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Title: Citadel of Faith
Author: Shoghi Effendi, 1897-1957
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Citadel of Faith


by Shoghi Effendi



Edition 1, (September 2006)



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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
Believers’ Generous Response to Temple Fund
Call to Fuller Participation
Consolidation in Europe
Participation in Second Seven Year Plan
[MESSAGE TO 1947 CONVENTION]
NSA Must Control Credentials of Foreigners
The Challenging Requirements of the Present Hour
CROWNING FEATURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
FOURFOLD OBJECTIVE TO PRESENT REQUIREMENTS
GOALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA
CANADA TO FORM SEPARATE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
TASKS IN LATIN AMERICA
TWO REGIONAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES A VITAL OBJECTIVE
IMPORTANCE OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS
BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SUMMONS TO THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
SPIRITUAL CRUSADE TO BE LAUNCHED IN EUROPE
EVOLVING STRONGHOLDS IN TEN INITIAL COUNTRIES
INITIATING NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS AND ADAPTING TEACHING METHODS
EUROPE FEELS STIRRINGS OF SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION
DIVINE PLAN CHALLENGES NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS
DETACHMENT FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD
CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEST TO WORLD ORDER
THE WORKINGS OF TWO SIMULTANEOUS PROCESSES
A PARALLEL BETWEEN THE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AND THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC
THE UNITED STATES IS SIGNALLY BLEST
TRIBULATIONS ARE INEVITABLE
AMERICA TO EVOLVE UNTIL LAST TASK IS DISCHARGED
European Pioneers and Temple Contract
Evidences of Notable Expansion
Effective Prosecution of Sacred Tasks
   HEART-WARMING PROGRESS IN EUROPEAN ENTERPRISE
   TRIPLE CAMPAIGN OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE
Recognition of Preeminent Services
Critical Stage of Task on Home Front
No Sacrifice Too Great
Prevailing Crisis
Emergency Teaching Campaign
Marvelous Acceleration
[FIRST MESSAGE TO 1948 CONVENTION]
Brilliant Achievements
[SECOND MESSAGE TO 1948 CONVENTION]
Support the National Fund
Temple Interior Ornamentation and Arcade of the Báb’s Sepulcher
My Appeal to This God-Chosen Community
Urge Special Attention to Goals
Praying for Added Fervor
Completed Tasks Release Outpouring of Grace
Appeal to Entire Community to Persevere
Scale Nobler Heights of Heroism
The Citadel of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh
   STAUNCHNESS OF AMERICAN BELIEVERS
   PRESS FORWARD ON TEMPLE CONTRACTS
   CEASELESS EFFORT ESSENTIAL
Budget Approved for 1949–1950
Preliminary Temple Contracts
Arcade for the Shrine of the Báb
Drastic Budget Reduction
Further Budget Reduction
Curtailment of Some Activities
Divert Contributions to Temple Fund
Suspend World Order Magazine
A Testing Period Recalling Ordeals of the Dawn-Breakers
Arcade of the Báb’s Shrine Begun
One Remaining Objective Hangs in the Balance
Process of Expansion Accelerates
[MESSAGE TO 1949 CONVENTION]
Welcome Initial Victory
Supplicating Blessing for American Activities
Corners of Shrine Arcade Under Construction
This Hour, Crowded With Destiny
Praying For Increasing Success
Majesty of the Báb’s Shrine Unfolding
Faithless Brother Hussein
Maintain Momentum in Triple Field
Shrine Parapet Completed
Sacred Task of Present Hour
Shrine Arcade Nearing Completion
Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb
A Worthy, Five-Fold Offering
AN HOUR LADEN WITH FATE
Ruhi and Family Show Open Defiance
Non-Bahá’í Gifts
Teaching in Africa
Comforted by Messages of Devotion
Relieved by Intensified Activity
Badí’u’lláh Has Miserably Perished
Requirements for Temple Completion
Summer Schools to Reopen
Assistance to Epoch-Making Enterprise in Africa
Status of Bahá’ís Regarding Military Duty
Spiritual Conquest of the Planet
   NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT
   THE CENTER OF NINE CONCENTRIC CIRCLES
   THE CHOSEN TRUSTEES OF A DIVINE PLAN
First American Pioneer to Africa
Message to 1951 State Conventions
The Last and Irretrievable Chance
A PERIOD OF HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE
OBJECTIVES OF SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN LARGELY ATTAINED
SCOPE OF THIRD SEVEN YEAR PLAN WIDENED
Funds for International Center
Forty-Fifth Annual Convention: U.S. Tasks in World Crusade
Intending Pioneers Urged to Scatter
A Turning Point in American Bahá’í History
RECENT SERVICES DESERVING MENTION
ADDED RESPONSIBILITIES IN PROPAGATING THE DIVINE PLAN
A LASTING INFLUENCE ON AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND NATION
MOST VITAL OBJECTIVE IN THE CRUSADE’S OPENING YEAR
AN APPEAL TO ALL ENGAGED IN THE CRUSADE
Safeguarding American Primacy
Temple Site Purchased in Panama
Assemblies Must Be Maintained
American Bahá’ís in the Time of World Peril
CHIEF EXECUTOR OF DIVINE PLAN
AMERICA PASSING THROUGH CRISIS
AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS STAND AT CROSSROADS
WORLD CRUSADE TASKS
CHALLENGE TO EACH INDIVIDUAL BAHÁ’Í
APPEAL FOR DEDICATION
Nine-Pointed Star for Headstone
Send Appeals to President Eisenhower
A Mysterious Dispensation of Providence
   PERSECUTION OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF ÍRÁN
   A PREMEDITATED CAMPAIGN OF PERSECUTION
   APPEALS TO THE AUTHORITIES OF ÍRÁN AND TO THE UNITED NATIONS
   A WHOLLY DEDICATED, INFLEXIBLE RESOLVE
   “SAVE THE PERSECUTED FUND”
   THE FIRST HOUSE OF WORSHIP IN AFRICA
   A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
   UNPRECEDENTED PUBLICITY
   WORLD RECOGNITION OF THE FAITH
Revitalize Entire Community
Greater Consecration to Pressing Tasks
Praying for Great Victories on Home Front
Inestimable Prizes Within Our Reach
AID ACCORDED TO THEIR OPPRESSED BRETHREN IN PERSIA
A NOBLE RECORD OF SERVICE
FRUITFUL EFFORTS OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE
STUPENDOUS WORK ACHIEVED BY MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ’Í COUNCIL
REVITALIZATION OF THE HOME FRONT
THE INDIVIDUAL BAHÁ’Í MUST ARISE
“A PRAYER WHICH I NEVER CEASE TO UTTER”
Intensification of Efforts
Dual, Inescapable, Paramount Responsibilities
Heights Never Before Attained
ENDURING ACHIEVEMENTS
THE HOME FRONT—BASE FOR EXPANSION OF FUTURE OPERATIONS
MIGHTY AND HISTORIC ENTERPRISES
A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY, A GLORIOUS CHALLENGE
HIS WATCHFUL POWER AND UNFAILING GRACE
IN MEMORIAM
   Frank Ashton
   Ella Bailey
   Dorothy Baker
   Mary Barton
   Victoria Bedikian
   Ella Cooper
   Julia Culver
   Dagmar Dole
   Homer Dyer
   L. W. Eggleston
   Harry Ford
   Nellie French
   Louis C. Gregory
   Louise M. Gregory
   Bertha Herklotz
   Marie Hopper
   Maria Ioas
   Beatrice Irwin
   Marion Jack
   Florence Breed Khan
   Edward B. Kinney
   Fanny Knobloch
   George Latimer
   Ruhaniyyih Latimer
   Fanny Lesch
   Edwin W. Mattoon
   William Sutherland Maxwell
   Florence Morton
   Ella Robarts
   Annie Romer
   Fred Schopflocher
   Anthony Y. Seto
   Philip G. Sprague
   Gertrude Struven
   Juliet Thompson
   George Townshend
   Roy C. Wilhelm
   Albert Windust



BELIEVERS’ GENEROUS RESPONSE TO TEMPLE FUND


Thrilled by generous response of believers to Temple Fund. Deeply touched.
Hail latest striking evidence of the magnificent spirit, unshakable
solidarity and unflinching resolve of American Bahá’í Community. Deepest
loving gratitude.

[January 20, 1947]



CALL TO FULLER PARTICIPATION


Acclaim with grateful heart evidences of steadily accelerating movement of
pioneers, multiplication of conferences, consolidation of activities of
national committees, progress in preliminaries of internal ornamentation
of Temple, and formulation of teaching policy in southern states.
Overwhelmed by tributes paid my own humble efforts by stalwart company
whose championship of Faith of Bahá’u’lláh during last quarter century
provided greatest support and solace, enabling me to sustain the weight of
cares and responsibilities of Guardianship.

Impelled to plead afresh to ponder responsibilities incurred in
transatlantic field of service. Time is flying. First year of Second Seven
Year Plan is drawing to a close. Shadow of war’s tragic aftermath is
deepening. Initial stage of colossal task undertaken in European continent
still in balance. Urge stress for entire community extreme urgency to
reinforce promptly, at whatever cost, however inadequate the instruments,
the number of volunteers, both settlers and itinerant teachers, whom
posterity will rightly recognize as vanguard of torch-bearers of
Bahá’u’lláh’s resistless, world-redeeming order to despairing millions of
diversified races, conflicting nationalities in darkest, most severely
tested, spiritually depleted continent of globe. Prayerfully awaiting
response by all ranks of community to supreme call to fuller participation
in glorious enterprise.

[January 30, 1947]



CONSOLIDATION IN EUROPE


Overjoyed, grateful, proud of notable expansion of manifold activities in
three continents. Vital significance of preeminent objective in European
continent cannot be overemphasized. Intense, sustained, self-sacrificing
efforts aimed at rapid consolidation of American Community’s recently
initiated fate-laden transatlantic enterprise are urgent, imperative,
highly meritorious. Praying for such demonstration of heroism as will
outshine exploits illuminating pages of American Bahá’í history in
continents of Western Hemisphere.

[March 24, 1947]



PARTICIPATION IN SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN
[MESSAGE TO 1947 CONVENTION]


My heart is filled with delight, wonder, pride and gratitude in
contemplation of the peace-time exploits, in both hemispheres, of the
world community of the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, triumphantly
emerging from the crucible of global war and moving irresistibly into the
second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

The opening years of the second century of the Bahá’í Era, synchronizing
with concluding stage of the memorable quarter-century elapsed since the
termination of the Heroic Age of the Faith, have been distinguished by a
compelling demonstration by the entire body of believers, headed by the
valorous American Bahá’í Community, of solidarity, resolve and
self-sacrifice as well as by a magnificent record of systematic,
world-wide achievements.

The three years since the celebration of the Centenary have been
characterized by a simultaneous process of internal consolidation and
steady enlargement of the orbit of a fast-evolving Administrative Order.

These years witnessed, first, the astounding resurgence of a
war-devastated Bahá’í community of Central Europe, the rehabilitation of
the communities in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Far East;
second, the inauguration of a new Seven Year Plan by the American Bahá’í
Community destined to culminate with the Centenary of the Birth of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Prophetic Mission, aiming at the formation of three national
assemblies in Latin America and the Dominion of Canada, at completion of
the holiest House of Worship in the Bahá’í world, and at the erection of
the structure of the Administrative Order in ten sovereign states of the
European continent; and third, the formulation by the British, the Indian
and the Persian National Assemblies of Six Year, Four and One-Half Year,
and Forty-Five Month Plans respectively, culminating with the Centenary of
the Báb’s Martyrdom and pledged to establish nineteen spiritual assemblies
in the British Isles, double the number of assemblies in the Indian
subcontinent, establish ninety-five new centers of the Faith in Persia,
convert the groups in Bahrein, Mecca and Kabul into assemblies and plant
the banner of the Faith in the Arabian territories of Yemen, Oman, Ahsa
and Kuweit.

Moreover, the number of countries opened to the onsweeping Faith, and the
number of languages in which its literature has been translated and
printed, is now raised to eighty-three and forty-seven, respectively. Four
additional countries are in process of enrollment. Translations into
fifteen other languages are being undertaken. No less than seventeen
thousand pounds have accumulated for the international relief of
war-afflicted Bahá’í communities of East and West. The Bahá’í endowments
on the North American continent have now passed the two million dollar
mark. The value of the endowments recently acquired at the World Center of
the Faith, dedicated to the Shrines, are estimated at thirty-five thousand
pounds. Bahá’í literature has been disseminated as far north as Upernavik,
Greenland, above the Arctic Circle. The Bahá’í message has been broadcast
by radio as far south as Magallanes. The area of land dedicated to the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Persia has increased by almost a quarter-million
square meters. The number of localities in the Antipodes where Bahá’ís
reside has been raised to thirty-five, spread over Australia, New Zealand
and Tasmania. Twenty-seven assemblies are functioning in Latin America. In
over a hundred localities Bahá’ís are resident in Central and South
America, almost double the localities at opening of the first Seven Year
Plan. Historic Latin American conferences have been held in Buenos Aires
and Panama. Summer schools are established in Argentina and Chile. Land
has been offered in Chile for site of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of
Latin America. Additional assemblies have been incorporated in Paraguay
and Colombia. Seven others are in process of incorporation. A notable
impetus has been lent this world-redeeming Message through the concerted
measures devised by the American National Assembly designed to proclaim
the Faith to the masses through public conferences, press and radio.

Such remarkable multiplication of dynamic institutions, such thrilling
deployment of world-regenerating forces, North, South, East and West,
endow the preeminent goal of the Second Seven Year Plan in Europe with
extraordinary urgency and peculiar significance. I am impelled to appeal
to all American believers possessing independent means to arise and
supplement the course of the second year of the Second Seven Year Plan
through personal participation or appointment of deputies, the superb
exertions of the heroic vanguard of the hosts destined, through successive
decades, to achieve the spiritual conquest of the continent unconquered by
Islám, rightly regarded as the mother of Christendom, the fountainhead of
American culture, the mainspring of western civilization, and the
recipient of the unique honor of two successive visits to its shores by
the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.

[April 28, 1947]



NSA MUST CONTROL CREDENTIALS OF FOREIGNERS


Owing to arrival of disloyal so-called Bahá’ís your Assembly’s control of
credentials should be strictly exercised, otherwise corruptive influences
will spread and injure the magnificent services being achieved by the
American Bahá’í Community.

[Circa June 1947]



THE CHALLENGING REQUIREMENTS OF THE PRESENT HOUR


The opening years of the second century of the Bahá’í Era have
synchronized with the termination of the first epoch of the Formative Age
of the Bahá’í Dispensation, a Dispensation which posterity will recognize
as the most glorious and momentous in the greatest cycle in the world’s
religious history.

The first seventy-seven years of the preceding century, constituting the
Apostolic and Heroic Age of our Faith, fell into three distinct epochs, of
nine, of thirty-nine and of twenty-nine years’ duration, associated
respectively with the Bábí Dispensation and the ministries of Bahá’u’lláh
and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. This Primitive Age of the Bahá’í Era, unapproached in
spiritual fecundity by any period associated with the mission of the
Founder of any previous Dispensation, was impregnated, from its inception
to its termination, with the creative energies generated through the
advent of two independent Manifestations and the establishment of a
Covenant unique in the spiritual annals of mankind.

The last twenty-three years of that same century coincided with the first
epoch of the second, the Iron and Formative, Age of the Dispensation of
Bahá’u’lláh—the first of a series of epochs which must precede the
inception of the last and Golden Age of that Dispensation—a Dispensation
which, as the Author of the Faith has Himself categorically asserted, must
extend over a period of no less than one thousand years, and which will
constitute the first stage in a series of Dispensations, to be established
by future Manifestations, all deriving their inspiration from the Author
of the Bahá’í Revelation, and destined to last, in their aggregate, no
less than five thousand centuries.

We are now entering the second epoch of the second Age of the first of
these Dispensations. The first epoch witnessed the birth and the primary
stages in the erection of the framework of the Administrative Order of the
Faith—the nucleus and pattern of its World Order—according to the precepts
laid down in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament, as well as the launching
of the initial phase of the world-encompassing Plan bequeathed by Him to
the American Bahá’í Community. That epoch was characterized by a twofold
process aiming at the consolidation of the administrative structure of the
Faith and the extension of the range of its institutions. It witnessed on
the one hand, the emergence and the laying of the groundwork of that
embryonic World Order whose advent was announced by the Báb in the Bayán,
whose laws were revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and whose
features were delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament. It was
marked on the other hand by the launching, in the Western Hemisphere, of
the first stage of a Plan whose original impulse was communicated by the
Herald of our Faith in His Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, to whose implications the
Author of the Bahá’í Revelation alluded in His Tablets, and whose Charter
was revealed by the Center of His Covenant in the evening of His life.

The epoch we have now entered is destined to impart a great impetus to
this historic, this twofold process. It must witness, on the one hand, the
consummation of a laboriously constructed Administrative Order, and, on
the other, the unfoldment of successive stages in the development of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan beyond the confines of the Western Hemisphere and of
the continent of Europe.



CROWNING FEATURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of present and
succeeding epochs, the last and crowning stage in the erection of the
framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—the
election of the Universal House of Justice—will have been completed, the
Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of His Revelation, will have been codified
and its laws promulgated, the Lesser Peace will have been established, the
unity of mankind will have been achieved and its maturity attained, the
Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will have been executed, the emancipation
of the Faith from the fetters of religious orthodoxy will have been
effected, and its independent religious status will have been universally
recognized, whilst in the course of the Golden Age, destined to consummate
the Dispensation itself, the banner of the Most Great Peace, promised by
its Author, will have been unfurled, the World Bahá’í Commonwealth will
have emerged in the plenitude of its power and splendor, and the birth and
efflorescence of a world civilization, the child of that Peace, will have
conferred its inestimable blessings upon all mankind.



FOURFOLD OBJECTIVE TO PRESENT REQUIREMENTS


Not ours, however, to unriddle the workings of a distant future, or to
dwell upon the promised glories of a God-impelled and unimaginably potent
Revelation. Ours, rather, the task to cast our eyes upon, and bend our
energies to meet, the challenging requirements of the present hour.
Labors, of an urgent and sacred character, claim insistently our undivided
attention during the opening years of this new epoch which we have
entered. The Second Seven Year Plan, intended to carry a stage further the
mission conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the American Bahá’í Community, is
now entering its second year, and must, as it operates in three
continents, be productive of results outshining any as yet achieved since
the Divine Plan itself was set in motion during the concluding years of
the first Bahá’í century. Unlike the plans which Bahá’í communities in
Europe and on the Asiatic continent have spontaneously inaugurated since
the commencement of the present century, the Plan with which the community
of the “Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh” stands identified is divine in origin, is
guided by the explicit and repeated instructions that have flowed from the
pen of the Center of the Covenant Himself, is energized by the
all-compelling will of its Author, claims as the theater for its operation
territories spread over five continents and the islands of the seven seas,
and must continue to function, ere its purpose is achieved, throughout
successive epochs in the course of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation. As it propels itself forward, driven by forces which its
prosecutors can not hope to properly assess, as it spreads its
ramifications to the furthest corners of the Western Hemisphere, and
across the oceans to the continents of the Old World, and beyond them to
the far-flung islands of the seas, this Plan, the birthright of the North
American Bahá’í Community, will be increasingly regarded as an agency
designed not only for the enlargement of the limits of the Faith and the
multiplication of its institutions over the face of the planet, but for
the acceleration of the construction and completion of the administrative
framework of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Order, hastening thereby the
advent of that Golden Age which must witness the proclamation of the Most
Great Peace and the unfoldment of that world civilization which is the
offspring and primary purpose of that Peace.

The fourfold objective, which the prosecutors of the Plan, in the present
early stage of its development, are now pursuing, and which is designed to
stimulate the dual process initiated during the opening phase of the
Formative Age of the Faith, must be strenuously and unfalteringly pursued.
The second year of the Second Seven Year Plan must witness, on all fronts,
on the part of young and old alike, rich and poor, colored and white,
neophyte and veteran, a rededication to the tasks undertaken and an
intensification of effort for their furtherance wholly unparalleled in the
annals of American Bahá’í history. In every state of the United States, in
every province of the Dominion of Canada, in every republic of Central and
South America, in each of the ten selected sovereign states of the
European continent, the ever-swelling legions of Bahá’u’lláh’s steadily
advancing army, obeying the Mandate of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, launched on the
second stage of their world-wide crusade, deriving fresh courage from the
exploits that have distinguished the opening phase of the present stage of
their enterprise, must strain every nerve to scale loftier heights of
heroism, and deploy, over a wider range, their divinely sustained forces,
as their present Plan unfolds and moves towards a climax.



GOALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA


In the United States of America, the base from which the manifold
operations of this holy expedition are conducted, the enterprise
associated with the completion of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the
West, designed to consummate this historic undertaking in time for the
celebration of its Jubilee in the year 1953, must be strenuously pushed
forward. The prodigious efforts exerted for the erection of this noble
edifice—the holiest House of Worship ever to be reared by the followers of
Bahá’u’lláh—on which no less than one million four hundred thousand
dollars have thus far been expended, and which will necessitate the
expenditure of at least half a million more dollars, ere it is completed,
must not, for one moment, be relaxed. The necessary modifications of the
design chosen for its interior ornamentation should be adopted, the plans
and specifications prepared, the preliminary contracts for its execution
placed, and actual construction work started, if possible, ere the expiry
of the present year.

The utmost effort by the National Teaching Committee and its auxiliary
Regional Teaching Committees, aimed at raising the number of spiritual
assemblies in the North American continent to no less than one hundred and
seventy-five, ere the expiry of the current year, should be exerted. The
eighty cities newly opened to the Faith should, likewise, be reinforced.
The two hundred and eighteen groups already constituted should be
continually encouraged to evolve into assemblies, while the vast number of
localities, totalling over nine hundred, where isolated believers reside,
should, however tremendous the exertion required, be enabled to attain
group status, and be eventually converted into properly functioning
assemblies.

Collateral to this process of reinforcing the fabrics of the
Administrative Order and of widening its basis, a resolute attempt should
be made by the national elected representatives of the entire community,
aided by their Public Relations, Race Unity, Public Meetings, Visual
Education, College Speakers Bureau and Radio Committees, to reinforce the
measures already adopted for the proclamation, through the press and
radio, of the verities of the Faith to the masses, and for the
establishment of closer contact with the leaders of public thought, with
colleges and universities and with newspaper and magazine editors.
National advertising and publicity should be further developed, the
contact with seven hundred and fifty newspapers, magazines and trade
papers should be maintained and the public relations programs amplified.
Association, as distinct from affiliation, and untainted by any
participation in political matters, with the various organs, leaders and
representatives of the United Nations and kindred organizations should be
stimulated for the purpose of giving, on the one hand, greater publicity
to the aims and purposes of the Faith, and of paving the way, on the
other, for the eventual conversion of a selected number of capable and
receptive souls who will reinforce the ranks of its active and unreserved
supporters.

The process of the incorporation of properly functioning spiritual
assemblies must be simultaneously and vigorously carried out. The
forty-five assemblies now incorporated are the first fruits of an
enterprise of great significance, which must rapidly develop in the days
to come, as an essential preliminary to the establishment, and the
extension of the scope, of Bahá’í local endowments, as soon as the
financial obligations incurred in connection with the completion of the
Temple have been discharged. The institutions of the three summer schools,
at Green Acre, Davison and Geyserville, and the International School at
Temerity Ranch, as well as the activities of the Bahá’í Youth, must, under
the close supervision of their respective national committees, be
continually expanded and increasingly utilized as agencies for the
furtherance of the vital objectives of the Plan.

The beneficial and highly responsible activities undertaken by the
Publishing, the Reviewing, the Library, the Service for the Blind, the
Visual Education, the Pamphlet Literature and Study Aids Committees,
designed to disseminate and insure the integrity of Bahá’í literature,
should, however indirectly connected with the purposes of the Plan, and
within the limits imposed upon them through its operation, be steadily
expanded, consolidated and be made to promote, in whatever way possible,
its paramount interests.

Nor should the “spacious territory of Alaska,” particularly mentioned by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Tablets of the Divine Plan, and at present the
northern outpost of the Faith in the Western Hemisphere, be ignored, or
its vital requirements neglected. The maintenance and consolidation of the
first historic spiritual assembly in Anchorage, the northernmost
administrative center of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the world; the
multiplication of Bahá’í centers in that territory; the propagation of the
teachings among the Eskimos, emphasized by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s pen in those
same Tablets; the translation and publication of selected passages from
Bahá’í literature in their native language; the extension of the limits of
the Faith beyond Fairbanks and nearer to the Arctic Circle—these
constitute the urgent tasks facing the prosecutors of the present Plan in
the years immediately ahead.

“Alaska is a vast country,” are ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own words, recorded in
those Tablets, “...Perchance, God willing, the lights of the Most Great
Guidance will illuminate that country, and the breezes of the rose garden
of the love of God will perfume the nostrils of the inhabitants of Alaska.
Should you be aided to render such a service, rest ye assured that your
heads shall be crowned with the diadem of everlasting sovereignty.”



CANADA TO FORM SEPARATE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


In the Dominion of Canada, to whose significance and future the Author of
the Tablets of the Divine Plan has repeatedly referred, and in all the
nine provinces of which, as a direct result of the operation of the first
Seven Year Plan, the Faith has established its spiritual assemblies, the
Canadian believers, as a token of their recognition of the significance of
the forthcoming formation of their first National Spiritual Assembly, must
arise and carry out befittingly the task allotted to them in their
homeland. Irrespective of the smallness of their numbers, notwithstanding
the vastness of the territory for which they have been made responsible,
and as a sign of their appreciation of the great bounty and independent
status soon to be conferred upon them, they must, unitedly, exert a
supreme effort to enlarge the limits, multiply the administrative centers,
consolidate the institutions, and broadcast the truths and essentials of
their beloved Faith throughout the length and breadth of that immense
dominion.

The thirteen Canadian assemblies already formed should be, at all costs,
maintained and fortified. The fifty-six localities where Bahá’ís reside
should receive immediate attention, and the most promising among them
should be chosen for the establishment of future assemblies, in order to
broaden the basis and reinforce the foundations of the future pillar of
the Universal House of Justice. Particular attention should, moreover, be
paid to the need for the establishment, without delay, of the first
Canadian Bahá’í summer school, which, as the scope of the activities of
the Canadian believers extends, will have to be gradually supplemented by
other institutions of a similar character, as has been the case in the
development of summer schools in the United States of America. Preliminary
steps should, likewise, be taken for the incorporation of all firmly
grounded spiritual assemblies, as a prelude to the establishment of local
and national endowments. The institution of the local Fund, in every
center where the administrative structure of the Faith has been erected,
should be assiduously developed. The holding of conferences designed to
foster the unity, the solidarity and harmonious development of the
Canadian Bahá’í Community should be steadily encouraged. An organized
attempt should be made to broadcast the Message to the masses and their
leaders through the medium of the press and radio. A deliberate and
sustained endeavor should be exerted to win fresh recruits for the Faith
from the ranks of the considerable French-speaking population of that
dominion. The greatest care should be exercised to attract the attention,
and win the support of other minorities in that land, such as the Indians,
the Eskimos, the Dukhobors and the Negroes, thereby reinforcing the
representative character of a rapidly developing community.

Nor should that community, as its local centers multiply, and the fabric
of its national institutions is erected, and its maturity is demonstrated,
and its independence vindicated, lose sight of, or neglect, the weighty
provisions of those Tablets of the Divine Plan, addressed specifically to
its members by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, wherein He confers upon them the mission of
carrying the Message of His Father to territories and islands beyond the
confines of that dominion, to Newfoundland and the Franklin Islands, to
the Yukon, to Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava and Greenland. The tentative
steps recently taken by a Danish believer in disseminating Bahá’í
literature in the territory of Greenland, in a number of settlements and
outposts beyond the Arctic Circle, and in dispatching Bahá’í books to
Godthaab, its capital, and as far north as Upernavik on Baffin Bay,
constitutes a modest yet historic beginning which the Canadian believers,
in the light of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets addressed to them, must follow up
in the years to come.

“Should the fire of the love of God be kindled in Greenland,” He
significantly assures them in one of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, “all
the ice of that country will be melted, and its cold weather become
temperate—that is, if the hearts be touched with the heat of the love of
God, that territory will become a divine rose garden and a heavenly
paradise, and the souls, even as fruitful trees, will acquire the utmost
freshness and beauty. Effort, the utmost effort, is required.”

Theirs is the duty, the privilege and honor, once their central
administrative institution is firmly established, its subsidiary agencies
are vigorously operating, and its immediate requirements are met, to take
preliminary measures, on however small a scale, ere the Second Seven Year
Plan is terminated, for the dispatch of a handful of pioneers to some of
these territories, as an evidence of the determination and capacity of a
newly independent national community to assume the functions, and
discharge the responsibilities with which it has been invested in those
immortal Tablets by the pen of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.

“There is no difference between countries,” is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s testimony in
one of those Tablets. “The future of the Dominion of Canada, however, is
very great, and the events connected with it infinitely glorious. It shall
become the object of the glance of Providence, and shall show forth the
bounties of the All-Glorious.” “Again I repeat,” He, in that same Tablet
affirms, “that the future of Canada is very great, whether from a material
or a spiritual standpoint.... The clouds of the Kingdom will water the
seeds of guidance which have been sown there.”



TASKS IN LATIN AMERICA


In the far-flung Latin American field, where the first fruits of the
Divine Plan, operating beyond the confines of the North American
continent, have already been garnered in such abundance, the Latin
American Bahá’í communities, from the Mexican border to the extremity of
Chile, should bestir themselves for the collective, the historic and
gigantic tasks that await them, and which must culminate, ere the expiry
of the present Plan, in the formation of two national spiritual assemblies
for Central and South America.

The marvelous progress achieved as a result of the operation of the first
Seven Year Plan, as evidenced by the establishment of full-fledged
spiritual assemblies in the virgin territories of no less than fourteen
republics, and the formation of active groups in the remaining republics,
has been enhanced by the even more startling expansion of Bahá’í activity
since the termination of the first stage of the Divine Plan. As a result
of this expansion spiritual assemblies have been established in all the
remaining republics, the number of localities where Bahá’ís reside has
been raised to over a hundred, almost double the number of localities in
which the Faith had been introduced after the completion of the first
Seven Year Plan, the number of spiritual assemblies has swelled to no less
than thirty-seven, three of which have been duly incorporated, a notable
impetus has been given to the activities of the distributing centers of
Bahá’í literature in Argentina and Panama, historic conferences have been
held in these two republics, summer schools have been inaugurated in
Argentina and Chile, and a tract of land has been presented as a site for
the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Latin America. No community since the
inception of the hundred-year-old Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, not even the
community of the Most Great Name in the North American continent, can
boast of an evolution as rapid, a consolidation as sound, a multiplication
of centers as swift, as those that have marked the birth and rise of the
community of His followers in Latin America.

The colossal tasks that now summon this Latin American Bahá’í community to
a challenge, cannot but dwarf, if faithfully and promptly accomplished,
the magnificent achievements that have immortalized the first decade of
organized activity in Latin American Bahá’í history. The seed-sowing stage
associated, in the main, with the labors and travels of that saintly soul,
that star-servant of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, the incomparable Martha
Root, links this decade of organized Bahá’í activity in Latin America with
both the closing years of the Heroic Age of our Faith and the first
fifteen years of the initial epoch of the Age we live in.



TWO REGIONAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES A VITAL OBJECTIVE


The emergence of organized local communities in most of the republics of
Latin America will be forever associated with the exploits that have shed
such luster on the first stage of the Divine Plan launched during the
concluding years of that first epoch of the Formative Age of our Faith.
The constitution of two independent duly elected national spiritual
assemblies for the northern and southern zones of Latin America is now to
be regarded as one of the most vital objectives of the Second Seven Year
Plan, whose inauguration synchronizes with the opening years of the second
Bahá’í century, and which will be chiefly associated with the first phase
of the second epoch of that Age. The emergence of these two national
assemblies, precursors of the institutions which must participate in the
election, and contribute to the support, of the Universal House of
Justice—the last crowning unit in the erection of the fabric of the
Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—must lead gradually and
uninterruptedly, and in the course of successive epochs of the Formative
Age, to the constitution in each of the republics of Central and South
America, of a properly elected, fully representative national assembly,
constituting thereby the last stage in the administrative evolution of
that Faith throughout Latin America.

In order that these future tasks may be carried out with dispatch,
efficiency, harmony and in strict accordance with the administrative and
spiritual principles of our Faith, the Latin American promoters of the
present Seven Year Plan must focus their attention on the requirements of
the present hour, close their ranks, reinforce the bonds of unity, of
solidarity and of cooperation which unite them, rededicate themselves
individually to the sacred, all-important and vital task of teaching,
exert strenuous endeavors to deepen their knowledge of the history and
fundamentals of their Faith, steep themselves in the spirit and the love
of its teachings and acquire special training for future pioneer activity
throughout the length and breadth of the vast stretches of territory which
extend from the confines of the great republic in the north to the Straits
of Magellan in the south.

The process of the steady multiplication of spiritual assemblies, already
numbering thirty-seven, of groups whose number equals that of the
assemblies, and of the forty localities where isolated believers reside,
must vigorously and uninterruptedly continue. The incorporation of
well-grounded spiritual assemblies, following the example set by the
spiritual assemblies of San José, Costa Rica, of Bogotà, Colombia, and of
Asunciòn, Paraguay, as a preliminary to the incorporation of the future
national assemblies to be established in Latin America, must be
strenuously and efficiently carried out. A beginning, however modest,
should be made in the direction of establishing local Funds, supported by
native believers and designed to supplement the financial assistance
extended by the parent community in North America, for the furtherance of
pioneer activity, for the dissemination of Bahá’í literature, for the
maintenance of local Bahá’í headquarters, for the gradual initiation of
Bahá’í endowments, such as the land offered for a Bahá’í Temple in Chile,
for the holding of conferences and of summer schools, for the creation of
publicity agencies, and for the conduct and expansion of youth activities.

Strong and sustained support should be given to the vitally needed and
meritorious activities started by the native Latin American traveling
teachers, particularly in the pioneer field, who, as the mighty task
progresses, must increasingly bear the brunt of responsibility for the
propagation of the Faith in their homelands. Full advantage should be
taken of the facilities provided by the use of practical workshop courses
in Latin American pioneering at the International School at Temerity
Ranch. The two summer schools in Azeiza and Santiago, as well as one
planned in Vera Cruz, should be utilized, not only as centers for the
acquisition of Bahá’í learning, but as training grounds for pioneering
among the Spanish and Portuguese speaking populations of all the republics
of Latin America. The regional conferences held in Buenos Aires and Panama
should be followed by conferences of a similar character, at which a
growing number of attendants from among the ranks of Latin American
believers will assume an ever-increasing share of responsibility in the
initiation and conduct of the affairs of a continually evolving community.
A deliberate effort should be made to increase, through correspondence
teaching and its extension to all the Spanish speaking countries, the
number of the active supporters of the Faith, so desperately needed in
view of the vastness of the field, the mighty responsibilities that have
been incurred, the smallness of the number of laborers, and the shortness
of the time at their disposal.

Other agencies, such as publicity and advertising in the press, the
multiplication of accurate and improved radio scripts, the extension of
teaching projects through regional teaching committees, visual education
and the organization of public meetings, should be fully utilized to
capture the attention, win the sympathy, and secure the active and
unreserved support of a steadily increasing proportion of the population
of the various Latin American republics. The publishing activities of a
constantly growing community should, likewise, be stimulated, their scope
should be continually widened, the quality of Bahá’í publications in
Spanish, Portuguese and French be improved, and their dissemination over a
wide area be insured. The two Spanish bulletins, the one already published
in Santiago and the other planned in San José, should, likewise, as an
adjunct to Bahá’í publications, be developed and widely circulated. The
contact established with the two hundred and forty-four Masonic Lodges
should be reinforced by similar contacts with schools as well as business
firms established throughout the various republics, for the sole purpose
of giving further publicity to the Faith, and winning ultimately fresh
recruits to the strength of its followers.



IMPORTANCE OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS


Particular attention, I feel, should, at this juncture, be directed to the
various Indian tribes, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Latin republics,
whom the Author of the Tablets of the Divine Plan has compared to the
“ancient inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula.” “Attach great importance,”
is His admonition to the entire body of the believers in the United States
and the Dominion of Canada, “to the indigenous population of America. For
these souls may be likened unto the ancient inhabitants of the Arabian
Peninsula, who, prior to the Mission of Muḥammad, were like unto savages.
When the light of Muḥammad shone forth in their midst, however, they
became so radiant as to illumine the world. Likewise, these Indians,
should they be educated and guided, there can be no doubt that they will
become so illumined as to enlighten the whole world.” The initial contact
already established, in the concluding years of the first Bahá’í century,
in obedience to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Mandate, with the Cherokee and Oneida
Indians in North Carolina and Wisconsin, with the Patagonian, the Mexican
and the Inca Indians, and the Mayans in Argentina, Mexico, Peru and
Yucatan, respectively, should, as the Latin American Bahá’í communities
gain in stature and strength, be consolidated and extended. A special
effort should be exerted to secure the unqualified adherence of members of
some of these tribes to the Faith, their subsequent election to its
councils, and their unreserved support of the organized attempts that will
have to be made in the future by the projected national assemblies for the
large-scale conversion of Indian races to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Nor should the peculiar position of the Republic of Panama be overlooked
at the present stage in the development of the Faith in Latin America.
“All the above countries,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, referring to the Central American
republics in one of the Tablets of His Divine Plan, has affirmed, “have
importance, but especially the Republic of Panama, wherein the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans come together through the Panama Canal. It is a center
for travel and passage from America to other continents of the world, and
in the future it will gain most great importance.” “Likewise,” He moreover
has written, “ye must give great attention to the Republic of Panama, for
in that point the Occident and the Orient find each other united through
the Panama Canal, and it is also situated between the two great oceans.
That place will become very important in the future. The teachings, once
established there, will unite the East and the West, the North and the
South.”

