and Canada was almost doubled. No less than fourteen republics of Latin America were provided with such Assemblies. Active groups began to function in the remaining republics, raising thereby the number of sovereign states within the pale of the Faith to sixty. Extension work in which the newly constituted Assemblies were vigorously participating was initiated. Two of the newly fledged Assemblies in Latin America, as well as a considerable number in the United States, were incorporated. An international school to provide training for Bahá’í teachers in Central and South America was founded. Considerable literature in Spanish and Portuguese was disseminated. Newspaper and radio publicity, teacher training courses, and Bahá’í youth symposiums were inaugurated. A distributing center of Bahá’í literature for Latin America was established in the capital of Argentina, and the outposts of the Faith, in the Western Hemisphere, were pushed as far north as Anchorage in Alaska, in the vicinity of the Artic Circle, and as far as the extremity of Chile, to Magallanes, the world’s southernmost city.

The second Seven Year Plan, set in motion on the morrow of that universal and cataclysmic upheaval, must, despite the great confusion that still prevails, the spiritual torpor, the disillusionment, the embitterment, the political and social restlessness that still afflict the human race, meet, as it gathers momentum and multiplies its agencies across the ocean, in lands and amidst races that have borne, for the most part, the brunt of this dire and bloody contest, with a success no less startling and complete than that which rewarded the self-sacrifice, the vigilance and the strenuous labors of those who inaugurated the initial phase of this glorious Mission. Might not this second and still greater adventure, undertaken by the trustees of a God-given Mandate, demonstrate in both hemispheres, despite the prodigious scale on which it is launched, such prodigies of service as will carry its prosecutors far beyond their avowed objectives, and eclipse, through the wisdom, the valor and the exploits of those pioneers and administrators immediately responsible for its planning and execution, the splendor of every previous collective enterprise undertaken by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the West?

Let them as they gird up their loins, as they deliberate in their council chambers, as they embark on their bold and holy Mission, as they encounter the hazards, and suffer the setbacks, and are confronted with the formidable obstacles, which so vast, so complex, so arduous an enterprise must necessarily involve, call to mind the illuminating, the comforting, the sustaining words enshrined for all time in those epoch-making Tablets wherein the unerring pen of their Master has traced the course of their Mission: “May America become the distributing center of spiritual enlightenment, and all the world receive this heavenly blessing! For America has developed powers and capacities greater and more wonderful than other nations … May the inhabitants of this country … rise from their present material attainments to such a height that heavenly illumination may stream from this center to all the peoples of the world.” And again: “O ye Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh! May my life be sacrificed for you! … Behold the portals which Bahá’u’lláh hath opened before you. Consider how exalted and lofty is the station you are destined to attain; how unique the favors with which you have been endowed” … “The full measure of your success is as yet unrevealed, its significance still unapprehended. Erelong ye will, with your own eyes, witness how brilliantly every one of you, even as a shining star, will radiate in the firmament of your country the light of Divine Guidance, and will bestow upon its people the glory of an everlasting life … The range of your future achievements still remains undisclosed. I fervently hope that in the near future the whole earth may be stirred and shaken by the results of your achievements.” “The Almighty will no doubt grant you the help of His grace, will invest you with the tokens of His might, and will endue your souls with the sustaining power of His holy Spirit.” And again: “Be not concerned with the smallness of your numbers, neither be oppressed by the multitude of an unbelieving world” … “Exert yourselves; your mission is unspeakably glorious. Should success crown your enterprise, America will assuredly evolve into a center from which waves of spiritual power will emanate, and the throne of the Kingdom of God will, in the plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established” … “The hope which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá cherishes for you is that the same success which has attended your efforts in America may crown your endeavors in other parts of the world, that through you the fame of the Cause of God may be diffused throughout the East and the West and the advent of the Kingdom of the Lord of Hosts be proclaimed in all the five continents of the globe … Thus far ye have been untiring in your labors. Let your exertions henceforth increase a thousandfold. Summon the people in these countries, capitals, islands, assemblies and churches to enter the Abhá Kingdom. The scope of your exertions must needs be extended. The wider its range, the more striking will be the evidence of Divine assistance.” And finally, this apocalyptic vision of the consummation of the task entrusted to the American Bahá’í Community, as evoked by that same Pen in those same Tablets: “The moment this Divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America, and is propagated through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion. Then will all the peoples of the world witness that this community is spiritually illumined and divinely guided. Then will the whole earth resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness.

What greater reward can crown the labors of that community, now launched on the second stage of its world mission, than that the consummation of the second Seven Year Plan should coincide with the celebrations commemorating the centenary of the “Year Nine,” the year which alike marked the termination of the Bábí Dispensation, and signalized the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission? It was at a time when the Faith for which the Báb had suffered and died was hovering on the brink of extinction, when Bahá’u’lláh lay wrapped in the gloom of the Síyáh-Chál of Ṭihrán, His feet in stocks, His neck freighted with chains, and surrounded by vile and wretched criminals, that the auspicious year 1269 A.H., acclaimed by the Báb as the “Year Nine,” dawned upon the world, ushering in the most glorious and momentous stage in the Heroic Age of the greatest religious Dispensation in the spiritual history of mankind. To that year He had referred as the year in which “the realities of the created things” will “be made manifest,” the year in which mankind “will attain unto all good,” in which the “Bayán,” as yet “in the stage of seed,” will manifest “its ultimate perfection,” in which the “embryo of the Faith will attain the station of ‘the most comely of forms,’” and in which “a new creation” will be beheld. It was in that same year that the “third woe,” as anticipated by St. John the Divine, quickly succeeded the second. To that same year Shaykh Aḥmad-i-Aḥsá’í, who had heralded the Faith of the Báb, had alluded as the year “after Ḥín” (68), when, according to his written testimony, the “mystery” of the Cause of God would be “manifested,” and the “secret” of His Message “divulged.” It was in that same year that, according to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, “the requisite number of pure, of wholly consecrated, and sanctified souls” had been “most secretly consummated.

It was in such dramatic circumstances, recalling the experience of Moses when face to face with the Burning Bush in the wilderness of Sinai, the successive visions of Zoroaster, the opening of the heavens and the descent of the Dove upon Christ in the Jordan, the cry of Gabriel heard by Muḥammad in the Cave of Híra, and the dream of the Báb in which the blood of the Imám Ḥusayn touched and sanctified His lips, that Bahá’u’lláh, He “around Whom the Point of the Bayán hath revolved,” and the Vehicle of the greatest Revelation the world has yet seen, received the first intimation of His sublime Mission, and that a ministry which, alike in its duration and fecundity, is unsurpassed in the religious history of mankind, was inaugurated. It was on that occasion that the “Most Great Spirit,” as designated by Bahá’u’lláh Himself, revealed itself to Him, in the form of a “Maiden,” and bade Him “lift up” His “voice between earth and heaven”—that same Spirit which, in the Zoroastrian, the Mosaic, the Christian, and Muḥammadan Dispensations, had been respectively symbolized by the “Sacred Fire,” the “Burning Bush,” the “Dove,” and the “Angel Gabriel.”

One night, in a dream,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself, recounting His soul-shaking experience of the first stirrings of His prophetic Mission, in the Year Nine, in that abominable pit, has written, “these exalted words were heard on every side: ‘Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy Pen. Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety. Erelong will God raise up the treasures of the earth—men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him.’” And again, “During the days I lay in the prison of Ṭihrán, though the galling weight of the chains and the stench-filled air allowed Me but little sleep, still in those infrequent moments of slumber I felt as if something flowed from the crown of My head over My breast, even as a mighty torrent that precipitateth itself upon the earth from the summit of a lofty mountain. Every limb of My body would, as a result, be set afire. At such moments My tongue recited what no man could bear to hear.

What still greater reward could await those who, inspired by the success achieved by the prosecutors of the second Seven Year Plan, will have arisen to carry forward to a triumphant conclusion the third phase of the Mission entrusted to them by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, than that their prodigious labors, having embraced territories far beyond the confines of the continents of Europe and of America, should climax in, and be worthily commemorated through, the worldwide celebrations of the “Most Great Festival,” the “King of Festivals,” the “Festival of God” Himself—the Festival associated with the accession of Him Who is the Lord of the Kingdom to the throne of everlasting glory, and with the formal assumption by Him of His prophetic office? What greater reward than that the consummation of the third Seven Year Plan, marking the close of the first, and signalizing the opening of the second, epoch in the evolution of the Divine Plan, should synchronize with that greatest of all Jubilees, related to the year 1335, mentioned by Daniel in the last chapter of His Book, and associated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with the world triumph of His Father’s Faith? What greater glory than that those who have brought this initial epoch in the resistless march of a world-embracing Plan to a triumphant termination should be made to feel that they, and those gone before them, have, through their collective, their sustained, and heroic endeavors, organized through three successive stages, and covering a span of almost a quarter of a century, been vouchsafed by the Almighty the privilege of contributing, more than any other community consciously laboring in the service of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, to this blissful consummation, and to have played a preponderating role in the world triumph of its institutions?

Dearly beloved friends! It is not for us, at this crucial hour, to delve into the future, to speculate on the possibilities of the Plan and its orientation, to conjecture on its impact on the unfoldment of an embryonic World Order, or to dwell on the glories and triumphs which it may hold in store, or to seek to delineate the mysterious course which a God-given Mission, impelled by forces beyond our power to predict or appraise, may pursue. To try to obtain a clear view of the shape of things to come would be premature, inasmuch as the glittering prizes to be won are directly dependent on the measure of success which the combined efforts that are now being exerted must yield. Ours is the duty to fix our gaze with undeviating attention on the duties and responsibilities confronting us at this present hour, to concentrate our resources, both material and spiritual, on the tasks that lie immediately ahead, to ensure that no time is wasted, that no opportunity is missed, that no obligation is evaded, that no task is half-heartedly performed, that no decision is procrastinated. The task summoning us to a challenge, unprecedented in its gravity and force, is too vast and sacred, the time too short, the hour too perilous, the workers too few, the call too insistent, the resources too inadequate, for us to allow these precious and fleeting hours to slip from our grasp, and to suffer the prizes within our reach to be endangered or forfeited. So much depends upon us, so pregnant with possibilities is the present stage in the evolution of the Plan, that great and small, individuals, groups and Assemblies, white and colored, young and old, neophytes and veterans, settlers, pioneers, itinerant teachers and administrators, as isolated believers, as organizers of groups, and as contributors to the formation of Local or National Assemblies, as builders of the Temple, as laborers on the home teaching front, or in Latin America, or in the new transatlantic field of service—all, without exception and in every sphere of activity, however modest, restricted or inconspicuous, must participate and labor, assiduously and continually, until every ounce of our energy is spent, until, tired but blissful, our promised harvest is brought in, and our pledge to our Beloved fully redeemed.

However dark the outlook, however laborious the task, however strange and inhospitable the environment, however vast the distances that must be traversed, however scarce the amenities of life, however irksome the means of travel, however annoying the restrictions, however listless and confused the minds of the peoples and races contacted, however trying the setbacks that may be suffered, we must, under no circumstances, either falter or flinch. Our reliance on the unfailing grace of an all-loving, all-preserving, ever-sustaining, ever-watchful Providence, must, however much we may be buffeted by circumstances, remain unshaken until the very end. Shall we not, when hardships seethe about us, and our hearts momentarily quail, recall the ardent desire so poignantly voiced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in those immortal Tablets that enshrine forever His last wishes for His chosen disciples: “O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of ‘Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá’ in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the Divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it.”

To be privileged to render, in His stead, on so colossal a scale, at such a challenging hour, and in the service of so sublime a Plan, so great and enduring a service, is a bounty which we can never adequately appraise. We stand too close to the noble edifice our hands are rearing, the din and tumult into which a war-devastated world is now plunged are too distracting, our own share in the furtherance of those global aims, tasks and problems that are increasingly absorbing the attention of mankind and its leaders is as yet too circumscribed, for us to be in a position to evaluate the contribution which we, as the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Mandate, as the champion-builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s Order, as the torchbearers of a civilization of which that Order is the mainspring and precursor, are now being led, through the inscrutable dispensations of an almighty Providence, to make to the world triumph of our Faith, as well as to the ultimate redemption of all mankind.