The manifold activities initiated since the launching of the first Seven
Year Plan should, under no circumstances, be neglected or allowed to
stagnate. The excellent publicity accorded the Faith, and the contact
established with several leaders in that republic should be followed up,
systematically and with the greatest care, by the growing community within
its confines. The initial contact with the Indians should be developed
with assiduous care and unfailing patience. Furthermore, the strengthening
of the bonds now being forged between the North American communities and
their sister communities in Latin America must constitute, owing to the
unique and central position occupied by that republic, one of the chief
objectives of the Panamanian believers, the progress of whose activities
deserves to rank as one of the most notable chapters of recent Latin
American Bahá’í history.

Nor should the valuable and meritorious labors accomplished since the
inception of the first Seven Year Plan in Punta Arenas de Magallanes, that
far-off center situated not only on the southern extremity of the Western
Hemisphere, but constituting the southernmost outpost of the Faith in the
whole world, be for a moment neglected in the course of the second stage
in the development of the Divine Plan. The assembly already constituted in
that city, the remarkable radio publicity secured by the believers there,
the assistance extended by them to the teaching work in other parts of
Chile, should be regarded only as a prelude to the work of consolidation
which must be indefatigably pursued. This work, if properly carried out,
in conjunction with the activities associated with the assemblies of
Santiago, Valparaìso and Viná del Mar, and the groups of Puerto Montt,
Valdivia, Quilpue, Temuco, Sewell, Chorrillos, Mülchen and other smaller
ones, as well as several isolated localities in that republic, may well
hasten the advent of the day when the Chilean followers of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh will have established the first independent national spiritual
assembly to be formed by any single nation of Latin America.



BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SUMMONS TO THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE


Whoever it may be among these Latin American communities who will
eventually carry off the palm of victory, and win this immortal
distinction, all without exception, and with equal zeal, must participate
in this vast and collective enterprise which is engaging, in an
ever-increasing measure, their attention and challenging their resources.
Let them remember that the Author of their Faith has in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
the Mother-Book of His Revelation, singled out the company of the
Presidents of their countries, together with those of the North American
continent, and addressed them in terms that sharply contrast with the dire
warnings and condemnatory words addressed directly and indirectly, to the
King of Prussia, the French and Austrian Emperors and the Sultan of
Turkey, who, together with those Presidents, are the only sovereigns and
rulers specifically mentioned by Him in that Book.

“Hearken ye, O rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics
therein!” is His summons sounded in that mighty Charter of the future
world civilization, “unto that which the Dove is warbling on the Branch of
Eternity: There is none other God but Me, the Ever-Abiding, the Forgiving,
the All-Bountiful. Adorn ye the temple of 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 Creator of the heavens. Thus counselleth you
He Who is the Dayspring of Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing,
the All-Wise. The Promised One hath appeared in this glorified Station,
whereat all beings, both seen and unseen, have rejoiced. Take ye advantage
of the Day of God. Verily, to meet Him is better for you than all that
whereon the sun shineth, could ye but know it. O concourse of rulers! Give
ear unto that which hath been raised from the Dayspring of Grandeur:
Verily, there is none other God but Me, the Lord of Utterance, the
All-Knowing. Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the
oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of the commandments of your Lord,
the Ordainer, the All-Wise.”

Let them ponder the honor which the Author of the Revelation Himself has
chosen to confer upon their countries, the obligations which that honor
automatically brings in its wake, the opportunities it offers, the power
it releases for the removal of all obstacles, however formidable, which
may be encountered in their path, and the promise of guidance it implies
for the attainment of the objectives alluded to in these memorable
passages.

To the eager, the warm-hearted, the spiritually minded and staunch members
of these Latin American Bahá’í communities who, among the followers of
Bahá’u’lláh, already constitute the most considerable body of recruits
from the ranks of the most deeply entrenched and powerful Church of
Christendom; whose motherlands have been chosen as the scene of the
earliest victories won by the prosecutors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan;
launched on their crusade for the spiritual conquest of the whole planet;
the establishment of whose projected national spiritual assemblies must
constitute a notable landmark in the second epoch of the Formative Age of
the Bahá’í Dispensation; whose leading spiritual assemblies are now
establishing direct contact with the World Center of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh in the Holy Land; the photographs of whose elected
representatives, at their chief centers, will soon adorn the walls of His
Mansion at Bahjí; a few of whose members have already arisen to carry back
the torch of divine guidance entrusted to their care to the peoples and
races from which they have sprung—to this privileged, this youngest, this
dynamic and highly promising member of the organic Bahá’í World Community,
I feel moved, before I dismiss this aspect of my theme, to direct this
general appeal to rise to the heights of the glorious opportunity which
destiny is unfolding before its members. Theirs is the opportunity, if
they but seize it, to adorn the opening pages of the annals of the second
Bahá’í century with a tale of deeds approaching in valor those with which
their Persian brethren have illuminated the opening years of the first,
and comparable with the exploits more recently achieved by their North
American fellow-believers and which have shed such luster on the closing
decade of that same century.



SPIRITUAL CRUSADE TO BE LAUNCHED IN EUROPE


To the fourth, and by far the most momentous, the most arduous, the most
challenging task to be carried out under the Second Seven Year Plan—the
systematic launching of a crusade in a mighty, a tormented, a spiritually
famished continent, a continent drawn, in recent years through political
developments as well as through improvement in the means of
transportation, so close to the great republic of the West, and
constituting a stepping-stone on the road leading to the redemption of the
Old World—I must now direct the attention of my readers.

This as yet unfought and unbelievably potent crusade, embarked upon in the
opening decade of the second century of the Bahá’í Era, signalizing the
commencement of the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Dispensation
of Bahá’u’lláh, and marking the first stage in the propulsion of a
divinely conceived Plan across the borders of the Western Hemisphere,
must, as its pace augments, reveal the first signs and tokens which, as
anticipated by the Author of the Plan Himself, must accompany the carrying
of His Father’s Message across the ocean, at the hands of His “apostles,”
from the shores of their homeland to the European continent. “The moment,”
is His powerfully sustaining, gloriously inspiring promise, “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 Australia, 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.”

The first stage in this transatlantic field of service which those
crusading for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in the Western Hemisphere are now
entering is a step fraught with possibilities such as no mind can
adequately envisage. Its challenge is overwhelming and its potentialities
unfathomable. Its hazards, rigors and pitfalls are numerous, its field
immense, the number of its promoters as yet utterly inadequate, the
resources required for its effective prosecution barely tapped. The races,
nations and classes included within its orbit are numerous and highly
diversified, and the prizes to be won by its victors incalculably great.
The hatreds that inflame, the rivalries that agitate, the controversies
that confuse, the miseries that afflict, these races, nations and classes
are bitter and of long standing. The influence and fanaticism, whether
ecclesiastical or political, of potentially hostile organizations, firmly
entrenched within their ancestral strongholds, are formidable.

The members of the North American Bahá’í Community, to whose care the
immediate destinies of this fate-laden crusade have been entrusted, are
standing at a new crossroads. Behind them is an imperishable record, brief
yet illustrious, of feats performed over the entire range of the Western
Hemisphere. Before them stretches a vista alluring in its as yet hazy
outlines, entrancing in its magnitude, reaching to the far horizons of as
yet unconquered territories. They can look back, since that crusade was
launched, upon a decade of modest beginnings, of toilsome labors, of
richly deserved rewards. They now look forward to successive epochs
reaching as far as the fringes of that Golden Age that is to be, glowing
in the light of God-given promises, destined to be traversed at the cost
of infinite toil and of heroic self-sacrifice.

They can neither retrace their steps, nor falter, nor even afford to mark
time. The sands are running out, the short span of six brief years
intervening between the present hour and the termination of the second
stage of the enterprise on which they have embarked will soon expire. The
hosts on high, having sounded the signal, are impatient to rush forward,
and demonstrate anew the irresistible force of their might. Europe, in the
throes of the aftermath of a horribly devastating conflict, calls
desperately, in one of the darkest hours of its history, for that
sovereign remedy which only the Plan, conceived by a divinely appointed
Physician, can administer. Sister communities, in the north and in the
heart of that continent, alive to the needs, the opportunities and the
glorious mission of the vanguard of Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders, now landing
on the shores of that agitated continent, are only too eager to reinforce
the stupendous exertions that must needs be made for its ultimate
redemption. Nor will other sister communities further afield refrain, for
a moment, from lending a helping hand, once the progress of this gigantic
movement now set in motion is accelerated. Above and beyond them all,
unsleeping, ever-solicitous, unerring, is the Pilot of their bark, the
Charterer of their course, the Founder of their spiritual fellowship, the
Bestower of that primacy which is the hallmark of their destiny.



EVOLVING STRONGHOLDS IN TEN INITIAL COUNTRIES


The ten countries, constituting the initial field wherein the prowess of
these crusaders must, in the years immediately ahead, be exhibited, and in
whose capitals the foundations of the embryonic Order of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh must preferably be unassailably laid, must each evolve into
strongholds from which the dynamic energies of that Faith can be diffused
to neighboring territories in the course of the unfoldment of the Plan.
The nuclei that are now being formed, and the groups that are beginning to
emerge, must be speedily and systematically reinforced, not only through
the dispatch and settlement of pioneers and the visits paid them by
itinerant teachers, but also through the progressive development of the
teaching work which the pioneers themselves must initiate and foster among
the native population in those countries. Any artificially created
assembly, consisting of settlers from abroad, can at best be considered as
temporary and insecure, and should, if the second stage of the European
enterprise is to be commenced without undue delay in the future, be
supplanted by broad-based, securely grounded, efficiently functioning
assemblies, composed primarily of the people of the countries themselves,
who are firm in faith, unimpeachable in their loyalty and whole-hearted in
their support of the Administrative Order of the Faith. The twenty-five
pioneers that have already proceeded to Scandinavia and the Low Countries,
to the Iberian Peninsula, to Switzerland and Italy, should, in the course
of this current year, and while the process of teaching the native
population is being inaugurated, be reinforced by as many additional
pioneers as possible, and particularly by those who, possessed of
independent means, can, either themselves or through their appointed
deputies, swell the number of the valiant workers already laboring with
such devotion in those fields.

The translation, the publication and dissemination of Bahá’í literature,
whether in the form of leaflets, pamphlets or books, in the nine selected
languages, should, as the work progresses and the demand is
correspondingly increased, be strenuously carried out, as a preliminary to
its free distribution among the public on certain occasions, and its
presentation to both the leaders of public thought and the numerous and
famous libraries established in those countries. No time should be lost in
establishing, on however small a scale, initial contact with the press and
other agencies designed to invite greater attention on the part of the
masses to the historic work now being initiated in their respective
countries.

No opportunity, in view of the necessity of insuring the harmonious
development of the Faith, should be ignored, which its potential enemies,
whether ecclesiastical or otherwise, may offer, to set forth, in a
restrained and unprovocative language, its aims and tenets, to defend its
interests, to proclaim its universality, to assert the supernatural, the
supra-national and non-political character of its institutions, and its
acceptance of the divine origin of the Faiths which have preceded it. Nor
should any chance be missed of associating the Faith, as distinct from
affiliating it, with all progressive, non-political, non-ecclesiastical
institutions, whether social, educational, or charitable, whose objectives
harmonize with some of its tenets, and amongst whose members and
supporters individuals may be found who will eventually embrace its truth.
Particular attention should, moreover, be paid to attendance at congresses
and conferences, and to any contacts that can be made with colleges and
universities which offer a fertile field for the scattering of the seeds
of the Faith, and afford opportunities for broadcasting its message, and
for winning fresh recruits to its strength.

Nor should any occasion be neglected by the pioneers of attending, if
their personal circumstances permit, either the British or German Bahá’í
summer schools, and of forging such links with these institutions as will
not only assist them in the discharge of their duties, but enable them to
initiate, when the time is ripe, an institution of a similar character,
under the auspices of the European Teaching Committee—an institution which
will be the forerunner of the summer schools that will have to be founded
separately by the future assemblies in their respective countries. Above
all, any assistance which the two national spiritual assemblies, already
established on that continent, and their auxiliary committees, and
particularly their publishing agencies, can extend should be gratefully
welcomed and utilized to the full, until such time as the institutions
destined to evolve in these countries can assume independently the conduct
of their own affairs.

A constant interchange of news between the centers, through the medium of
the Geneva Bulletin, whose scope must be steadily enlarged, and close
contact with each other through the European office of the European
Teaching Committee, functioning as an adjunct to the International Bahá’í
Bureau, should, furthermore, be maintained and reinforced, whenever
circumstances are favorable, by the convening of conferences, which will
bring together as many pioneers laboring in these ten countries, and newly
converted believers, as possible, enabling them to jointly consider their
plans, problems and activities, concert measures for the progress of the
Faith in that continent, and pave the way for the future formation of
regional national spiritual assemblies, which must precede the
constitution of separate independent national institutions in each of
these countries. Such summer schools and conferences, initiated and
conducted by one of the most important agencies of the highest
administrative institution in the North American Bahá’í Community,
gathering together as they will Bahá’í representatives of various races
and nations on the continent of Europe, will, by reason of their
unprecedented character in the evolution of the Faith, since its
inception, constitute a historic landmark in the development of the
organic world-wide Bahá’í community, and will be the harbinger of those
epoch-making world conferences, at which the representatives of the
nations and races within the Bahá’í fold will convene for the
strengthening of the spiritual and administrative bonds that unite its
members.



INITIATING NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS AND ADAPTING TEACHING METHODS


A beginning, however limited in scope, should be made, ere the present
stage of the Divine Plan draws to a close, in the direction of
establishing befitting administrative headquarters for the rising
communities and their projected assemblies in the capital cities of
Stockholm, of Oslo, of Copenhagen, of The Hague, of Brussels, of
Luxembourg, of Madrid, of Lisbon, of Rome and of Bern, through the rental
of suitable quarters which, in the course of time, must lead to either the
construction or the purchase in each of these capitals of a national
Hazíratu’l-Quds, as a future seat for independent, elected national
spiritual assemblies.

A tentative start, though strictly speaking excluded from the scope of the
present Plan, should, I feel, be made, ere the six remaining years have
run their course, aiming at the formation, in each of the ten designated
countries, of a number of nuclei, however few, however unstable, which
will proclaim to the entire Bahá’í world the ability of the prosecutors of
the Plan to exceed their allocated task, even as they surpassed, in the
Latin American field, the goals which they had originally set before them.
Such a feat, if accomplished, would impart to my overburdened heart a joy
that would equal the many consolations which a dearly loved community has
showered upon me, in the past, by its signal acts, both within its
homeland and abroad, since the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Nor should any of the pioneers, at this early stage in the upbuilding of
Bahá’í national communities, overlook the fundamental prerequisite for any
successful teaching enterprise, which is to adapt the presentation of the
fundamental principles of their Faith to the cultural and religious
backgrounds, the ideologies, and the temperament of the divers races and
nations whom they are called upon to enlighten and attract. The
susceptibilities of these races and nations, from both the northern and
southern climes, springing from either the Germanic or Latin stock,
belonging to either the Catholic or Protestant communion, some democratic,
others totalitarian in outlook, some socialistic, others capitalistic in
their tendencies, differing widely in their customs and standards of
living, should at all times be carefully considered, and under no
circumstances neglected.

These pioneers, in their contact with the members of divers creeds, races
and nations, covering a range which offers no parallel in either the north
or south continents, must neither antagonize them nor compromise with
their own essential principles. They must be neither provocative nor
supine, neither fanatical nor excessively liberal, in their exposition of
the fundamental and distinguishing features of their Faith. They must be
either wary or bold, they must act swiftly or mark time, they must use the
direct or indirect method, they must be challenging or conciliatory, in
strict accordance with the spiritual receptivity of the soul with whom
they come in contact, whether he be a nobleman or a commoner, a northerner
or a southerner, a layman or a priest, a capitalist or a socialist, a
statesman or a prince, an artisan or a beggar. In their presentation of
the Message of Bahá’u’lláh they must neither hesitate nor falter. They
must be neither contemptuous of the poor nor timid before the great. In
their exposition of its verities they must neither overstress nor whittle
down the truth which they champion, whether their hearer belong to
royalty, or be a prince of the church, or a politician, or a tradesman, or
a man of the street. To all alike, high or low, rich or poor, they must
proffer, with open hands, with a radiant heart, with an eloquent tongue,
with infinite patience, with uncompromising loyalty, with great wisdom,
with unshakable courage, the Cup of Salvation at so critical an hour, to
the confused, the hungry, the distraught and fear-stricken multitudes, in
the north, in the west, in the south and in the heart, of that sorely
tried continent.



EUROPE FEELS STIRRINGS OF SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION


The second century of the Bahá’í Era has dawned. The second stage of the
Divine Plan has been launched. The second epoch of the Formative Age of
the Bahá’í Dispensation has opened. The tragedy of a continent, so
blessed, so rich in history, so harassed, is moving towards a climax. The
vanguard of the torchbearers of a world-redeeming civilization are landing
on its shores and are settling in its capitals. An epoch has commenced,
inaugurating the systematic conquest of the European continent by the
organized body of the “apostles of Bahá’u’lláh,” destined to unfold its
potentialities in the course of succeeding centuries, and bidding fair to
eclipse the radiance of those past ages which have successfully witnessed
the introduction of the Christian Faith into the continent’s northern
climes, the efflorescence of Islamic culture that shed such radiance along
its southern shores, and the rise of the Reformation in its very heart.

The stage is set. The hour is propitious. The signal is sounded.
Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual battalions are moving into position. The initial
clash between the forces of darkness and the army of light, as unnoticed
as the landing, two milleniums ago, of the apostles of Christ on the
southern shores of the European continent, is being registered by the
denizens of the Abhá Kingdom. The Author of the Plan that has set so
titanic an enterprise in motion is Himself mounted at the head of these
battalions, and leads them on to capture the cities of men’s hearts. A
continent, twice blessed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s successive visits to its
shores, and the scene of His first public appearance in the West; which
has been the cradle of a civilization to some of whose beneficent features
the pen of Bahá’u’lláh has paid significant tribute; on whose soil both
the Greek and Roman civilizations were born and flourished; which has
contributed so richly to the unfoldment of American civilization; the
fountainhead of American culture; the mother of Christendom, and the scene
of the greatest exploits of the followers of Jesus Christ; in some of
whose outlying territories have been won some of the most resplendent
victories which ushered in the Golden Age of Islám; which sustained, in
its very heart, the violent impact of the onrushing hosts of that Faith,
intent on the subjugation of its cities, but which refused to bend the
knee to its invaders, and succeeded in the end in repulsing their
assault—such a continent is now experiencing, at the hands of the little
as yet unnoticed band of pioneers sent forth by the enviable, the
privileged, the dynamic American Bahá’í Community, the first stirrings of
that spiritual revolution which must culminate, in the Golden Age that is
as yet unborn, in the permanent establishment of Bahá’u’lláh’s Order
throughout that continent.



DIVINE PLAN CHALLENGES NORTH AMERICAN BELIEVERS


One word in conclusion to those to whom the Tablets of so stupendous a
Plan have been addressed, to whose care the destinies of so prodigious an
enterprise have been committed, and of whom such titanic efforts are now
demanded. I can do no better than recall, nor can I sufficiently
emphasize, or refrain from quoting anew, those stirring and pregnant
passages that illuminate the pages of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s epoch-making Tablets.

In one of these Tablets, addressed to the believers in the Northeastern
States, these weighty and highly significant words are recorded: “All
countries, in the estimation of the one true God, are but one country, and
all cities and villages are on an equal footing... Through faith and
certitude, and the precedence achieved by one over another, however, the
dweller conferreth honor upon the dwelling, some of the countries achieve
distinction, and attain a preeminent position. For instance,
notwithstanding that some of the countries of Europe and of America are
distinguished by, and surpass other countries in, the salubrity of their
climate, the wholesomeness of their water, and the charm of their
mountains, plains and prairies, yet Palestine became the glory of all
nations inasmuch as all the holy and Divine Manifestations, from the time
of Abraham until the appearance of the Seal of the Prophets (Muḥammad),
have lived in, or migrated to, or traveled through, that country.
Likewise, Mecca and Medina have achieved illimitable glory, as the light
of Prophethood shone forth therein. For this reason Palestine and Ḥijáz
have been distinguished from all other countries.” “Likewise,” is His
remarkable disclosure, “the continent of America is, in the eyes of the
one true God, the land wherein the splendors of His light shall be
revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled, the home of
the righteous, and the gathering-place of the free.”

To those of His followers, dwelling in that enviable and blessed
continent, He has chosen to address these no less inspiring words, as
recorded in one of those Tablets revealed in honor of the believers of the
United States and Canada: “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... My
thoughts are turned towards you, and my heart leaps within me at your
mention. Could ye know how my soul gloweth with your love, so great a
happiness would flood your hearts as to cause you to become enamored with
each other.” “The full measure of your success,” He, in another Tablet,
addressed to the entire company of His followers in the North American
continent these prophetic words: “is as yet unrevealed, its significance
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... I fervently hope that in the near
future the whole earth may be stirred and shaken by the results of your
achievements. 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. 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 Australia, 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... Know ye of a certainty that
whatever gathering ye enter, the waves of the Holy Spirit are surging over
it, and the heavenly grace of the Blessed Beauty encompasseth that
gathering... 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... 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.”



DETACHMENT FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD


“Now is the time,” He no less significantly remarks in another of these
Tablets, “for you to divest yourselves of the garment of attachment to
this world that perisheth, to be wholly severed from the physical world,
become heavenly angels, and travel to these countries. I swear by Him
besides Whom there is none other God that each one of you will become an
Isráfíl of Life, and will blow the Breath of Life into the souls of
others.” And lastly this glorious promise in another of those immortal
Tablets: “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.”

In one of the earliest Tablets addressed by Him to the American believers
these equally significant words have been penned: “If ye be truly united,
if ye agree to promote that which is the essential purpose, and to show
forth an all-unifying love, I swear by Him Who causeth the seed to split
and the breeze to waft, so great a light will shine forth from your faces
as to reach the highest heavens, the fame of your glory will be noised
abroad, the evidences of your preeminence will spread throughout all
regions, your power will penetrate the realities of all things, your aims
and purposes will exert their influence upon the great and mighty nations,
your spirits will encompass the whole world of being, and ye will discover
yourselves to be kings in the dominions of the Kingdom, and attired with
the glorious crowns of the invisible Realm, and become the marshals of the
army of peace, and princes of the forces of light, and stars shining from
the horizon of perfection, and brilliant lamps shedding their radiance
upon men.”



CONTRIBUTION OF THE WEST TO WORLD ORDER


In the light of these glowing tributes, these ardent hopes, these
soul-stirring promises, recorded by the pen of the Center of the Covenant,
is it surprising to find that the Author of the Covenant Himself has,
anticipating the great contribution which the West is destined to make to
the establishment of His World Order, made such a momentous statement in
His writings: “In the East the light of His Revelation hath broken; in the
West have appeared the signs of His dominion. Ponder this in your hearts,
O people, and be not of those who have turned a deaf ear to the
admonitions of Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Praised.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself, confirming this statement, has written: “From the
beginning of time until the present day the light of Divine Revelation
hath risen in the East and shed its radiance upon the West. The
illumination thus shed hath, however, acquired in the West an
extraordinary brilliancy. Consider the Faith proclaimed by Jesus. Though
it first appeared in the East, yet not until its light had been shed upon
the West did the full measure of its potentialities become manifest.” “The
day is approaching when ye shall witness how, through the splendor of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh the West will have replaced the East, radiating the
light of divine guidance.” “The West hath acquired illumination from the
East, but, in some respects the reflection of the light hath been greater
in the Occident.” “The East hath, verily, been illumined with the light of
the Kingdom. Erelong will this same light shed a still greater
illumination through the potency of the teachings of God, and their souls
be set aglow by the undying fire of His love.”

Invested, among its sister communities in East and West, with the primacy
conferred upon it by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan; armed with the mandatory
provisions of His momentous Tablets; equipped with the agencies of a
quarter-century-old Administrative Order, whose fabric it has reared and
consolidated; encouraged by the marvelous success achieved by its daughter
communities throughout the Americas, a success which has sealed the
triumph of the first stage of that Plan; launched on a campaign of vaster
dimensions, of superior merit, of weightier potentialities, than any it
has hitherto initiated, a campaign destined to multiply its spiritual
progeny in distant lands and amidst divers races, the community of the
Most Great Name in the North American continent must arise, as it has
never before in its history, and demonstrate anew its capacity to perform
such deeds as are worthy of its high calling. Its members, the executors
of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, the champion-builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic
Order, the torchbearers of a world-girdling civilization, must, in the
years immediately ahead, bestir themselves, and, as bidden by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “increase” their exertions “a thousandfold,” lay bare
further vistas in the “range” of their “future achievements” and of their
“unspeakably glorious” mission, and hasten the day when, as prophesied by
Him, their community will “find itself securely established upon the
throne of an everlasting dominion,” when “the whole earth” will be stirred
and shaken by the results of its “achievements” and “resound with the
praises of majesty and greatness,” when America will “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.”

In every state of the United States, in every province of the Dominion of
Canada, in every republic of Latin America, in each of the ten European
countries to which its inescapable responsibilities are insistently
calling it, this community, so blessed in the past, so promising at
present, so dazzling in its future destiny, must, if it would guard its
priceless birthright and enhance its heritage, forge ahead with equal
zeal, with unrelaxing vigilance, with indomitable courage, with tireless
energy, until the present stage of its mission is triumphantly concluded.



THE WORKINGS OF TWO SIMULTANEOUS PROCESSES


How could it forfeit its birthright or mar its heritage, when the country
from which the vast majority of its members have sprung, the great
republic of the West, government and people alike, is itself, through
experiment and trial, slowly, painfully, unwittingly and irresistibly
advancing towards the goal destined for it by both Bahá’u’lláh and
‘Abdu’l-Bahá? Indeed if we would read aright the signs of the times, and
appraise correctly the significances of contemporaneous events that are
impelling forward both the American Bahá’í Community and the nation of
which it forms a part on the road leading them to their ultimate destiny,
we cannot fail to perceive the workings of two simultaneous processes,
generated as far back as the concluding years of the Heroic Age of our
Faith, each clearly defined, each distinctly separate, yet closely related
and destined to culminate, in the fullness of time, in a single glorious
consummation.

One of these processes is associated with the mission of the American
Bahá’í Community, the other with the destiny of the American nation. The
one serves directly the interests of the Administrative Order of the Faith
of Bahá’u’lláh, the other promotes indirectly the institutions that are to
be associated with the establishment of His World Order. The first process
dates back to the revelation of those stupendous Tablets constituting the
Charter of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan. It was held in abeyance for
well-nigh twenty years while the fabric of an indispensable Administrative
Order, designed as a divinely appointed agency for the operation of that
Plan, was being constructed. It registered its initial success with the
triumphant conclusion of the first stage of its operation in the republics
of the Western Hemisphere. It signalized the opening of the second phase
of its development through the inauguration of the present teaching
campaign in the European continent. It must pass into the third stage of
its evolution with the initiation of the third Seven Year Plan, designed
to culminate in the establishment of the structure of the Administrative
Order in all the remaining sovereign states and chief dependencies of the
globe. It must reach the end of the first epoch in its evolution with the
fulfillment of the prophecy mentioned by Daniel in the last chapter of His
Book, related to the year 1335, and associated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with the
world triumph of the Faith of His Father. It will be consummated through
the emergence of the Bahá’í World Commonwealth in the Golden Age of the
Bahá’í Dispensation.

The other process dates back to the outbreak of the first World War that
threw the great republic of the West into the vortex of the first stage of
a world upheaval. It received its initial impetus through the formulation
of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, closely associating for the first
time that republic with the fortunes of the Old World. It suffered its
first setback through the dissociation of that republic from the newly
born League of Nations which that president had labored to create. It
acquired added momentum through the outbreak of the second World War,
inflicting unprecedented suffering on that republic, and involving it
still further in the affairs of all the continents of the globe. It was
further reinforced through the declaration embodied in the Atlantic
Charter, as voiced by one of its chief progenitors, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It assumed a definite outline through the birth of the United Nations at
the San Francisco Conference. It acquired added significance through the
choice of the City of the Covenant itself as the seat of the newly born
organization, through the declaration recently made by the American
president related to his country’s commitments in Greece and Turkey, as
well as through the submission to the General Assembly of the United
Nations of the thorny and challenging problem of the Holy Land, the
spiritual as well as the administrative center of the World Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh. It must, however long and tortuous the way, lead, through a
series of victories and reverses, to the political unification of the
Eastern and Western Hemispheres, to the emergence of a world government
and the establishment of the Lesser Peace, as foretold by Bahá’u’lláh and
foreshadowed by the Prophet Isaiah. It must, in the end, culminate in the
unfurling of the banner of the Most Great Peace, in the Golden Age of the
Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.



A PARALLEL BETWEEN THE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY AND THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC


Might not a still closer parallel be drawn between the community singled
out for the execution of this world-embracing Plan, in its relation to its
sister communities, and the nation of which it forms a part, in its
relation to its sister nations? On the one hand is a community which ever
since its birth has been nursed in the lap of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and been
lovingly trained by Him through the revelation of unnumbered Tablets,
through the dispatch of special and successive messengers, and through His
own prolonged visit to the North American continent in the evening of His
life. It was to the members of this community, the spiritual descendants
of the dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of our Faith, that He, whilst
sojourning in the City of the Covenant, chose to reveal the implications
of that Covenant. It was in the vicinity of this community’s earliest
established center that He laid, with His own hands, the cornerstone of
the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world. It was to the
members of this community that He subsequently addressed His Tablets of
the Divine Plan, investing it with a spiritual primacy, and singling it
out for a glorious mission among its sister communities. It was this
community which won the immortal honor of being the first to introduce the
Faith in the British Isles, in France and in Germany, and which sent forth
its consecrated pioneers and teachers to China, Japan and India, to
Australia and New Zealand, to the Balkan Peninsula, to South Africa, to
Latin America, to the Baltic States, to Scandinavia and the islands of the
Pacific, hoisting thereby its banner in the vast majority of the countries
won over to its cause, in both the East and the West, prior to
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing.

It was this community, the cradle and stronghold of the Administrative
Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, which, on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
ascension, was the first among all other Bahá’í communities in East and
West to arise and champion the cause of that Order, to fix its pattern, to
erect its fabric, to initiate its endowments, to establish and consolidate
its subsidiary institutions, and to vindicate its aims and purposes. To it
belongs the unique distinction of having erected, in the heart of the
North American continent, the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West, the
holiest edifice ever to be reared by the hands of the followers of
Bahá’u’lláh in either the Eastern or Western Hemisphere. It was through
the assiduous and unflagging labors of the most distinguished and
consecrated among its itinerant teachers that the allegiance of royalty to
the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh was won, and unequivocally proclaimed in
successive testimonies as penned by the royal convert herself. To its
members, the vanguard of the torchbearers of the future world
civilization, must, moreover, be ascribed the imperishable glory of having
launched and successfully concluded the first stage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Divine Plan, in the concluding years of the first Bahá’í century,
establishing thereby the structural basis of the Administrative Order of
the Faith in all the republics of Central and South America. It is this
same community which is once again carrying off the palm of victory
through launching, in the first decade of the second century of the Bahá’í
Era, the second stage of that same Plan, destined to lay the foundations
of the Bahá’í Administrative Order in no less than ten sovereign states in
the continent of Europe, comprising the Scandinavian states, the Low
Countries, the states of the Iberian Peninsula, Switzerland and Italy. And
lastly, to its enterprising members must go the unique honor and privilege
of having arisen, on unnumbered occasions, and over a period of more than
a quarter of a century, to champion the cause of the down-trodden and
persecuted among their brethren in Persia, in Egypt, in Russia, in ‘Iráq
and in Germany, to stretch a generous helping hand to the needy among
them, to defend and safeguard the interests of their institutions, and to
plead their cause before political and ecclesiastical adversaries.

On the other hand is a nation that has achieved undisputed ascendancy in
the entire Western Hemisphere, whose rulers have been uniquely honored by
being collectively addressed by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation in His
Kitáb-i-Aqdas; which has been acclaimed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “home of
the righteous and the gathering-place of the free,” where the “splendors
of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be
unveiled” and belonging to a continent which, as recorded by that same
pen, “giveth signs and evidences of very great advancement,” whose “future
is even more promising,” whose “influence and illumination are
far-reaching,” and which “will lead all nations spiritually.” Moreover, it
is to this great republic of the West that the Center of the Covenant of
Bahá’u’lláh has referred as the nation that has “developed powers and
capacities greater and more wonderful than other nations,” and which “is
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 for the triumph of its people.” It is for this same American
democracy that He expressed His fervent hope that it might be “the first
nation to establish the foundation of international agreement,” “to
proclaim the unity of mankind,” and “to unfurl the Standard of the Most
Great Peace,” that it might become “the distributing center of spiritual
enlightenment, and all the world receive this heavenly blessing,” and that
its inhabitants might “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.” It is in connection with its people that He
has affirmed that they are “indeed worthy of being the first to build the
Tabernacle of the Great Peace and proclaim the oneness of mankind.”



THE UNITED STATES IS SIGNALLY BLEST


This nation so signally blest, occupying so eminent and responsible a
position in a continent so wonderfully endowed, was the first among the
nations of the West to be warmed and illuminated by the rays of the
Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, soon after the proclamation of His Covenant on
the morrow of His ascension. This nation, moreover, may well claim to
have, as a result of its effective participation in both the first and
second world wars, redressed the balance, saved mankind the horrors of
devastation and bloodshed involved in the prolongation of hostilities, and
decisively contributed, in the course of the latter conflict, to the
overthrow of the exponents of ideologies fundamentally at variance with
the universal tenets of our Faith.

To her President, the immortal Woodrow Wilson, must be ascribed the unique
honor, among the statesmen of any nation, whether of the East or of the
West, of having voiced sentiments so akin to the principles animating the
Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, and of having more than any other world leader,
contributed to the creation of the League of Nations—achievements which
the pen of the Center of God’s Covenant acclaimed as signalizing the dawn
of the Most Great Peace, whose sun, according to that same pen, must needs
arise as the direct consequence of the enforcement of the laws of the
Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.

To the matchless position achieved by so preeminent a president of the
American Union, in a former period, at so critical a juncture in
international affairs, must now be added the splendid initiative taken, in
recent years by the American government, culminating in the birth of the
successor of that League in San Francisco, and the establishment of its
permanent seat in the city of New York. Nor can the preponderating
influence exerted by this nation in the councils of the world, the
prodigious economic and political power that it wields, the prestige it
enjoys, the wealth of which it disposes, the idealism that animates its
people, her magnificent contribution, as a result of her unparalleled
productive power, for the relief of human suffering and the rehabilitation
of peoples and nations, be overlooked in a survey of the position which
she holds, and which distinguishes her from her sister nations in both the
new and old worlds.



TRIBULATIONS ARE INEVITABLE


Many and divers are the setbacks and reverses which this nation, extolled
so highly by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and occupying at present so unique a position
among its fellow nations, must, alas, suffer. The road leading to its
destiny is long, thorny and tortuous. The impact of various forces upon
the structure and polity of that nation will be tremendous. Tribulations,
on a scale unprecedented in its history, and calculated to purge its
institutions, to purify the hearts of its people, to fuse its constituent
elements, and to weld it into one entity with its sister nations in both
hemispheres, are inevitable.

In one of the most remarkable Tablets revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, passages
of which have already been quoted on previous occasions, written in the
evening of His life, soon after the termination of the first World War, He
anticipates, in succinct and ominous sentences, the successive ebullitions
which must afflict humanity, and whose full force the American nation
must, if her destiny is to be accomplished, inevitably experience. “The
ills from which the world now suffers,” He wrote, “will multiply; the
gloom which envelops it will deepen. The Balkans will remain discontented.
Its restlessness will increase. The vanquished powers will continue to
agitate. They will resort to every measure that may rekindle the flame of
war. Movements, newly born and world-wide in their range, will exert their
utmost effort for the advancement of their designs. The Movement of the
Left will acquire great importance. Its influence will spread.”

The agitation in the Balkan Peninsula; the feverish activity in which
Germany and Italy played a disastrous role, culminating in the outbreak of
the second World War; the rise of the Fascist and Nazi movements, which
spread their ramifications to distant parts of the globe; the spread of
communism which, as a result of the victory of Soviet Russia in that same
war, has been greatly accelerated—all these happenings, some
unequivocally, others in veiled language, have been forecast in this
Tablet, the full force of whose implications are as yet undisclosed, and
which, we may well anticipate, the American nation, as yet insufficiently
schooled by adversity, must sooner or later experience.



AMERICA TO EVOLVE UNTIL LAST TASK IS DISCHARGED


Whatever the Hand of a beneficent and inscrutable Destiny has reserved for
this youthful, this virile, this idealistic, this spiritually blessed and
enviable nation, however severe the storms which may buffet it in the days
to come in either hemisphere, however sweeping the changes which the
impact of cataclysmic forces from without, and the stirrings of a Divine
embryonic Order from within, will effect in its structure and life, we
may, confident in the words uttered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, feel assured that
that great republic—the shell that enshrines so precious a member of the
world community of the followers of His Father—will continue to evolve,
undivided and undefeatable, until the sum total of its contributions to
the birth, the rise and the fruition of that world civilization, the child
of the Most Great Peace and hallmark of the Golden Age of the Dispensation
of Bahá’u’lláh, will have been made, and its last task discharged.

[June 5, 1947]



EUROPEAN PIONEERS AND TEMPLE CONTRACT


Rejoice at evidences of continued vigorous activity. Renew plea to
believers possessing independent means to volunteer for European pioneer
field, both settlers and itinerant teachers. Eagerly awaiting response to
Convention message. Praying for placing of Temple contract before
termination of current year. Ardently supplicating unprecedented blessings
for manifold, meritorious, magnificent services. Deepest love.

[July 13, 1947]



EVIDENCES OF NOTABLE EXPANSION


Greatly welcome evidences of a notable expansion of activities and
increased intensification of efforts for publicity. I urge believers and
local assemblies to redouble their efforts in support of vital National
Fund. Praying ardently for realization of your highest hopes. Appreciate
action for preservation of Keith’s grave. Do not advise you to transmit
further funds to Persia for the grave. I appeal to North American
believers to exert their utmost to insure the formation of required number
of assemblies by next April. Further sacrifices demanded, rich reward
assured. May entire body of American believers arise to fulfill their
glorious destiny.

Abiding gratitude, deepest love.

[September 10, 1947]



EFFECTIVE PROSECUTION OF SACRED TASKS


The steadily deepening crisis which mankind is traversing, on the morrow
of the severest ordeal it has yet suffered, and the attendant tribulations
and commotions which a travailing age must necessarily experience, as a
prelude to the birth of the new World Order, destined to rise upon the
ruins of a tottering civilization, must, as they intensify, increasingly
influence the course, and, in some cases, retard the progress, of the
collective enterprises successively launched in the opening years of the
second Bahá’í century, and in almost every continent of the globe, by the
world-wide community of the organized followers of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh. In the land of its birth long-standing political rivalries,
combined with a steady decline in the authority and influence exercised by
the central government, are contributing to the reemergence of reactionary
forces, represented by an as yet influential and fanatical priesthood, to
a recrudescence of the persecution, and a multiplication of the
disabilities, to which a still unemancipated Faith has been so cruelly
subjected for more than a century. In the heart of the continent of
Europe, still fiercer political rivalries, as well as the clash of
conflicting ideologies, have prevented the unification, indefinitely
retarded the national revival, multiplied the vicissitudes and rendered
more desperate the plight, of a nation comprising within its frontiers the
largest community of the adherents of the Faith on that continent—a
community destined, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to play a major role in
the spiritual awakening and the ultimate conversion of the European
peoples and races to His Father’s Faith. In the subcontinent of India
recent political developments of a momentous character have plunged its
divers castes, races and denominations into grave turmoil, brought in
their wake riots, bloodshed, misery and confusion, fanned into flame
religious animosities, and well-nigh disrupted its economic life. In the
Nile Valley the outbreak of a widespread and virulent epidemic, following
closely upon the political unrest and the severe economic crisis already
afflicting its inhabitants, threatens to disorganize the life of the
nation and to bring in its wake afflictions of an even more serious
character. In the Holy Land itself, the heart and nerve-center of the
far-flung and firmly knit community of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, and
the repository of its holiest shrines, already gravely disturbed by the
chronic instability of its political life, the religious dissensions of
its inhabitants, and the ten-year-long strain and danger to which its
people have been subjected and exposed, fresh perils are looming on its
horizon, menacing it, on the one hand with the ravages of an epidemic that
has already taken so heavy a toll of the lives of the people beyond its
southern frontier, and threatening it, on the other, with a civil war of
extreme severity and unpredictable in its consequences. Subject to the
same fundamental causes which have deranged the equilibrium of present-day
society and corroded its life are to be regarded the privations, the
restrictions and crisis which, to a lesser degree, are oppressing the
peoples of Central and Southeastern Europe, of the British Isles and of
certain republics of Central and South America.

In all these territories, whether in the Eastern or Western Hemisphere,
the nascent institutions of a struggling Faith, though subjected in
varying degrees to the stress and strain associated with the decline and
dissolution of time-honored institutions, with fratricidal strife,
economic upheavals, financial crises, outbreaks of epidemics and political
revolutions, have thus far, through the interpositions of a merciful
Providence, been graciously enabled to follow their charted course,
undeflected by the cross-currents and the tempestuous winds which must of
necessity increasingly agitate human society ere the hour of its ultimate
redemption approaches.

In contrast to these sorely tried countries on the European, the Asiatic
and the African continents, unlike her sister republics in either Central
or South America, the great republic of the West—the homeland of that
mother community which, fostered through the tender care of an
ever-solicitous Master, has already proved itself capable of rearing in
its turn such splendid progeny among the divers communities of Latin
America, which bids fair to multiply its daughter communities in a
continent of mightier potentialities—such a republic has been, to a
peculiar degree and over a long and uninterrupted period, relatively free
from the chronic disorders, the political disturbances, the economic
convulsions, the communal riots, the epidemics, the religious
persecutions, the privations and loss of life which, during successive
generations, have in one way or another afflicted so many peoples in
almost every part of the globe.

Singled out by the Almighty for such a unique measure of favor, suffered
to evolve, untrammelled and unperturbed, within the shell of its God-given
Administrative Order, distinguished from its sister communities through
the revelation of a Plan emanating directly from the mind and pen of its
Founder, enriched already by so many trophies, each an eloquent testimony
to its missionary zeal and valor in distant fields and amidst divers
peoples, the Community of the Most Great Name in the North American
continent must, sensible of the abounding grace vouchsafed to it by
Bahá’u’lláh, resolve, as it has never resolved before, to carry out,
however much it may be buffeted by future circumstances and the unforeseen
ordeals which a heedless and chaotic world may still further experience,
the mission confidently entrusted to its hands by an all-wise and loving
Master.



HEART-WARMING PROGRESS IN EUROPEAN ENTERPRISE


Already in the newly opened European field, where the first stage of its
transatlantic missionary enterprise is now unfolding, the success which
the vanguard of its army of pioneers has already achieved in several
leading capitals of that continent is truly heart-warming and evokes
intense admiration. The broad outlines of the primary institutions
heralding the erection of the administrative framework of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh in no less than ten sovereign states of Europe can already be
discerned—a powerful and signal reinforcement of the organized and
progressive efforts exerted by the British and German communities on the
northwestern limits of that continent and in its very heart. In the Latin
American field, where the structural basis of a rising Administrative
Order has already been established, through the formation of firmly
grounded assemblies in each of the republics of Central and South America,
the stage is being set for the erection of those institutions which are to
be regarded as the harbingers of the secondary Houses of Justice which, in
each of these republics, must act as pillars, and assist in sustaining the
weight, of the final unit designed to consummate the institutions of that
order. On the northern portion of that same hemisphere the stage is
already set for the impending emergence of an institution which, however
circumscribed its basis, must ultimately, directly participate in the
measures preliminary to the constitution of the Universal House of
Justice.

A community now in the process of marshalling and directing, in such vast
territories, in such outlying regions, amidst such a diversity of peoples,
at so precarious a stage in the fortunes of mankind, forces of such
incalculable potency, to serve purposes so meritorious and lofty, cannot
afford to falter for a moment or retrace its steps on the path it now
travels. Its commitments, so vast, so challenging, so rich in their
potentialities, in the North American continent, must, whatever betide it,
be carried out, in their entirety and without the slightest reservation or
hesitation. The pledge to multiply the local administrative institutions,
throughout the length and breadth of this continent must be honored, and
the placing of the contract for the interior ornamentation of the holiest
House of Worship ever to be erected to the glory of Bahá’u’lláh expedited.
Above all a prodigious effort, nationwide, sustained and wholly
unprecedented in the annals of a richly endowed and spiritually blessed
community, aiming at the immediate increase of the financial resources
required for the effective prosecution of its manifold and pressing tasks,
is required.



TRIPLE CAMPAIGN OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE


The triple campaign, conducted in two hemispheres, comprising within the
scope of its operation the entire territory of the North American
republic, the Dominion of Canada, twenty republics of Latin America, and
no less than ten sovereign states of the European continent, is indeed of
critical importance. Every phase of this threefold crusade, undertaken at
the dawn of the second Bahá’í century by the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Will and the custodians of His Plan, must be accorded its due measure of
consideration and its needs simultaneously and vigorously fulfilled. The
allurements of the glorious adventure in the Latin American field, the
glittering prizes already won and the new ones within reach, must, at no
time, obscure the issues, or retard the task confronting the prosecutors
of the Plan in their homeland, or allow the interests of its assemblies,
for the most part new and struggling, to be either neglected or forgotten.
Nor must the glamor of the still more recent and glorious adventure
embarked upon across the Atlantic, within a turbulent, politically
convulsed, economically disrupted and spiritually depleted continent, dim,
in however small a measure, the radiance, or detract from the urgency, of
the magnificent enterprises, whose first fruits in Latin America are only
beginning to mature, in direct consequence of the initial operation of the
Plan bequeathed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the American believers.

To the vital requirements of this Plan, at so critical a juncture, both in
the fortunes of mankind in general, and of the Plan itself, to which
detailed reference has been made in a previous communication, I need not
again refer. All I desire to emphasize is my fervent plea, addressed to
both the administrators who, as the elected representatives of the
community must devise the plans, coordinate the activities, and direct the
agencies of a continually expanding community, and to those whose
privilege it is to labor, at home and abroad, to insure the effective
prosecution of these sacred tasks, to realize the propitiousness of the
present hour, recognize its urgency, meet its challenge and appreciate its
unique potentialities. As the international situation worsens, as the
fortunes of mankind sink to a still lower ebb, the momentum of the Plan
must be further accelerated, and the concerted exertions of the community
responsible for its execution rise to still higher levels of consecration
and heroism. As the fabric of present-day society heaves and cracks under
the strain and stress of portentous events and calamities, as the
fissures, accentuating the cleavage separating nation from nation, class
from class, race from race, and creed from creed, multiply, the
prosecutors of the Plan must evince a still greater cohesion in their
spiritual lives and administrative activities, and demonstrate a higher
standard of concerted effort, of mutual assistance, and of harmonious
development in their collective enterprises.

Then, and only then, will the reaction to the stupendous forces, released
through the operation of a divinely conceived, divinely impelled Plan, be
made apparent, and the fairest fruit of the weightiest spiritual
enterprise launched in recorded history under the aegis of the Center of
the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh be garnered.

[October 25, 1947]



RECOGNITION OF PREEMINENT SERVICES


Highly gratified at unceasing, compelling evidences of exalted spirit of
Bahá’í stewardship animating American Bahá’í Community, as attested by the
alacrity of its national representatives in executing the first Temple
contract, their promptitude in extending effective assistance to their
Persian brethren, their vigilance in safeguarding integrity of the Faith
in the City of the Covenant and their vigor in prosecuting the national
campaign of publicity.

In recognition of preeminent services continually enriching the record of
achievements associated with preeminent community of the Bahá’í world, I
am arranging transfer of extensive, valuable property acquired in
precincts of Shrines on Mount Carmel to name of Palestine Branch of
American Assembly.

Happy to announce completion of plans and specifications for erection of
arcade surrounding the Báb’s Sepulcher, constituting the first step in the
process destined to culminate in construction of the dome anticipated by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and marking consummation of enterprise initiated by Him fifty
years ago according to instructions given Him by Bahá’u’lláh.

[December 15, 1947]



CRITICAL STAGE OF TASK ON HOME FRONT


I am deeply concerned at critical stage of task confronting North American
Teaching Committee, constituting at this juncture the paramount objective
of present Plan. Owing to urgent, overriding importance of Committee’s
responsibility and to swiftly approaching time limit fixed for attainment
of the goal of one hundred seventy-five assemblies, emergency measures
carefully, promptly devised by national representatives of the community
and wholeheartedly supported by entire mass of the believers of the North
American continent, designed to safeguard the existing assemblies and
rapidly multiply their number, are imperative. The placing of further
contract for Temple, the reinforcement of basis of forthcoming Canadian
National Spiritual Assembly, the additional consolidation of the
institutions of the Faith in Latin America, the wider proclamation of its
message to the masses, even the multiplication of pioneers in the European
field, should be unhesitatingly subordinated to demands of the one
disconcerting aspect of an otherwise successfully conducted Plan. I
address this last-minute appeal to every single member of the community,
the champion warriors in the army of Bahá’u’lláh, which since launching
the Plan formulated by the Center of His Covenant never succumbed to
defeat nor was thwarted in its purpose, to arise resolutely, volunteer
instantly to fill the gap in the main defenses of the home front and
register total victory ere the termination of the second year of the
Second Seven Year Plan. Fervently praying for instantaneous, decisive
response.

[January 10, 1948]



NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT


The gravity of the emergency facing the North American believers is
unprecedented since the initiation of the Divine Plan and unparalleled in
the history of the American Bahá’í Community since ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing.
No obstacle is insuperable, no sacrifice too great for attainment of
supremely important objective. The eyes of her sister communities in every
continent of the globe and of her daughter communities of Latin America,
handicapped by a variety of adverse circumstances, are fixed upon the
community of followers of Bahá’u’lláh in North American continent who are
enjoying the blessings of internal peace, adequate resources,
administrative experience and organizing ability for their divinely
appointed mission, expecting them to arise and avert the reverse which
would mar the splendor of their record of unexampled stewardship. I am
moved to plead, at this eleventh hour, that the rank and file of the
community, particularly the members resident in long-established leading
strongholds of the Faith—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Washington—issue forth unhesitatingly, determinedly, sacrifice every
interest, assume positions in the forefront of the struggle and emulate in
the course of the first decade of second Bahá’í century, opening years of
the second epoch of Formative Age of the Faith, exploits of their
spiritual progenitors, the dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age, which
immortalized the dawn of the first Bahá’í century. The immediate fortunes
of the Plan are precariously hanging in the balance. The three months’
interval is swiftly running out. My heart aches at contemplation of the
possibility of failure of the stalwart community to rise to the heights of
the occasion. I refuse to believe that its members, invested with unique
apostolic mission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will shrink from meeting the most
challenging requirement of the present hour.

[February 1, 1948]



PREVAILING CRISIS


Hope is welling up in my anxious, overburdened heart that the North
American Bahá’í Community may yet emerge triumphant over the prevailing
crisis, demonstrate its capacity to preserve its hard-won prizes and
redeem its pledges through a further display of its qualities of
unconquerable faith, unbreakable solidarity, dauntless valor and heroic
self-sacrifice, and vindicate its right to primacy in the world community
of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh. High water mark is still unattained
notwithstanding the mounting tide of enthusiastic response displayed by an
aroused community. Dangerous passage now forded in this eleventh-hour
campaign. I am fervently praying that further intensification of effort,
sustained, coordinated, consecrated and unanimously exerted, will sweep
its members on crest of the wave to total victory. I feel assured that
cumulative efforts of participants in emergency campaign launched by
entire community will increasingly attract the promised inflowing grace of
the holy Author of its destinies, will demonstrate afresh its worthiness
of the paternal care of its divine Founder, will win added commendation
from its sister communities of the Eastern Hemisphere, deepen the
admiration and inspire the emulation of its daughter communities in Latin
America and the European continent, and strengthen the attachment and
reinforce the brotherly affection of its Guardian.

[February 13, 1948]



EMERGENCY TEACHING CAMPAIGN


Greatly encouraged by the splendid progress of the tremendous drive
initiated in response to my appeal. The zero hour is inexorably
approaching. Nineteen additional settlers can and must be provided.
Praying with increasing fervor for total success, complete victory.

[April 6, 1948]



MARVELOUS ACCELERATION
[FIRST MESSAGE TO 1948 CONVENTION]


I am moved to share with assembled delegates of the fortieth American
Bahá’í Convention the following facts and figures testifying to the
present status of the World Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and disclosing the
marvelous acceleration in the double process of the extension of its range
and the consolidation of the institutions of its Administrative Order in
the Eastern and Western Hemispheres in the course of the first four years
of the second Bahá’í century.

The number of countries opened to the Faith total ninety-one. Bahá’í
literature is translated and printed in fifty-one languages.
Representatives of thirty-one races are enrolled in the Bahá’í World
Community. Eighty-eight assemblies, national and local, are incorporated.
The number of localities where Bahá’ís have established residence has been
raised to over thirty in Australasia, to over forty in Germany and
Austria, over sixty in the Dominion of Canada, over eighty in the Indian
subcontinent and Burma, over one hundred in Latin America, over seven
hundred in Persia and to over twelve hundred in the United States of
America.

The value of international Bahá’í endowments in the Holy Land and the
Jordan Valley is estimated at over six hundred thousand pounds. National
Bahá’í endowments on the North American continent are valued at over two
million dollars. The area of land dedicated to the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár
in Persia is approximately four million square meters. The value of the
national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the capitals of India and Persia respectively
is six hundred thousand rupees and fifty thousand pounds. The area of land
dedicated to the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in South America is ninety
thousand square meters. The number of pieces of Bahá’í literature sold and
distributed in the course of one year in North America is over eighty
thousand pieces. The record of the number of visitors to the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in America in one year is over seventeen thousand
and the total number of visitors since its erection is over one quarter of
a million. The number of states in the American Union formally recognizing
Bahá’í marriage certificates is now eight. The number of national
assemblies functioning in the Bahá’í world is raised to nine through the
formation of the first Canadian National Assembly, to be shortly
reinforced through the constitution of two additional assemblies in South
and Central America and the West Indies.

The second seven-year, the six-year, the four and one-half year, the
six-year, the three-year, the five-year and forty-five month plans
respectively launched by the American, British, Indian, Australasian,
Iráqí, Canadian, and Persian National Spiritual Assemblies, some
culminating at the first Centennial of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s mission,
others the Hundredth Anniversary of the Báb’s Martyrdom, are aiming at the
establishment of three national assemblies in Canada and Latin America,
the completion of the interior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the
West, the formation of spiritual assemblies in ten sovereign states of the
European continent, the constitution of nineteen assemblies in the British
Isles, doubling the number of assemblies in India, Pakistan and Burma, the
reconstitution of the dissolved assemblies and the establishment of
ninety-five new centers in Persia, the conversion of groups in Bahrein,
the Ḥijáz and Af_gh_ánistán into assemblies, the formation of
administrative nuclei in the Arabian territories of Yemen, Oman, Hasa and
Kuweit; the formation of thirty-one groups and seven assemblies in
Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania; the multiplication of centers in the
provinces of ‘Iráq, including the district of Shattu’l-Arab; the
incorporation of the Canadian National Assembly; doubling the number of
assemblies and raising to one hundred the centers in the Dominion of
Canada; the constitution of nuclei in Newfoundland and Greenland and the
participation of Eskimos and Red Indians in the local institutions of the
Administrative Order.

Plans and specifications have been prepared, and preliminary measures
taken, to place contracts for the arcade of the Báb’s Sepulcher. Historic
International Bahá’í Congresses held in South and Central America and an
inter-European Teaching Conference projected for Geneva paving the way for
future World Bahá’í Congress. Recognition extended to the Faith by United
Nations as international non-governmental body, enabling appointment of
accredited representatives to United Nations conferences, is heralding
world recognition for a universal proclamation of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh.

[April 16, 1948]



BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENTS
[SECOND MESSAGE TO 1948 CONVENTION]


Joyfully acclaim brilliant achievements transcending fondest hopes and
setting the seal of complete victory on the stupendous labors undertaken
by American Bahá’í Community in the second year of the Second Seven Year
Plan. The constitution of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, the
heroic feat of raising to almost two hundred the number of spiritual
assemblies in the North American continent, the marvelous expansion of the
daughter communities in Latin America, the successful conclusion of the
preliminary phase of the interior ornamentation of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, and the crowning exploit of the formation of no
less than seven assemblies in the newly opened transcontinental field,
endow with everlasting fame the second epoch of the Formative Age,
immeasurably enrich the annals of the opening decade of the second Bahá’í
century, and constitute a landmark in the unfoldment of the second stage
of the execution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan.

The primacy of the American Bahá’í Community is reasserted, fully
vindicated and completely safeguarded. Recent successive victories
proclaim the undiminished strength and exemplary valor of the rank and
file of the community whether administrators, teachers or pioneers in
three continents regarded as the latest links in the chain of
uninterrupted achievements performed by its members in the council, and
teaching field for over a quarter of a century. I recall on this joyous
occasion with pride, emotion, thankfulness, the resplendent record of
stewardship of this dearly loved, richly endowed, unflinchingly resolute
community, whose administrators have assumed the preponderating share in
perfecting the machinery of the Administrative Order, whose elected
representatives have raised the edifice and completed the exterior
ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West, whose trail-blazers opened
an overwhelming majority of the ninety-one countries now included within
the pale of the Faith, whose pioneers established flourishing communities
in twenty republics of Latin America, whose benefactors extended in ample
measure assistance in various ways to their sorely pressed brethren in
distant fields, whose members scattered themselves to thirteen hundred
centers in every state of the American Union, every province of the
Dominion of Canada, whose firmest champion succeeded in winning royalty’s
allegiance to the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whose heroes and martyrs laid
down their lives in its service in fields as remote as Honolulu, Buenos
Aires, Sidney, Iṣfáhán, whose vanguard pushed its outposts to the
antipodes on the farthest verge of the South American continent, to the
vicinity of the Arctic Circle, to the northern, southern, and western
fringes of the European continent, whose ambassadors are now convening, on
the soil of one of the newly won territories, its historic first
conference designed to consolidate the newly won prizes, whose spokesmen
are securing recognition of the institutions of Bahá’u’lláh’s rising World
Order in the United Nations.

Appeal to members of the community so privileged, so loved, so valorous,
endowed with such potentialities to unitedly press forward however
afflictive the trials their countrymen may yet experience, however
grievous the tribulations the land of their heart’s desire may yet suffer,
however oppressive an anxiety the temporary severance of external
communications with the World Center of their Faith may engender, however
onerous the tasks still to be accomplished, until every single obligation
under the present Plan is honorably fulfilled, enabling them to launch in
its appointed time the third crusade destined to bring glorious
consummation to the first epoch in the evolution of their divinely
appointed world mission, fulfill the prophecy uttered by Daniel over
twenty centuries ago, contribute the major share of the world triumph of
the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh envisaged by the Center of His Covenant, and
hasten the opening of the Golden Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

[April 26, 1948]



SUPPORT THE NATIONAL FUND


Temple drawings received. Approve design. Urge that you proceed without
delay to place Temple contracts.

I appeal to entire body of believers to arise and generously support the
National Fund in hour of greatest need to insure uninterrupted progress in
the ornamentation of the House of Worship which, as foretold by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, is already conferring such benefits upon the community.

[May 4, 1948]



TEMPLE INTERIOR ORNAMENTATION AND ARCADE OF THE BÁB’S SEPULCHER


Delighted at contract for ornamentation, projected reception (i.e., for UN
delegates in Geneva), appointment of new committees for consolidation of
teaching work and noble determination to pursue unremittingly your
God-given task.

Announce to the friends that signature on contracts for arcade of the
Báb’s Sepulcher is synchronizing with first contract for interior
ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West.

[May 14, 1948]



MY APPEAL TO THIS GOD-CHOSEN COMMUNITY


The response of the American Bahá’í Community to the urgent call to arise
and remedy a critical situation has been such as to excite my highest
admiration and exceed the hopes of all those who had waited with anxious
hearts for this dangerous corner to be turned at such an important stage
in the prosecution of the Second Seven Year Plan.

The rapidity with which the challenge has been met, the strenuous efforts
which have been systematically exerted, the zeal and devotion which have
been so abundantly demonstrated, the resolution and self-sacrifice which
have been so strikingly displayed by the members of a community, burdened
with such mighty responsibilities and intent on maintaining its lead among
its sister communities in East and West, confer great luster on this
latest episode in the history of the prosecution of the Divine Plan. I am
moved to offer its high-minded and valiant members my heartfelt
congratulations on so conspicuous a victory, and on the preservation of an
unblemished record of achievements in the service of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh.

The formation of the Canadian National Assembly, the conclusion of the
preliminary steps for the completion of the interior ornamentation of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, the rapid multiplication and consolidation of the
institutions of the Faith throughout Latin America, the steady expansion
of the activities aiming at the proclamation of the Faith to the masses,
the recognition secured, on behalf of the national institutions of a world
community, from the United Nations Organization, above all the phenomenal
success achieved through the constitution of no less than eight spiritual
assemblies in seven of the goal countries selected as targets for the
transatlantic operation of the Plan, now crowned by the holding of the
first teaching conference on the continent of Europe—all these have served
to immortalize the second year of the Second Seven Year Plan and round out
the mighty feat accomplished throughout the states and provinces of the
North American continent—the base from which the operation of a divinely
impelled and constantly expanding Plan are being conducted.

Emboldened by the enduring and momentous successes won, on so many fronts,
in such distant fields, among such a diversity of peoples, and in the face
of such formidable obstacles, by a community now launched, in both
hemispheres, on its world-encircling mission, I direct my appeal to the
entire membership of this God-chosen community, to its associates and
daughter communities in the Dominion of Canada, in Central and South
America, and in the continent of Europe, to proclaim, in the course of
this current year, to their sister communities in East and West and by
deeds no less resplendent than those of the past, their inflexible resolve
to prosecute unremittingly the Plan entrusted to their care, and emblazon
on their shields the emblems of new victories in its service.

The placing, with care and promptitude, of the successive contracts,
designed to ensure the uninterrupted progress of the interior
ornamentation of the Temple, at a time when the international situation is
fraught with so many complications and perils; the acceleration of the
twofold process designed to preserve the status of the present assemblies
throughout the states of the Union and multiply their number; the constant
broadening of the bases on which the projected Latin American national
assemblies are to be securely founded; the steady expansion of the work
initiated to give wider publicity to the Faith in the North American
continent and in circles associated with the United Nations; and, last but
not least, the constitution of firmly established assemblies in each of
the remaining goal countries in Europe and the simultaneous initiation, in
the countries already provided with such assemblies, of measures aiming at
the formation of several nuclei calculated to reinforce the structural
basis of an infant Administrative Order—these stand out as the primary and
inescapable duties which the members of your Assembly—the mainspring of
the multitudinous activities carried on in your homeland, in the Latin
American field, and on the European front—must in this third year of the
Second Seven Year Plan, befittingly discharge.

That the launching of one of these fundamental activities to be conducted
by your Assembly during the present year—the commencement of the interior
ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West—should have so closely
synchronized with the placing of the first two contracts for the
completion of the Sepulcher of the Báb, as contemplated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
is indeed a phenomenon of singular significance. This conjunction of two
events of historic importance, linking, in a peculiar degree, the most
sacred House of Worship in the American continent with the most hallowed
Shrine on the slopes of Mount Carmel, brings vividly to mind the no less
remarkable coincidence marking the simultaneous holding, on a Naw-Rúz Day,
of the first convention of the American Bahá’í Community and the
entombment by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant of the remains of the
Báb in the newly constructed vault of His Shrine.(1) The simultaneous
arrival of those remains in the fortress city of Akká and of the first
pilgrims from the continent of America;(2) the subsequent association of
the founder of the American Bahá’í Community with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the
laying of the cornerstone of the Báb’s Mausoleum on Mount Carmel; the
holding of the Centenary of His Declaration beneath the dome of the
recently constructed Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár at Wilmette, on which solemn
occasion His blessed portrait was unveiled, on western soil, to the eyes
of His followers; and the unique distinction now conferred on a member(3)
of the North American Bahá’í Community of designing the dome, envisaged by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the final and essential embellishment of the Báb’s
Sepulcher—all these have served to associate the Herald of our Faith and
His resting-place with the fortunes of a community which has so nobly
responded to His summons addressed to the “peoples of the West” in His
Qayyúmu’l-Asmá.

“This Sublime Shrine has remained unbuilt ...,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, looking at
the Shrine from the steps of His House on an August day in 1915, remarked
to some of His companions, at a time when the Báb’s remains had already
been placed by Him in the vault of one of the six chambers He had already
constructed for that purpose. “God willing, it will be accomplished. We
have carried its construction to this stage.”

The initiation in these days of extreme peril in the Holy Land of so great
and holy an enterprise, founded by Bahá’u’lláh Himself whilst still a
Prisoner in Akká and commenced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during the darkest and most
perilous days of His ministry, recalls to our minds, furthermore, the
construction of the superstructure of the Temple in Wilmette during one of
the severest financial crises that has afflicted the United States of
America, and the completion of its exterior ornamentation during the dark
days of the last World War. Indeed, the tragic and moving story of the
transfer of the Báb’s mutilated body from place to place ever since His
Martyrdom in Tabríz, its fifty-year concealment in Persia; its perilous
and secret journey by way of Ṭihrán, Iṣfáhán, Kirman_sh_áh, Ba_gh_dád,
Damascus, Beirut and Akká to the Mountain of God, its ultimate resting
place; its concealment for a further period of ten years in the Holy Land
itself; the vexatious and long-drawn-out negotiations for the purchase of
the site chosen by Bahá’u’lláh Himself for its entombment; the threats of
‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, the Turkish tyrant, the accusations levelled against its
Trustee, the plots devised, and the inspection made, by the scheming
members of the notorious Turkish Commission of Inquiry; the perils to
which the bloodthirsty Jamál Pá_sh_á exposed it; the machinations of the
arch-breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, of His brother and of His son,
respectively, aiming at the frustration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s design, at the
prevention of the sale of land within the precincts of the Shrine itself,
and the multiplication of the measures taken for the preservation and
consolidation of the properties purchased in its vicinity and dedicated to
it—all these are to be regarded as successive stages in the history of the
almost hundred year long process destined to culminate in the consummation
of Bahá’u’lláh’s irresistible purpose of erecting a lasting and befitting
memorial to His Divine Herald and Co-Founder of His Faith.

As the mission entrusted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the followers of His Faith in
the North American continent gathers momentum, unfolds its potentialities,
and raises to new heights of heroism and renown its valiant prosecutors,
events of still greater significance will, no doubt, transpire, which will
serve to enhance the value of the work which the prosecutors of the Plan
are carrying out, to widen their vision, to reinforce their exertions, to
sustain their spirit, to ennoble their heritage, to noise abroad their
fame, to facilitate their assumption of the unique functions
distinguishing their stewardship to the Faith, and to hasten the advent of
the day, which shall witness, in the Golden Age that is still unborn,
their “elevation to the throne of an everlasting dominion,” the day
whereon “the whole earth” will “resound with the praises” of their
“majesty and greatness.”

[May 18, 1948]



URGE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO GOALS


Welcome decisions made at recent Assembly meeting. Supplicating blessings
for forthcoming conference with committees. Elated by magnificent success
achieved at European Conference, development of affiliation with United
Nations... Urge you devote special attention in current year to insure
rapid progress of Temple construction, maintenance of assembly status and
consolidation of newly formed assemblies.

[June 23, 1948]



PRAYING FOR ADDED FERVOR


Greatly welcome initiated plans for schools, delighted at progress of
Temple work, acceptance of resolutions by UNO Conference, election of
Ioas. Urge unrelaxing vigilance in maintenance of status and consolidation
of assemblies in North America, to insure steady expansion of manifold
activities in Latin America and Europe. Praying for added fervor, speedy
realization of high objectives of God-given mission of much-admired
American Bahá’í Community.

[August 9, 1948]



COMPLETED TASKS RELEASE OUTPOURING OF GRACE


Welcome Assembly’s high resolve to insure uninterrupted Temple
construction. Deeply moved and thankful for continued evidence of the
inflexible determination with which the rank and file of the
clear-sighted, high-minded, divinely sustained American Bahá’í Community,
its representatives, national, local and regional, its pioneers at home
and overseas, discharge in distant fields, despite the smallness of their
numbers and their limited resources, tasks of such vast dimensions, of so
diversified a character, of such great moment, at so significant a stage
in the declining fortunes of an imperiled society. I feel convinced that
unflinching maintenance of so exalted a standard of stewardship at the
threshold of Bahá’u’lláh must release in still greater measure the
outpouring of His grace so essential and befitting the consummation of a
Divine Plan deriving its authority from the pen of the Center of His
Covenant and propelled by agencies created through the generative
influence of His Will and Testament.

[September 14, 1948]



APPEAL TO ENTIRE COMMUNITY TO PERSEVERE


Appreciate Assembly’s message. Praying for success of plans. Urge special
effort to expedite work of Temple, reinforce pioneer endeavor in Europe
owing to deteriorating international situation. Appeal to entire community
wholeheartedly to persevere irrespective of darkened outlook.

[October 21, 1948]



SCALE NOBLER HEIGHTS OF HEROISM


The deepening crisis ominously threatening further to derange the
equilibrium of a politically convulsed, economically disrupted, socially
subverted, morally decadent and spiritually moribund society is testing
the tenacity, taxing the resources and challenging the spirit throughout
three continents of the chosen trustees and valiant executors of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan. This present hour, however critical, fraught
with uncertainty, cannot and must not retard the unfoldment of the
manifold tasks so brilliantly inaugurated, so diligently prosecuted, so
dazzling in their prospects.

The record of the Bahá’í community since inception of the Formative Age
conclusively demonstrates that accomplishment of signal acts accompanied,
or followed upon, periods of acute distress in European and American
contemporary history. The machinery of the Administrative Order was
established, and preliminary stage of construction of the House of Worship
was undertaken, by a grief-stricken community in the anxious years
following the sudden removal of its loving, watchful Founder. The
superstructure of the Temple was erected amid the strain and stress of an
economic depression of an unprecedented severity gripping the North
American continent. The first Seven Year Plan, opening stage in the
execution of the historic mission entrusted to the American Bahá’í
Community, was launched in the face of a gathering storm culminating in
the direst conflict yet experienced by mankind. The Tablets of the Divine
Plan were revealed amidst the turmoil of the first World War involving
great danger to the life of their Author. The remains of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
mother and brother were transferred to site of monuments constituting
focus of institutions of future World Administrative Center and erected on
the morrow of the outbreak of hostilities while the Holy Land was
increasingly exposed to the perils precipitated by the second conflict.
The daughter communities of Latin America were called into being and
exterior ornamentation of the Temple was consummated while the American
mother community was in the throes of the last, most harassing stage of
the devastating struggle. The world-wide Centenary celebrations crowning
these enterprises were undertaken in such perilous circumstances and
carried out despite the formidable obstacles engendered through
prolongation of hostilities. National administrative headquarters were
established in Ṭihrán, Cairo, Ba_gh_dád, Delhi and Sydney, national and
international endowments were enriched and assemblies incorporated in
countries confronted by growing threat of invasion and encirclement.

The Second Seven Year Plan inaugurating the transatlantic mission
embracing Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Switzerland, the Iberian and
Italian Peninsulas, was launched on the morrow of the catastrophic
upheaval despite the exhaustion, confusion, distress and restrictions
afflicting a war-shattered continent. The first fruits of this newly
launched Plan were garnered through convocation of first European Teaching
Conference and erection of the ninth pillar of the Universal House of
Justice in the Dominion of Canada despite premonitory rumblings of a third
ordeal threatening to engulf the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The
central structure of the Báb’s Sepulcher was built while the precious life
of its builder was hanging perilously in the balance. Plans were drawn,
contracts placed and foundations laid for its arcade while the holy places
were ravaged by flames of the civil strife burning fiercely in the Holy
Land.

Precious years are inexorably slipping by. The world outlook is steadily
darkening. The American Community’s most arduous feats still lie ahead.
Disasters overtaking Europe and America, more afflictive than any
tribulations yet suffered in either continent, may yet attend still more
majestic revelations in the unfoldment of concluding stage of the Second
Seven Year Plan destined to witness successively the raising of the tenth
and eleventh pillars of the Universal House of Justice, and the
celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Mother Temple of the West.

The champion builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s rising World Order must scale
nobler heights of heroism as humanity plunges into greater depths of
despair, degradation, dissension and distress. Let them forge ahead into
the future serenely confident that the hour of their mightiest exertions
and the supreme opportunity for their greatest exploits must coincide with
the apocalyptic upheaval marking the lowest ebb in mankind’s
fast-declining fortunes.

[November 3, 1948]



THE CITADEL OF THE FAITH OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH


As the threat of still more violent convulsions assailing a travailing age
increases, and the wings of yet another conflict, destined to contribute a
distinct, and perhaps a decisive, share to the birth of the new Order
which must signalize the advent of the Lesser Peace, darken the
international horizon, the eyes of the divers communities, comprising the
body of the organized followers of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the Eastern
Hemisphere, are being increasingly fixed upon the progressive unfoldment
of the tasks which the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Mandate have been
summoned to undertake in the course of the second stage of their
world-girdling mission. Past experience, ranging over a period of many
years, has taught them that no matter how formidable the external
obstacles that have confronted them during the turbulent and eventful
decades since the Master’s passing, and despite the strain and stress
which internal crises, precipitated by enemies from within and by adverse
economic circumstances afflicting their country, have imposed, the
stalwart occupants of the citadel of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have with
extraordinary steadfastness, enviable fidelity and magnificent courage,
not only shielded the interests, preserved the integrity and demonstrated
the worthiness, of the Cause they have embraced, but have sallied forth,
with dynamic and irrepressible energy, to implant its banner and establish
its outposts in countries and continents far beyond the original scene of
their operations.