Great have been the blessings, and divers the bestowals, vouchsafed to this community ever since the compelling will of a loving Master called it into being, and raised it up for the glory and honor of His Father’s Faith. Unnumbered have been the marks of solicitude which, down the years, He showered upon it, as He nursed it in its infancy, as He fostered its growth, as He sent forth His messengers and communicated His written instructions, to initiate it into the mysteries of His Cause, as He vitalized it through personal contact with His own dynamic and vibrant personality, as He consecrated, through a series of significant acts, the initial activities which He Himself had enabled it to inaugurate, as He invested it, at a later stage, in the evening of His life, with that primacy that was to empower it to launch the Plan which He had conceived for its future development, as He, through the sustaining power of His spirit from on high, assisted it to erect the framework of those institutions that were to safeguard its unfoldment and canalize its energies, as He led it forward to embark upon the first stage of His own revealed Plan which was to enable it to achieve such exploits and garner such a harvest in the virgin territories of the New World, and as He, with that same watchful and loving care, is now marshaling its forces and sounding the signal for a still greater and more brilliant deployment of those forces, at a time of great commotion and distress, in one of the most agitated storm-centers of the world.

Strange, indeed, as we look back over the last fifty years that have witnessed the creation and unfoldment of so powerful an agency for the execution of Bahá’u’lláh’s purpose for mankind, that he who had first raised his voice in public on behalf of so mighty a Faith should have sprung from the ranks, and been recognized as one of the leading representatives, of that narrow and hostile ecclesiastical order which, as the Faith advances and storms still greater heights, will increasingly launch against it its determined attacks. Stranger still that he whom posterity will recognize to have been the founder of that Faith in the Western Hemisphere, whom the Center of the Covenant, in recognition of so signal a service, had acclaimed as “Bahá’s Peter” and “the Second Columbus,”83 should have, in his vanity and ambition, deserted the Fold he had labored to gather, should have allied himself with the Archbreaker of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, and remained, until the end of his life, a sworn and bitter enemy of the One Who had entrusted him with such a holy and historic errand, and conferred upon him such glowing tributes. More extraordinary still that he who had been instrumental in carrying the Tablets of the Divine Plan from the One Who had revealed them to those into whose care they were to be committed, who had enjoyed, for so long and so intimately, near access to his Master as amanuensis, companion and interpreter,84 should have been blinded by his inordinate ambition, and should have arisen, with all the resources at his disposal, to attack and undermine the institutions of an Order which, springing from the authentic Will of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, had been designed by Him to be the chief instrument for the vigorous prosecution of that Plan and the fulfillment of its ultimate purpose.

Such reflections, far from engendering in our minds and hearts the slightest trace of perplexity, of discouragement or doubt, should reinforce the basis of our convictions, demonstrate to us the incorruptibility, the strange workings and the invincibility of a Faith which, despite the assaults which malignant and redoubtable enemies from the ranks of kings, princes and ecclesiastics have repeatedly launched against it, and the violent internal tests that have shaken it for more than a century, and the relative obscurity of its champions, and the unpropitiousness of the times and the perversity of the generations contemporaneous with its rise and growth, has gone from strength to strength, has preserved its unity and integrity, has diffused its light over five continents, reared the institutions of its Administrative Order and spread its ramifications to the four corners of the earth, and launched its systematic campaigns in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres.

For such benefits, for such an arresting and majestic vindication of the undefeatable powers inherent in our precious Faith, we can but bow our heads in humility, awe and thanksgiving, renew our pledge of fealty to it, and, each covenanting in his own heart, resolve to prove faithful to that pledge, and persevere to the very end, until our earthly share of servitude to so transcendent and priceless a Cause has been totally and completely fulfilled.

– 159 –

Impending Departure of Transatlantic Pioneers

11 July 1946

REJOICE NEWS IMPENDING DEPARTURE PIONEERS TRANSATLANTIC FIELD SERVICE. DELIGHTED APPOINTMENT LATIN AMERICAN COMMITTEES NOBLE DETERMINATION NATIONAL TEACHING COMMITTEE PROJECT PROCLAMATION FAITH MASSES. URGE ALL AGENCIES COOPERATE BEND ENERGIES PERSEVERE ATTAINMENT ALL OBJECTIVES PLAN. PRAYING SPEEDY INITIAL VICTORIES BOTH HEMISPHERES.

– 160 –

The Utmost Vigor, Vigilance and Consecration

20 July 1946

The new Plan on which the American Bahá’í community has embarked, in the course of the opening years of the second Bahá’í century, is of such vastness and complexity as to require the utmost vigor, vigilance, and consecration on the part of both the general body of its prosecutors and those who are called upon, as their national elected representatives, to conduct its operation, define its processes, watch over its execution, and ensure its ultimate success. The obstacles confronting both its participants and organizers, particularly in the European field, are formidable, and call for the utmost courage, perseverance, fortitude and self-sacrifice.

The precarious international situation in both Hemispheres, the distress and preoccupation of the masses, in most of the countries to which pioneers will soon be proceeding, with the cares of everyday life, the severe restrictions which are still imposed on visitors and travelers in foreign lands, the religious conservatism and spiritual lethargy which characterize the population in most of the lands where the new pioneers are to labor, add to the challenge of the task, and render all the more glorious the labors, of the valiant community that has arisen to achieve what posterity will regard as the greatest collective enterprise, not only in the history of the community itself, but in the annals of the Faith with which it stands identified.