STAUNCHNESS OF AMERICAN BELIEVERS


Neither the irreparable loss sustained by the termination of the earthly
life of a vigilant Master, nor the acute distress caused by the financial
collapse which suddenly swept their country, nor the unprecedented tragedy
of a world crisis that swept their land and its people into its vortex,
nor the perils and uncertainties, the exhaustion and the disillusionment
associated with its aftermath nor even the soul-shaking tests which
periodically assailed them, through the defection and the attacks of
Covenant-breakers, occupying, by virtue of their kinship to, or their long
association with, the Founder of their community, exalted positions at the
World Center of the Faith, or in the land from which it sprang, or in
their own country—none of these have succeeded in vitiating the hidden
spring of their spiritual life, in deflecting them from their chosen
course, or in even retarding the forward march and fruition of their
enterprises. In the toilsome task of fixing the pattern, of laying the
foundations, of erecting the machinery, and of setting in operation the
Administrative Order of their Faith, in the execution of the successive
stages in the erection and exterior ornamentation of their Temple, in the
launching of the initial enterprise under ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan,
which enabled them to establish the structural basis of the Order,
recently laid in their homeland, in every republic of Central and South
America; in the sustained, the systematic and prodigious effort exerted
for the enlargement of the administrative foundations of the institutions
of their Faith in every state and province of the United States and the
Dominion of Canada; in the parallel endeavors aimed at the widespread
dissemination of its literature, and the proclamation of its verities and
tenets to the masses; in the launching of the Second Seven Year Plan,
which has extended the ramifications of the Divine Plan across the
Atlantic to ten sovereign states of the European continent and which has
already yielded a rich return through the formation of the first Canadian
Bahá’í National Assembly and the convocation of the first European
Teaching Conference; in the repeated, the timely, the spontaneous and
generous contributions they have made, on numerous occasions, for the
relief of the persecuted among their brethren, for the defense of their
institutions, for the vindication of their rights, for the consolidation
of their activities and the progress of their enterprises—in all these the
champions of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have, with ever-increasing emphasis,
borne witness to the sublimity of the faith which burns within their
breasts, to the radiance of the vision that shines clearly and steadily
before their eyes, the sureness and rapidity that mark their gigantic
strides, and the vastness and glory of the unique mission entrusted to
their hands.

Milestones of historic significance have been successively reached and
rapidly left behind. A still stonier stretch of road now lies before them.
Rumblings of catastrophes yet more dreadful agitate with increasing
frequency a sorely stressed and chaotic world, presenting a challenge to
grapple with the unfinished tasks, a challenge graver and still more
pressing than any hitherto experienced.



PRESS FORWARD ON TEMPLE CONTRACTS


The present and remaining contracts, designed to consummate the
magnificent enterprise, initiated almost fifty years ago, in the heart of
the North American continent and complete an edifice consecrated for all
time by the loving hands of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant,
constituting the foremost symbol of the Faith, and incarnating the soul of
the American Bahá’í Community in the Western Hemisphere, must be speedily
and systematically carried out, however onerous the task may become, in
consequence of the inevitable fluctuations to which the present economic
conditions are subjected, in preparation for the jubilee that must mark
the completion of that holy edifice. The recent broadening of the
administrative basis of the Faith in a land that has served, and will long
remain the base of the spiritual operations now being conducted in both
hemispheres, in response to the ringing call of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, sounded
three decades ago in His historic Tablets, must, no matter how arduous and
insistent the tasks to be performed in Latin America and Europe, be fully
maintained, and the process continually enlarged and steadily
consolidated. The various agencies designed to carry the Message to the
masses, and to present to them befittingly the teachings of its Author,
must, likewise, be vigilantly preserved, supported and encouraged. The
essential preliminaries, calculated to widen the basis of the forthcoming
Latin American national Bahá’í assemblies, to familiarize the Latin
American believers with the administrative duties and functions they will
be called upon to discharge and to enrich and deepen their knowledge of
the essentials of their Faith, its ideals, its history, its requirements
and its problems, must be carried out with ever-increasing energy as the
hour of the emergence of these Latin American communities into independent
existence steadily and inexorably approaches. The necessary guidance,
which can alone be properly insured through the maintenance of an
uninterrupted extension of administrative assistance, through the
settlement of pioneers and the visits of itinerant teachers to the
daughter communities, must under no circumstances be completely withdrawn,
after their independence has been achieved. Above all, the momentous
enterprise initiated in the transatlantic field of service, so vast in
conception, so timely, so arduous, so far-reaching in its potentialities,
so infinitely meritorious, must in the face of obstacles, however
insurmountable they may seem, be continually reinvigorated through
undiminished financial support, through an ever-expanding supply of
literature in each of the required languages, through frequent, and
whenever possible prolonged, visits of itinerant teachers, through the
continued settlement of pioneers, through the consolidation of the
assemblies already established, through the early constitution of properly
functioning assemblies in the few remaining goal countries as yet deprived
of this inestimable blessing, and last but not least through the exertion
of sustained and concentrated efforts designed to supplement these foci of
Bahá’í national administrative activity with subsidiary centers whose
formation will herald the inauguration of teaching enterprises throughout
the provinces of each of these ten countries.

As the dynamic forces, sweeping forward the First Seven Year Plan, on the
last stages of its execution, rose rapidly to a crescendo, culminating in
the nationwide celebrations marking the centenary of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh and synchronized with a further and still more precipitous
decline in the fortunes of a war-torn bleeding society, so must every
aggravation in the state of a world still harassed by the ravages of a
devastating conflict, and now hovering on the brink of a yet more crucial
struggle, be accompanied by a still more ennobling manifestation of the
spirit of this second crusade, whose consummation might well coincide with
a period of distress far more acute than the one through which humanity is
now passing.



CEASELESS EFFORT ESSENTIAL


Not ours to speculate, or dwell upon the immediate workings of an
inscrutable Providence presiding alike over the falling fortunes of a
dying Order and the rising glory of a Plan holding within it the seeds of
the world’s spiritual revival and ultimate redemption. Nor can we attempt
as yet, whilst the second stage in the operation of such a Plan has not
yielded its destined fruit, to visualize the nature of the tasks, or
discern the character of the circumstances that will mark the progressive
unfoldment of a third successive crusade, the successful termination of
which must signalize the closing of the first historic epoch in the
evolution of the Divine Plan. All we can be sure of, and confidently
assert, is that upon the outcome of the assiduous efforts now being
collectively exerted, in three continents, by the North American, the
Latin and European believers, acting under the Mandate of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
associated with the one and only Plan conceived by Himself, aided by the
agencies deriving their inspiration from His Will and Testament, and
assured of the support promised by the pen of His Father, in His Most Holy
Book, must solely depend the timing as well as the nature of the tasks
which must be successfully carried out ere the closing of an epoch of such
transcendent brightness and glory in the evolution of the mightiest Plan
ever generated through the creative power of the Most Great Name, as
manifested by the Will of the Center of His Covenant and the Interpreter
of His Teaching.

There can be no doubt whatever that with every turn of the wheel, as a
result of the operation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, and with every extension
in the range of its evolution, a responsibility of still greater gravity
and of wider import will have to be shouldered by its divinely chosen
executors wherever its ramifications may extend and however oppressive the
state of the countries and continents in which they may have to labor.
They must strive, ceaselessly strive, ready for any emergency, steeled to
meet any degree of opposition, unsatisfied with any measure of progress as
yet achieved, prepared to make sacrifices far exceeding any they have
already willingly made, and confident that such striving, such readiness,
such resolution, such high-mindedness, such sacrifice will earn them the
palm of a victory still more soul-satisfying and resounding in its
magnificence than any as yet won since the inception of their mission.

May He Who called them into being and raised them up, Who fostered them in
their infancy, Who extended to them the blessing of His personal support
in their years of childhood, Who bequeathed to them the distinguishing
heritage of His Plan, Whose Will and Testament initiated them, during the
period of their adolescence, in the processes of a divinely appointed
Administrative Order, Who enabled them to attain maturity through the
inauguration of the first stage in the execution of His Plan, Who
conferred upon them the privilege of spiritual parenthood at the close of
the initial phase in the operation of that same Plan, continue through the
further unfoldment of the second stage in its evolution to guide their
steps along the path leading to the assumption of functions proclaiming
the attainment of full spiritual manhood, and enable them eventually,
through the long and slow processes of evolution and in conformity with
the future requirements of a continually evolving Plan, to manifest before
the eyes of the members of their sister communities, their countrymen and
the whole world, and in all their plenitude, the potentialities inherent
within them, and which in the fullness of time, must reflect in its
perfected form, the glories of the mission constituting their birthright.

[November 8, 1948]



BUDGET APPROVED FOR 1949–1950


Approve committing community to amounts proposed for 1949 and 1950 in your
letter of November 11. Urgent to curtail if necessary expenditure on
Public Relations, National Programming and Radio during the next two
years. Ardently praying for solution of problem, removal of difficulties,
attainment of high objectives.

[November 25, 1948]



PRELIMINARY TEMPLE CONTRACTS


Welcome preliminary contracts for Temple and determination to ensure
completion. Advise drastic reduction in appropriation for activities
except budgets for Latin America and European campaign, if maximum sum for
Temple is exceeded. Praying for removal of difficulties, continual divine
guidance, wise conduct of manifold activities for Faith. Deepest love.

[December 10, 1948]



ARCADE FOR THE SHRINE OF THE BÁB


Convey to believers the joyful news of the safe delivery on Mt. Carmel of
a consignment of thirty-two granite monolith columns, part of the initial
shipment of material ordered for construction of the arcade of the Báb’s
Sepulcher, designed to envelop and preserve the sacred previous structure
reared by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Building operations are soon starting
notwithstanding the difficulties of the present situation. I am
supplicating the Almighty’s guidance and sustaining grace for successive
stages of an enterprise envisaged sixty years ago by Bahá’u’lláh,
initiated by the Center of His Covenant, designed to culminate as
contemplated by Him in erection of a superstructure to be crowned by a
golden dome marking the consummation at the heart of the Mountain of God
of the momentous undertaking born through the generating influence of the
Will of the Founder of our beloved Faith, so dear to the heart of His
blessed Son, and dedicated to the memory of the Martyr-Prophet, the
immortal Herald of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

[December 13, 1948]



DRASTIC BUDGET REDUCTION


Further drastic reduction in budget for next two years including temporary
suspension of Public Relations, National Programming, radio activities;
World Order, Bahá’í World publications permissible if necessary.

[December 22, 1948]



FURTHER BUDGET REDUCTION


Advise plan two. Urge, however, maintain permanent entrance ways,
vestibules and metal doors. Also permanent rubber tile or terrazzo floor.
Considering soaring prices, shortness of period, weighty issues involved,
approve still more drastic reduction of budget, complete suspension during
two years of appropriations for activities unconnected with European
project, Latin American work and assembly consolidation in United States.

[January 13, 1949]

(“Plan two” refers to a series of possible Temple construction schedules
submitted to the Guardian.)



CURTAILMENT OF SOME ACTIVITIES


Budgets for activities in Europe, Latin America and consolidation work in
United States should not be reduced owing to their vital relation to
Second Seven Year Plan. All other activities, whether connected with
proclamation of Faith, publications, Bahá’í Magazine, Bahá’í World or
schools, should either be drastically curtailed or suspended during two
years. Holding Annual Convention and maintenance of Bahá’í News essential.

[January 19, 1949]



DIVERT CONTRIBUTIONS TO TEMPLE FUND


Advise that you divert contributions for International Fund to Temple
Fund, and suspend World Order Magazine.

[February 26, 1949]



SUSPEND WORLD ORDER MAGAZINE


Advise you to suspend magazine for next two years. Appeal on my behalf to
subscribers in East and West to devote their subscription fee to Temple
Fund. Owing to present emergency such action would be highly meritorious.

[February 28, 1949]



A TESTING PERIOD RECALLING ORDEALS OF THE DAWN-BREAKERS


The first half of the opening decade of the second Bahá’í century is
terminating. The great-minded, stout-hearted, high-spirited American
Bahá’í Community, laden with the trophies accumulated in the course of its
fifty years’ magnificent stewardship of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is
irresistibly embarking upon a two and a half year period unsurpassed in
its fateful consequences by any previous stage traversed in the
community’s eventful history.

Its members, without exception, are called upon to steel themselves
without delay to face an unexpected emergency, seize a God-given
opportunity, meet a supreme challenge, and show forth a tenacity of
purpose, a solidarity in sacrifice, an austerity in everyday life, worthy
the Martyr-Prophet of their Faith as well as their heroic spiritual
forebears, the hundredth anniversary of whose agonizing tribulations,
including captivity, sieges, betrayals, spoliation and martyrdom, is being
commemorated during this same period.

No lesser tribute can be paid the memory of the glorious Báb, the immortal
Quddús, the lion-hearted Mullá Ḥusayn, the erudite Vahíd, the audacious
Hujjat, the illustrious seven martyrs of Ṭihrán and a host of unnumbered
heroes whose lifeblood flowed so copiously in the course of the opening
decade of the first Bahá’í century, by the privileged champion-builders of
the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh during the present critical stage in the
unfoldment of the Formative Age of His Dispensation, than a parallel
outpouring of their substance by the builders of the most holy House of
Worship laboring in the corresponding decade of the succeeding century.

The American Bahá’í Community, exalted, singled out among sister
communities of East and West through revelation of the Tablets of the
Divine Plan, is unavoidably approaching a testing period, crucial,
prolonged, potent, purifying, clearly envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, different
from but recalling in its severity the ordeals which afflicted the
dawn-breakers in a former Age.

The anticipated trials will enable its members to plumb greater depths of
consecration, soar to nobler heights of collective endeavor, and disclose
in fuller measure the future glory of their destiny.

Might not the strain, the stress, of the strenuous period now being
ushered in through inscrutable dispensations of Providence be productive
of perspicuous benefits and blessings reminiscent of the incalculable
outpourings of divine grace which followed closely in the train of the
woeful trials immortalizing the initial, the bloodiest, the most dramatic
period in the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

[March 16, 1949]



ARCADE OF THE BÁB’S SHRINE BEGUN


Convey to friends the joyful historic news of commencement of construction
of arcade of the Báb’s Shrine coinciding with fortieth anniversary of the
placing of His remains in marble sarcophagus in vault of the same shrine
by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

[March 21, 1949]



ONE REMAINING OBJECTIVE HANGS IN THE BALANCE


The American Bahá’í Community, undefeated as yet in the performance of any
task undertaken collectively by its members, in the course of its eventful
history, is now entering a period of grave emergency, that will try the
mettle of every single one of its members. Severe as the challenge will
be, however prolonged the test, no matter how distracting the condition of
the world about them, the issues which claim every ounce of their energy
and call for their sustained, wholehearted, concentrated attention are so
weighty that none can evaluate at present the influence they will exert on
the course of the community’s future destiny.

There can be no doubt that the Second Seven Year Plan, the vital link
binding the initial and concluding stages of the first epoch in the
progressive evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s long-term continually unfolding
Plan, has reached its crucial phase—a phase on which hinge the fortunes
not only of the Plan itself but of the community as a whole. The fourth
objective of the Plan, the transatlantic project, on which its members
have embarked, has, four years ahead of schedule, been, to all intents and
purposes, victoriously achieved. The third objective has been partly
attained, while its complete fulfillment, as a direct consequence of the
marvelous success that has attended the valiant labors of the American
pioneers and the newly enrolled native believers in Latin America, appears
to be now fully assured. The attainment of the first objective has, as a
result of the remarkable impetus given, during the opening years of the
Plan, to the multiplication of spiritual assemblies and the proclamation
of the Faith in North America, been greatly facilitated, and will, with
steady effort, involving not too great an expenditure of energy, be
insured in the course of the concluding phase of the Plan. The completion
of the Mother Temple of the West, the sacredness of which neither the
first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world, nor any future House of
Worship to be erected by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, in any country, at
any future date, can rival, in time for the celebration of its Jubilee, is
the one remaining objective that now hangs precariously in the balance.
Owing to a combination of circumstances wholly beyond the control of its
builders, this task has assumed a critical importance, and is of such
vital urgency, that no prosecutor of the Plan, eager to witness its
consummation, can afford to ignore for a moment.

The sacrifice demanded is such as to have no parallel whatsoever in the
history of that community. The manifold issues inextricably interwoven
with the campaign audaciously launched for the achievement of this high
objective are of such a weighty character as to overshadow every
enterprise embarked upon through the organized efforts of its members, in
either the concluding years of the Heroic Age of the Faith or the first
epoch of the Age which succeeded it. The two years during which this
emergency will be most keenly felt coincide on the one hand with a period
of increasing distraction occasioned by the uncertainties, the perils and
fears of a steadily worsening international situation, and on the other
with the centenary of one of the most turbulent, afflictive and glorious
stages of Bahá’í history—a stage immortalized by an effusion of blood, a
self-abnegation, a heroism unsurpassed not only in the annals of the Faith
but in the world’s spiritual history. How meritorious, indeed, are the
self-denying acts which this supremely challenging hour now calls forth,
amidst the perplexities and confusion which present-day society is now
experiencing! And yet, how trifling in comparison with the self-immolation
of the most distinguished, the most precious heroes and saints of the
Primitive Age of our glorious Faith! An outpouring of treasure, no less
copious than the blood shed so lavishly in the Apostolic Age of the Faith
by those who in the heart of the Asiatic continent proclaimed its birth to
the world, can befit their spiritual descendants, who, in the present
Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, have championed the Cause, and
assumed so preponderating a share in the erection of its Administrative
Order, and are now engaged in the final stage of the building of the House
that incarnates the soul of that Faith in the American continent. No
sacrifice can be deemed too great to insure the completion of such an
edifice—the most holy House of Worship ever to be associated with the
Faith of the Most Great Name—an edifice whose inception has shed such a
luster on the closing years of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation,
which has assumed a concrete shape in the present Formative stage in the
evolution of our beloved Faith, whose dependencies must spring into
existence in the course of successive epochs of this same Age, and whose
fairest fruits will be garnered in the Age that is to come, the last, the
Golden Age of the initial and brightest Dispensation of the
five-thousand-century Bahá’í Cycle.

“A most wonderful and thrilling motion will appear in the world of
existence,” are ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own words, predicting the release of
spiritual forces that must accompany the completion of this most hallowed
House of Worship. “From that point of light,” He, further glorifying that
edifice, has written, “the spirit of teaching ... will permeate to all
parts of the world.” And again: “Out of this Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár,
without doubt, thousands of Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs will be born.” “It
marks the inception of the Kingdom of God on earth.”

Again I repeat—and I cannot overrate the vital, the unique importance of
the campaign now launched to insure the completion of such an edifice—the
immediate destiny of the American Bahá’í Community is intimately and
inescapably bound up with the outcome of this newly launched, this
severely trying, soul-purging, spiritually uplifting campaign. The
God-given mission, constituting the birthright, and proclaiming the
primacy of a community whose members the Founder of that community, the
Center of the Covenant Himself, has addressed as the “Apostles of
Bahá’u’lláh,” can only be fulfilled if they befittingly obey the specific
Mandate issued by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Tablets of the Divine Plan. The
execution of this Mandate is, in its turn, dependent upon the triumphant
conclusion of the Second Seven Year Plan, the second stage in the series
of specific plans formulated to insure the successful termination of the
opening phase in the execution of that Mandate. Indeed, the successive
plans, inaugurated since the birth of the second Bahá’í century, by the
British, the Indian, the Persian, the Australia-New Zealand, the Iráqí,
the German and the Egyptian National Assemblies, with the exception of the
plan undertaken by the Canadian National Assembly, which forms an integral
part of the Plan associated with the Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, are but
supplements to the vast enterprise whose features have been delineated in
those Tablets and are to be regarded, by their very nature, as regional in
scope, in contrast with the world-embracing character of the mission
entrusted to the community of the champion builders of the World Order of
Bahá’u’lláh, and the torch-bearers of the civilization which that Order
must eventually establish. As to the Second Seven Year Plan itself, its
eventual success must depend on the attainment of its second and most
vital objective. This objective, in its turn, cannot be achieved unless
the two-year campaign, now launched by the elected representatives of this
community, is successfully carried out. Nor can this campaign yield its
richest fruit unless and until the community, in its entirety,
participates in this nation-wide sacrificial effort. Nor can this
collective effort be blessed, to the fullest extent possible, unless the
contributions made by its members involve acts of self-abnegation, not
only on the part of those of modest means, but also by those endowed with
substantial resources. Nor, indeed, can these self-denying acts, by both
the rich and the poor, be productive of the fullest possible benefit
unless this sacrificial effort is neither momentary nor haphazard, but
rather systematic and continuous throughout the period of the present
emergency.

Then and only then will this holy edifice, symbol and harbinger of a world
civilization as yet unborn, and the embodiment of the sacrifice of a
multitude of the upholders of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, release the full
measure of the regenerative power with which it has been endowed, shed in
all its plenitude the glory of the Most Holy Spirit dwelling within it,
and vindicate, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the truth of every single
promise recorded by the pen of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá pertaining to its destiny.

No more befitting consummation for this magnificent enterprise can be
envisaged than that this noble edifice, whose cornerstone has been laid by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own hands, the preliminary measure for whose construction
synchronized with the formal interment of the Báb’s remains on Mt. Carmel,
within whose walls the first Centenary of the birth of His ministry has
been celebrated, whose interior ornamentation has coincided with the
construction of the arcade of His Sepulcher, should be vouchsafed the
honor of having the Jubilee of its inception coincide with, and celebrated
on the occasion of, the Centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic
Mission in the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán.

[April 11, 1949]



PROCESS OF EXPANSION ACCELERATES
[MESSAGE TO 1949 CONVENTION]


Desire to share with attendants at Forty-first American Bahá’í Convention
feelings of joyous gratitude evoked by the steady acceleration of the dual
process of expansion and consolidation of the Bahá’í World Community as
well as the perspicuous evidences of divine protection vouchsafed the
World Center of the Faith during the course of the third year of the
Second Seven Year Plan. The number of countries included within the pale
of the Faith is ninety-four. Languages into which Bahá’í literature is
translated, and assemblies, local and national, incorporated, now total
fifty-six and one hundred five, respectively. Bahá’í literature now being
translated into fourteen additional languages. The number of centers in
Latin America is one hundred and nine. The fourth objective of the present
Plan has been achieved four years ahead of schedule through the formation
of a spiritual assembly in each of the ten goal countries on the European
continent. Centers established in these countries total thirty-one, newly
enrolled native believers, one hundred fifty-four. Nearly a million dollar
drive to complete the Mother Temple of the West has been auspiciously
launched and construction of interior sections of the ornamentation
initiated. Number of settlements in Greenland provided with Bahá’í
scriptures raised to forty-eight, including Thule beyond the Arctic Circle
and Etah near eightieth latitude. Number of American states, territories
and federal districts recognizing Bahá’í marriage raised to eighteen.
Restoration of the newly acquired German national Hazíratu’l-Quds at
Frankfurt has been commenced. Formulation of five year plans for German
and Egyptian National Assemblies, culminating at the Centenary of the
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission, completes the number of national
assemblies pledged to achieve within appointed time specified goals in
five continents. The European Teaching Conference convened at Geneva
inaugurating series of annual gatherings designed to consolidate the
tremendously significant transatlantic project. Bahá’í observers
accredited by United Nations participated in Conference on Human Rights,
Geneva; United Nations General Assembly, Paris. Bahá’í representative
attended Luxembourg general conference of world movement for world
federation. First all red Indian Assembly consolidated at Macy, Nebraska.
Building operations on arcade of Báb’s Sepulcher commenced forty years
after official interment of His remains by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Prolonged
hostilities ravaging Holy Land providentially terminated. Bahá’í holy
places, unlike those belonging to other faiths, miraculously safeguarded.
Perils no less grave than those which threatened the World Center of the
Faith under ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd and Jamál Pá_sh_á and through Hitler’s intended
capture of the Near East, averted. Independent sovereign state within
confines of Holy Land established and recognized, marking termination of
twenty-century-long provincial status. Formal assurance of the protection
of Bahá’í holy sites and continuation of Bahá’í pilgrimage given by Prime
Minister of newly emerged state. Official invitation extended by its
government on the historic occasion of the opening of the state’s first
parliament. Official record of Bahá’í marriage endorsed, Bahá’í endowments
exempted by responsible authorities of the same state. Best wishes for the
future welfare of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh conveyed in writing by the
newly elected head of the state in reply to congratulatory message
addressed him upon assumption of his office. Appeal to entire community,
through assembled delegates, in thankful recognition of the manifold
blessings vouchsafed the Faith and in response to the alert sounded for
the present emergency, to arise and demonstrate more conspicuously than
ever before, through greater austerity at home and increasing audacity in
foreign fields, both in Latin America and Europe, their grim determination
at whatever cost, no matter how crucial the test, however long the period,
however herculean the labor, to carry forward unremittingly their task to
its triumphant conclusion.

[April 25, 1949]



WELCOME INITIAL VICTORY


Greatly welcome, much impressed by remarkable feat of initial victory
collectively achieved by self-sacrificing efforts of invincible,
far-visioned, forward-marching American Bahá’í Community. Ultimate victory
now in sight bidding fair to bring present emergency period to triumphant
conclusion, seal fate of Second Seven Year Plan and open prospect of
glorious inauguration at appointed time of third collective Plan designed
to terminate initial chapter in story of mysterious unfoldment of Divine
Plan. Rejoice particularly at formulation of teaching plans so vitally
linked with immediate destiny of Temple enterprise. Owing to relaxation of
pressure occasioned by critical situation advise direct special attention
to invigorate activities conducted in Latin America and European
continent. Need for voluntary, self-supporting, wholly dedicated pioneers
calculated to supplement newly launched undertaking in both fields is
still pressing and acquiring greater urgency owing to approaching
emergence of Latin American national assemblies and necessity to
consolidate swiftly the newly-formed local assemblies in ten European goal
countries. Heart uplifted at contemplation of mighty range of
accomplishments embracing so vast a field in both hemispheres. Prayers
continually ascending to Abhá throne both in thanksgiving for marvelous
bounties already vouchsafed and in supplication for renewal of strength
for attainment of future goals.

[June 29, 1949]



SUPPLICATING BLESSING FOR AMERICAN ACTIVITIES


Delighted by progress of Temple work. Highly approve, deeply appreciate
suggestion to defray expenses of German representative to Brussels
conference. Supplicating Almighty’s blessing for manifold activities
pursued, unrelaxing vigilance, unflinching determination, exemplary
self-sacrifice in three continents by divinely sustained American Bahá’í
Community.

[July 20, 1949]



CORNERS OF SHRINE ARCADE UNDER CONSTRUCTION


Inform friends of commencement of construction on three corners of arcade
of Shrine. Six granite pilasters already erected, twelve columns will be
raised shortly. Forwarding photographs for publicity purposes.

[August 7, 1949]



THIS HOUR, CROWDED WITH DESTINY


The efforts exerted, and the results achieved, by the members of the
American Bahá’í Community during the opening months of the two-year
emergency period are such as to merit the highest commendation and praise.
They will, if the effort be sustained, evoke the admiration of the entire
Bahá’í world, which is now watching, with feelings of wonder and
expectancy, the outcome of the tremendous labor of this community now
confronted with one of the most challenging, arduous and far-reaching
tasks ever undertaken in its history.

The great forward stride that has already been undertaken, during so short
a period, augurs well for the ultimate victory, now within sight—a victory
which will pave the way for the successful execution of a seven-year
enterprise, destined, in its turn, to enable its executors to launch, at
the appointed time, the third and most glorious stage in the initial
unfoldment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unique and grand design for that privileged
and conspicuously blessed community.

No less striking has been the achievement of the representatives of this
community in the vast and most recent field of their historic and highly
meritorious endeavors, exerted beyond the confines of their homeland,
where over so vast a territory, on a continent so agitated, and amidst
peoples so disillusioned, so varied in race, language and outlook, so
impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought,
so abased in their moral standards, so rent by internal schisms, victories
so rich in promise, so startling in their rapidity, so magnificent in
their range, have been won, and ennobled, to such a marked degree, the
deathless record of American Bahá’í service to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Now that so prodigious and successful an effort has been exerted on behalf
of the historic and sacred Temple, whose completion constitutes so vital
an objective of the Second Seven Year Plan, and so conspicuous a triumph
won in the transatlantic sphere of its operation, its needs and other
vital objectives, both at home and in the Latin American field, must
receive, in the months immediately ahead, the particular attention of both
the national elected representatives of the community who supervise the
working of the Plan and the mass of believers who participate in its
execution.

While the financial requirements of the Mother Temple of the West are
being met with unabated heroism by rich and poor alike in the critical
months that lie ahead, and the measures to ensure the undiminished
support, and the uninterrupted consolidation of the European enterprise
are being assiduously carried out, a parallel effort, no less strenuous
and sustained should be simultaneously exerted in the North American
continent and in Central and South America, for the purpose of preserving
the prizes already won over the length and breadth of the Western
Hemisphere, where the initial impulse of this mighty and Divine Plan has
been felt and its initial victories in foreign fields registered.

The assemblies of the North American continent, constituting the base for
the gigantic operations destined to warm and illuminate, under American
Bahá’í auspices, the five continents of the globe, must, at no time and
under no circumstances, be allowed to diminish in number or decline in
strength and in influence. The movement of pioneers, whether settlers or
itinerant teachers, which in fields so distant from this base, has
exhibited so marvelous a vitality, must, within the limits of the homeland
itself, be neither interrupted nor suffer a decline. The groups and
isolated centers so painstakingly formed and established must, conjointly
with this highly commendable and essential duty, be maintained, fostered
and if possible multiplied.

No less attention, while this emergency period taxes, to an unprecedented
degree, the combined resources of the envied trustees of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Divine Plan, should be directed to the vast network of Bahá’í enterprises
initiated throughout Latin America, where the work so nobly conceived, so
diligently prosecuted, so conspicuously blessed, is rapidly nearing the
first stage of its fruition. The flow of pioneers, so vital in all its
aspects, and which has yielded such inestimable benefits at the early
stages of this widely ramified enterprise, must, however urgent the other
tasks already shouldered by an overburdened yet unfailingly protected
community, be neither arrested nor slacken. The outpost of the newly born
communities, established in the Straits of Magallanes in the South, must
be held with undiminished vigor and determination. The major task of
ensuring the breadth and solidity of the foundations laid for the
establishment of two national Bahá’í assemblies, through the preservation
of the present assemblies, groups and isolated centers, and the
restoration of any of these vital centers, now dissolved, to their former
status, must be scrupulously watched and constantly encouraged. The
process of the dissemination of Bahá’í literature, of Bahá’í publication
and translation, must continue unabated, however much the sacrifice
involved. The newly fledged institutions of teaching and regional
committees, of summer schools and of congresses, must be continually
encouraged and increasingly supported by teachers as well as
administrators, by pioneers from abroad, as well as by the native
believers themselves. The highly salutary and spiritually beneficent
experiment of encouraging a more active participation by these newly won
supporters of the Faith in Latin America, and a greater assumption of
administrative responsibility on their part, in the ever expanding
activities to be entrusted wholly to their care in the years to come,
should be, in particular, developed, systematized and placed on a sure and
unassailable foundation. Above all, the paramount duty of deepening the
spiritual life of these newly fledged, these precious and highly esteemed
co-workers, and of enlightening their minds regarding the essential
verities enshrined in their Faith, its fundamental institutions, its
history and genesis—the twin Covenants of Bahá’u’lláh and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
the present Administrative Order, the future World Order, the Laws of the
Most Holy Book, the inseparable institutions of the Guardianship and of
the Universal House of Justice, the salient events of the Heroic and
Formative Ages of the Faith, and its relationship with the Dispensations
that have preceded it, its attitude toward the social and political
organizations by which it is surrounded—must continue to constitute the
most vital aspect of the great spiritual Crusade launched by the champions
of the Faith from among the peoples of their sister republics in the
South.

The magnitude of the tasks these heroes and champions of the Faith are
summoned, at this hour, crowded with destiny, to discharge from the
borders of Greenland to the southern extremity of Chile in the Western
Hemisphere, and from Scandinavia in the north, to the Iberian peninsula in
the south of the European continent, is, indeed, breath-taking in its
implications and back-breaking in the strain it imposes. The sacrifices
they are called upon to voluntarily make for the successful performance of
such herculean, such holy, such epoch-making tasks, are comparable to none
but those which their spiritual forbears have willingly accepted at the
hour of the birth of their Faith more than a hundred years ago. Theirs is
the privilege, no less meritorious and perhaps as epoch-making, to
preside, in their own homeland and its neighboring continents, over, and
direct the forces generated by, the birth of an order that posterity will
acclaim as both the offspring of that Faith, and the precursor of the
Golden Age in which that same Faith must, in the fullness of time, find
its fullest expression and most glorious consummation.

How great the opportunity which the present hour, so dark in the fortunes
of mankind and yet so bright in the ever-unfolding history of their Faith,
offers them. How unspeakably precious the reward which they who serve it
will reap! How pitiful and urgent the need of the waiting multitudes of
these continents, summoned to sustain the initial impact of the operation
of a divinely impelled Plan which no force can resist and no power can
rival!

For what this superbly equipped community, this irresistibly advancing
army of the chosen warriors of Bahá’u’lláh, battling under His banner,
operating in conformity with the explicit Mandate voiced by His beloved
Son, has already achieved, over so extensive a field, in such a brief
time, at such great sacrifice, for so precious a Cause, and in the course
of such turbulent years, I cannot but feel the deepest sense of gratitude
the like of which no achievement, single or collective, rendered in any
other part of the globe, by any community associated with the Cause of the
Most Great Name has evoked. For what it will and must achieve in the
future I entertain feelings of warm expectation and serene confidence. For
it, I will continue, from the depths of a loving and grateful heart to
supplicate blessings immeasurably richer than any it has yet experienced.

[August 18, 1949]



PRAYING FOR INCREASING SUCCESS


Delighted at progress of Temple work; urge uninterrupted reinforcement of
Latin American and European enterprises through steady flow of pioneers,
continued self-sacrifice; praying for increasing success of your high
endeavors. Deepest loving appreciation.

[November 6, 1949]



MAJESTY OF THE BÁB’S SHRINE UNFOLDING


Announce to the friends that six hundred tons of stones destined for the
arcade of the Báb’s Shrine, received in successive shipments to the Holy
Land, have been safely transported to its precincts despite repeated
accidents—the sinking of a lighter in the harbor and outbreak of fire in
the hold of the ship. An additional two hundred tons of material including
carved marble mosaic have been ordered through recent contract for
erection of parapet designed to crown the columns and arches of the
arcade. North and east sides of structure with three corners virtually
completed. Construction of cornice and roof, last stage in erection of the
arcade, will soon be undertaken. Majesty and beauty of the colonnade
enveloping the central holy edifice built by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s hands steadily
unfolding, presaging revelation of the full glory of the completed
Sepulcher manifesting the plenitude of the splendor of the constructed
dome.

[November 13, 1949]



FAITHLESS BROTHER HUSSEIN


Faithless brother Hussein, already abased through dishonorable conduct
over period of years followed by association with Covenant-breakers in
Holy Land and efforts to undermine Guardian’s position, recently further
demeaned himself through marriage under obscure circumstances with lowborn
Christian girl in Europe. This disgraceful alliance, following four
successive marriages by sisters and cousins with three sons of
Covenant-breaker denounced repeatedly by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as His enemy, and
daughter of notorious political agitator, brands them with infamy greater
than any associated with marriages contracted by old Covenant-breakers
whether belonging to family of Muḥammad-‘Alí or Badí’u’lláh.

[December 19, 1949]



MAINTAIN MOMENTUM IN TRIPLE FIELD


Delighted by progress in Latin-American field, Temple construction and
publicity activities. Announce arrival of first shipment of parapet
panels. Anticipate early completion of eastern façade of Shrine including
mosaic panels. Urge maintenance of momentum in triple field, home,
intercontinental enterprises. Praying for bountiful blessings from the
Almighty.

[February 25, 1950]



SHRINE PARAPET COMPLETED


Announce to the friends the completion, on the eve of Naw-Rúz, of the
erection of parapet crowning the eastern façade of Holy Shrine one year
after placing the first threshold stones upon the foundation of the
arcade. The beauty and majesty of the finely carved panels surmounting the
soaring arches spanning the rosy monolith columns, emblazoned with emerald
green and scarlet mosaic symbolizing the Báb’s lineage and martyrdom, are
strikingly revealed. The original pearl-like structure raised by the hands
of the Center of the Covenant, enshrining the remains of the
Martyr-Prophet of the Faith, acquiring, through construction of the shell
designed for its embellishment and preservation, additional height by
one-third, additional width by one-fifth, enhancing the massiveness of the
edifice embosomed in the Mountain of God, heralding the erection of the
lofty gilded dome that will eventually shine forth in solitary splendor
from its heart.

[March 21, 1950]



SACRED TASK OF PRESENT HOUR


Approved recommendation regarding treatment of walls. Meeting deficit
budget must have precedence over purchase of land near Hazírá owing to
critical situation in Latin America and vital needs in Europe. Steady flow
of pioneers to both continents is the imperative, urgent, sacred task of
the present hour.

[March 29, 1950]



SHRINE ARCADE NEARING COMPLETION


Announce to friends that central panel of north façade, adorned with green
mosaic with gilded Greatest Name, the fairest gem set in crown of arcade
of Shrine, clearly visible from city by day, floodlit by night, is now in
position.

Three corner panels bearing symbol of ringstone erected, presaging
completion of both parapet and arcade on the occasion of approaching
Centenary of martyrdom of the Blessed Báb.

[June 17, 1950]



CENTENARY OF THE MARTYRDOM OF THE BÁB


Moved to share with assembled representatives of American Bahá’í Community
gathered beneath the dome of the Most Holy House of Worship in the Bahá’í
world, feelings of profound emotion evoked by this historic occasion of
the world-wide commemoration of the First Centenary of the Martyrdom of
the Blessed Báb, Prophet and Herald of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, Founder
of the Dispensation marking the culmination of the six thousand year old
Adamic Cycle, Inaugurator of the five thousand century Bahá’í Cycle.