The initial success of the enterprise which has been so auspiciously launched, the enthusiasm which it has already engendered throughout Latin America, the hopes it has aroused amid the suffering and scattered believers in war-torn Europe, the feelings of admiration and envy it has excited throughout several communities in the Bahá’í world in both the East and the West, augur well for the future course of its operation, and foreshadow the splendor of the victories which its consummation must witness. The forces that have been released through the birth of the Plan must be directed into the most effective channels, the spirit that has been kindled must be continually nourished, the facilities at the disposal of its organizers must be fully utilized, each and every barrier that may obstruct its expansion must be determinedly removed, every assistance which Bahá’í communities in various lands may wish, or be able, to offer, should be wholeheartedly welcomed, every measure that will serve to reinforce the bonds uniting the newly fledged communities in the Latin world, and to stimulate the movement, and raise the spirits, of itinerant teachers and settlers laboring in the continent of Europe, must be speedily undertaken, if the colossal task, which in the course of seven brief years must be carried out, is to be befittingly consummated.

The sterner the task, the graver the responsibilities, the wider the field of exertion, the more persistently must the privileged members of this enviable community strive, and the loftier must be the heights to which they should aspire, in the course of their God-given Mission, and throughout every stage in the irresistible and divinely guided evolution of their community life.

Setbacks may well surprise them; trials and disappointments may tax their patience and resourcefulness; the forces of darkness, either from within or from without, may seek to dampen their ardor, to disrupt their unity and break their spirit; pitfalls may surround the little band that must act as a vanguard to the host which must, in the years to come, spiritually raise up the sorely ravaged continent of Europe. None of these, however fierce, sinister or unyielding they may appear, must be allowed to deflect the protagonists of a God-impelled Plan from the course which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has chosen for them, and which the agencies of a firmly established, laboriously erected Administrative Order are now enabling them to effectively pursue.

That they may press forward with undiminished fervor, with undimmed vision, with unfaltering steps, with indivisible unity, with unflinching determination until the shining goal is attained is my constant prayer, my ardent hope, and the dearest wish of my heart.

– 161 –

Distinguished Servant

27 July 1946

PROFOUNDLY GRIEVE PASSING DEARLY BELOVED GREAT-HEARTED HIGH-MINDED DISTINGUISHED SERVANT BAHÁ’U’LLÁH JOHN BOSCH. HIS SAINTLY LIFE PIONEER SERVICES, HISTORIC CONTRIBUTION INSTITUTION SUMMER SCHOOL ENTITLE HIM RANK AMONG OUTSTANDING FIGURES CLOSING YEARS HEROIC OPENING YEARS FORMATIVE AGES BAHÁ’Í DISPENSATION. CONCOURSE ON HIGH EXTOL HIS EXALTED SERVICES. ASSURE WIFE AND VALIANT COMPANION DEEP-FELT SYMPATHY. ADVISE HOLD SPECIAL GATHERING TEMPLE TRIBUTE IMPERISHABLE MEMORY.85

– 162 –

This National and International Crusade

5 October 1946

As the opening phase of the Second Seven Year Plan draws inexorably to a close, the American Bahá’í community, which has already abundantly demonstrated its capacity to carry to a triumphant conclusion the initial stage of the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, must equally—nay even more convincingly—prove to the entire Bahá’í world its inflexible determination and undoubted ability to discharge befittingly whatever responsibilities the constant evolution of the Plan may impose upon its members under any circumstances and in whatever continent of the globe. As the field of their historic labors steadily widens, as the implications of their high mission become more apparent, as the complexity of their task increases, as the agencies designed to facilitate and accelerate its execution multiply, the members of this community must, individually as well as collectively, redouble their efforts, evince a nobler spirit of self-sacrifice, display greater resourcefulness, unity, initiative, steadfastness and enterprise, rise to loftier heights of heroism and self-abnegation, and establish, more convincingly than ever, their right to be regarded as the worthy champions of a glorious Cause, the principal builders of a unique Order, and the chosen trustees and executors of a divinely conceived Plan.

Theirs is the duty, at once urgent, inescapable and sacred, to scatter more widely and as far as the extremities of both the North and South American continents; to cross the ocean in ever-increasing numbers, and reinforce, rapidly and systematically, the outposts of the Faith in Western Europe; lay, on a definite and unassailable basis, the foundations of new and flourishing communities; disseminate, energetically, and on a far more extensive scale, the literature of the Faith in all the languages which the execution of the Plan, at its present stage, demands; collaborate more closely with the two National Assemblies and their subsidiary agencies already functioning in that continent; initiate, wisely and patiently, whatever measures may be required to further the purposes of the Plan; and surmount, at whatever cost, every obstacle they may encounter in their path.

As to those who, owing to circumstances beyond their control, are unavoidably prevented from participating in this national and intercontinental crusade, and are denied the privilege of struggling in the forefront of battle, either at home or abroad, theirs is the no less meritorious task, to aid by every means in their power, whether through financial assistance, constant support and encouragement, the supply of literature or the appointment of deputies, the little band of their heroic brethren, who have assumed so preponderating a share of the responsibilities now facing the entire community: all, without exception, without reservation, without further delay, must participate. Each and every one, to the fullest extent of his or her ability, and however distracting the prevailing circumstances, or circumscribed the means, must arise to contribute to the success of this new enterprise that will at once safeguard the fruits already garnered through the successful conclusion of the first stage of the Divine Plan, and enable its prosecutors to launch, at the appointed time, the third and a still more glorious stage in its evolution.

There is no time to lose. The task, though prodigious, is not beyond the capacity of those who, in so short a time, in such distant fields, over so wide an area, and in the midst of a people so alien in temperament, language and custom, have won such conspicuous victories for their beloved Faith, and laid so enduring a foundation for its nascent institutions.

This gallant community is now summoned to undertake, further afield amidst a diversity of races and nations, and in circumstances admittedly more adverse and challenging, a task infinitely more meritorious, and considerably richer in its potentialities. To fail, at this critical juncture, to rise to the height of the occasion, would jeopardize the colossal work so painstakingly achieved in the course of many long years, and irretrievably shatter the hopes for the early opening of the third and most shining phase of the Divine Plan—a stage whose completion must mark the closing of the initial Epoch in the Plan’s progressive unfoldment.

May this community, faithful to its pledge, and obedient to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mandate, arise as one man, and carry out, in its entirety and within the stipulated time, the task on which it has so spontaneously embarked.