Poignantly call to mind the circumstances attending the last act
consummating the tragic ministry of the Master-Hero of the most sublime
drama in the religious annals of mankind, signalizing the most dramatic
event of the most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation, destined to be recognized by posterity as the most precious,
momentous sacrifice in the world’s spiritual history. Recall the peerless
tributes paid to His memory by the Founder of the Faith, acclaiming Him
Monarch of God’s Messengers, the Primal Point round Whom the realities of
all the Prophets circle in adoration. Profoundly stirred by the memory of
the agonies He suffered, the glad-tidings He announced, the warnings He
uttered, the forces He set in motion, the adversaries He converted, the
disciples He raised up, the conflagrations He precipitated, the legacy He
left of faith and courage, the love He inspired. Acknowledge with bowed
head, joyous, thankful heart the successive, marvelous evidence of His
triumphant power in the course of the hundred years elapsed since the last
crowning act of His meteoric ministry.

The creative energies released at the hour of the birth of His Revelation,
endowing mankind with the potentialities of the attainment of maturity are
deranging, during the present transitional age, the equilibrium of the
entire planet as the inevitable prelude to the consummation in world unity
of the coming of age of the human race. The portentous but unheeded
warnings addressed to kings, princes, ecclesiastics are responsible for
the successive overthrow of fourteen monarchies of East and West, the
collapse of the institution of the Caliphate, the virtual extinction of
the Pope’s temporal sovereignty, the progressive decline in the fortunes
of the ecclesiastical hierarchies of the Islámic, Christian, Jewish,
Zoroastrian, and Hindu Faiths.

The Order eulogized and announced in His writings, whose laws Bahá’u’lláh
subsequently revealed in the Most Holy Book, whose features ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
delineated in His Testament, is now passing through its embryonic stage
through the emergence of the initial institutions of the world
Administrative Order in the five continents of the globe. The clarion call
sounded in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, summoning the peoples of the West to
forsake their homes and proclaim His message, was nobly answered by the
communities of the Western Hemisphere headed by the valorous, stalwart
American believers, the chosen vanguard of the all-conquering,
irresistibly marching army of the Faith in the western world.

The embryonic Faith, maturing three years after His martyrdom, traversing
the period of infancy in the course of the Heroic Age of the Faith is now
steadily progressing towards maturity in the present Formative Age,
destined to attain full stature in the Golden Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation.

Lastly the Holy Seed of infinite preciousness, holding within itself
incalculable potentialities representing the culmination of the
centuries-old process of the evolution of humanity through the energies
released by the series of progressive Revelations starting with Adam and
concluded by the Revelation of the Seal of the Prophets, marked by the
successive appearance of the branches, leaves, buds, blossoms and plucked,
after six brief years by the hand of destiny, ground in the mill of
martyrdom and oppression but yielding the oil whose first flickering light
cast upon the somber, subterranean walls of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán,
whose fire gathered brilliance in Ba_gh_dád and shone in full resplendency
in its crystal globe in Adrianople, whose rays warmed and illuminated the
fringes of the American, European, Australian continents through the
tender ministerings of the Center of the Covenant, whose radiance is now
overspreading the surface of the globe during the present Formative Age,
whose full splendor is destined in the course of future milleniums to
suffuse the entire planet.

Already the crushing of this God-imbued kernel upon the anvil of adversity
has ignited the first sparks of the Holy Fire latent within it through the
emergence of the firmly knit world-encompassing community constituting no
less than twenty-five hundred centers established throughout a hundred
countries representing over thirty races and extending as far north as the
Arctic Circle and as far south as the Straits of Magallanes, equipped with
literature translated into sixty languages and possessing endowments
nearing ten million dollars, enriched through the erection of two Houses
of Worship in the heart of the Asiatic and North American continents and
the stately mausoleum reared in its World Center, consolidated through the
incorporation of over a hundred of its national and local assemblies and
reinforced through the proclamation of its independence in the East, its
recognition in the West, eulogized by royalty, buttressed by nine pillars
sustaining the future structure of its supreme administrative council,
energized through the simultaneous prosecution of specific plans conducted
under the aegis of its national councils designed to enlarge the limits
and extend the ramifications and consolidate the foundations of its
divinely appointed Administrative Order over the surface of the entire
planet.

I appeal on this solemn occasion, rendered doubly sacred through the
approaching hundredth anniversary of the most devastating holocaust in the
annals of the Faith, at this anxious hour in the fortunes of this
travailing age, to the entire body of the American believers, the
privileged occupants and stout-hearted defenders of the foremost citadel
of the Faith, to rededicate themselves and resolve, no matter how great
the perils confronting their sister communities on the European, Asiatic,
African and Australian continents, however somber the situation facing
both the cradle of the Faith and its World Center, however grievous the
vicissitudes they themselves may eventually suffer, to hold aloft
unflinchingly the torch of the Faith impregnated with the blood of
innumerable martyrs and transmit it unimpaired so that it may add luster
to future generations destined to labor after them.

[July 4, 1950]



A WORTHY, FIVE-FOLD OFFERING


The first half of the two-year austerity period, inaugurated at so anxious
an hour in the fortunes of the Second Seven Year Plan, has been
successfully traversed, and deserves to be regarded as a memorable episode
in the history of the Faith and the unfoldment of the Plan in the North
American continent. An effort, prodigious, nation-wide, sustained, and
reminiscent in its heroism and consecration of the immortal exploits of
the dawn-breakers of the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, has
been exerted by their spiritual descendants, in circumstances which,
though totally different in character, are yet no less challenging and for
a cause as meritorious—an effort that has indeed outshone the high
endeavors that have distinguished for so long the record of service
associated with the American Bahá’í Community. All of its members who have
participated in this collective undertaking should be heartily
congratulated, particularly those who, by their acts of self-abnegation,
have emulated the example of the heroes of our Faith at the early dawn of
its history. The entire Bahá’í world is stirred when contemplating the
range of such an effort, the depth of consecration reached by those who
have participated in it, the results it has achieved, the noble purpose it
has served. My heart overflows with gratitude for the repeated evidences
of worthiness demonstrated by this generous-hearted, valiant and dedicated
community which has, no matter how onerous the task, how challenging the
issue, how distracting the external circumstances with which it has been
surrounded, never shirked its duty or hesitated for a moment.

The high watermark of so gigantic an exertion, however, still remains to
be reached. The year now entered, ushered in and consecrated by the
Centenary of the tragic execution of the Martyr-Prophet of our Faith, and
packed with poignant memories of the persecutions of Zanján which stained
its history a hundred years ago and carried its fortunes to almost its
lowest ebb, and were a prelude to the most ghastly holocaust ever
experienced by its followers, must witness as it rolls forward to its
close, a still more striking demonstration of the tenacity of the members
of this community, a still nobler display of acts of self-sacrifice, a
still more inspiring manifestation of solidarity, and evidences of a
grimmer determination, of a greater courage and perseverance in response
to the triple call of this present hour.

The vital needs of the most holy House of Worship reared in the service
and for the glory of the Most Great Name, though virtually met, still
require the last exertions to ensure its completion as the hour of its
Jubilee approaches. The Latin-American enterprise, initiated thirteen
years ago, and marking the initial collective undertaking launched by the
American Bahá’í Community beyond the confines of the great republic of the
West, and under the mandate of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, still in a
state of emergency and rapidly advancing towards its initial fruition,
demands unrelaxing vigilance, and calls for still more strenuous exertions
and self-sacrifice on the part of those who have so enthusiastically
embarked upon it, who have so conscientiously and painstakingly shepherded
it along its destined course and throughout the early stages of its
unfoldment, and who are now, as a result of their ceaseless exertions,
witnessing the first efflorescence of their mammoth pioneer labors. The
construction of the superstructure of the Holy Sepulcher of the Blessed
Báb, now, at this anxious and urgent hour, superimposed on the manifold
responsibilities shouldered by members of the American Bahá’í Community,
affording them the first historic opportunity of directly sustaining,
through their contributions, the most sacred enterprise ever undertaken in
the history of the Faith, the first and most holy edifice reared at its
World Center, and the initial international institution heralding the
establishment of the supreme legislative body at the World Administrative
Center, requires the immediate and sustained attention of the members of a
community whose destiny has been linked, ever since its inception, with
the various stages marking the rise and consolidation of this divinely
appointed, unspeakably holy enterprise.



AN HOUR LADEN WITH FATE


The hour is critical, laden with fate. Responsibilities numerous and
varied, as well as urgent and sacred, are crowding, in quick succession,
upon a community youthful and valorous in spirit, rich in experience,
triumphant in the past, sensible of its future obligations, keenly aware
of the sublimity of its world mission, inflexibly resolved to follow with
unfaltering steps the road of its destiny. The world situation is perilous
and gloomy. Rumblings from far and near bode evil for the immediate
fortunes of a sadly distracted society. The Second Seven Year Plan is now
approaching its conclusion. The Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb with
all its poignant memories is upon us. We are entering a period crowded
with the centenaries of the direst calamities—massacres, sieges,
captivities, spoliations and tortures involving thousands of heroes—men,
women and children—the world’s greatest Faith has ever experienced.
Another centenary commemorating an event as tragic and infinitely more
glorious is fast approaching. Time is short. Opportunities, though
multiplying with every passing hour, will not recur, some for another
century, others never again. However severe the challenge, however
multiple the tasks, however short the time, however somber the world
outlook, however limited the material resources of a hard-pressed
adolescent community, the untapped sources of celestial strength from
which it can draw are measureless, in their potencies, and will
unhesitatingly pour forth their energizing influences if the necessary
daily effort be made and the required sacrifices be willingly accepted.

Nor should it be forgotten that in the hour of adversity and in the very
midst of confusion, peril and uncertainty, some of the most superb
exploits, noising abroad the fame of this community have been achieved.
The construction of the superstructure of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár during
one of the severest depressions experienced by the people of the United
States in this century; the inauguration of the first Seven Year Plan on
the eve of and during the anxious years preceding the second world
conflagration; its vigorous prosecution during its darkest days and its
triumph before its conclusion; the launching of the European campaign on
the morrow of the most devastating conflict that rocked the continent of
Europe to its foundation—these stand out as shining evidences of the
unfailing protection, guidance and sustaining power vouchsafed its
members, so readily and so abundantly, in the hour of their greatest need
and danger.

To consolidate the victories won, and reinforce the foundations of the
unnumbered institutions so diligently established, in the North American
continent; to rear the twin pillars of the Universal House of Justice in
Latin America, with their concomitant administrative agencies functioning
in no less than twenty republics of Central and South America; to maintain
in their present strength the strongholds of the Faith in the ten goal
countries of Europe; to complete the interior ornamentation of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West, and its Mother Temple, in preparation
of its Jubilee; to assist in the erection of the superstructure of a still
holier edifice, envisaged by its Founder and established by the Center of
His Covenant on God’s holy mountain, at the very heart and center of our
beloved Faith, would indeed constitute, by virtue of their scope, origin
and character, embracing three continents and including within their range
the World Center of the Faith itself, a worthy, befitting five-fold
offering placed on the altar of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, on the occasion
of the Centenary of the birth of His Mission by a community which, more
than any sister community, in East or West, has contributed, since the
inception of the Formative Age of His Faith to the enlargement of its
limits, the rise and establishment of its Administrative Order and the
spread of its fame, glory and power.

That this community may, in the course of these three coming years,
discharge its five-fold task—now assuming, through the stress of
circumstances, still vaster proportions, and investing itself with still
greater blessedness and merit, than originally envisaged—with a spirit
outshining any hitherto shown in the course of its half-century
stewardship to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, is my most fervent wish and the
object of my special and ardent prayers at this time when my heart and
mind are fixed upon the sufferings and passion of the Báb on the occasion
of the Centenary of His Martyrdom.

[July 5, 1950]



RUHI AND FAMILY SHOW OPEN DEFIANCE


Inform friends that Ruhi, his mother, with Ruha, his aunt, and their
families, not content with years of disobedience and unworthy conduct, are
now showing open defiance. Confident that exemplary loyalty of American
believers will sustain me in carrying overwhelming burden of cares
afflicting me.

[July 15, 1950]



NON-BAHÁ’Í GIFTS


All gifts by non-Bahá’ís are to be used for charity only.

[July 24, 1950]



TEACHING IN AFRICA


Feel moved to appeal to gallant, great-hearted American Bahá’í Community
to arise on the eve of launching the far-reaching, historic campaign by
sister Community of the British Isles to lend valued assistance to the
meritorious enterprise undertaken primarily for the illumination of the
tribes of East and West Africa, envisaged in the Tablets of the Center of
the Covenant revealed in the darkest hour of His ministry.

I appeal particularly to its dearly beloved members belonging to the Negro
race to participate in the contemplated project marking a significant
milestone in the world-unfoldment of the Faith, supplementing the work
initiated fifty years ago on the North American continent, forging fresh
links binding the American, British and Egyptian Communities and providing
the prelude to the full-scale operations destined to be launched at a
later period of the unfoldment of the Divine Plan aiming at the conversion
of the backward, oppressed masses of the swiftly awakening continent.

Though such participation is outside the scope of the Second Seven Year
Plan, I feel strongly that the assumption of this added responsibility for
this distant vital field at this crucial challenging hour, when world
events are moving steadily towards a climax and the Centenary of the birth
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission is fast approaching, will further ennoble the
record of the world-embracing tasks valiantly undertaken by the American
Bahá’í Community and constitute a worthy response to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
insistent call raised on behalf of the race He repeatedly blessed and
loved so dearly and for whose illumination He ardently prayed and for
whose future He cherished the brightest hopes.

[August 5, 1950]



COMFORTED BY MESSAGES OF DEVOTION


My anguished heart is comforted by the unnumbered messages from
communities, assemblies, groups, committees and individual American
believers, replete with expressions of loving devotion, pledges of loyalty
to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Covenant, prayers on my behalf and assurances of
rededication in service to the precious Faith.

The triple cord binding me to the American Community, outstanding in its
affectionate and unfailing support in the course of my almost thirty
years’ stewardship to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, is greatly reinforced. But
for America’s multitudinous services and unparalleled record of
achievements my burden of cares both past and present would be unbearable.

Far from complaining of the added weight of afflictions oppressing me at
this hour I feel I cannot but welcome with feelings of thankfulness and
humility such tribulations enabling me to taste the cup the Martyr-Prophet
of our beloved Faith drained so heroically a hundred years ago.

Much as I desire to acknowledge separately all messages I regretfully find
the task beyond the limits of my overtaxed strength. I ask, dearly beloved
friends, to regard this message as addressed to each one personally,
bearing to each and every one assurance of my constant awareness of their
enfolding love and unfailing support as well as my everlasting gratitude
and unalterable affection and immense pride in their unrivaled collective
share in the world-wide furtherance of the Cause so dear, so precious to
us all.

[September 12, 1950]



RELIEVED BY INTENSIFIED ACTIVITY


My heart is greatly relieved by the splendid, welcome evidences of the
intensified activity on the home front, Europe and Latin America.
Supplicating bountiful blessings on the manifold enterprises energetically
and devotedly conducted by the exemplary American Bahá’í Community.

[September 19, 1950]



BADÍ’U’LLÁH HAS MISERABLY PERISHED


Badí’u’lláh, brother and chief lieutenant of archbreaker of divine
Covenant, has miserably perished after sixty years’ ceaseless, fruitless
efforts to undermine the divinely-appointed Order, having witnessed within
the last five months the deaths of his nephews Shoa and Musa, notorious
standard-bearers of the rebellion associated with the name of their
perfidious father.

[November 3, 1950]



REQUIREMENTS FOR TEMPLE COMPLETION


Temple not regarded as completed until all accessories are provided,
including landscape gardening. Public announcement and worship must
coincide with termination of plan.

[November 8, 1950]



SUMMER SCHOOLS TO REOPEN


Owing to paramount need of Shrine and Temple, advise that you postpone
publication of magazine until 1953. Summer schools may be reopened.

[December 8, 1950 (Excerpt)]



ASSISTANCE TO EPOCH-MAKING ENTERPRISE IN AFRICA


Assistance to Africa project through financial contribution, participation
of pioneers white and colored, and close consultation and cooperation with
British Assembly necessary. Independent campaign not intended. Fervently
praying the participation of British, American, Persian, and Egyptian
National Assemblies in unique, epoch-making enterprise in African
continent may prove prelude to convocation of first African Teaching
Conference leading eventually to initiation of undertakings involving
collaboration among all national assemblies of Bahá’í world, thereby
paving way to ultimate organic union of these assemblies through formation
of International House of Justice destined to launch enterprises embracing
whole Bahá’í world. Acclaim simultaneous inauguration of crusade linking
administrative machinery of four national assemblies of East and West
within four continents and birth of first International Council at World
Center of Faith, twin evidences of resistless unfoldment of embryonic,
divinely appointed World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

[January 17, 1951]



STATUS OF BAHÁ’ÍS REGARDING MILITARY DUTY


No change whatsoever in status of Bahá’ís in relation to active military
duty. No compromise of spiritual principles of Faith possible, however
tense the situation, however aroused public opinion.

[January 17, 1951]



SPIRITUAL CONQUEST OF THE PLANET


The virtual termination of the interior ornamentation of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West; the forthcoming formation of the twin
national spiritual assemblies of Latin America, following upon the
establishment of a corresponding institution in the Dominion of Canada;
the full attainment of the prescribed goals on the European continent in
accordance with the provisions of the Second Seven Year Plan and the
consolidation already achieved in the North American continent, do not,
under any circumstances, imply that the vast responsibilities shouldered
by a valiant, an alert and resolute community, have been fully and totally
discharged, or that its members can afford, as the plan draws to its
conclusion, to sink into complacency or relax for one moment in their high
endeavors.

The hour destined to mark the triumphant conclusion of the second stage in
their historic, divinely conferred, world-encircling mission has not yet
struck. Rumblings, loud and persistent, presaging a crisis of extreme
severity in world affairs, confront them with a challenge which, in spite
of what they have already accomplished, they cannot and must not either
ignore or underrate. The rise of the World Administrative Center of their
Faith, within the precincts and under the shadow of its World Spiritual
Center, a process that has been kept in abeyance for well nigh thirty
years, whilst the machinery of the national and local institutions of a
nascent Order was being erected and perfected, presents them with an
opportunity which, as the champion-builders of that Order and the
torchbearers of an as yet unborn civilization, they must seize with
alacrity, resolution and utter consecration. The initiation of momentous
projects in other continents of the globe, and particularly in Africa, as
a result of the growing initiative and the spirit of enterprise exhibited
by their fellow-workers in East and West, cannot leave unmoved the
vanguard of a host summoned by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, its Divine Commander, and in
accordance with the provisions of a God-given Charter, to play such a
preponderating role in the spiritual conquest of the entire planet. Above
all, the rapid prosecution of an enterprise transcending any undertaking,
whether national or local, embarked upon by the followers of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh, destined to attain its consummation with the erection of the
dome of the Báb’s holy Sepulcher, imposes an added obligation, owing to
unforeseen circumstances, on the already multitudinous duties assumed by a
community wholly absorbed in the various tasks it shoulders. In fact, as
the Centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission approaches,
His American followers, not content with the successful conclusion, in
their entirety, of the tasks assigned to them, must aspire to celebrate
befittingly this historic occasion, as becomes the chosen recipients, and
the privileged trustees, of a divinely conceived Plan, through emblazoning
with still more conspicuous exploits, their record of stewardship to a
Faith whose Author has issued such a ringing call to the rulers of the
American continent, and the Center of Whose Covenant has entrusted the
American Bahá’í Community with so glorious a mission. Indeed the present
stage in the construction of the superstructure of so holy a shrine
imperatively demands a concentration of attention and resources
commensurate with the high position occupied by this community, with the
freedom it enjoys and the material means at its disposal. The signing of
two successive contracts, for the masonry of the octagon, the cylinder and
the dome of the edifice, necessitated by a sudden worsening of the
international situation, which might cut off indefinitely the provision of
the same stones used for the erection of the arcade and the parapet of
that Sepulcher, and amounting to no less than one hundred and ninety
thousand dollars; the subsidiary contracts for the provision of steel and
cement for the erection of the wrought iron balustrade and the metal
window frames of both the octagon and the cylinder, involving an
additional expenditure of no less than twenty thousand dollars, to which
must be added the cost of the excavation for and the sinking of the eight
piers designed to support the weight of the dome and the immediate
construction of the octagon—these call for a stupendous effort on the part
of all Bahá’í communities and a self-abnegation unprecedented in Bahá’í
history. A drastic reduction of national and local budgets; the allocation
of substantial sums by all national assemblies; the participation of
individuals through sustained and direct donations to the first
international and incomparably holy enterprise synchronizing with the
birth of the International Bahá’í Council at the very heart and center of
a world-encircling Faith can alone insure the uninterrupted progress of an
undertaking which, coupled with the completion of the Mother Temple of the
West, cannot fail to produce tremendous repercussions in the Holy Land, in
the North American continent and throughout the world. A period of
austerity covering the two-year interval separating us from the Centenary
celebrations of the Year Nine, prolonging so unexpectedly the austerity
period already traversed by the American Bahá’í Community, and now
extended to embrace its sister communities throughout the Bahá’í world, is
evidently not only essential for the attainment of so transcendent a goal,
but also supremely befitting when we recall the nature and dimensions of
the holocaust which a hundred years ago crimson-dyed the annals of our
Faith, which posterity will recognize as the bloodiest episode of the most
tragic period of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, which involved
the martyrdom of that incomparable heroine Táhirih, which was immediately
preceded by the imprisonment of Bahá’u’lláh in the subterranean dungeon of
Ṭihrán, and which sealed the fate of thousands of men, women and children
in circumstances of unspeakable savagery and on a scale unapproached
throughout subsequent stages of Bahá’í history.



NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT


No sacrifice can be deemed too great, no expenditure of material
resources, no degree of renunciation of worldly benefits, comfort and
pleasures, can be regarded as excessive when we recall the precious blood
that flowed, the many lives that were snuffed out, the wealth of material
possessions that was plundered during these most tumultuous and
cataclysmic years of the Heroic Age of our Faith.

Nor will the sacrifices willingly and universally accepted by the
followers of the Faith in East and West for the sake of so noble a Cause,
so transcendent an enterprise, fail to contribute their share towards the
upbuilding of the World Administrative Center of that Faith, and the
reinforcement of the ties already linking this Center with the recognized
authorities of a state under the jurisdiction of which it is now
functioning, ties which the newly formed International Bahá’í Council are
so assiduously striving to cement.

Already the completion of the construction of the arcade of this majestic
Sepulcher and of its ornamental parapet has excited the admiration,
stimulated the interest, and enlisted the support, of both the local
authorities and of the central government, as evidenced by the series of
acts which, ever since the emergence of that state, have proclaimed the
good will shown and the recognition extended by the various departments of
that state to the multiplying international institutions, endowments, laws
and ordinances of a steadily rising Faith.

The recognition of the sacred nature of the twin holy Shrines, situated in
the plain of Akká and on the slopes of Mount Carmel; the exemption from
state and civic taxes, granted to the mansion of Bahjí adjoining the Most
Holy Shrine, to the twin houses, that of Bahá’u’lláh in Akká, and
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Haifa, to the twin archives, adjoining the Shrine of the
Báb and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, and the twin pilgrim
houses constructed in the neighborhood of that Shrine, and of the
residence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; the delivery of the mansion of Mazra’ih by the
authorities of that same state to the Bahá’í Community and its occupation
after a lapse of more than fifty years; the setting apart, through
government action, of the room occupied by Bahá’u’lláh in the barracks of
Akká, as a place of pilgrimage; the recognition of the Bahá’í marriage
certificate by the District Commissioner of Haifa; the recognition of the
Bahá’í holy days, in an official circular published by the Ministry of
Education and Culture; the exemption from duty accorded by the Customs
Department to all furniture received for Bahá’í holy places as well as for
all material imported for the construction of the Báb’s Sepulcher, the
exemption from taxes similarly extended to all international Bahá’í
endowments surrounding the holy tomb on Mount Carmel, stretching from the
ridge of the mountain to the Templar colony at its foot, as well as to the
holdings in the immediate vicinity of the resting-place of the Greatest
Holy Leaf and her kinsmen—all these establish, beyond the shadow of a
doubt, the high status enjoyed by the international institutions of a
world Faith, in the eyes of this newborn state.

The construction of the mausoleum of the Báb, synchronizing with the birth
of that state, and the progress of which has been accompanied by these
successive manifestations of the good will and support of the civil
authorities will, if steadily maintained, greatly reinforce, and lend a
tremendous impetus to this process of recognition which constitutes an
historic landmark in the evolution of the World Center of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh—a process which the newly formed Council, now established at
its very heart, is designed to foster, which will gather momentum, with
the emergence in the course of time of a properly recognized and
independently functioning Bahá’í court, which will attain its consummation
in the institution of the Universal House of Justice and the emergence of
the auxiliary administrative agencies, revolving around this highest
legislative body, and which will reveal the plenitude of its
potentialities with the sailing of the Divine Ark as promised in the
Tablet of Carmel.

I cannot at this juncture over emphasize the sacredness of that holy dust
embosomed in the heart of the Vineyard of God, or overrate the
unimaginable potencies of this mighty institution founded sixty years ago,
through the operation of the Will of, and the definite selection made by,
the Founder of our Faith, on the occasion of His historic visit to that
holy mountain, nor can I lay too much stress on the role which this
institution, to which the construction of the superstructure of this
edifice is bound to lend an unprecedented impetus, is destined to play in
the unfoldment of the World Administrative Center of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh and in the efflorescence of its highest institutions
constituting the embryo of its future World Order.



THE CENTER OF NINE CONCENTRIC CIRCLES


For, just as in the realm of the spirit, the reality of the Báb has been
hailed by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation as “The Point round Whom the
realities of the Prophets and Messengers revolve,” so, on this visible
plane, His sacred remains constitute the heart and center of what may be
regarded as nine concentric circles, paralleling thereby, and adding
further emphasis to the central position accorded by the Founder of our
Faith to One “from Whom God hath caused to proceed the knowledge of all
that was and shall be,” “the Primal Point from which have been generated
all created things.”

The outermost circle in this vast system, the visible counterpart of the
pivotal position conferred on the Herald of our Faith, is none other than
the entire planet. Within the heart of this planet lies the “Most Holy
Land,” acclaimed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “the Nest of the Prophets” and which
must be regarded as the center of the world and the Qiblih of the nations.
Within this Most Holy Land rises the Mountain of God of immemorial
sanctity, the Vineyard of the Lord, the Retreat of Elijah, Whose return
the Báb Himself symbolizes. Reposing on the breast of this holy mountain
are the extensive properties permanently dedicated to, and constituting
the sacred precincts of, the Báb’s holy Sepulcher. In the midst of these
properties, recognized as the international endowments of the Faith, is
situated the most holy court, an enclosure comprising gardens and terraces
which at once embellish, and lend a peculiar charm to, these sacred
precincts. Embosomed in these lovely and verdant surroundings stands in
all its exquisite beauty the mausoleum of the Báb, the shell designed to
preserve and adorn the original structure raised by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the
tomb of the Martyr-Herald of our Faith. Within this shell is enshrined
that Pearl of Great Price, the holy of holies, those chambers which
constitute the tomb itself, and which were constructed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Within the heart of this holy of holies is the tabernacle, the vault
wherein reposes the most holy casket. Within this vault rests the
alabaster sarcophagus in which is deposited that inestimable jewel, the
Báb’s holy dust. So precious is this dust that the very earth surrounding
the edifice enshrining this dust has been extolled by the Center of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, in one of His Tablets in which He named the five
doors belonging to the six chambers which He originally erected after five
of the believers associated with the construction of the Shrine, as being
endowed with such potency as to have inspired Him in bestowing these
names, whilst the tomb itself housing this dust He acclaimed as the spot
round which the Concourse on high circle in adoration.

To participate in the erection of the superstructure of an edifice at once
so precious, so holy; consecrated to the memory of so heroic a Soul; whose
site no one less than the Founder of our Faith has selected; whose inner
chambers were erected by the Center of His Covenant with such infinite
care and anguish; embosomed in so sacred a mountain, on the soil of so
holy a land; occupying such a unique position; facing on the one hand the
silver-white city of Akká, the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world; flanked on its
right by the hills of Galilee, the home of Jesus Christ, and on its left,
by the Cave of Elijah; and backed by the plain of Sharon and, beyond it,
Jerusalem and the Aqsá mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islám—to
participate in the erection of such an edifice is a privilege offered to
this generation at once unique and priceless, a privilege which only
posterity will be able to correctly appraise.



THE CHOSEN TRUSTEES OF A DIVINE PLAN


In this supreme, this sacred and international undertaking in which the
followers of Bahá’u’lláh, in all the continents of the globe, are summoned
to show forth the noblest spirit of self-sacrifice, the members of the
American Bahá’í Community must by virtue of the abilities they have
already demonstrated and of the primacy conferred upon them as the chosen
trustees of a Divine Plan, play a preponderating role, and, together with
their brethren residing in the cradle of their Faith, who are linked by
such unique ties with its Herald, set an example of self-abnegation worthy
to be emulated by their fellow-workers in every land.

Whilst the members of this privileged community, laboring so valiantly in
the Western Hemisphere, are widening the range of their manifold
activities, and thereby augmenting their responsibilities, in both the
Holy Land and the African continent, the original tasks, associated with
the prosecution of the Second Seven Year Plan, must, simultaneously with
this added and meritorious effort which is being exerted, in memory of the
beloved Báb, and for the spiritual emancipation of the downtrodden races
of Africa, be carried to a triumphant conclusion. Though the present
deficit in their National Fund may, in a sense, register a failure on
their part to meet their pressing obligations, and may arouse in their
hearts feelings of self-reproach and anxiety, I can confidently assert
that the supplementary duties they have discharged, and the material
support they have extended, and are now extending, for the conduct of
activities, not falling within the original scope of their Plan, not only
fully compensate for an apparent shortcoming, but constitute, instead of a
stain on their record of service, additional embellishments to the scroll
already inscribed with so many exploits for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Assured that no blot has marred so splendid a record of service; confident
of their destiny; reliant on the unfailing guidance of the Founder of
their Faith as well as on His sustaining power, let them address
themselves, with unrelaxing vigilance and undiminished vigor, to the task
of rounding off the several missions undertaken by them in Latin America,
and in the North American and European continents.

The extension of the necessary material support and administrative
guidance to the forthcoming national assemblies of Central and South
America that will enable them to develop along sound lines and without any
setback in the course of their unfoldment; the steady consolidation of the
victories already won in the ten goal countries of Europe; the
maintenance, at its present level and at whatever cost, of the status of
the assemblies and groups so laboriously built up; the provision of
whatever is required to fully complete the interior of the Temple and
beautify the grounds surrounding it, in preparation for its formal
inauguration and its use for public worship—these should be regarded as
the essential objectives of the American Bahá’í Community during the
two-year interval separating us from the Centenary celebrations of the
prophetic mission of the Founder of our Faith.

Time is running short. The effort required to discharge the manifold
responsibilities now challenging the members of a lion-hearted community
is truly colossal. The issues at stake, demanding every ounce of their
energy, are incomparably glorious. An ominous international situation
emphasizes this challenge and reinforces the urgency of these issues. In
the Holy Land, amid the tribes of a dark continent, over the wide expanses
stretching from Panama to the extremity of Chile, in the heart of its own
homeland, as well as in the new European field, marking the projection of
its world mission across the seas, the American Bahá’í Community must
deploy its forces, hoist still higher its pennants, and erect still more
glorious memorials to the heroism, the constancy and the devotion of its
members. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Whose Plan they are executing in both hemispheres,
and to Whose summons they are now responding in the African continent; the
Báb, Whose Sepulcher they are helping to erect; above all Bahá’u’lláh,
Whose embryonic World Order they are building in the Holy Land and in
other continents of the globe, look down upon them from Their retreats of
glory, applauding their acts, guiding their footsteps, vouchsafing Their
blessings, and laying up, in the storehouses of the Abhá kingdom such
treasures as only They can bestow.

May the members of this community prove themselves, as they forge ahead
and approach yet another milestone on the broad highway of their mission,
worthy of still greater prizes, and fit to launch still mightier
enterprises, for the glory of the Name they bear, and in the service of
the Faith they profess.

[March 29, 1951]



FIRST AMERICAN PIONEER TO AFRICA


Rejoice at departure of first pioneer to Africa; urge acceleration of
historic process now set in motion. Time is short, tasks ahead manifold,
pressing, momentous. Praying ardently for increasing response and
befitting discharge of mighty supplementary task shouldered by valorous
community.

[October 19, 1951]



MESSAGE TO 1951 STATE CONVENTIONS


Advise assembled friends to focus attention on vital, pressing, paramount
needs of National Fund at this critical juncture. Hour is ripe to recall
unnumbered tribulations, sacrifices heroically endured by the
dawn-breakers, culminating in Bahá’u’lláh’s afflictive imprisonment in
Síyáh _Ch_ál, Centennial of which is now approaching. Urge deepening
realization of sacredness, preeminent importance of twin purposes which
individual resolves serve. Appeal for immediate, unanimous, sustained,
decisive response, safeguard thereby American Community’s share in tribute
to memory of Founder of Faith on occasion of forthcoming Jubilee of Birth
of glorious Mission. Praying for befitting answer to heartfelt plea.

[November 4, 1951]



THE LAST AND IRRETRIEVABLE CHANCE


The brief interval separating the hard-pressed, valiantly struggling,
resistlessly expanding American Bahá’í Community from the anticipated
consummation of the second, fate-laden collective enterprise launched so
auspiciously by its national elected representatives is speedily drawing
to a close. The sixteen months that still lie ahead constitute in view of
the tasks that still remain to be achieved, and the sacrifices still to be
made, a period at once critical and challenging. This memorable period
commemorates, if we pause and call to mind the stirring events and bloody
episodes linking the Dispensation of the Báb with the dawning Mission of
the Founder of our Faith, the centenary of what may be truly regarded as
the darkest, the most tragic, the most heroic, period in the annals of a
hundred-year-old Revelation. This period, moreover, affords the last and
irretrievable chance to a ceaselessly striving, repeatedly victorious
community of setting the seal of triumph upon a momentous undertaking, on
whose fate hinges the launching of yet another glorious Crusade, the
consummation of which will mark the successful conclusion of the initial
epoch in the unfoldment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan—an evolution that
must continue to blossom and fructify in the course of successive epochs
of the Formative Ages of the Faith, and yield its fairest fruit in the
Golden Age that is yet to come.



A PERIOD OF HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE


The historic significance of this period cannot indeed be overestimated.
For it was a hundred years ago that a Faith, which had already been
oppressed by a staggering weight of untold tribulations; which had
sustained shattering blows in Mázindarán, Nayríz, Ṭihrán and Zanján, and
indeed throughout every province in the land of its birth; which had lost
its greatest exponents through the tragic martyrdom of most of the Letters
of the Living, and particularly of the valiant Mullá Ḥusayn and of the
erudite Vahíd and which had been afflicted with the supreme calamity of
losing its Divine Founder; was being subjected to still more painful
ordeals—ordeals which robbed it of both the heroic Hujjat and of the
far-famed Táhirih; which caused it to pass through a reign of terror, and
to experience a blood-bath of unprecedented severity, which inflicted on
it one of the greatest humiliations it has ever suffered through the
attempted assassination of the sovereign himself, and which unloosed a
veritable deluge of barbarous atrocities in Ṭihrán, Mázindarán, Nayríz and
_Sh_íráz before which paled the horrors of the siege of Zanján, and which
swept no less a figure than Bahá’u’lláh Himself—the last remaining pillar
of a Faith that had been so rudely shaken, so ruthlessly denuded of its
chief buttresses—into the subterranean dungeon of Ṭihrán, an imprisonment
that was soon followed by His cruel banishment, in the depths of an
exceptionally severe winter, from His native land to ‘Iráq. To these
tribulations He Himself has referred as “afflictions” that “rained” upon
Him, whilst the blood shed by His companions and lovers He characterized
as the blood which “impregnated” the earth with the “wondrous revelation”
of God’s “might.”

Nor should the momentous character of the unique event, that may be
regarded as the climax and consummation of this tragic period, be
overlooked or underestimated, inasmuch as its centenary synchronizes with
the termination of the sixteen-month interval separating the American
Bahá’í Community from the conclusion of its present Plan. This unique
event, the centenary of which is to be befittingly celebrated, not only in
the American continent but throughout the Bahá’í world, and is destined to
be regarded as the culmination of the Second Seven Year Plan, is none
other than the “Year Nine,” anticipated 2,000 years ago as the “third woe”
by St. John the Divine, alluded to by both _Sh_ay_kh_ Aḥmad and Siyyid
Kázim—the twin luminaries that heralded the advent of the Faith of the
Báb—specifically mentioned and extolled by the Herald of the Bahá’í
Dispensation in His Writings, and eulogized by both the Founder of our
Faith and the Center of His Covenant. In that year, the year “after Hin”
(68), mentioned by _Sh_ay_kh_ Aḥmad, the year that witnessed the birth of
the Mission of the promised “Qayyúm,” specifically referred to by Siyyid
Kázim, the “requisite number” in the words of Bahá’u’lláh “of pure, of
wholly consecrated and sanctified souls” had been “most secretly
consummated.” In that year, as testified by the pen of the Báb, the
“realities of the created things” were “made manifest,” “a new creation
was born” and the seed of His Faith revealed its “ultimate perfection.” In
that year, as borne witness by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a hitherto “embryonic Faith”
was born. In that year, while the Blessed Beauty lay in chains and
fetters, in that dark and pestilential pit, “the breezes of the
All-Glorious,” as He Himself described it, “were wafted” over Him. There,
whilst His neck was weighted down by the Qará-Guhar, His feet in stocks,
breathing the fetid air of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál, He dreamed His dream and
heard, “on every side,” “exalted words,” and His “tongue recited” words
that “no man could bear to hear.”

There, as He Himself has recorded, under the impact of this dream, He
experienced the onrushing force of His newly revealed Mission, that
“flowed” even as “a mighty torrent” from His “head” to His “breast,”
whereupon “every limb” of His body “would be set afire.” There, in a
vision, the “Most Great Spirit,” as He Himself has again testified,
appeared to Him, in the guise of a “Maiden” “calling” with “a most
wondrous, a most sweet voice” above His Head, whilst “suspended in the
air” before Him and, “pointing with her finger” unto His head, imparted
“tidings which rejoiced” His “soul.” There appeared above the horizon of
that dungeon in the city of Ṭihrán, the rim of the Orb of His Faith, whose
dawning light had, nine years previously, broken upon the city of
_Sh_íráz—an Orb which, after suffering an eclipse of ten years, was
destined to burst forth, with its resplendent rays, upon the city of
Ba_gh_dád, to mount its zenith in Adrianople, and to set eventually in the
prison-fortress of Akká.

Such is the year we are steadily approaching. Such is the year with which
the fortunes of the Second Seven Year Plan have been linked. As the
tribulations, humiliations and trials inflicted on the Cause of God in
Persia, a century ago, moved inexorably towards a climax, so must the
present austerity period, inaugurated a hundred years later, in the
continent of America, to reflect the privations and sacrifices endured so
stoically by the dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of the Faith witness, as
it approaches its culmination, a self-abnegation on the part of the
champion-builders of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, laboring in the
present Formative Age of His Faith, which, at its best, can be regarded as
but a faint reflection of the self-sacrifice so gloriously evinced by
their spiritual forbears.



OBJECTIVES OF SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN LARGELY ATTAINED


The objectives of the Second Seven Year Plan, the concluding phase of
which has synchronized with this period of nation-wide austerity, have, it
must be recognized, been in the main, attained. The pillars which must
needs add their strength in supporting the future House of Justice have,
according to the schedule laid down, been successively erected in the
Dominion of Canada and in Latin America. The European Teaching
Campaign—the second outstanding enterprise launched, beyond the confines
of the North American continent, in pursuance of the Mandate, issued by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Bahá’u’lláh’s valiant “Apostles”—has not only achieved its
original aims, but exceeded all expectations through the formation of a
local spiritual assembly in the capital city of each of the ten goal
countries included within its scope. The interior ornamentation of the
Mother Temple of the West has, before its appointed time, been completed.
Other tasks, no less vital, still remain to be carried, in the course of a
fast shrinking period, to a successful conclusion. The landscaping of the
area surrounding a structure whose foundations and exterior and interior
ornamentation have demanded, for so many years, so much effort and such
constant sacrifice, must, under no circumstances, and while there is yet
time, be neglected, lest failure to achieve this final task mar the beauty
of the approaches of a national shrine which provide so suitable a setting
for an edifice at once so sacred and noble. The responsibilities solemnly
undertaken to consolidate and multiply the administrative institutions
throughout all the states of the Union—a task that has of late been
allowed to fall into abeyance, and has been eclipsed by the spectacular
success attending the shining exploits of the American Bahá’í Community in
foreign fields—must be speedily and seriously reconsidered, for upon the
constant broadening and the steady reinforcement of this internal
administrative structure, which provides the essential base for future
operations in all the continents of the globe, must depend the vigor, the
rapidity and the soundness of the future crusades which must needs be
launched in the service, and for the glory of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh,
and in obedience to the stirring summons issued by the Center of His
Covenant in some of His most weighty Tablets. Above all, the accumulating
deficit which has lately again thrown its somber shadow on an otherwise
resplendent record of service, must, through a renewed display of
self-abnegation, which, though not commensurate with the sacrifice of so
many souls immolated on the altar of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, may at
least faintly reflect its poignant heroism, be obliterated, once and for
all, from the record of a splendid stewardship to His Faith.

There can be no doubt—and I am the first to proudly acknowledge it—that,
ever since the launching of the Second Seven Year Plan, and in consequence
of unexpected developments both in the Holy Land and elsewhere, the
American Bahá’í Community, ever ready to bear the brunt of responsibility,
under the stress of unforeseen circumstances, has considerably widened the
scope of its original undertakings and augmented the weight shouldered by
its stalwart members. At the World Center of the Faith, in response to the
urgent call for action, necessitated by the imperative needs of the rising
Sepulcher of the Báb, the formation of the Bahá’í International Council,
and the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as in the continent
of Africa, where the appointed, the chief trustees of a divinely
conceived, world-encompassing Plan could not well remain unmoved by the
sight of the first attempts being made to introduce systematically the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and to implant its banner amongst its tribes and
races, the American Bahá’í Community have assumed responsibilities well
exceeding the original duties they had undertaken to discharge. This
twofold opportunity that providentially presented itself to them, to
contribute to the rise and consolidation of the World Center of their
Faith, and to the spiritual re-awakening of a long-neglected continent,
must, however, be exploited to the fullest extent, if the early completion
of the most sacred edifice, next to the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world, is to
be assured, and if the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan are to retain
untarnished the primacy conferred upon them by its Author.

That primacy will be demonstrated and re-emphasized as the representatives
of this privileged community take their place, and assume their functions,
at each of the four Intercontinental Bahá’í Teaching Conferences which are
to be convened in the course of, and which must signalize, the world-wide
celebrations of the Centenary of the Year Nine. Playing a preponderating
role, as the custodians of a Divine Plan, in the global crusade which all
the Bahá’í national spiritual assemblies, without exception, must, in
various degrees and combinations, launch on the morrow of the forthcoming
Centenary, and during the entire course of the ten-year interval
separating them from the Most Great Jubilee, they must, upon the
consummation of their present Plan, deliberate, together with their ally
the Canadian National Assembly, and their associates, the newly formed
National Spiritual Assemblies of Central and South America, on the
occasion of the convocation of the approaching All-American Teaching
Conference, on ways and means whereby they can best contribute to the
establishment of the Faith, not only throughout the Americas and their
neighboring islands, but in the chief sovereign states and dependencies of
the remaining continents of the globe.



SCOPE OF THIRD SEVEN YEAR PLAN WIDENED


For unlike the First and Second Seven Year Plans, inaugurated by the
American Bahá’í Community, the scope of the Third Seven Year Plan, the
termination of which will mark the conclusion of the first epoch in the
evolution of the Master Plan designed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will embrace all
the continents of the earth, and will bring the central body directing
these widely ramified operations into direct contact with all the national
assemblies of the Bahá’í world, which, in varying degrees, will have to
contribute their share to the world establishment of the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and envisioned by Daniel—a
consummation that, God willing, will be befittingly celebrated on the
occasion of the Most Great Jubilee commemorating the hundredth anniversary
of the formal assumption by Bahá’u’lláh of His Prophetic Office.

The vision now disclosed to the eyes of this community is indeed
enthralling. The tasks which, if that vision is to be fulfilled, must be
valiantly shouldered by its members are staggering. The time during which
so herculean a task is to be performed is alarmingly brief. The period
during which so gigantic an operation must be set in motion, prosecuted
and consummated, coincides with the critical, and perhaps the darkest and
most tragic, stage in human affairs. The opportunities presenting
themselves to them are now close at hand. The invisible battalions of the
Concourse on High are mustered, in serried ranks, ready to rush their
reinforcements to the aid of the vanguard of Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders in
the hour of their greatest need, and in anticipation of that Most Great,
that Wondrous Jubilee in the joyfulness of which both heaven and earth
will partake. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Founder of this community and the Author
of the Plan which constitutes its birthright, to Whose last wishes its
members so marvelously responded; the Báb, the Centenary of Whose
Revelation this same community so magnificently celebrated, and to the
building of whose Sepulcher it has given so fervent a support; Bahá’u’lláh
Himself, to the glory of Whose Name so stately an edifice it has raised,
will amply bless and repay its members if they but persevere on the long
road they have so steadfastly trodden, and pursue, with undimmed vision,
with unrelaxing resolve and unshakable faith, their onward march towards
their chosen goal.

That this community, so young in years, yet withal so rich in exploits,
may, in the months immediately ahead, as well as in the years immediately
following this coming Jubilee, maintain, untarnished and unimpaired, its
record of service to our beloved Faith, that it may further embellish,
through still nobler feats, its annals, is the dearest wish of my heart,
and the object of my constant supplications at the Holy Threshold.

[November 23, 1951]



FUNDS FOR INTERNATIONAL CENTER


Deeply touched by reconsecration and readiness to sacrifice. Praying for
fulfilment of your hopes. Advise allocate substantial portion of budget to
meet continual needs arising at International Center of Faith.

[May 3, 1952]



FORTY-FIFTH ANNUAL CONVENTION: U.S. TASKS IN WORLD CRUSADE


My soul is uplifted in joy and thanksgiving at the triumphant conclusion
of the Second Seven Year Plan immortalized by the brilliant victories
simultaneously won by the vanguard of the hosts of Bahá’u’lláh in Latin
America, in Europe and in Africa—victories befittingly crowned through the
consummation of a fifty year old enterprise, the completion of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world. The signal success that has
attended the second collective enterprise undertaken in the course of
American Bahá’í history climaxes a term of stewardship to the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh, of almost three score years’ duration—a period which has
enriched the annals of the concluding epoch of the Heroic, and shed luster
on the first thirty years of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.
So fecund a period has been marked by teaching activities unexcelled
throughout the western world and has been distinguished by administrative
exploits unparalleled in the annals of any Bahá’í national community
whether in the East or in the West. I am impelled, on the occasion of the
anniversary of the Most Great Festival, coinciding with a triple
celebration—the dedication of the Mother Temple of the West, the launching
of a World Spiritual Crusade and the commemoration of the Birth of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission—to pay warmest tribute to the preeminent share which
the American Bahá’í Community has had in the course of over half a century
in proclaiming His Revelation, in shielding His Cause, in championing His
Covenant, in erecting the administrative machinery of His embryonic World
Order, in expounding His teachings, in translating and disseminating His
Holy Word, in dispatching the messengers of His Glad Tidings, in awakening
royalty to His Call, in succoring His oppressed followers, in routing His
enemies, in upholding His Law, in asserting the independence of His Faith,
in multiplying the financial resources of its nascent institutions and,
last but not least, in rearing its greatest House of Worship—the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world.

The hour is now ripe for this greatly gifted, richly blessed community to
arise and reaffirm, through the launching of yet another enterprise, its
primacy, enhance its spiritual heritage, plumb greater depths of
consecration and capture loftier heights in the course of its strenuous
and ceaseless labors for the exaltation of God’s Cause.

The Ten Year Plan, constituting the third and final stage of the initial
epoch in the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Master Plan, which, God willing,
will raise to greater heights the fame of the stalwart American Bahá’í
Community, and seat it upon “the throne of an everlasting dominion,”
envisaged by the Author of the Tablets of this same Plan, involves:

First, the opening of the following virgin territories, eleven in Africa:
Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, French Somaliland, French Togoland,
Mauritius, Northern Territories Protectorate, Portuguese Guinea, Reunion
Island, Spanish Guinea, St. Helena and St. Thomas Island; eight in Asia:
Caroline Islands, Dutch New Guinea, Hainan Island, Kazakhstan, Macao
Island, Sakhalin Island, Tibet and Tonga Islands; six in Europe: Andorra,
Azores, Balearic Islands, Lofoten Islands, Spitzbergen and Ukraine; and
four in America: Aleutian Islands, Falkland Islands, Key West and Kodiak
Island.

Second, the consolidation of the Faith in the following territories, six
in Asia: China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Philippine Islands; two
in Africa: Liberia and South Africa; twelve in Europe: the ten goal
countries, Finland and France; three in America: the Hawaiian Islands,
Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Third, the extension of assistance to the National Spiritual Assemblies of
the Bahá’ís of Central and South America, as well as to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland in forming
twenty national spiritual assemblies in the republics of Latin America and
two in Europe, namely in Italy and Switzerland; the extension of
assistance for the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the
capital of each of the aforementioned countries as well as of national
Bahá’í endowments in these same countries.

Fourth, the establishment of ten national spiritual assemblies in the
following European countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland,
Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, France and Finland.

Fifth, the establishment of a national spiritual assembly in Japan and one
in the South Pacific Islands.

Sixth, the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís
of Alaska.

Seventh, the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of South and West Africa.

Eighth, the incorporation of each of the fourteen above-mentioned national
spiritual assemblies.

Ninth, the establishment of national Bahá’í endowments by these same
national spiritual assemblies.

Tenth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the capital city
of each of the eleven of the aforementioned countries, as well as one in
Anchorage, one in Suva, and one in Johannesburg.

Eleventh, the erection of the first dependency of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world.

Twelfth, the extension of assistance for the purchase of land for four
future Temples, two in Europe: in Stockholm and Rome; one in Central
America, in Panama City; and one in Africa, in Johannesburg.

Thirteenth, the completion of the landscaping of the grounds of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Wilmette.

Fourteenth, the raising to one hundred of the number of incorporated local
assemblies within the American Union.

Fifteenth, the raising to three hundred of the number of local spiritual
assemblies in that same country.

Sixteenth, the incorporation of spiritual assemblies in the leading cities
of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain and
Portugal, as well as of the Spiritual Assemblies of Paris, of Helsingfors,
of Tokyo, of Suva and of Johannesburg.

Seventeenth, the quadrupling of the number of local spiritual assemblies
and the trebling of the number of localities in the aforementioned
countries.

Eighteenth, the translation of Bahá’í literature into ten languages in
Europe, (Basque, Estonian, Flemish, Lapp, Maltese, Piedmontese, Romani,
Romansch, Yiddish and Ziryen; ten in America: Aguaruna, Arawak, Blackfoot,
Cherokee, Iroquois, Lengua, Mataco, Maya, Mexican and Yahgan.

Nineteenth, the conversion to the Faith of members of the leading Indian
tribes.

Twentieth, the conversion to the Faith of representatives of the Basque
and Gypsy races.

Twenty-first, the establishment of summer schools in each of the
Scandinavian and Benelux countries, as well as those of the Iberian
Peninsula.

Twenty-second, the proclamation of the Faith through the press and radio
throughout the United States of America.

Twenty-third, the establishment of a Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Wilmette,
Illinois.

Twenty-fourth, the formation of an Asian teaching committee designed to
stimulate and coordinate the teaching activities initiated by the Plan.

May this community—the spiritual descendants of the dawn-breakers of the
Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Faith, the chief repository of the immortal
Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, the foremost executors of the
Mandate issued by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, the
champion-builders of a divinely conceived Administrative Order, the
standard-bearers of the all-conquering army of the Lord of Hosts, the
torchbearers of a future divinely inspired world civilization—arise, in
the course of the momentous decade separating the Great from the Most
Great Jubilee to secure, as befits its rank, the lion’s share in the
prosecution of a global crusade designed to diffuse the light of God’s
revelation over the surface of the entire planet.

[April 29, 1953]



INTENDING PIONEERS URGED TO SCATTER


Strongly urge intending pioneers to scatter as widely as possible, settle
even territories, islands not specifically assigned to United States.
Prompt opening of virgin territories is highly meritorious, extremely
urgent, vital prerequisite to insure triumphant conclusion of opening
phase of Global Crusade, prerogative of chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Plan. May enrolled pioneers arise and confirm primacy of American Bahá’í
Community playing preponderating role in initial stage of spiritual
conquest of unopened territories and islands of the planet.

[May 13, 1953]



A TURNING POINT IN AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY


My soul is thrilled and my heart is filled with gratitude as I
contemplate—looking back upon six decades of eventful American Bahá’í
history—the chain of magnificent achievements which, from the dawn of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the West until the present day, have signalized
the birth, marked the rise and distinguished the unfoldment of the
glorious mission of the American Bahá’í Community. Of all Bahá’í
communities in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, with the sole
exception of its venerable sister community in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land,
it alone may well claim to have released forces, and set in motion events,
which stand unparalleled in the annals of the Faith; while in the course
of the last fifty years, comprising the concluding years of the Heroic and
the opening epochs of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, it can
confidently boast of a record of stewardship which, for its scope,
effectiveness and splendor, is unmatched by that of any other community in
the entire Bahá’í world.

The first to awaken to the call of the New Day in the western world; the
first to spontaneously arise to befittingly erect the Mother Temple of the
West; the first to grasp the implications, evolve the pattern and lay the
basis of the structure of the Bahá’í Administrative Order in the entire
Bahá’í world; the first to openly and systematically proclaim the
fundamental principles of the Faith, to adopt effectual measures for its
defense, to invite the attention of royalty to its teachings, to devise an
adequate machinery for the translation, the publication and the
dissemination of its literature and to provide the means for the creation
of its subsidiary institutions; the first to champion the cause of the
oppressed and to generously contribute to the alleviation of the
sufferings of the needy and persecuted among the followers of Bahá’u’lláh;
the first to inaugurate collective enterprises for the propagation of His
Cause; the first to assert its independence in the West; the first to lay
an unassailable foundation for the erection of auxiliary institutions
designed to multiply its financial resources; and, more recently, the
first to achieve, as befits its primacy, the initial task devolving upon
it in pursuance of the newly launched World Spiritual Crusade, this
community has abundantly merited, by the quality of its deeds and the
magnitude of its exploits, the distinctive titles of the cradle of the
World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, of the vanguard of His world-conquering host,
of the standard-bearers of the oneness of mankind, of the chief trustees
of the Plan devised by the Center of the Covenant and of the torch-bearers
of an as yet unborn world civilization.



RECENT SERVICES DESERVING MENTION


The services rendered by this same community in recent years, in its
capacity as the chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, in the
course of the second stage of the initial epoch in its evolution, are of
such importance and significance as to deserve particular mention at this
time. In the North American continent, throughout the republics of Latin
America, in the ten goal countries of Europe, on the shores and in the
heart of the African continent, the members of this community have, in
conformity with the provisions of the Second Seven Year Plan, performed
feats of such noble and enduring heroism as to enhance immensely their
prestige, demonstrate unmistakably the caliber of their faith and qualify
them to assume a preponderating share in the prosecution of the Ten Year
Plan whose operations are to extend over the entire surface of the globe.

In the multiplication and consolidation of Bahá’í administrative
institutions and their auxiliary agencies throughout Central America, the
Antilles and every South American republic—a task supplementing the
initial enterprise undertaken, in pursuance of the first Seven Year Plan,
in connection with the introduction of the Faith into the republics of
Latin America; in the even more rapid development of nascent institutions
of the Faith in Scandinavia, in the Benelux countries, in Switzerland, in
the Italian and Iberian Peninsulas; in the laying of the administrative
basis of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh in the capital and in some of the
major cities of each of the ten European sovereign states included within
the scope of the Plan; in the convocation of a series of historic teaching
conferences in the north and in the heart of the European
continent—heralding the convocation of the recently held, epoch-making
Intercontinental Teaching Conferences; in the translation, the publication
and dissemination of Bahá’í literature in various European languages; in
the still more dramatic evolution of the Faith in the African continent,
culminating in the convocation of the first Intercontinental Teaching
Conference of the Holy Year in the heart of Africa; in the tremendous
sacrifices spontaneously and repeatedly made to broaden and reinforce the
foundations of the Faith in the North American continent, to sustain the
campaigns undertaken in Latin America, Europe and Africa, and to meet the
many demands of the Bahá’í Temple, rapidly nearing completion in Wilmette;
in the successive emergence of three national spiritual assemblies in the
Western Hemisphere—an outstanding contribution to the evolution and
consolidation of the structure of the world Administrative Order of the
Faith; in the completion of the interior ornamentation of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West, the provision of its accessories and
the initiation of the landscaping of its grounds; in the support extended
to the development of the institutions of the World Center of the Faith;
in the role played by its representatives, whether as Hands of the Cause
or members of the International Bahá’í Council; in the financial aid
unhesitatingly given to hasten the construction, and insure the
completion, of the superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher on Mt.
Carmel—above all, in the share its national elected representatives have
assumed in providing the means for the convocation of the second
Intercontinental Teaching Conference of the Holy Year; in commemorating
worthily the dedication to public worship of the Mother Temple of the
West, on the occasion of its Jubilee; in befittingly inaugurating the
launching of the World Spiritual Crusade, and in celebrating the climax of
the Holy Year marking the centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Mission—in all these the American Bahá’í Community has fully deserved the
praise and gratitude of posterity, has merited the applause of the
Concourse on High and earned a full measure of the divine blessings and of
the celestial sustenance of which it will stand in such great need in the
course of the prosecution of still mightier and more glorious enterprises
in the days to come.



ADDED RESPONSIBILITIES IN PROPAGATING THE DIVINE PLAN


The stage is now set, and the hour propitious, for a deployment of forces,
and for the revelation of the indomitable spirit animating this community,
on a scale and to a degree unprecedented in the entire course of American
Bahá’í history. To the Antilles and the seventeen republics of Central and
of South America—the scene of the initial exploits of a community
inaugurating the opening phase of its world-girding mission—to the ten
sovereign states of Europe which, at a subsequent stage in the unfoldment
of that mission, the members of this community enthusiastically and
determinedly arose to open up and conquer; to the African territories
which, in addition to their allocated task under the Second Seven Year
Plan, they spontaneously endeavored to win to the all-conquering Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh—to these numerous islands and archipelagos, bordering the
American, the European and African continents; dependencies extensive,
well-nigh inaccessible, and remote from the base of their operations
throughout the Asiatic continent; lastly, the South Pacific area, the home
of the one remaining race not as yet adequately represented in the Bahá’í
world community, occupying spiritually so strategic a position owing to
its proximity to the Bahá’í communities already firmly entrenched in South
America, in the Indian subcontinent and in Australasia, at once
challenging the resources of no less than eight national spiritual
assemblies, and the theater destined to witness the noblest and the most
resounding victories which the chosen executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine
Plan have been called upon to win in the service of the Cause of God—all
these have now, in accordance with the requirements of an irresistibly
unfolding Plan, been added, completing thereby the full circle of the
world-wide obligations devolving upon a community invested with spiritual
primacy by the Author of the immortal Tablets constituting the Charter of
the Master Plan of the appointed Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.

“The moment this Divine Message,” He Who penned these Tablets and
conferred this primacy has most significantly affirmed, “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,
and only then, will, as He Himself has so remarkably prophesied, “the
whole earth” “resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness.”

Now, indeed, is the time, after the lapse of two score years; following
the triumphant conclusion of two successive historic Plans, marking the
opening stages of the first epoch in the unfoldment of that same Master
Plan; on the morrow of the brilliant celebrations climaxing the world-wide
festivities of a memorable Holy Year; and while a triumphant community, in
the first flush of enthusiasm, has just garnered the first fruits of its
campaigns in four continents of the globe and is laden with its freshly
won trophies, for this community to bestir itself, and, assuming its
rightful preponderating share in the conduct of a newly launched World
Spiritual Crusade, to demonstrate, through a supreme and sustained effort
embracing the entire surface of the planet, its ability to safeguard that
primacy, to enrich immeasurably the record of its stewardship and to bring
to a majestic conclusion the opening epoch in the evolution of a Plan
destined to reveal the full measure of its potentialities, not only
throughout the successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, but in
the course of the vast reaches of time stretching into the Golden, the
last Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.



A LASTING INFLUENCE ON AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND NATION


This decade-long global Crusade must mark a veritable turning point in
American Bahá’í history. It must prove itself to be, as it develops, a
force so pervasive and revolutionary in its character as to leave a
lasting imprint not only on the destinies of the American Bahá’í Community
but on the fortunes of the American nation as well. It must, even as a
baptismal fire, so purge its members from self as to enable them to scale
heights never as yet attained. It must, in its initial stages, witness a
dispersal, combined with a consecration, reminiscent of the dawn of the
Heroic Age in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land. It must, as it gathers momentum,
awaken the select and gather the spiritually hungry amongst the peoples of
the world, as well as create an awareness of the Faith not only among the
political leaders of present-day society but also among the thoughtful,
the erudite in other spheres of human activity. It must, as it approaches
its climax, carry the torch of the Faith to regions so remote, so
backward, so inhospitable that neither the light of Christianity or Islám
has, after the revolution of centuries, as yet penetrated. It must, as it
approaches its conclusion, pave the way for the laying, on an unassailable
foundation, of the structural basis of an Administrative Order whose
fabric must, in the course of successive crusades, be laboriously erected
throughout the entire globe and which must assemble beneath its sheltering
shadow peoples of every race, tongue, creed, color and nation.

Seconded by the neighboring fully fledged Canadian Bahá’í Community
flourishing beyond the northern frontier of its homeland; supported by the
newly emerged Latin American communities established in the Antilles and
in each of the central and southern republics of the Western Hemisphere;
ably aided by its sister community vigorously functioning in the heart of
a far-flung empire, and destined to lend its inestimable assistance in the
spiritual conquest of the numerous and widely scattered dependencies of
the British Crown; reinforced by the oldest and youngest national Bahá’í
communities on the European mainland which are to play a prominent part in
the eastern and southern regions, and across the frontiers of Europe,
along the shores and in the islands of the Mediterranean; assisted by its
venerable sister community in the cradle of the Faith and by the second
oldest national community in the Bahá’í world actively engaged in the
propagation of the Faith in the Asiatic continent; confident of the help
of its Egyptian and Indian sister communities, whose destiny is closely
linked with the African continent and southeast Asia respectively, and,
lastly, assured of the unfailing cooperation of yet another national
community in the Antipodes which, owing to its geographical position, is
bound to assume a notable share in the introduction of the Faith in the
islands of the South Pacific Ocean, the American Bahá’í Community must, as
befits its rank as the chief executor of the Divine Plan, play a dominant
and decisive role in the direction and control of the manifold operations
involved in the prosecution of the North American, the Latin American, the
European, the African, the Asian and the South Pacific campaigns of this
World Crusade, and insure, by every means at its disposal and in
conjunction with its junior partners, its ultimate and total success.

Within its own sphere, extending to every continent of the globe,
embracing no less than twenty-nine virgin territories and islands, the
members of this stalwart and preeminent community are called upon, among
other things and within the relatively brief span of a single decade, to
create nuclei, around which will crystallize future assemblies, in no less
than eleven territories and islands of Africa, eight of Asia, six of
Europe, four of America; to inaugurate the establishment of the future
dependencies of the Mother Temple of the West, and to terminate the
landscaping of its grounds; to consolidate and broaden the basis of the
Administrative Order already laid in twenty-three territories and islands
distributed in four continents of the globe and situated in the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans; to assist in the erection of no less than thirty-six
pillars, twenty in Latin America, twelve in Europe, two in Asia, one in
the North American continent and one in Africa, designed to help in
sustaining the weight of the crowning unit of the Bahá’í Administrative
Order, and in the establishment of national Bahá’í headquarters, of
national endowments, and of national incorporations in all of these
continents; to lend its aid for the acquisition of land in anticipation of
the erection of four Temples, two in Europe, one in Africa and one in
Central America; to lend an impetus to the progress of the Faith in its
homeland through raising to three hundred the number of local spiritual
assemblies and to one hundred the number of incorporated assemblies, as
well as through the founding of a Bahá’í Publishing Trust and the
proclamation of the Faith through the press and radio; to enroll in the
ranks of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh members of the Indian, of the Basque
and Gypsy races; to assume responsibility for the translation and
publication of Bahá’í literature in twenty languages, ten in the Americas
and ten in Europe; and to contribute to the consolidation of the Faith in
eight of the European goal countries through the establishment of local
incorporations, as well as through the quadrupling of the number of local
assemblies and the trebling of the number of local Bahá’í centers in each
one of them.

While this colossal task, which in its magnitude and potentialities
transcends any previous collective enterprise launched in the course of
American Bahá’í history, is being energetically carried out, it should be
constantly borne in mind—and this applies to all communities without
exception participating in this World Crusade—that the twofold task of
extension and consolidation must be supplemented by continuous and
strenuous efforts to increase speedily not only the number of the avowed
followers of the Faith in both the virgin and opened territories and
islands included within the scope of the Ten Year Plan, but also to swell
the ranks of its active supporters who will consecrate their time,
resources and energy to the effectual spread of its teachings and the
multiplication and consolidation of its administrative institutions.

The movement of pioneers, the opening of virgin territories, the
initiation of Houses of Worship and of administrative headquarters, the
incorporation of local and national elective bodies, the multiplication of
assemblies, groups and isolated centers, the increase in the number of
races represented in the world Bahá’í fellowship, the translation,
publication and dissemination of Bahá’í literature, the consolidation of
administrative agencies and the creation of auxiliary bodies designed to
support them, however valuable, essential and meritorious, will in the
long run amount to little and fail to achieve their supreme purpose if not
supplemented by the equally vital task—which is one that primarily
concerns continually and challenges each single individual believer
whatever his rank, capacity or origin—of winning to the Faith fresh
recruits to the slowly yet steadily advancing army of the Lord of Hosts,
whose reinforcing strength is so essential to the safeguarding of the
victories which the band of heroic Bahá’í conquerors are winning in the
course of their several campaigns in all the continents of the globe.

Such a steady flow of reinforcements is absolutely vital and is of extreme
urgency, for nothing short of the vitalizing influx of new blood that will
reanimate the world Bahá’í community can safeguard the prizes which, at so
great a sacrifice involving the expenditure of so much time, effort and
treasure, are now being won in virgin territories by Bahá’u’lláh’s valiant
Knights, whose privilege is to constitute the spearhead of the onrushing
battalions which, in diverse theaters and in circumstances often adverse
and extremely challenging, are vying with each other for the spiritual
conquest of the unsurrendered territories and islands on the surface of
the globe.

This flow, moreover, will presage and hasten the advent of the day which,
as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will witness the entry by troops of peoples
of divers nations and races into the Bahá’í world—a day which, viewed in
its proper perspective, will be the prelude to that long-awaited hour when
a mass conversion on the part of these same nations and races, and as a
direct result of a chain of events, momentous and possibly catastrophic in
nature, and which cannot as yet be even dimly visualized, will suddenly
revolutionize the fortunes of the Faith, derange the equilibrium of the
world, and reinforce a thousandfold the numerical strength as well as the
material power and the spiritual authority of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.



MOST VITAL OBJECTIVE IN THE CRUSADE’S OPENING YEAR


Of all the objectives enumerated in my message to the representatives of
this community, assembled on the occasion of the celebration of the climax
of the Holy Year, of the convocation of the second Intercontinental
Teaching Conference, of the inauguration of the Mother Temple of the West
and of the launching of the World Spiritual Crusade, the most vital,
urgent and meritorious, in this the opening year of the initial phase of
this world-embracing enterprise, is, without doubt, the settlement of
pioneers in all the virgin territories and islands assigned to this
community in all the continents of the globe, with the exception of the
few which, owing to present political obstacles, cannot as yet be opened
to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. This process already so auspiciously
inaugurated, which, in the course of the first eight months of the Holy
Year has gathered such splendid momentum, and which bids fair to astonish,
stimulate and inspire the entire Bahá’í world, must, during the concluding
months of this same year and the one succeeding it, be so accelerated as
to insure the attainment of this paramount objective before the lapse of
two years from the official launching of this World Crusade.

While this goal is being vigorously pursued, close attention must be
directed to the preliminary measures for the establishment of the first
dependency of the Mother Temple of the West, as well as to the completion
of the landscaping of its grounds, a double task that will, on the one
hand, mark the termination of the fifty-year-old process of the
construction of the central Bahá’í House of Worship, and proclaim, on the
other, the commencement of another designed to culminate in the
establishment in its plenitude of the institution of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár as conceived by Bahá’u’lláh and envisaged by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Moreover, immediate consideration should be given to two
other issues of prime importance, namely the purchase of land, which need
not exceed for the present one acre, in anticipation of the construction
of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of South Africa, and the prompt
translation of a suitable Bahá’í pamphlet into the American and European
languages allocated to your assembly, and its publication and wide
dissemination among the peoples and tribes for whom it has been primarily
designed.

The followers of the Most Great Name, citizens of the great republic of
the West; constituting the majority and the oldest followers of His Faith
in a continent wherein, in the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “the splendors of
His (Bahá’u’lláh’s) Light shall be revealed” and “the mysteries of His
Faith shall be unveiled,” addressed by Him in His Tablets of the Divine
Plan as the “Apostles” of His Father; the recipients of the overwhelming
majority of these same Tablets constituting the Charter of that Plan;
conquerors of most of the territories, whether sovereign states or
dependencies, already included within the pale of the Faith; the
champion-builders of a world administrative system which posterity will
regard as the harbinger of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, must, if they
wish to retain their primacy and enrich their heritage, insure that, ere
the opening of the second phase of this World Crusade, the names of the
first American Bahá’í conquerors to settle in virgin territories and
islands will, as befits their primacy, be inscribed on the Scroll of
Honor, now in process of preparation, and designed to be permanently
deposited at the entrance door of the Inner Sanctuary of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Most Holy Tomb, that the limited area of land required for the erection of
four future Bahá’í Temples, in Rome, Stockholm, Panama City and
Johannesburg, will be bought, that the landscaping of the grounds of the
Temple in Wilmette will be completed, and that the translation and the
publication of the aforementioned pamphlet in the specified languages will
be accomplished.

The two years that lie ahead, three months of which have already elapsed,
will swiftly and imperceptibly draw to a close. Tasks even more onerous,
equally weighty and requiring in a still greater measure the expenditure
of effort and substance, lie ahead, which will brook no delay, which will
carry the Faith to still higher levels of achievement and renown, which
will enlarge, through the forging of fresh instruments, the framework of a
steadily rising world Administrative Order, and which will eventually, if
worthily discharged, seal the triumph of the most prodigious, the most
sublime, the most sacred collective enterprise launched by the adherents
of the Cause of God in both hemispheres since the early days of the Heroic
Age of the Faith—an enterprise which in its vastness, organization and
unifying power, has no parallel in the world’s spiritual history.



AN APPEAL TO ALL ENGAGED IN THE CRUSADE


To them, and indeed to the entire body of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh,
engaged in this global Crusade, I direct my appeal to arise and, in the
course of these fast-fleeting years, in every phase of the campaigns that
are to be fought in all the continents of the globe, prove their worth as
gallant warriors battling for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. Indeed, from this
very hour until the eve of the Most Great Jubilee, each and every one of
those enrolled in the Army of Light must seek no rest, must take no
thought of self, must sacrifice to the uttermost, must allow nothing
whatsoever to deflect him or her from meeting the pressing, the manifold,
the paramount needs of this preeminent Crusade.

“Light as the spirit,” “pure as air,” “blazing as fire,” “unrestrained as
the wind”—for such is Bahá’u’lláh’s own admonition to His loved ones in
His Tablets, and directed not to a select few but to the entire
congregation of the faithful—let them scatter far and wide, proclaim the
glory of God’s Revelation in this Day, quicken the souls of men and ignite
in their hearts the love of the One Who alone is their omnipotent and
divinely appointed Redeemer.

Bracing the fearful cold of the Arctic regions and the enervating heat of
the torrid zone; heedless of the hazards, the loneliness and the austerity
of the deserts, the far-away islands and mountains wherein they will be
called upon to dwell; undeterred by the clamor which the exponents of
religious orthodoxy are sure to raise, or by the restrictive measures
which political leaders may impose; undismayed by the smallness of their
numbers and the multitude of their potential adversaries; armed with the
efficacious weapons their own hands have slowly and laboriously forged in
anticipation of this glorious and inevitable encounter with the organized
forces of superstition, of corruption and of unbelief; placing their whole
trust in the matchless potency of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings, in the
all-conquering power of His might and the infallibility of His glorious
and oft-repeated promises, let them press forward, each according to his
strength and resources, into the vast arena now lying before them, and
which, God willing, will witness, in the years immediately lying ahead,
such exhibitions of prowess and of heroic self-sacrifice as may well
recall the superb feats achieved by that immortal band of God-intoxicated
heroes who have so immeasurably enriched the annals of the Christian, the
Islamic and Bábí Dispensations.

On the members of the American Bahá’í Community, the envied custodians of
a Divine Plan, the principal builders and defenders of a mighty Order and
the recognized champions of an unspeakably glorious and precious Faith, a
peculiar and inescapable responsibility must necessarily rest. Through
their courage, their self-abnegation, their fortitude and their
perseverance; through the range and quality of their achievements, the
depth of their consecration, their initiative and resourcefulness, their
organizing ability, their readiness and capacity to lend their assistance
to less privileged sister communities struggling against heavy odds;
through their generous and sustained response to the enormous and
ever-increasing financial needs of a world-encompassing, decade-long and
admittedly strenuous enterprise, they must, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
vindicate their right to the leadership of this World Crusade.

Now is the time for the hope voiced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that from their
homeland “heavenly illumination” may “stream to all the peoples of the
world” to be realized. Now is the time for the truth of His remarkable
assertion that that same homeland is “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,” to be strikingly and
unmistakably demonstrated. “Should success crown” their “enterprise,” He,
moreover, has assured them, “the throne of the Kingdom of God will, in the
plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established.”

Would to God that this community, boasting already of so superb a record
of achievements both at home and overseas, and elevated to such dazzling
heights by the hopes cherished and the assurance given by the Center of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, may prove itself capable of performing deeds of
such distinction, in the course of the opening, as well as the succeeding
phases of this World Spiritual Crusade, as will outshine the dedicated
acts which have already left their indelible mark on the Apostolic Age of
the Faith in the West; will excel the enduring, the historic achievements
associated, at a later period, with this community’s memorable
contribution to the rise and establishment of the world Administrative
Order of Bahá’u’lláh; will surpass the magnificent accomplishments which,
subsequently, as the result of the operation of the first Seven Year Plan,
illuminated the annals of the Faith in both the North American continent
and throughout Latin America and will eclipse the even more dramatic
exploits which, during the opening years of the second epoch of the
Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of the prosecution of the
Second Seven Year Plan, have exerted so lasting an influence on the
fortunes of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the Antilles, throughout the
republics of Central America, in each of the ten republics of South
America, in no less than ten sovereign states in the continent of Europe,
and in various dependencies on the eastern and western shores, as well as
in the heart of the African continent.