– 163 –

The Forces Mysteriously Released

6 October 1946

OPENING YEAR SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN SO AUSPICIOUSLY INAUGURATED HALF SPENT. ENTIRE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY GALVANIZED THROUGH FULLER PERCEPTION PROGRESSIVE UNFOLDMENT ITS GLORIOUS DESTINY GEARED HIGHER SPEED ORGANIZED ACTIVITY UPLIFTED NEW LEVEL COLLECTIVE ACHIEVEMENT. FORCES MYSTERIOUSLY RELEASED DESIGNED DIRECT OPERATION STIMULATE PROCESSES ENSURE CONSUMMATION SECOND STAGE DIVINE PLAN INCONCEIVABLY POTENT. FULL RAPID USE THESE FORCES BY ORGANIZED COMMUNITY ALIVE SUBLIMITY MISSION IMPERATIVE. MANIFOLD AGENCIES LOCAL REGIONAL NATIONAL INTERCONTINENTAL DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE PROSECUTION PLAN NOW CALLED UPON ACHIEVE RESPECTIVE SPHERES ERE TERMINATION CURRENT YEAR SUCCESSES SO CONSPICUOUS AS SHALL IMMEASURABLY FORTIFY HOPES WINNING STIPULATED TIME TOTAL DECISIVE VICTORY. IMMEDIATE NOTABLE INCREASE NUMBER PIONEERS PARTICULARLY NEWLY OPENED TRANSATLANTIC FIELD SERVICE SUPREME NECESSITY THIS CHALLENGING HOUR. PRESENT TRICKLE MUST AT ALL COSTS SWELL INTO STEADY FLOW CONSECRATED SETTLERS ITINERANT TEACHERS WHO MINDFUL MASTER’S POIGNANT PLEA CARELESS LIMITED RESOURCES UNDISMAYED SOMBER INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK UNDETERRED FORMIDABLE CHARACTER TASKS UNDERTAKEN OBSTACLES TO BE SURMOUNTED WILL IN BOTH ADMINISTRATIVE TEACHING SPHERES ARISE ACCOMPLISH FEATS OUTSHINING EXPLOITS IMMORTALIZING RECORD AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í STEWARDSHIP IN BOTH CONTINENTS NEW WORLD SINCE INCEPTION ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S DIVINE PLAN. MAY MONTHS IMMEDIATELY AHEAD BE PRODUCTIVE RESULTS EXCEEDING FONDEST EXPECTATIONS.

– 164 –

Magnificent Work

18 October 1946

OVERJOYED GRATEFUL MOUNTING EVIDENCES MAGNIFICENT WORK ACHIEVED ASSURE DEPARTED PROSPECTIVE PIONEERS BOUNDLESS GRATITUDE FERVENT PRAYERS LOVING ADMIRATION ABUNDANT REWARD EXEMPLARY RESPONSE MAGNIFICENT LABORS.86

– 165 –

The Pivot on Which Hinges Success

2 December 1946

RECALL WITH PROFOUND EMOTION ON MORROW TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S PASSING87 DRAMATIC CIRCUMSTANCES MARKING SIMULTANEOUSLY TERMINATION HEROIC AGE COMMENCEMENT FORMATIVE PERIOD FAITH BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. ACCLAIM WITH THANKFULNESS JOY PRIDE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY’S MANIFOLD INCOMPARABLE SERVICES RENDERED FAITH AT HOME ACROSS SEAS COURSE QUARTER CENTURY. HAIL WITH PARTICULAR SATISFACTION CONSUMMATION TWIN MAJOR TASKS SPONTANEOUSLY UNDERTAKEN BRILLIANTLY DISCHARGED BY SAME COMMUNITY IN BOTH ADMINISTRATIVE MISSIONARY FIELDS CONSTITUTING GREATEST CONTRIBUTION EVER MADE PROGRESS FAITH BY ANY CORPORATE BODY AT ANY TIME IN ANY CONTINENT SINCE INCEPTION ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER. NURSED DURING INFANCY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S SPECIAL CARE UNFAILING SOLICITUDE INVESTED LATER STAGE SPIRITUAL PRIMACY THROUGH SYMBOLIC ACTS ASSOCIATED HIS HISTORIC VISIT NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT SUMMONED SUBSEQUENTLY TO CHALLENGE THROUGH REVELATION EPOCH-MAKING TABLETS DIVINE PLAN LAUNCHED ITS CAREER ACCORDING DIRECTIVES AND THROUGH PROPELLING FORCE GENERATED BY SAME TABLETS UTILIZING WITH SKILL RESOURCEFULNESS TENACITY FOR PURPOSE EXECUTING ITS MISSION MANIFOLD AGENCIES EVOLVING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER IN ERECTION WHOSE FABRIC IT ASSUMED SO PREPONDERATING SHARE EMERGING TRIUMPHANTLY FROM ARDUOUS TWOFOLD CAMPAIGN UNDERTAKEN SIMULTANEOUSLY HOMELAND LATIN AMERICA THIS COMMUNITY NOW FINDS ITSELF LAUNCHED IN BOTH HEMISPHERES SECOND INCOMPARABLY MORE GLORIOUS STAGE SYSTEMATIC CRUSADE DESIGNED CULMINATE COURSE SUCCESSIVE EPOCHS SPIRITUAL CONQUEST ENTIRE PLANET. TASK STERN HOUR CHALLENGING SCALE OPERATION CONTINUALLY WIDENING RACES NATIONS TO BE CONTACTED HIGHLY DIVERSIFIED FORCES OF RESISTANCE MORE FIRMLY ENTRENCHED PRIZES DESTINED VALIANT CONQUERORS INESTIMABLY PRECIOUS SUSTAINING GRACE LORD OF HOSTS PROMISED EXECUTORS HIS MANDATE INDESCRIBABLY POTENT. PRESENT EUROPEAN PROJECT HERALDING SPIRITUAL REGENERATION ENTIRE CONTINENT PIVOT ON WHICH HINGES SUCCESS SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN. APPEAL NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES COMMUNITY IN CONJUNCTION EUROPEAN TEACHING COMMITTEE FOCUS ATTENTION ITS IMMEDIATE REQUIREMENTS. DESPATCH NINE ADDITIONAL PIONEERS FACILITATE IMMEDIATE FORMATION STABLE GROUPS IN GOAL TOWNS TEN SELECTED COUNTRIES IMPERATIVE.88 SELECTION SUITABLE LITERATURE ITS PROMPT TRANSLATION LANGUAGES REQUIRED ITS PUBLICATION WIDE DISSEMINATION ESSENTIAL. VISIT EVER-SWELLING NUMBER ITINERANT TEACHERS DESIGNED FOSTER DEVELOPMENT GROUPS URGENTLY REQUIRED. MORE LIBERAL ALLOCATION FUNDS FURTHERANCE MOST VITAL OBJECTIVE INDISPENSABLE. ENTREAT ENTIRE COMMUNITY ARISE WHILE TIME REMAINS CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY VOLUNTEER SERVICES ACCELERATE MOMENTUM ENSURE TOTAL SUCCESS FIRST MOST MOMENTOUS COLLECTIVE ENTERPRISE LAUNCHED BY AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY BEYOND BORDERS WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

Notes

  • This Decisive Hour

    • 1 The Bahá’í World: A Biennial International Record, Volume VI, 1930–1932, comp. National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada (New York: Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1933). 

    • 2 See “Eulogy of Abu’l-Qásim Khurásáni by Shoghi Effendi,” in Bahá’í News, no. 61 (April 1932): 3–4. 

    • 3 Nabíl-i-A‘ẓam [Muḥammad-i-Zarandí], The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation, trans. and ed. Shoghi Effendi (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1932). 

    • 4 28 November 1921. 

    • 5 Literally “The Dawning-Place of the Praise of God”; the title designating a Bahá’í House of Worship. In this case it refers specifically to the Bahá’í House of Worship of Wilmette, Illinois. 

    • 6 In its annual report to the National Spiritual Assembly, the National Archives Committee stated that numerous Tablets had been received for preservation, among them “a group of twenty-five originals with translations from the Master to Miss Sarah Farmer.” These apparently had been forwarded to Shoghi Effendi. 

    • 7 A Study Guide to “The Dawn-Breakers,” Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of The Bahá’í Revelation (n.p. [New York]: National Teaching Committee, 1932). 

    • 8 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, Declaration of Trust. By-Laws of a Local Spiritual Assembly (New York: Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1933). 

    • 9 Mrs. Keith Ransom-Kehler. 

    • 10 This message is a response to the National Spiritual Assembly’s announcement that sufficient funds had been received to continue the construction of the House of Worship in Wilmette. The exterior ornamentation of the dome was expected to be completed by February 1934. 

    • 11 A memorial gathering was held at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, on Sunday, 25 November 1934. 

    • 12

      The message referred to is the following cable from the National Convention to the Guardian:

      “DELEGATES REPRESENTING BAHÁ’ÍS UNITED STATES CANADA FERVENTLY DESIRE REDEDICATE LIVES WORLD ORDER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH. SUPPLICATE DIVINE CONFIRMATION THROUGH GUIDANCE BELOVED GUARDIAN. BOUNDLESS GRATITUDE FOR GLEANINGS WRITINGS BAHÁ’U’LLÁH JUST RECEIVED, AND OPPORTUNITY PARTICIPATE PROTECTION PROPERTY HOLY SHRINES AT WORLD CENTER. PRAYING ALLEVIATION PERSIAN BAHÁ’ÍS. RIḌVÁN GREETING. CONVENTION.”

       

    • 13 For a full discussion of the historic events to which Shoghi Effendi alludes, see God Passes By, Chapter XXIV, “Emancipation and Recognition of the Faith and Its Institutions,”. 

    • 14 The Bahá’í House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois. 

    • 15 The first century of the Bahá’í Era, 22 May 1844–22 May 1944. 

    • 16 Date of receipt in Wilmette, Illinois; date of transmission is unknown. 

    • 17 Date of receipt in Wilmette, Illinois; date of transmission is unknown. 

    • 18 The Tablets of the Divine Plan were revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1916 and 1917, during World War I. 

    • 19 Refers to the compilation Prayers and Meditations, originally published in February 1938. 

    • 20 This message is a response to a cable from the National Spiritual Assembly acknowledging the announcement of Shoghi Effendi’s recent marriage to Rúḥíyyih Khánum, née Mary Maxwell, of Montreal. The text of that message, sent on 28 March 1937, was as follows: “JOYOUSLY ACCLAIM HISTORIC EVENT SO AUSPICIOUSLY UNITING IN ETERNAL BOND THE DESTINY OF EAST AND WEST.” 

    • 21 Siegfried Schopflocher gave the Convention a message from the Guardian stressing the importance of incorporation by Local Spiritual Assemblies when sufficiently evolved, a step that would lead to the gradual accumulation of endowments for the extension of Bahá’í activities, emphasizing that Local Assemblies must acquire experience and become very proficient. 

    • 22 This cable appears to be a response to the following 29 April 1937 message from the National Convention to the Guardian: “AMERICAN CONVENTION GRATEFULLY CELEBRATES DUAL GIFT. MASTER’S HISTORIC VISIT AND CONSUMMATION UNIQUE UNION EAST WEST. PLEDGES UNDYING LOYALTY, RENEWED VIGOR EXTEND WORLD ORDER THROUGHOUT AMERICAS AND ALL LANDS. PROFOUND DEDICATED FELICITATIONS. BAHÁ’Í CONVENTION. TEMPLE FOUNDATION HALL, APRIL 29, 1937.” 

    • 23 For details of the “twofold task,” see message no. 29, “Dual Gift: Message to 1937 Convention.” 

    • 24 The date of origin of this cable cannot be ascertained. 

    • 25 This appears to be an allusion to the first of five successive steps Shoghi Effendi had outlined for the successful completion of the Temple enterprise. The five steps, announced in Bahá’í News, no. 110 (Sept. 1937), were as follows: (1) Preliminary investigations were to be expedited. (2) A generous donation of $100,000 by Siegfried Schopflocher was to be used to facilitate the immediate signature of a contract for the next unit of exterior ornamentation. (3) The National Spiritual Assembly was to make a nationwide appeal to the entire community to ensure the uninterrupted completion of the first unit of exterior ornamentation and the accumulation of sufficient funds to place the final contract without delay. (4) The final contract was to be signed as soon as half of the required sum for its fulfillment was available in the national treasury. (5) The National Assembly was to reemphasize the supreme obligation of the triumphant conclusion of so vital a part of the American believers’ twofold task by May 1944. 