[July 18, 1953]



SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN PRIMACY


Overjoyed by remarkable achievements of American Bahá’í Community,
safeguarding primacy, enhancing prestige, setting magnificent example to
sister communities East and West. Assure three Assembly members, also
Lofoten valiant pioneer of abiding appreciation, fervent loving prayers.

[September 5, 1953]



TEMPLE SITE PURCHASED IN PANAMA


Heartfelt congratulations on acquisition of Temple site; notable
achievement of World Crusade.

[Circa May 1954]



ASSEMBLIES MUST BE MAINTAINED


Information incorrect. Maintenance of all assemblies vital.

[July 23, 1954] (NOTE: Reply to National Spiritual Assembly request for
advice concerning a statement which the Guardian was alleged to have made
to the effect that all Bahá’ís should scatter. Many felt, therefore, that
assembly status need not be maintained.)



AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS IN THE TIME OF WORLD PERIL


The American Bahá’í Community, in this, the opening year of the second
phase of the World Spiritual Crusade upon which it has embarked, finds
itself standing on the threshold of the seventh decade of its existence.
It leaves behind it, as it enters the second decade of the second Bahá’í
century, sixty years crowded with events and marked by exploits so
stirring and momentous that they stand unsurpassed in the annals of any
other national Bahá’í community with the sole exception of its venerable
sister community in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land.



CHIEF EXECUTOR OF DIVINE PLAN


The first to respond to the call of the New Day in the western world; for
many years, in concert with the small band of Canadian believers residing
in its immediate neighborhood, the sole champion of the newly proclaimed
Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh; foremost in its decisive contribution to the
creation of the pattern, the erection of the fabric, the enlargement of
the limits, and the consolidation of the institutions of the embryonic
World Order, the child of that same Covenant and the harbinger of a still
unborn world civilization; singled out by the pen of the Center of that
same Covenant for a unique and imperishable bounty as the principal
custodian and chief executor of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan; doubly honored
in the course of His extensive visit to the shores of its homeland through
the distinction conferred by Him on the community’s two leading centers,
the one as the site where He laid the cornerstone of the holiest House of
Worship in the Bahá’í world, and the other the scene of the proclamation
of His Father’s Covenant; the triumphant prosecutor of two successive
historic Plans, boldly initiated by its elected national representatives
for the propagation of the Faith it has espoused in the land of its birth,
in the Dominion of Canada, in Central and South America and in the
continent of Europe and for the erection of its own House of Worship, the
Mother Temple of the West; outstanding in its role as the defender of the
Faith, as the supporter of its down-trodden, long-persecuted sister
communities in both the Asiatic and African continents, and as the
formulator of the national Bahá’í constitution, embodying the by-laws
regulating the internal affairs of the members of the Bahá’í communities;
incomparable throughout the Bahá’í world as the dynamic agent responsible
for the opening of the vast majority of the over two hundred sovereign
states and chief dependencies of the globe to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh;
surpassing even its over a hundred-year old sister community in the cradle
of that Faith in the number and variety of isolated centers, groups and
local assemblies it has succeeded in establishing over the face of the
Union stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific seaboards and from
Alaska to Mexico; noteworthy in the rapid accumulation and wise
expenditure of material resources, often involving a self-abnegation
reminiscent of the self-sacrifice of the dawn-breakers of the Apostolic
Age of the Faith, for the sole purpose of systematically propagating the
Faith it has pledged itself to serve, of enhancing its prestige, of
multiplying and perfecting its administrative agencies, of enriching its
literature, of erecting its edifices, of launching its manifold
enterprises, of succoring the needy among the members of its sister
communities, of warding off the dangers confronting it from time to time
through the malice of its enemies—the American Bahá’í Community, boasting
of such a record of exalted service, can well afford to contemplate the
immediate future, with its severe challenge, its complex problems, its
hazards, tests and trials, with equanimity and confidence.

For there can be no doubt that the entire community, limited as is its
numerical strength and circumscribed as are its meager resources, in
comparison with the vastness of the field stretching before it, the
prodigious efforts demanded of it, and the complexity of the problems it
must resolve, stands at a most critical juncture in its history.



AMERICA PASSING THROUGH CRISIS


Moreover, the country of which it forms a part is passing through a crisis
which, in its spiritual, moral, social and political aspects, is of
extreme seriousness—a seriousness which to a superficial observer is
liable to be dangerously underestimated.

The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of morality as
exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in
ever widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties
of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by
the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the
most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and
can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes of the entire nation.

Parallel with this, and pervading all departments of life—an evil which
the nation, and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a
lesser degree, share with that state and its satellites regarded as the
sworn enemies of that system—is the crass materialism, which lays
excessive and ever-increasing emphasis on material well-being, forgetful
of those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable foundation
can be laid for human society. It is this same cancerous materialism, born
originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent,
contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous
tentacles to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which
Bahá’u’lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His
Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief
factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that
must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror
and consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a foretaste of the
devastation which this consuming fire will wreak upon the world, and with
which it will lay waste the cities of the nations participating in this
tragic world-engulfing contest, has been afforded by the last World War,
marking the second stage in the global havoc which humanity, forgetful of
its God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His appointed
Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably experience. It is this same
all-pervasive, pernicious materialism against which the voice of the
Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant was raised, with pathetic persistence,
from platform and pulpit, in His addresses to the heedless multitudes,
which, on the morrow of His fateful visit to both Europe and America,
found themselves suddenly swept into the vortex of a tempest which in its
range and severity was unsurpassed in the world’s history.

Collateral with this ominous laxity in morals, and this progressive stress
laid on man’s material pursuits and well-being, is the darkening of the
political horizon, as witnessed by the widening of the gulf separating the
protagonists of two antagonistic schools of thought which, however
divergent in their ideologies, are to be commonly condemned by the
upholders of the standard of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh for their
materialistic philosophies and their neglect of those spiritual values and
eternal verities on which alone a stable and flourishing civilization can
be ultimately established. The multiplication, the diversity and the
increasing destructive power of armaments to which both sides, in this
world contest, caught in a whirlpool of fear, suspicion and hatred, are
rapidly contributing; the outbreak of two successive bloody conflicts,
entangling still further the American nation in the affairs of a
distracted world, entailing a considerable loss in blood and treasure,
swelling the national budget and progressively depreciating the currency
of the state; the confusion, the vacillation, the suspicions besetting the
European and Asiatic nations in their attitude to the American nation; the
overwhelming accretion of strength to the arch enemy of the system
championed by the American Union in consequence of the re-alignment of the
powers in the Asiatic continent and particularly in the Far East—these
have, moreover, contributed their share, in recent years, to the
deterioration of a situation which, if not remedied, is bound to involve
the American nation in a catastrophe of undreamed-of dimensions and of
untold consequences to the social structure, the standard and conception
of the American people and government.

No less serious is the stress and strain imposed on the fabric of American
society through the fundamental and persistent neglect, by the governed
and governors alike, of the supreme, the inescapable and urgent duty—so
repeatedly and graphically represented and stressed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His
arraignment of the basic weaknesses in the social fabric of the nation—of
remedying, while there is yet time, through a revolutionary change in the
concept and attitude of the average white American toward his Negro fellow
citizen, a situation which, if allowed to drift, will, in the words of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cause the streets of American cities to run with blood,
aggravating thereby the havoc which the fearful weapons of destruction,
raining from the air, and amassed by a ruthless, a vigilant, a powerful
and inveterate enemy, will wreak upon those same cities.

The American nation, of which the community of the Most Great Name forms
as yet a negligible and infinitesimal part, stands, indeed, from whichever
angle one observes its immediate fortunes, in grave peril. The woes and
tribulations which threaten it are partly avoidable, but mostly inevitable
and God-sent, for by reason of them a government and people clinging
tenaciously to the obsolescent doctrine of absolute sovereignty and
upholding a political system, manifestly at variance with the needs of a
world already contracted into a neighborhood and crying out for unity,
will find itself purged of its anachronistic conceptions, and prepared to
play a preponderating role, as foretold by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in the hoisting
of the standard of the Lesser Peace, in the unification of mankind, and in
the establishment of a world federal government on this planet. These same
fiery tribulations will not only firmly weld the American nation to its
sister nations in both hemispheres, but will through their cleansing
effect, purge it thoroughly of the accumulated dross which ingrained
racial prejudice, rampant materialism, widespread ungodliness and moral
laxity have combined, in the course of successive generations, to produce,
and which have prevented her thus far from assuming the role of world
spiritual leadership forecast by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unerring pen—a role which
she is bound to fulfill through travail and sorrow.



AMERICAN BAHÁ’ÍS STAND AT CROSSROADS


The American Bahá’í Community, the leaven destined to leaven the whole,
cannot hope, at this critical juncture in the fortunes of a struggling,
perilously situated, spiritually moribund nation, to either escape the
trials with which this nation is confronted, nor claim to be wholly immune
from the evils that stain its character.

At so critical a period, at so challenging an hour, the members of a
community, invested by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with a primacy which can, through
neglect and apathy, be allowed to lose its vital power and driving force,
are immersed in a task, and are faced with responsibilities, which a World
Spiritual Crusade, the third and greatest collective enterprise embarked
upon in American Bahá’í history, has thrust upon them before the eyes of
their admiring and expectant sister communities throughout the world. They
now stand at the crossroads, unable to relax for a moment, or hesitate as
to which road they should tread, or to allow any decline in the high
standard they have, for no less than six decades, undeviatingly upheld.
Nay, if this primacy is to be safeguarded and enhanced, a consecration,
not only on the part of a chosen few, to every single objective of the
Ten-Year Plan to which they are now pledged, and a pouring out of
substance, not only by those of limited means, but by the richest and
wealthiest, in a degree involving the truest sacrifice, for the purpose of
insuring the attainment of the aims and purposes of the Plan in its
present phase of development, are imperative and can brook no delay.

The mighty and laudable effort exerted, by a considerable number of
pioneers, in the course of the opening phase of this world-encircling
Crusade, in the virgin territories of the globe, must, if this primacy is
to remain unimpaired, be increased, doubled, nay trebled, and must
manifest itself not only in foreign fields where the prizes so laboriously
won during the last twelve months must, at whatever sacrifice, be
meticulously preserved, but throughout the entire length and breadth of
the American Union, and particularly in the goal cities, where hitherto
the work has stagnated, and which must, in the year now entered, become
the scene of the finest exploits which the home front has yet seen. A
veritable exodus from the large cities where a considerable number of
believers have, over a period of years, congregated, both on the Atlantic
and Pacific coasts, as well as in the heart of the country, and where,
owing to the tempo and the distractions of city life, the progress of the
Faith has been retarded, must signalize the inauguration of this most
intensive and challenging phase of the Crusade on the home front. Most
certainly and emphatically must the lead be given by the two focal centers
of Bahá’í activity which rank among the oldest of and occupy the most
honored position among, the cities throughout the American Union, the one
as the mother city of the North American continent, the other named by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá the City of the Covenant. Indeed, so grave are the exigencies
of the present hour, and so critical the political position of the
country, that were a bare fifteen adult Bahá’ís to be left in each of
these cities, over which unsuspected dangers are hanging, it would still
be regarded as adequate for the maintenance of their local spiritual
assemblies.



WORLD CRUSADE TASKS


While this vital process of multiplication of Bahá’í isolated centers,
groups and local assemblies is being accelerated, through a rapid and
unprecedented dispersion of believers, and as the result of the initiation
of vigorous teaching activities, through individuals as well as
administrative agencies, the incorporation of full-fledged local
assemblies—a process which has been noticeably slackening in recent
years—must be given immediate attention by the community’s elected
national representatives, reinforcing, thereby, the foundations of local
Bahá’í communities, and paving the way for the establishment, in a not too
distant future, of local Bahá’í endowments.

The inauguration of the first dependency of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, the
first link to be forged destined to bind the Community of the Most Great
Name to the general public, expectant to witness the first evidences of
direct Bahá’í service to humanity as a complement to Bahá’í worship, is
yet another task which must be conscientiously tackled and fulfilled in
the course of the second phase of this Ten-Year Plan. The consummation of
this project must synchronize with the termination of the landscaping of
the area surrounding the Temple—a double achievement that will mark yet
another stage in the materialization of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s often expressed and
cherished hopes for this holiest House of Worship in the Bahá’í world.

Yet another task, of extreme urgency and of great spiritual significance,
is the selection and purchase of the site of the future
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Sweden, as well as the appropriation of
sufficient funds during the coming two years, for the establishment, on
however modest a scale, of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in Anchorage,
Alaska, in Panama City and in the capital of Peru, in Suva, in Tokyo and
in Johannesburg, and the lending of financial assistance to the
Italo-Swiss National Assembly, the proud daughter of the American Bahá’í
Community, for the erection of a similar national center in the Italian
and Swiss capitals.

Of no less importance, though involving a smaller outlay of funds, is the
establishment of token national endowments in the aforementioned cities,
in anticipation of the formation of an independent national spiritual
assembly in each of them, at a later stage in the execution of this
stupendous Plan.

The translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the European and
American Indian languages, allocated to your Assembly and its European
Teaching Committee under the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan, is yet
another objective of this second phase of this World Crusade, a task that
must be resolutely pursued and speedily consummated in order to facilitate
the intensive teaching activity which, at a later stage, must be conducted
for the purpose of converting a considerable number of the minority races
in both Europe and America to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The all-important teaching enterprises in France and Finland, designed to
broaden the basis of the infant Administrative Order in both countries,
and extend the ramifications of the Faith to their chief towns and cities,
is yet another responsibility which should be promptly discharged, as an
indispensable preliminary to the establishment in each of these two
countries of an independent national assembly.

Finally, the establishment of a Bahá’í Publishing Trust, similar in its
essentials to the institution already functioning in the British Isles,
and which must serve as a model for other national assemblies in both the
East and the West, is a matter to which prompt and earnest attention must
be directed in the course of the second phase of the Plan, and which will
require full and speedy consultation with the national elected
representatives of the British Bahá’í Community.

A systematic campaign designed to proclaim the Faith to the masses through
the press and radio must moreover be launched and maintained with
vigilance, persistence and vigor.

The American Bahá’í Community—the champion-builders of an Order which
posterity will hail as the harbinger of a civilization to be regarded as
the fairest fruit of the Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh; the
principal trustees of a Plan which future generations will acclaim as one
of the two greatest legacies left by the Center of His Covenant; marching
in the van of a Crusade which history will recognize as the most momentous
spiritual enterprise launched in modern times; beset by the same anxieties
and perils by which the nation of which it forms a part finds itself, to
an unprecedented degree, afflicted and surrounded—such a community is, at
this hour, experiencing the impact of a challenge unique in its sixty
years of existence.



CHALLENGE TO EACH INDIVIDUAL BAHÁ’Í


In its meteoric career its fortunes have risen so swiftly, its exploits
have so greatly multiplied, its spirit in times of emergency has swelled
and risen so high, it has earned on such occasions the applause and
excited the admiration of its sister communities throughout both
hemispheres to such a degree, that it cannot, at this critical hour in its
destinies, suffer this golden opportunity to slip from its grasp, or this
priceless privilege to be irretrievably forfeited.

This challenge, so severe and insistent, and yet so glorious, faces no
doubt primarily the individual believer on whom, in the last resort,
depends the fate of the entire community. He it is who constitutes the
warp and woof on which the quality and pattern of the whole fabric must
depend. He it is who acts as one of the countless links in the mighty
chain that now girdles the globe. He it is who serves as one of the
multitude of bricks which support the structure and insure the stability
of the administrative edifice now being raised in every part of the world.
Without his support, at once whole-hearted, continuous and generous, every
measure adopted, and every plan formulated, by the body which acts as the
national representative of the community to which he belongs, is
foredoomed to failure. The World Center of the Faith itself is paralyzed
if such a support on the part of the rank and file of the community is
denied it. The Author of the Divine Plan Himself is impeded in His purpose
if the proper instruments for the execution of His design are lacking. The
sustaining strength of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, the Founder of the Faith, will
be withheld from every and each individual who fails in the long run to
arise and play his part.

The administrative agencies of a divinely conceived Administrative Order
at long last erected and relatively perfected stand in dire need of the
individual believer to come forward and utilize them with undeviating
purpose, serene confidence and exemplary dedication. The heart of the
Guardian cannot but leap with joy, and his mind derive fresh inspiration,
at every evidence testifying to the response of the individual to his
allotted task. The unseen legions, standing rank upon rank, and eager to
pour forth from the Kingdom on high the full measure of their celestial
strength on the individual participants of this incomparably glorious
Crusade, are powerless unless and until each potential crusader decides
for himself, and perseveres in his determination, to rush into the arena
of service ready to sacrifice his all for the Cause he is called upon to
champion.



APPEAL FOR DEDICATION


It is therefore imperative for the individual American believer, and
particularly for the affluent, the independent, the comfort-loving and
those obsessed by material pursuits, to step forward, and dedicate their
resources, their time, their very lives to a Cause of such transcendence
that no human eye can even dimly perceive its glory. Let them resolve,
instantly and unhesitatingly, to place, each according to his
circumstances, his share on the altar of Bahá’í sacrifice, lest, on a
sudden, unforeseen calamities rob them of a considerable portion of the
earthly things they have amassed.

Now if ever is the time to tread the path which the dawn-breakers of a
previous age have so magnificently trodden. Now is the time to carry out,
in the spirit and in the letter, the fervent wish so pathetically voiced
by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who longed, as attested in the Tablets of the Divine
Plan, to “travel though on foot and in the utmost poverty” and raise “in
cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans” “the call of
Yá-Bahá’u’l-Abhá!”

Then, and only then, can the members of this community hasten the advent
of the day when, as prophesied by His pen, “heavenly illumination” will
“stream” from their country “to all the peoples of the world.” Then, and
only then will they find themselves “securely established upon the throne
of an everlasting dominion.”

That the members of this community, of either sex and of every age, of
whatever race or background, however limited in experience, capacity and
knowledge, may arise as one man, and seize with both hands the God-given
opportunities now presented to them through the dispensations of an
all-loving, ever-watchful, ever-sustaining Providence, and lend thereby a
tremendous impetus to the propelling forces mysteriously guiding the
operations of this newly launched, unspeakably potent, world-encompassing
Crusade, is one of the dearest wishes which a loving and longing heart
holds for them at this great turning point in the fortunes of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh in the American continent.

[July 28, 1954]



NINE-POINTED STAR FOR HEADSTONE


Approve star for graves.

[October 22, 1954] (NOTE: The Guardian considered the Greatest Name too
sacred for use on tombstones.)



SEND APPEALS TO PRESIDENT EISENHOWER


Owing to aggravation of the situation, the hacking to pieces of the bodies
of seven believers in the vicinity of Yazd, and the likelihood of worse
massacre in the approaching months, advise all groups and assemblies in
the United States to address telegraphically President Eisenhower,
appealing for his intervention for protection from further massacres of
our offenseless, law-abiding co-religionists in Írán and the safeguard of
their human rights. Include brief reference to the worst atrocities.
National Assembly should address him similar message both in writing and
telegraphically. Include list of atrocities in accompanying memorandum...

[August 15, 1955]



A MYSTERIOUS DISPENSATION OF PROVIDENCE



PERSECUTION OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF ÍRÁN


A crisis in the fortunes of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, of exceptional
severity, extensive in its ramifications, unpredictable in its immediate
consequences, directly involving the overwhelming majority of His
followers in the land of His birth, and confronting with a major challenge
Bahá’í communities in both hemispheres, has plunged the Bahá’í world,
whilst engaged in the prosecution of a world-wide spiritual crusade, into
intense sorrow and profound anxiety.

More grievous than any of the intermittent crises which have more or less
acutely afflicted the Faith since the inception, over thirty years ago, of
the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, such as a seizure of the
keys of the foremost Shrine of the Bahá’í world by the covenant-breakers
residing in the Holy Land; the occupation of the House of Bahá’u’lláh by
His traditional enemies in Ba_gh_dád; the expropriation of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world in Turkistán and the virtual
extinction of the I_sh_qábád Bahá’í Community; the disabilities suffered
by the Egyptian Bahá’í Community as a result of the verdict of the
Egyptian ecclesiastical court and the historic pronouncements of the
highest dignitaries of Sunní Islám in Egypt; the defection of the members
of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s family and the machinations and eventual deviation of
various recognized yet highly ambitious leaders, teachers, as well as
administrators, in Persia, Egypt, Germany and the United States—more
grievous than any of these, this latest manifestation of the implacable
hatred, and relentless opposition, of the as yet firmly entrenched,
politically influential avowed adversaries of God’s infant Faith,
threatens to become more uncontrollable with every passing day.

Indeed in many of its aspects this crisis bears a striking resemblance to
the wave of persecutions which periodically swept the cradle of the Faith
in the course of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ministry, and is tragically reminiscent of
the tribulations experienced by the dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of the
Faith at the hour of its birth in that sorely tried, long-agitated land.

With dramatic suddenness, a situation, which had been slowly and secretly
developing, came to a head, as the result of the ceaseless intrigue of the
fanatical and determined ecclesiastical opponents of the Faith, ever ready
to seize their chance, in times of confusion, and to strike mercilessly,
at an opportune hour, at the very root of that Faith and of its swiftly
developing, steadily consolidating administrative institutions.

The launching of the Crusade itself, with the celebrations and ceremonials
which accompanied it; the repercussions of the widely reported proceedings
of four successive Intercontinental Teaching Conferences, which heralded
its inauguration; the public dedication of the Mother Temple of the West
in Wilmette; the systematic intensification of teaching activities in the
Arabian Peninsula, enshrining the Qiblih of the entire Islamic world; and,
in particular, the opening to the Faith of the twin holy cities of Mecca
and Medina—all these may be said to have precipitated this crisis, and
alarmed the jealous exponents and guardians of an antiquated religious
orthodoxy in the strongholds of both _Sh_í’ah and Sunní Islám.



A PREMEDITATED CAMPAIGN OF PERSECUTION


This premeditated campaign was heralded by violent and repeated public
denunciations of the Faith over the air, from the pulpit, and through the
press, defaming its holy Founders, distorting its distinctive features,
ridiculing its aims and purposes, and perverting its history. It was
formally launched by the government’s official pronouncement in the Majlis
outlawing the Faith and banning its activities throughout the land. It was
soon followed by the senseless and uncivilized demolition of the imposing
dome of the Bahá’í Central Administrative Headquarters in the capital. It
assumed serious proportions through the seizure and occupation of all
Bahá’í administrative headquarters throughout the provinces.

This drastic action taken by the representatives of the central
authorities in cities, towns and villages was the signal for the loosing
of a flood of abuse, accompanied by a series of atrocities simultaneously
and shamelessly perpetrated in most of the provinces, bringing in its wake
desolation to Bahá’í homes, economic ruin to Bahá’í families, and staining
still further the records of _Sh_í’ah Islám in that troubled land.

In _Sh_íráz, in the province of Fárs, the cradle of the Faith, the House
of the Báb, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh in His Most Holy Book as the foremost
place of pilgrimage in the land of His birth, was twice desecrated, its
walls severely damaged, its windows broken and its furniture partly
destroyed and carried away. The neighboring house of the Báb’s maternal
uncle was razed to the ground. Bahá’u’lláh’s ancestral home in Tákúr, in
the province of Mázindarán, the scene of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s early childhood,
was occupied. Shops and farms, constituting, in most cases, the sole
source of livelihood to peaceful Bahá’í families, were plundered. Crops
and livestock, assets patiently acquired by often poor, but always
peace-loving, law-abiding farmers, were wantonly destroyed. Bodies in
various cemeteries were first disinterred and then viciously mutilated.
The homes of rich and poor alike were forcibly entered and ruthlessly
looted. Both adults and children were publicly set upon, reviled, beaten
and ridiculed. Young women were abducted, and compelled, against their
parents’ wishes and their own, to marry Muslims. Boys and girls were
mobbed at school, mocked and expelled. A boycott, in many cases, was
imposed by butchers and bakers, who refused to sell to the adherents of
the Faith the barest necessities of life. A girl in her teens was
shamelessly raped, whilst an eleven-month-old baby was heartlessly
trampled underfoot. Pressure was brought to bear upon the believers to
recant their faith and to renounce allegiance to the Cause they had
espoused.

Nor was this all. Emboldened by the general applause accorded by the
populace to the savage perpetrators of these crimes, a mob of many
hundreds marched upon the hamlet of Hurmuzak, to the beating of drums and
the sounding of trumpets, and, armed with spades and axes, fell upon a
family of seven, the oldest eighty, the youngest nineteen, and, in an orgy
of unrestrained fanaticism, literally hacked them to pieces.

Following closely upon this heinous crime, the like of which has not been
witnessed since the close of the Heroic Age of the Faith, an official
order has been issued by the Prime Minister’s office in Ṭihrán, placing an
interdiction against the employment of any Bahá’ís in government service,
and ordering the instant dismissal of all who insist on adhering to their
faith.



APPEALS TO THE AUTHORITIES OF ÍRÁN AND TO THE UNITED NATIONS


These tragic, swiftly succeeding events have stirred the Bahá’í world to
its foundations. Counter measures were immediately taken, and more than a
thousand appeals were addressed by national and local assemblies as well
as groups in all continents of the globe to the highest authorities in
Persia, including the _Sh_áh, in the hope of stemming the tide of
persecution threatening to engulf the entire Persian Bahá’í Community.
Furthermore, a wide-spread campaign of publicity was initiated in
expectation that its repercussions would exert a restraining influence on
the perpetrators of these monstrous acts. An appeal was moreover lodged
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the President of the
Social and Economic Council, copies of which were delivered to the
representatives of the member nations of the Council, to the Director of
the Human Rights Division, as well as to non-governmental organizations
with consultative status. More recently, President Eisenhower, who, as
reported in the press, was the first to make mention of the attacks
launched against the Faith, was appealed to by the American National
Spiritual Assembly as well as by all groups and local assemblies
throughout the United States, to intervene on behalf of the victims of
these persecutions.



A WHOLLY DEDICATED, INFLEXIBLE RESOLVE


Faced with this organized and vicious onslaught on the followers, the
fundamental verities, the shrines and administrative institutions of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the land of His birth, the American Bahá’í
Community cannot at this hour relax for a moment in the discharge of the
multiple and sacred responsibilities it has pledged itself to fulfill
under the Ten-Year Plan and must indeed display a still greater degree of
consecration and a nobler spirit of self-sacrifice in the pursuit of the
goals it has set itself to achieve.

A wider dispersal throughout the length and breadth of its homeland; a
more strenuous effort to consolidate the superb achievements in the newly
opened virgin territories in various continents and islands of the globe;
a still greater exertion to expedite the translation and publication of
Bahá’í literature into the European and American Indian languages assigned
to it under the Plan; a more determined thrust towards the vital
objectives of acquiring the site of the future Mother Temple of Sweden and
of purchasing the remaining national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the goal countries
of Europe, as well as in Central and South America; a concerted endeavor
to establish national Bahá’í endowments in these European and Latin
American countries; a ceaseless concentration of attention on the
incorporation of firmly established local spiritual assemblies throughout
the United States and in the goal countries of Europe, and a closer
collaboration with the administrative agencies functioning in Europe,
Latin America, Africa, Japan and Alaska for the forthcoming formation of
the European, Latin American, Southwest African, Japanese and Alaskan
national spiritual assemblies; a more intensive campaign to win over to
the Faith representatives of American Indian tribes and of the Basque and
Gypsy races—above all, a concerted, wholly dedicated, inflexible resolve
to win the allegiance of a far greater number of adherents to the Faith it
has espoused and to insure a spectacular multiplication of groups,
isolated centers and local assemblies in the vast area assigned to its
care—through these, more than through anything else, can the American
Bahá’í Community—the recognized champion of the persecuted and the
down-trodden, and the standard-bearer of the embryonic World Order of
Bahá’u’lláh—offset, to a marked degree, the severe losses the Faith has
sustained in the land of its birth, and bring an abiding and much needed
consolation to the countless hearts that bleed, in this hour of test and
trial, throughout the length and breadth of that bitterly troubled land.



“SAVE THE PERSECUTED FUND”


Not only through its superlative achievements in these diversified and
vital spheres of Bahá’í activity, but also through the support given by
its members to the “Save the Persecuted Fund” recently established for the
succor of the orphaned, the widowed and the dispossessed, and to which the
entire Bahá’í world has been invited to contribute, can this
stout-hearted, vigilant, self-sacrificing community which on similar past
occasions has so nobly discharged its responsibilities, proclaim to an
unbelieving and skeptical world, and particularly to its redoubtable,
implacable adversaries, the unconquerable spirit which animates it, the
inflexible resolve which spurs it on, in the hour of trial, in the service
of a Faith to which it stands wholly dedicated.



THE FIRST HOUSE OF WORSHIP IN AFRICA


Over and above such meritorious accomplishments, the members of this
community are called upon to demonstrate their solidarity with their
sister communities in East and West, and indeed to assert their divinely
conferred primacy, through assuming a leading role in providing for the
erection of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár to be raised in the heart of
the African continent—a continent which by virtue of the innumerable
exploits which, throughout its length and breadth, colored and white,
individuals as well as assemblies, have achieved in recent years, and
which, with the sole exception of Australasia, is the only continent
deprived of the blessings of such an institution, fully deserves to
possess its own independent House of Worship—a House that will gather
within its walls members of communities whose prowess has, in the opening
years of the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation,
eclipsed the feats performed in both the southern part of the Western
Hemisphere and the European continent, and conferred such luster on the
annals of our Faith.

Africa, long dormant and neglected, and now stirring in its potential
spiritual strength, is, at this very hour, under the eyes of the clamorous
multitudes of the adversaries of the Faith pressing for its extirpation in
the land of its birth, being called upon to redress the scales so weighed
down through the ferocious and ignoble acts of bloodthirsty ecclesiastical
oppressors. The erection of such an institution, at such a time, through
the combined efforts of the undismayed, undeflected and undefeatable
upholders of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in both the East and the West,
posterity will regard as a worthy answer to the challenge flung down by
its bitterest, most powerful and inveterate enemies. Let them give heed to
the warnings and admonitions uttered, at an hour of similar danger, by the
Founder of the Faith Himself, on the morrow of His third banishment, and
addressed in clear and unmistakable language to the “Minister of the
_Sh_áh” in Constantinople: “Dost thou believe thou hast the power to
frustrate His will, to hinder Him from executing His judgment, or to deter
Him from exercising His sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the
heavens or in the earth can resist His Faith? No, by Him Who is the
eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever in the whole of creation can thwart His
purpose.... Know thou, moreover, that He it is Who hath by His own behest,
created all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. How can,
then, the thing that hath been created at His bidding prevail against
Him?”



A BLESSING IN DISGUISE


Indeed this fresh ordeal that has, in pursuance of the mysterious
dispensations of Providence, afflicted the Faith, at this unexpected hour,
far from dealing a fatal blow to its institutions or existence, should be
regarded as a blessing in disguise, not a “calamity” but a “providence” of
God, not a devastating flood but a “gentle rain” on a “green pasture,” a
“wick” and “oil” unto the “lamp” of His Faith, a “nurture” for His Cause,
“water for that which has been planted in the hearts of men,” a “crown set
on the head” of His Messenger for this Day.

Whatever its outcome, this sudden commotion that has seized the Bahá’í
world, that has revived the hopes and emboldened the host of the
adversaries of the Faith intent on quenching its light and obliterating it
from the face of the earth, has served as a trumpet call in the sounding
of which the press of the world, the cries of its vociferous enemies, the
public remonstrances of both men of good will and those in authority have
joined, proclaiming far and wide its existence, publicizing its history,
defending its verities, unveiling its truths, demonstrating the character
of its institutions and advertising its aims and purposes.



UNPRECEDENTED PUBLICITY


Seldom, if at any time since its inception, has such a widespread
publicity been accorded the infant Faith of God, now at long last emerging
from an obscurity which has so long and so grievously oppressed it. Not
even the dramatic execution of its Herald, nor the blood-bath which, in
circumstances of fiendish cruelty followed quickly in its wake in the city
of Ṭihrán, nor even the widely advertised travels of the Center of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant in the West, succeeded in focusing the attention of
the world and in inviting the notice of those in high places as has this
latest manifestation of God’s inscrutable will, this marvelous
demonstration of His invincible power, this latest move in His Own Major
Plan, using both the mighty and lowly as pawns in His world-shaping game,
for the fulfillment of His immediate purpose and the eventual
establishment of His Kingdom on earth.

For though the newly launched World Spiritual Crusade, constituting at
best only the Minor Plan in the execution of the Almighty’s design for the
redemption of mankind—has, as a result of this turmoil, paralyzing
temporarily the vast majority of the organized followers of Bahá’u’lláh
within His birthplace, suffered a severe setback—yet the over-all Plan of
God, moving mysteriously and in contrast to the orderly and well-known
processes of a clearly devised Plan, has received an impetus the force of
which only posterity can adequately assess.

A Faith, which, for a quarter of a century, has, in strict accordance with
the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, been building
its Administrative Order—the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh—through
the laborious erection of its local and national administrative
institutions; which set out, in the opening years of the second epoch of
this Formative Age, through the launching of a series of national Plans as
well as a World Crusade, to utilize the machinery of its institutions,
created patiently and unobtrusively in the course of the first epoch of
that Age, for the systematic propagation of its teachings in all the
continents and chief islands of the globe—such a Faith finds itself,
whilst in the midst of discharging its second and vital task, thrust into
the limelight of an unprecedented publicity—a publicity which its
followers never anticipated, which will involve them in fresh and
inescapable responsibilities, and which will, no doubt, reinforce the
tasks which they have undertaken, in recent years, to discharge.

To the intensification of such a publicity in which non-Bahá’í agencies
and even the avowed adversaries of the Faith are playing so active a part,
the members of the American Bahá’í Community, the outstanding defenders of
the Faith, blessed with a freedom so cruelly denied the vast majority of
their brethren, and equipped with the means and instruments needed to make
that publicity effective, must fully and decisively contribute. The echoes
of the mighty trumpet blast, now so providentially sounded, awakening a
multitude of the ignorant and the skeptical, both high and low, to the
existence and significance of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, must under no
circumstances, and at such a propitious hour, be allowed to die out. Nay,
their reverberations must be followed up by further calls designed to
proclaim, in still more resounding tones, the aims and tenets of this
glorious Cause, and to expose, whilst avoiding any attack on the ruling
authorities, even more convincingly than before, the barbarous ferocity of
the acts which have been perpetrated, as well as the odious fanaticism
which has inspired such conduct.

Strenuous and urgent as is the task falling to the lot of a community
already so over-burdened with a multiplicity of unavoidable obligations,
the possibilities involved in the assumption of this supplementary
responsibility are truly tremendous, the benefits that are destined to
accrue from its proper discharge are immense, and the reward inestimably
rich.

Let them remember, as they pursue diligently this sacred task, that such a
publicity, following closely upon such dire tribulations, afflicting so
large a number of their brethren, in so sacred a land, cannot but prove to
be a prelude, however slow the process involved, to the emancipation of
these same valiant sufferers from the galling fetters of an antiquated
religious orthodoxy, which, great as has been its decline in the course of
over a century, still wields considerable power and exercises a widespread
influence in high circles as well as among the masses. Such an
emancipation, which cannot be confined to Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, will,
in varying measure, have its repercussions in Islamic countries, or may be
even preceded by a similar phenomenon in neighboring territories,
hastening and adding fresh impetus to the bursting of the bonds that
fetter the freedom of the followers of God’s infant Faith.



WORLD RECOGNITION OF THE FAITH


Such a consummation will, in its turn, pave the way for the recognition of
that Faith as an independent religion established on a basis of absolute
equality with its sister religions, enjoying the unqualified protection of
the civil authorities for its followers and its institutions, and fully
empowered, in all matters related to personal status, to apply without any
reservations the laws and ordinances ordained in the Most Holy Book.

That the members of the American Bahá’í Community—the outstanding
protagonists of the Cause of God; the stout-hearted defenders of its
integrity, its claims and its rights, the champion-builders of its
Administrative Order; the standard-bearers of its crusading hosts; the
torchbearers of its embryonic civilization; the chief succorers of the
down-trodden, the needy and the fettered among its followers—that the
members of such a community, may, whilst discharging, fully and
unflinchingly, their specific tasks in accordance with the provisions of
the Ten-Year Plan, seize the present God-sent opportunity, and hasten,
through a proper discharge of this supplementary task, the consummation of
such ardent hopes for so signal a victory, is a prayer constantly in my
heart, and a wish which I treasure above all others.

[August 20, 1955]



REVITALIZE ENTIRE COMMUNITY


Urge intensification of efforts to revitalize entire community and
expedite attainment of plans and objectives, particularly as related to
purchase of Hazírás and endowments in America and Europe; translation into
remaining languages; incorporation of assemblies; multiplication of
centers and assemblies on home front; opening of Iceland, Spitzbergen,
Anticosti and remaining islands of Pacific and Atlantic. Fervently
supplicating for immediate signal victories.

[January 5, 1956]



GREATER CONSECRATION TO PRESSING TASKS


Deplore situation on home front. Praying ardently for rededication of
entire community for greater consecration to pressing tasks. Approve all
suggestions in recent letter. Urge that you redouble efforts, supplicate
for unprecedented blessings.

[February 2, 1956]



PRAYING FOR GREAT VICTORIES ON HOME FRONT


Fervently praying for great victories on the home front. Appeal to entire
community to arise, participate and insure attainment of goals.