    • 26 The first Seven Year Plan, 1937–1944. 

    • 27 Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí. 

    • 28 Mrs. Amelia Collins. 

    • 29 The consort of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. 

    • 30 Shoghi Effendi appears to be referring to the third step of the plan for Temple construction that was intended to ensure completion of the external ornamentation by May 1944. The third step was to make a nationwide appeal to all believers to ensure the uninterrupted completion of the first unit of ornamentation and to accumulate sufficient funds to place the final contract without delay. For the other steps, see note 25. 

    • 31 Pedro Espinosa was a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Mexico City. 

    • 32 Dominican Republic. 

    • 33 Miss Martha Root. 

    • 34 The message to which Shoghi Effendi refers appears to be the following cable, sent 27 April 1939 from the Convention to the Guardian:
      THIRTY-FIRST ANNUAL CONVENTION AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS, ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN ASSEMBLED DELEGATES WITH HOST VISITING FRIENDS, REVERENTLY GREET BELOVED GUARDIAN, DEEPLY CONSCIOUS INCREASED RESPONSIBILITIES OPENING THIRD YEAR INAUGURATED SEVEN YEAR PLAN, SUPPLICATE RENEWED POWER FULFILL YOUR HIGHEST HOPES, CONSOLIDATE ESTABLISHED FOUNDATIONS AND MEET CHALLENGING ISSUES BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S GLORIOUS FAITH IN WESTERN HEMISPHERE. REJOICED HISTORIC EVENT PRESENCE TWO BELIEVERS TIHRAN AND FOUR MEMBERS MEXICO CITY ASSEMBLY. THRILLED REPORT EIGHTY-ONE VOLUNTEERS PIONEER SERVICE. ENTREAT PRAYERS YOUR UNERRING GUIDANCE EXTEND RAPIDLY REVIVIFYING INFLUENCE REVEALED WORD TO SORELY DISTRACTED HUMANITY THUS ACHIEVE AMERICA’S SPIRITUAL DESTINY. UNDYING LOVE, LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE. BAHÁ’Í CONVENTION. 

    • 35 The National Spiritual Assembly had cabled the Guardian on 30 April 1939, “NEWLY ELECTED ASSEMBLY INFINITELY GRATEFUL YOUR EXPOSITION DIVINE PLAN, INVOKES GUIDANCE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH NEW ENTERPRISE INTER-AMERICAN ERA. REJOICED REPORT DEVELOPMENT PIONEER PLANS PANAMA, BRAZIL, HONDURAS, CUBA.…” 

    • 36 The Bahá’í World: A Biennial International Record, Volume VII, 1936–1938, comp. National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada (New York: Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1939). 

    • 37 The Secretariat was located in New York before it was transferred to Wilmette, Illinois. The National Assembly’s meetings had been held in West Englewood, New Jersey, where the work of its Treasurer was conducted and its records were stored. Other facilities were maintained according to where the Assembly’s officers resided. For an account of the decision to move the Secretariat and establish a Ḥaẓíratu’l-Quds adjacent to the House of Worship, see “Important Developments in the Bahá’í Community of North America,” in The Bahá’í World 8:96–97. 

    • 38 Bahá’ís in many parts of the world were experiencing severe hardships and persecution at the time this message was written. In Iran, Bahá’í marriages were not recognized as legitimate, yet the Bahá’ís were given no acceptable means to legitimize their unions in the eyes of the law without compromising their faith. Those who were married according to Bahá’í law were often arrested and either fined or imprisoned. There were also restrictions against holding Bahá’í meetings, Bahá’í records were occasionally confiscated by government officials, and some believers were banished from their hometowns. In Iraq, some Bahá’ís were accused of being communists and were arrested and tried, then acquitted. In ‘Ishqábád Bahá’ís were arrested, their homes were searched, and Bahá’í records and literature were confiscated. Furthermore, the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of that city was confiscated for government use. Many of the believers were exiled and sought refuge in Iran, only to be denied work. In the Caucasus, all Bahá’í administrative institutions had to be disbanded, and many Bahá’ís were exiled to Siberia. Bahá’ís in Egypt had recently experienced outbreaks of public violence in connection with their efforts to give proper Bahá’í burial to their dead. In Nazi Germany, the Faith was officially banned and its activities were forbidden. 

    • 39 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets of the Divine Plan, also known as the charter for propagating the Bahá’í Faith. 

    • 40 Honolulu; for a photograph of the monument, see The Bahá’í World 9:65. A memorial gathering was held at the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, on 29 October 1939. 

    • 41 On 1 October 1939 the Office of the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly was transferred from New York to Wilmette, Illinois, adjacent to the Bahá’í House of Worship. 

    • 42 On 13–15 October 1939 the National Spiritual Assembly met with the Teaching Committee and the Inter-America Committee to consult about recent messages from the Guardian, plans for the third year of the Seven Year Plan, progress of the Temple construction, and current teaching activities in North and South America. A cable from the National Assembly to the Guardian reported, “ASSEMBLY ENCOURAGED SAN FRANCISCO MEETINGS. CONTRIBUTION BAHÍYYIH KHÁNUM FUND ASSURES CONTINUANCE TEMPLE WORK. LATIN AMERICAN TEACHING EXPANDING. PIONEERS NOW SETTLED PANAMA, SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, NICARAGUA, CUBA, JAMAICA. PLANS CONCLUDED DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, COSTA RICA. PUERTO RICO, COLOMBIA AND TRINIDAD. PREPARED SETTLE HAITI, DELAYED PENDING INVESTIGATION CONDITIONS THERE. VERY SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC MEETINGS.” 

    • 43 The mandate referred to is the mission to teach the Bahá’í Faith throughout the world, conferred upon the Bahá’ís of North America by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. 