[June 22, 1956]



INESTIMABLE PRIZES WITHIN OUR REACH


As I survey, after the lapse of a little over three years, the vast range
of historic and unforgettable achievements with which the stout-hearted,
high-minded and wholly consecrated followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh
have, in the course of the operations of a World Spiritual Crusade,
enriched, in every continent of the globe and in so many islands of the
seven seas, the annals of the Formative Age of His Dispensation, I cannot
but acknowledge, with feelings of pride, of joy, and of gratitude, the
preponderating share which the American Bahá’í Community, faithful to its
traditions, and in keeping with its high standard of stewardship to the
Cause of God, has had in the conduct of this world-encircling enterprise
and the discharge of its manifold, its pressing and sacred
responsibilities. With one or two exceptions, greatly to be deplored, this
valiant community has, ever since the inception of this Spiritual Crusade,
and in every sphere of Bahá’í activities in which its participators have
both individually and collectively been assiduously engaged, set an
example of whole-hearted dedication, dogged perseverance, unstinting
self-sacrifice and undeviating loyalty worthy of emulation by its sister,
as well as its daughter, communities over the entire face of the globe.

The number, the character and the rapidity of the spiritual conquests
achieved by its steadfast and intrepid members, in so many sovereign
states of the globe, its chief dependencies and widely scattered islands,
in the course of the one-year period, constituting the opening phase of a
memorable Plan, will no doubt be universally acclaimed as a turning point
of unimaginable consequence in Bahá’í history. Such feats, in so many
territories, during so short a time, will rank, in the eyes of posterity,
as superb and outstanding exploits, immortalizing the fame of the American
followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and as epoch-making events
unsurpassed since the closing of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation.



AID ACCORDED TO THEIR OPPRESSED BRETHREN IN PERSIA


The reaction, so swift and so energetic, of the members of this same
community, now deservedly recognized as the impregnable citadel of the
Faith of God, and the cradle of the rising institutions of its World
Order, to the sudden onslaught made upon the institutions, the lives and
the livelihood of their oppressed brethren, members of the numerically
leading and the most venerable national Bahá’í community, by the
traditional adversaries of a long-persecuted Faith, has been such as to
deepen, to a marked extent, the feelings of genuine admiration and esteem,
so strongly felt throughout the Bahá’í world, for the enduring and
magnificent services rendered in the course of more than six decades by
the American believers to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and its embryonic World
Order. The spontaneity with which the rank and file of this community as
well as the body of its elected representatives, have contributed to the
“Save the Persecuted Fund” established for the succor of the victims of
these savage and periodically recurring barbarities; the measure of
publicity accorded them in the American press, as well as over the radio;
the timely and efficacious intervention of men of prominence, in various
walks of life, on behalf of the oppressed and the down-trodden; the
repeated and direct appeals addressed by them to the highest authorities
in Persia, as well as to their representative in the United States; the
immense number of written and cabled appeals, made by the local as well as
the national elected representatives of the community, to the chief
magistrate of Persia, his ministers and parliament; the numerous messages
addressed by the same representatives to the chief executive of the United
States, urging his personal intervention, the pleading of the cause of an
harassed, sorely-tried community in the course of repeated representations
made to the State Department in Washington; the part played in the
presentation of the Bahá’í case to the United Nations officials in both
Geneva and New York; the allocation of a sizeable sum for the purpose of
securing the assistance of an expert publicity agent, in order to
reinforce the publicity already being received in the public press—these,
as well as other measures which, by their very nature, must of necessity
remain confidential—proclaim, in no uncertain terms, the dynamic and
decisive nature of the aid accorded, in a hour of trial and emergency, by
the champions of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, raised up in the great republic
of the West, at such a crucial hour in the evolution of His Plan, for both
His Faith and the world at large, to the vast body of the descendants of
the dawn-breakers of the Apostolic Age of that same Faith in the land of
its birth.



A NOBLE RECORD OF SERVICE


No less remarkable has been the share of this community, chiefly
responsible, on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, for the fixing of
the pattern, the elaboration of the national constitution, and the
erection of the basic institutions, of a divinely conceived Administrative
Order, in the acquisition and establishment, in the course of two brief
years, constituting the second phase of the Ten-Year Plan, of practically
all of the future national administrative headquarters—numbering over
thirty—of Bahá’í national assemblies in four continents of the globe,
involving the expenditure from the National Fund of over a hundred
thousand dollars.

An effort, hardly less meritorious and equally efficacious and
astonishing, has been exerted by the members of this alert,
forward-looking, ceaselessly laboring community, in the course of the same
two-year period, for the establishment of national Bahá’í endowments in
more than twenty countries of both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres,
entailing the expenditure of over twenty thousand dollars.

In other spheres of Bahá’í activity, related to the prosecution of the
Ten-Year Plan, all of vital importance to the teaching work initiated
under that same Plan, and to the enlargement and consolidation of the
administrative structure of the institutions to be erected in the future,
the accomplishments of the members of this community, during the first two
phases of this world Crusade, have been no less significant. The
establishment of the Bahá’í Publishing Trust; the translation of Bahá’í
literature into more than fifteen languages, both within the scope of the
Ten-Year Plan and outside it, spoken in Europe, Asia, Latin America and
the North American continent; the purchase of the site of the first
dependency of the Mother Temple of the West; the practical completion of
the landscaping of its gardens; the provision of a considerable part of
the material resources required for the purchase of the sites of future
Bahá’í Temples in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, as well as for
the construction of the two projected Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs in the
European and African continents; the guidance given and the aid extended
to newly elected national assemblies, for the efficient conduct of Bahá’í
administrative activities and the prosecution of Bahá’í national plans;
the initial visits made by Bahá’í teachers to countries within the Soviet
orbit, foreshadowing the launching of systematic teaching enterprises in
both Europe and Asia; the assistance given, through financial help as well
as through the dispatch of Bahá’í pioneers, to various Bahá’í communities
for the enlargement of the limits of the Faith and the consolidation of
its institutions; and, last but not least, the purchase of the sacred site
of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán, the scene of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Prophetic Mission, by a member of that community of Persian descent—these
stand out as further evidences of the enormous share the firmly knit,
highly organized, swiftly advancing, fully dedicated American Bahá’í
Community has had in the prosecution and triumphant progress of the three
year old Ten-Year Plan, and augur well for a no less splendid contribution
to be made, in the years immediately ahead, for the attainment of its
remaining objectives.



FRUITFUL EFFORTS OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE


Supplementing this noble record of service have been the constant and
fruitful efforts exerted by the Hands of the Cause, nominated from among
the members of that community, in both the United States and the Holy
Land, efforts that have lent a considerable impetus to the expansion and
consolidation of the far-reaching enterprises initiated at the World
Center of the Faith, and which have, particularly through the
instrumentality of the recently appointed American Auxiliary Board,
stimulated, to a noticeable extent the progress of the teaching work and
the advancement of the Plan itself.



STUPENDOUS WORK ACHIEVED BY MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ’Í COUNCIL


Particular tribute should, I feel, at this juncture, be paid to the
stupendous work achieved, since the launching of the World Crusade, by the
representatives of this highly privileged community, in their capacity as
members of the International Bahá’í Council, in connection with the
prosecution of a variety of enterprises embarked upon in recent years,
aiming at the expansion and consolidation of the international
institutions of the Faith, the enhancement of its prestige, the
embellishment of the surroundings of its Shrines, the efficient conduct of
its internal affairs, and the forging of fresh links binding it still more
closely to the civil authorities in the Holy Land. The erection of the
International Archives in the close neighborhood of the Báb’s holy
Sepulcher; the extension of the international Bahá’í endowments on the
slopes of Mt. Carmel; the formation of several Israel Branches of Bahá’í
National Spiritual Assemblies; the embellishment of the precincts of the
resting-place of both the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh; the purchase of the site of
the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Holy Land; the preparation of the
designs for the International Bahá’í Archives on Mt. Carmel; and of the
Mother Temples of Persia and of Africa; the inauguration of the
preliminary steps for the eventual construction of Bahá’u’lláh’s holy
Sepulcher; the measures adopted, with the assistance of various officials
of the State of Israel, for the eviction of the covenant-breakers from the
immediate precincts of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and the elimination of
any influence they still exercise, after the lapse of over sixty years, in
the close vicinity of that Most Holy Spot—in these, as well as in other
various subsidiary activities, constantly increasing in number as well as
in diversity at the spiritual and administrative center of the Bahá’í
world, have the members of the little band, assiduously laboring under the
shadow of the Holy Shrines, and befittingly representing the American
Bahá’í Community, conspicuously participated, and through their dedicated
services, added fresh luster to the annals of the community to which they
belong.



REVITALIZATION OF THE HOME FRONT


So splendid a record of service, rendered within the brief span of a
little over three years, extending over so vast an area of the globe, so
highly diversified, so pregnant with promise, in the face of such
formidable obstacles, and by so limited a number of participants, has,
much to my deepest regret, been marred by a progressive devitalization of
the home front, constituting so momentous an aspect of the Ten-Year Plan,
and upon which its continued and effective prosecution by the American
Bahá’í Community, in the course of the present and third phase of the
World Spiritual Crusade, so largely depends.

Constituting as it does the base of the multiple operations now being
conducted to ensure the success of the North American, the Latin American,
the African, the European and Asiatic campaigns of a global crusade, no
sacrifice can be deemed too great for its revitalization and the
broadening and consolidation of its foundations. The manpower of the
community, so essential to the further deployment of its forces must,
rapidly and at all costs, increase. The material resources, now at its
disposal, which are so bountifully poured forth and so generously
distributed to the four corners of the globe, must be correspondingly
augmented to meet the pressing and ever-swelling demands of a constantly
and irresistibly advancing Crusade. A far greater proportion of the avowed
supporters of the Faith must arise, ere the Crusade suffers any setback,
for the fourfold purpose of winning over an infinitely greater number of
recruits to the army of Bahá’u’lláh fighting on the home front, of
swelling to an unprecedented degree the isolated centers now scattered
within its confines, of converting an increasing number of them into
firmly founded groups, and of accelerating the formation of local
assemblies, while safeguarding those already in existence.



THE INDIVIDUAL BAHÁ’Í MUST ARISE


There can be no doubt whatever that to achieve this fourfold purpose is
the most strenuous, the least spectacular, and the most challenging of the
tasks now confronting the American Bahá’í Community. It is primarily a
task that concerns the individual believer, wherever he may be, and
whatever his calling, his resources, his race, or his age. Neither the
local nor national representatives of the community, no matter how
elaborate their plans, or persistent their appeals, or sagacious their
counsels, nor even the Guardian himself, however much he may yearn for
this consummation, can decide where the duty of the individual lies, or
supplant him in the discharge of that task. The individual alone must
assess its character, consult his conscience, prayerfully consider all its
aspects, manfully struggle against the natural inertia that weighs him
down in his effort to arise, shed, heroically and irrevocably, the trivial
and superfluous attachments which hold him back, empty himself of every
thought that may tend to obstruct his path, mix, in obedience to the
counsels of the Author of His Faith, and in imitation of the One Who is
its true Exemplar, with men and women, in all walks of life, seek to touch
their hearts, through the distinction which characterizes his thoughts,
his words and his acts, and win them over tactfully, lovingly, prayerfully
and persistently, to the Faith he himself has espoused.

The gross materialism that engulfs the entire nation at the present hour;
the attachment to worldly things that enshrouds the souls of men; the
fears and anxieties that distract their minds; the pleasure and
dissipations that fill their time, the prejudices and animosities that
darken their outlook, the apathy and lethargy that paralyze their
spiritual faculties—these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in
the path of every would-be warrior in the service of Bahá’u’lláh,
obstacles which he must battle against and surmount in his crusade for the
redemption of his own countrymen.

To the degree that the home front crusader is himself cleansed of these
impurities, liberated from these petty preoccupations and gnawing
anxieties, delivered from these prejudices and antagonisms, emptied of
self, and filled by the healing and the sustaining power of God, will he
be able to combat the forces arrayed against him, magnetize the souls of
those whom he seeks to convert, and win their unreserved, their
enthusiastic and enduring allegiance to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Delicate and strenuous though the task may be, however arduous and
prolonged the effort required, whatsoever the nature of the perils and
pitfalls that beset the path of whoever arises to revive the fortunes of a
Faith struggling against the rising forces of materialism, nationalism,
secularism, racialism, ecclesiasticism, the all-conquering potency of the
grace of God, vouchsafed through the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, will,
undoubtedly, mysteriously and surprisingly, enable whosoever arises to
champion His Cause to win complete and total victory.

The history of a century-old Faith eloquently bears witness to similar
unnumbered successes won, in both the Apostolic and Formative Ages of the
Bahá’í Dispensation, in circumstances even more challenging than those in
which the American Bahá’í Community now finds itself.

So magnificent a victory, won collectively, at such a time, in a country
so vitally affecting the immediate destinies of mankind, singled out to
play so predominant a role in the unification and spiritualization of the
entire human race, by a community which in every other field can boast a
brilliant and unbroken record of victories, will, no doubt, exert not only
a profound influence on the ultimate destinies of an entire nation and
people, but will galvanize, through its repercussions, the entire Bahá’í
world.



“A PRAYER WHICH I NEVER CEASE TO UTTER”


The prizes within the reach of this community are truly inestimable. Much
will depend on the reaction of the rank and file of the believers to the
plea now addressed to them with all the fervor of my soul.

To act, and act promptly and decisively, is the need of the present hour
and their inescapable duty. That the American Bahá’í Community may, in
this one remaining field, where so much is at stake, and where the needs
of the Faith are so acute, cover itself with a glory that will outshine
the splendor of its past exploits in the far-flung territories of the
globe, is a prayer which I never cease to utter in my continual
supplications to Bahá’u’lláh.

[July 19, 1956]



INTENSIFICATION OF EFFORTS


Welcome pledge by delegates. Fervently supplicating Bahá’u’lláh’s
sustaining grace. Urge intensification of efforts, rededication and
achievement of goals of Plan in order to discharge befittingly the sacred,
manifold, inescapable, urgent responsibilities confronting the entire
American Bahá’í Community. Appeal for unprecedented increase in pioneers
on the home front and all continents of the globe, on which the
prosperity, security and destiny of the American believers must ultimately
rest.

[April 29, 1957]



DUAL, INESCAPABLE, PARAMOUNT RESPONSIBILITIES


Assembly’s dual, inescapable, paramount responsibilities for current year
are to ensure expansion and consolidation of the home front and the rapid
multiplication of pioneers abroad to reinforce Latin American, African,
European and Pacific campaigns of World Crusade. Fervently supplicating
for signal success in fulfillment of dearest hopes.

[May 7, 1957]



HEIGHTS NEVER BEFORE ATTAINED


The American Bahá’í Community has, ever since the launching of the global
Spiritual Crusade, in which it has been assigned the lion’s share in view
of the primacy conferred upon it by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, exerted itself, in
numerous and widely scattered areas of the globe, with commendable
perseverance, a high sense of undeviating loyalty and exemplary
consecration. The inexorable march of events, hastening its members along
the path of their destiny, is steadily carrying them to the stage at which
the momentous Plan, to which they have dedicated their resources, will
have reached its midway point.



ENDURING ACHIEVEMENTS


A prodigious expenditure of effort, a stupendous flow of material
resources, an unprecedented dispersal of pioneers, embracing so vast a
section of the globe, and bringing in their wake the rise, the
multiplication and consolidation of so many institutions, so divers in
character, so potent and full of promise, already stand to their credit,
and augur well for a befitting consummation of a decade-long task in the
years immediately ahead.

The opening of a large percentage of the virgin territories, scattered
over the face of the planet, and assigned, under the provisions of the
Ten-Year Plan, to this community and its sister and daughter communities
in all continents of the globe; the allocation of vast sums, for the
founding of national Hazíratu’l-Quds, for the establishment of national
Bahá’í endowments; and for the purchase of the sites of future Bahá’í
Temples; the financial aid extended and the moral support accorded to a
still persecuted sister community, struggling heroically for its
emancipation, in the cradle of the Faith; the steady progress in the vital
process of incorporating firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies in
various states of the union; the translation of Bahá’í literature into the
languages listed in the Ten-Year Plan, as well as into a number of
supplementary languages, spontaneously undertaken by American Bahá’í
pioneers in territories far beyond the confines of their homeland; the
completion of the landscaping of the area immediately surrounding the
Mother Temple of the West, in conformity with the expressed, often
repeated wishes of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, contributing so greatly to the beauty of
an edifice, the spiritual influence of which He, repeatedly and
unequivocally, emphasized; the acquisition of the site of the first
dependency of that same edifice, designed to pave the way for the early
establishment of the first of several institutions, which, as conceived by
Him, will be grouped around every Bahá’í House of Worship, complementing,
through their association with direct service to mankind, in the
educational, the humanitarian and social fields, its spiritual function as
the ordained place of communion with the Creator and the Spirit of His
appointed Messenger in this day; the establishment of the Bahá’í
Publishing Trust; the generous financial assistance extended, the
administrative guidance vouchsafed and the unfailing encouragement given,
by the elected representatives of this same community to the newly fledged
assemblies, emerging into independent existence in both the Eastern and
Western Hemispheres; the substantial share which one of its members has
had in the acquisition of one of the holy sites in the capital city of
Bahá’u’lláh’s native land; the preponderating role played by the various
agencies, acting under the direction of its national elected
representatives, in giving publicity to the Faith, through the
proclamation of the fundamental verities underlying the Bahá’í Revelation,
the airing of the manifold grievances weighing so heavily on the
overwhelming majority of their coreligionists, and the appeals directed,
on their behalf, to men of eminence in various walks of life, as well as
to different departments of the United Nations, both in New York and
Geneva; and, finally, ranking as equally meritorious to anything hitherto
achieved by the members of this privileged community, the magnificent and
imperishable contribution made by them, singly and collectively, to the
rise and establishment of the institutions of their beloved Faith at its
World Center; through the assistance given by their distinguished
representatives serving in the Holy Land, in hastening the erection of the
Bahá’í International Archives, through the purchase of the site of the
Mother Temple of the Holy Land, the enlargement of the scope of Bahá’í
international endowments on the slopes of Mt. Carmel and in the Plain of
Akká, the embellishment of the sacred precincts of the two holiest Shrines
of the Bahá’í world; the formation of the Israel Branches of four national
spiritual assemblies, the preparation and completion of the designs of the
first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs to be erected in the Asiatic, the African and
Australian continents, and the setting in motion, through the
instrumentality of various departments of the Israeli government, of a
long-drawn-out process, culminating in the expropriation by the state of
the entire property, owned and controlled by the remnants of the breakers
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, immediately surrounding His resting-place and
the Mansion of Bahjí, the evacuation of this property by this ignoble
band, and the final and definite purification, after the lapse of no less
than six decades, of the Outer Sanctuary of the Most Holy Shrine of the
Bahá’í world, of the defilement, which had caused so much sorrow and
anxiety to the heart of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—these are among the enduring
achievements which four brief years of unremitting devotion to the
interests of the Ten-Year Plan have brought about, and which will
eternally redound to the glory of the champion-builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s
embryonic World Order, holding aloft so valiantly the banner of His Faith
in the great republic of the West.



THE HOME FRONT—BASE FOR EXPANSION OF FUTURE OPERATIONS


Though much has been achieved in the space of less than five years, though
the objectives of the Ten-Year Plan, in most of its essential aspects, may
be said to have been triumphantly attained long before the time appointed
for its termination, through a striking display, and a remarkable
combination, of American Bahá’í initiative, resourcefulness, generosity,
fidelity and perseverance, the Plan, prosecuted hitherto so vigorously by
the rank and file of this community, may be said to be still suffering in
some of its vital aspects, from certain deficiencies, which, if not
speedily and fundamentally remedied, will not only mutilate the Plan
itself, but jeopardize the prizes won so laboriously since its
inauguration.

As I have already forewarned the energetic prosecutors of the global
Crusade in the North American continent, the home front, from which have
sprung, since the inception of the Formative Age of the Faith, the dynamic
forces which have set in motion, and directed the operation, of so many
processes, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í
activity, and which must continue to act as a base for the steady
expansion of future operations in every continent of the globe, and the
extension of their ramifications to the uttermost corners of the earth,
and which must be increasingly regarded, as the forces of internal
disruption and the stress and danger of aggressiveness from without gather
momentum, as the sole stronghold of a Faith which cannot hope to escape
unscathed from the turmoil gathering around it—such a home front must, at
all costs, and in the shortest possible time, be spiritually
reinvigorated, administratively expanded, and materially replenished. The
flame of devotion ignited and the enthusiasm generated, during the
celebrations which commemorated the centenary of the birth of the Mission
of the Divine Author of our Faith, and which, in the course of the years
immediately following it have carried the members of the American Bahá’í
Community, so far and so high, along the road leading to their ultimate
destiny, must, in whatever way possible, be fanned and continually fed
throughout the entire area of the Union, in every state from the Atlantic
to the Pacific seaboards, in every locality where Bahá’ís reside, in every
heart throbbing with the love of Bahá’u’lláh. The spirit that sent forth,
not so long ago, in such rapid succession, so many pioneers to such remote
areas of the globe, must at all costs and above everything else, be
recaptured, for the twofold purpose of swelling the number, and of
ensuring the continual flow, of pioneers, so essential for the
safeguarding of the prizes won in the course of the several campaigns of a
world-girdling Crusade, and of combatting the evil forces which a
relentless and all-pervasive materialism, the cancerous growth of militant
racialism, political corruption, unbridled capitalism, wide-spread
lawlessness and gross immorality, are, alas, unleashing, with ominous
swiftness, amongst various classes of the society to which the members of
this community belong.

The administrative strongholds of a Faith, bound to be subjected on the
one hand, to a severe spiritual challenge from within, through the
inevitable impact of these devastating influences on its infant strength,
and, on the other, to the onslaught of ecclesiastical leaders, the
traditional defenders of religious orthodoxy from without, must be
multiplied and reinforced for the purpose of warding off the inevitable
attacks of the assailants, of vindicating the ideals and principles which
animate their defenders, and of ensuring the ultimate victory and
ascendency of the Faith itself over the nefarious elements seeking to
undermine it from within, and its powerful detractors aiming at its
extinction from without.

Nor must the material resources, so vitally required to meet the challenge
of a continually expanding Faith, be, for a moment, either ignored,
neglected, or underestimated—resources which a home front, materially and
adequately replenished by a steady and marked influx of active and
wholehearted supporters from all ranks of society, can, in the long run,
provide. As the imperative needs of a Faith, now irresistibly advancing in
every direction, multiply, a corresponding increase in the financial means
at the disposal of its national administrators directing and controlling
its operations, within and beyond the confines of their homeland, to meet
these essential and urgent requirements, must be ensured, if its onward
march is not to be either halted or slowed down.



MIGHTY AND HISTORIC ENTERPRISES


It is upon the individual believer, constituting the fundamental unit in
the structure of the home front, that the revitalization, the expansion,
and the enrichment of the home front must ultimately depend. The more
strenuous the effort exerted, daily and methodically, by the individual
laboring on the home front to rise to loftier heights of consecration, of
self-abnegation, to contribute, through pioneering at home, to the
multiplication of Bahá’í isolated centers, groups and assemblies, and to
raise, through diligent, painstaking and continual endeavor to convert
receptive souls to the Faith he has espoused, the number of its active and
wholehearted supporters, the sooner will the vast and multiple
enterprises, launched beyond the confines of the homeland, and now so
desperately calling for a greater supply of men and means, be provided
with the necessary support that will ensure their uninterrupted
development and hasten their ultimate fruition, and the lighter will be
the burden of the impending contest that must be waged, sooner or later,
within the borders of the Union itself, between the rising institutions of
Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic divinely appointed Order, and the exponents of
obsolescent doctrines and the defenders, both secular and religious, of a
corrupt and fast-declining society.

The fourth phase of the Ten-Year Plan, which the prosecutors of a
world-encompassing Crusade are about to enter, must witness on the one
hand, on every home front, and particularly within the confines of the
American homeland, this same spiritual reinvigoration, administrative
expansion, and material replenishment, constituting the triple facets of a
task which can brook no further delay, and, on the other, an acceleration,
particularly in connection with the construction of the Mother Temples of
Australia and Germany (the needs of the Mother Temple of Africa having, to
all intents and purposes, been met) in the contributions to be made, by
individual believers as well as national spiritual assemblies, to ensure
the uninterrupted progress and the early completion of these mighty and
historic enterprises.

As the members of the valiant American Bahá’í Community have, in the space
of more than four years, blazed the trail, and vindicated their primacy,
through the share they have had in opening the chief remaining virgin
territories of the globe, in contributing to the furtherance of the
interests of the institutions of the Faith at its World Center, and in
hastening the acquisition of national Hazíratu’l-Quds, the establishment
of Bahá’í national endowments, and the purchase of sites for future Bahá’í
Temples, so must they, if they be intent on safeguarding that primacy, and
on preserving, intact and untarnished, the noble example they have already
set the Bahá’í world, maintain their enviable position, as the vanguard of
the army of Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders, in rescuing, while there is yet time,
their home front from the precarious position in which it now finds
itself, and in displaying for the purpose of ensuring the erection of the
Mother Temples of three continents—tasks which tower far above any of the
national enterprises hitherto undertaken—be they Hazíratu’l-Quds,
endowments or Temple sites—that selfsame generosity and self-abnegation
which have distinguished their stewardship to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in
the past.

The year, the opening of which will mark the midway point of this World
Spiritual Crusade, must be distinguished from all previous years, by the
special allotment of a substantial sum from the national budget that will
adequately meet the urgent needs of these Houses of Worship, and
particularly those that are to be erected in the European and Australian
continents.



A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY, A GLORIOUS CHALLENGE


The forthcoming convocation of no less than five intercontinental
conferences, marking the passing of half of the time allotted for the
prosecution of a World Crusade, and to be held, in five continents of the
globe, for the purpose of paying homage to the Author of the Bahá’í
Revelation for His protection, guidance and blessings, of focusing
attention on the achievements of the immediate past and the pressing
requirements of the immediate future, will, it is my ardent hope and
prayer, provide a fresh stimulus for the adequate discharge of these two
afore-mentioned responsibilities, which constitute the distinguishing
features of the fourth phase of a rapidly unfolding Plan.

At four of these five conferences, in the proceedings of which four, the
members of the American Bahá’í Community—the principal executors of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan and the keepers and defenders of the stronghold
of the Bahá’í Administrative Order—will participate, through their
official representatives, the voice of the champion-builders of
Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Order, who can well claim to have had a
decisive share in the great strides made by this Crusade, should be raised
in a spirit and manner that will galvanize these conferences into action,
and produce such results as will reverberate round the world.

A golden opportunity, a glorious challenge, an inescapable duty, a
staggering responsibility, confront them, at this fresh turning point in
the fortunes of a Crusade, for which they have so unremittingly labored,
whose Cause they have so notably advanced, in the further unfoldment of
which they must continue to play a leading part, and in whose closing
stages, they will, I feel confident, rise to heights never before attained
in the course of six decades of American Bahá’í history.

Once again—and this time more fervently than ever before—I direct my plea
to every single member of this strenuously laboring, clear-visioned,
stout-hearted, spiritually endowed community, every man and woman, on
whose individual efforts, resolution, self-sacrifice and perseverance the
immediate destinies of the Faith of God, now traversing so crucial a stage
in its rise and establishment, primarily depends, not to allow, through
apathy, timidity or complacency, this one remaining opportunity to be
irretrievably lost. I would rather entreat each and every one of them to
immortalize this approaching, fateful hour in the evolution of a World
Spiritual Crusade, by a fresh consecration to their God-given mission,
coupled with an instantaneous plan of action, at once so dynamic and
decisive, as to wipe out, on the one hand, with one stroke, the
deficiencies which have, to no small extent, bogged down the operations of
the Crusade on the home front, and tremendously accelerate, on the other,
the progress of the triple task, launched, in three continents, and
constituting one of its preeminent objectives.



HIS WATCHFUL POWER AND UNFAILING GRACE


May He, Who through the irresistible operation of the will of His almighty
Father, called this community into being, nursed it in its infancy through
the inestimable benefits conferred by a divinely appointed Covenant,
infused through His personal contact with its members, and the
proclamation of His Own Station, a new spirit into their souls; conferred,
subsequently, through the revelation of His Tablets, the spiritual primacy
designed to enable them to assume a preponderating role in the propagation
of His Father’s Faith; graciously aided them, following His ascension, to
inaugurate their God-given mission by fixing the pattern, creating the
institutions, and vindicating the purpose, of a divinely appointed
Administrative Order and by launching subsequently the preliminary
undertakings in their homeland, as well as in all the republics of Latin
America, in anticipation of the formal inauguration of a systematic World
Crusade for the furtherance of His Father’s Cause; and more recently
assisted them to embark, in concert with their brethren in other
continents of the globe, upon the first stage of their world-encompassing
mission, and to win a series of victories unprecedented in the annals of
the Faith in their homeland—may He, through His watchful care and
unfailing grace, continue to sustain them, individually and collectively,
in the course of the remaining stages of the Plan, and enable them to
bring to a triumphant termination the initial epoch in the unfoldment of
the Divine Plan which He has primarily entrusted to them and on the
successful prosecution of which their entire spiritual destiny must
depend.

[September 21, 1957]



IN MEMORIAM



Frank Ashton


Praying for progress of his soul in the Kingdom. His services meritorious.

[March 1956]



Ella Bailey


Grieve at passing of valiant exemplary pioneer. Reward in Kingdom
bountiful.

[August 30, 1953]



Dorothy Baker


Hearts grieved at lamentable, untimely passing of Dorothy Baker,
distinguished Hand of the Cause, eloquent exponent of its teachings,
indefatigable supporter of its institutions, valiant defender of its
precepts. Her long record of outstanding service has enriched the annals
of the concluding years of the Heroic and the opening epoch of the
Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. Fervently praying for the
progress of her soul in the Abhá Kingdom.

Assure relatives of profound loving sympathy. Her noble spirit is reaping
bountiful reward.

Advise hold memorial gathering in the Temple befitting her rank and
imperishable services...

[January 13, 1954]



Mary Barton


Grieved by passing of your dear mother. Her services highly meritorious.
Assure you of fervent prayers for progress of her soul in the Kingdom.

[January 26, 1957]



Victoria Bedikian


Praying for progress of the soul of indefatigable and wholly consecrated
promoter of the Faith. Her services are unforgettable....

[July 1955]



Ella Cooper


Deeply grieved at sudden passing of herald of the Covenant, Ella Cooper,
dearly loved handmaid of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, greatly trusted by Him. Her devoted
services during concluding years of Heroic Age and also Formative Age of
Faith unforgettable. Assure relatives, friends, deepest sympathy for loss.
Praying for progress of her soul in Abhá Kingdom.

[July 18, 1951]



Julia Culver


Grieve at passing of devoted pioneer of Faith, Julia Culver. Her exemplary
spirit, unshakable loyalty, generous contributions are unforgettable.
Fervently praying for progress of her soul in Abhá Kingdom.

[January 30, 1950]



Dagmar Dole


Grieved by passing of distinguished, consecrated pioneer Dagmar Dole,
whose outstanding record is unforgettable, reward bountiful. Praying for
progress of her soul in the Kingdom.

[November 1952]



Homer Dyer


Praying for progress of soul of devoted and zealous servant of the Faith.

[January 26, 1956]



L. W. Eggleston


Grieve at passing of valued promoter of Faith. His historic donation of
school highly meritorious, reward bountiful in Kingdom. Deepest sympathy;
praying for progress of his soul.

[September 8, 1953]



Harry Ford


Grieve at passing of devoted pioneer Harry Ford, whose death will enrich
the spiritual development of foremost center of South Africa. Praying for
progress of soul in the Kingdom.

[January 14, 1954]



Nellie French


Deeply regret the passing of valiant pioneer. Long record of her services
is highly meritorious. Praying for progress of soul in the Kingdom.

[January 4, 1954]



Louis C. Gregory


Profoundly deplore grievous loss of dearly beloved, noble-minded,
golden-hearted Louis Gregory, pride and example to the Negro adherents of
the Faith. Keenly feel loss of one so loved, admired and trusted by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Deserves rank of first Hand of the Cause of his race. Rising
Bahá’í generation in African continent will glory in his memory and
emulate his example. Advise hold memorial gathering in Temple in token
recognition of his unique position, outstanding services.

[August 6, 1951]



Louise M. Gregory


Grieved by news of passing of faithful, consecrated handmaid of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Confident of rich reward in the Kingdom. Her pioneer
services highly meritorious.

[May 29, 1956]



Bertha Herklotz


Grieve at passing of faithful, steadfast servant of the Faith. Praying for
progress of her soul in the Kingdom.

[February 16, 1956]



Marie Hopper


Praying for progress of soul of loyal, devoted early believer, Marie
Hopper.

[September 11, 1953]



Maria Ioas


Share your grief at passing of esteemed veteran of Faith, Maria Ioas. Soul
rejoicing in the Abhá Kingdom at the services rendered by her dear son at
the World Center of the Faith in the triple function of Hand of the Cause,
Secretary-General of the Council and supervisor of construction of the
dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher.

[May 1953]



Beatrice Irwin


Grieved by passing of steadfast, devoted, indefatigable promoter of the
Faith. Her reward assured in the Kingdom. Praying for progress of her
soul.

[March 23, 1956]



Marion Jack


Mourn loss of immortal heroine, Marion Jack, greatly loved and deeply
admired by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a shining example to pioneers of present and
future generations of East and West, surpassed in constancy, dedication,
self-abnegation and fearlessness by none except the incomparable Martha
Root. Her unremitting, highly meritorious activities in the course of
almost half a century, both in North America and Southeast Europe,
attaining their climax in the darkest, most dangerous phase of the second
World War, shed imperishable luster on contemporary Bahá’í history.

This triumphant soul is now gathered to the distinguished band of her
co-workers in the Abhá Kingdom; Martha Root, Lua Getsinger, May Maxwell,
Hyde Dunn, Susan Moody, Keith Ransom-Kehler, Ella Bailey and Dorothy
Baker, whose remains, lying in such widely scattered areas of the globe as
Honolulu, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Ṭihrán, Iṣfáhán, Tripoli and the
depths of the Mediterranean Sea attest the magnificence of the pioneer
services rendered by the North American Bahá’í Community in the Apostolic
and Formative Ages of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

Advise arrange in association with the Canadian National Assembly and the
European Teaching Committee a befitting memorial gathering in the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár. Moved to share with the United States and Canadian
National Assemblies the expenses of the erection, as soon as circumstances
permit, of a worthy monument at her grave, destined to confer eternal
benediction on a country already honored by its close proximity to the
sacred city associated with the proclamation of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Share message with all national assemblies.

[March 29, 1954]



Florence Breed Khan


Profoundly grieve at passing of beloved, distinguished, staunch,
great-hearted handmaid of beloved Master. Praying fervently for progress
of her soul in Kingdom. Her reward assured. Loving sympathy.

[June 27, 1950]



Edward B. Kinney


Grieve at passing of dearly loved, highly admired, greatly trusted,
staunch, indefatigable, self-sacrificing teacher, pillar of Faith, Saffa
Kinney. His leonine spirit, exemplary steadfastness, notable record of
services enriched annals of closing period of Heroic Age and opening phase
of Formative Age of Bahá’í Dispensation. Beautiful reward assured in Abhá
Kingdom beneath the shadow of the Master he loved so dearly, served so
nobly, defended so heroically until last breath.

[December 16, 1950]



Fanny Knobloch


Grieve at passing of beloved, distinguished, exemplary pioneer of Faith,
Fanny Knobloch. Memory of her notable services imperishable, her reward in
Abhá Kingdom bountiful, assured, everlasting.

[December 14, 1949]



George Latimer


Greatly deplore passing of distinguished disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, firm
pillar of the American Bahá’í Community, George Latimer. His outstanding
services during closing years of the Heroic and first epoch of the
Formative Ages of the Faith are imperishable. Assure bereaved, dearly
loved, much admired mother of my profound sympathy and fervent prayers for
the progress of his soul.

[June 23, 1948]



Ruhaniyyih Latimer


Saddened by loss of devoted, staunch promoter of Faith, Ruhaniyyih
Latimer; her services are unforgettable. Praying for progress of her soul
in Kingdom.

[January 20, 1952]



Fanny Lesch


Deeply sympathize in loss of loyal, distinguished handmaid of Bahá’u’lláh,
Fanny Lesch. Present with you in spirit at memorial service. Praying
ardently for progress of her soul in Abhá Kingdom.

[April 27, 1948]



Edwin W. Mattoon


Grieved by news of your dear father’s death. His pioneer, teaching and
administrative services are unforgettable and highly meritorious. Assure
you of fervent prayers for the progress of his soul in the Abhá Kingdom.

[December 27, 1956]



William Sutherland Maxwell


With sorrowful heart announce through national assemblies that Hand of
Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, highly esteemed, dearly beloved Sutherland Maxwell,
has been gathered into the glory of the Abhá Kingdom. His saintly life,
extending well nigh four score years, enriched during the course of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ministry by services in the Dominion of Canada, ennobled
during Formative Age of Faith by decade of services in Holy Land, during
darkest days of my life, doubly honored through association with the crown
of martyrdom won by May Maxwell and incomparable honor bestowed upon his
daughter, attained consummation through his appointment as architect of
the arcade and superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher as well as elevation
to the front rank of the Hands of Cause of God. Advise all national
assemblies to hold befitting memorial gatherings particularly in the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Wilmette and in the Hazíratu’l-Quds in Ṭihrán.

Have instructed Hands of Cause in United States and Canada, Horace Holley
and Fred Schopflocher, to attend as my representatives the funeral in
Montreal. Moved to name after him the southern door of the Báb’s Tomb as
tribute to his services to second holiest Shrine of the Bahá’í world.

The mantle of Hand of Cause now falls upon the shoulders of his
distinguished daughter, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih, who has already rendered
and is still rendering manifold no less meritorious self-sacrificing
services at World Center of Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

[March 26, 1952]



Florence Morton


Grieve at passing of faithful promoter of Faith. Praying for the progress
of her soul.

[April 8, 1953]



Ella Robarts


Praying fervently for progress of soul in Abhá Kingdom of devoted