    • 44 At Bahjí. 

    • 45 21 March 1909. 

    • 46 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laid the foundation-stone on 1 May 1912 during the historic ground-breaking ceremony for the Temple. 

    • 47 Martha Root left New York on 22 July 1919 on a teaching journey through South America that took her to Para (Belém), Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Valparaiso, Chile; and other places. 

    • 48 In September 1939 Mrs. Loulie Mathews donated the title to some property at Pine Valley, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the purpose of developing a school for training Bahá’ís for international teaching. The first session of the school, known as the Bahá’í International School, was held 12–24 June 1940. 

    • 49 A section of exterior ornamentation of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette was presented to Shoghi Effendi by the American Bahá’ís to be placed in the gardens surrounding the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. For a photograph of the section in the gardens, see The Bahá’í World 8:20. 

    • 50 The first part of the translation on which the Guardian was working had been received on 7 May 1940. The book was published in May 1941. 

    • 51 John Henry Hyde Dunn. 

    • 52 The thirty-year enterprise to which Shoghi Effendi refers is the construction of the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, which began in 1912, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laid its cornerstone. 

    • 53 Ahmad Sohrab. 

    • 54 Reza Shah Pahlavi. 

    • 55 The first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár was the Bahá’í House of Worship of ‘Ishqábád. 

    • 56 The Bahá’ís of Egypt laid the cornerstone of the building in Cairo in 1940. 

    • 57 Lua Getsinger. 

    • 58 Japan’s air raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, had occurred on 7 December 1941, the day before this cable was sent, bringing the United States into the war against Germany and Italy as well as Japan. 

    • 59 A memorial was held at the Temple in Wilmette, Illinois, on 16 August 1942. 

    • 60 New York City, designated as the City of the Covenant by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (God Passes By, paragraph beginning “The character of the acts He performed…”). 

    • 61 Lua Getsinger. 

    • 62 The Bahá’í Centenary 1844–1944, a record of America’s response to Bahá’u’lláh’s call to the realization of the oneness of humanity, comp. National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1944). 

    • 63 The first Bahá’í group in America was formed in Chicago in 1894. 

    • 64 Some locks of Bahá’u’lláh’s hair arranged and preserved by the Greatest Holy Leaf had been sent by Shoghi Effendi as a gift to the American Bahá’í community on the occasion of the 1938 National Convention as a token of his gratitude. 

    • 65 Shortly after May Maxwell’s death in March 1940, plans were made for the construction of a befitting memorial at her gravesite. Designed by her husband, Sutherland Maxwell, and approved by Shoghi Effendi, the memorial was dedicated on 30 May 1943 by the Bahá’ís of Buenos Aires at Quilmes Cemetery on behalf of the Bahá’ís of North and South America. For a photo of the memorial, see Bahá’í World 9:62. 

    • 66 The one remaining responsibility was to complete the “establishment of at least one center in every state of the American Republic and in every Republic of the American continent” not yet enlisted under the banner of the Faith. There remained seven virgin states and provinces: Alaska, Nebraska, North Dakota, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, South Carolina, and South Dakota. 

    • 67 Ibrahim Kheiralla. 

    • 68 For a photo of the model, see Bahá’í World 10:3. 

    • 69 The National Spiritual Assembly invited those Latin American delegates who had been unable to attend the Centenary Convention in May to a special convention held 9–16 July 1944 in Wilmette, Illinois. 

    • 70 John Stearns. 

    • 71 Lima, Peru. 

    • 72 Miss Mary Lesch. 

    • 73 Ḥusayn Rabbání, Shoghi Effendi’s brother. 

    • 74 Magallanes (also known as Punta Arenas), Chile. 

    • 75 On 8 May 1945. 

    • 76 The end of World War II came on 14 August 1945, when Japan agreed to surrender. 

    • 77 In Germany, the Faith and its administration had been banned by the Nazi regime since 1937. In Burma, the Bahá’ís of Mandalay and Rangoon, who had sought refuge in the Bahá’í village of Daidanaw during the Japanese invasion, were attacked by Burmese hoodlums taking advantage of the British retreat in 1942. Many Bahá’ís were killed, their properties were looted, and survivors were left destitute, their homes having been burned. 

    • 78 Miss Zamenhof and her family, who were Jewish, had been arrested and taken to a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Two years later, in August 1944, Lidia died in the death camp at Treblinka. Commemorative observances were held for her in Bahá’í communities throughout Canada and the United States in October 1946. 

    • 79 Shoghi Effendi had established an International Bahá’í Relief Fund with an international trustee in Ṭihrán. By March 1946 the National Spiritual Assembly had dispatched approximately $2,500 to the fund. 

    • 80 The two-year respite was Riḍván 1944–Riḍván 1946, between the end of the first Seven Year Plan and the beginning of the second Seven Year Plan. 

    • 81 The end of the first Seven Year Plan (1937–1944) coincided with the centenary anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb in 1844 and, therefore, with the end of the first Bahá’í century. 

    • 82 The second Seven Year Plan began at Riḍván 1946, following a two-year respite after the end of the first Seven Year Plan. 

    • 83 Ibrahim Kheiralla. 

    • 84 Ahmad Sohrab. 

    • 85 A memorial gathering was held at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, on 24 November 1946. 

    • 86 This message was a reply to a cablegram sent to the Guardian by the National Spiritual Assembly during a meeting in October 1946, reporting, “… HELPFUL CONFERENCE TEMPLE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE EUROPEAN PIONEERS DEPARTED SOLVEIG CORBIT, ETTY GRAEFFE, JETTY STRAUB, RITA VAN SOMBECK AND COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN EDNA TRUE FOR SURVEYS CONFERENCES MR. MRS. NEILSEN SCHEDULED SAIL OCTOBER EIGHTEENTH. FIRST PUBLIC MEETING MINNEAPOLIS ATTRACTED OVERFLOW AUDIENCE. NATIONAL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AROUSING INTEREST.…” 

    • 87 28 November 1921. 

    • 88 The goal towns of the ten countries were the capitals of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal.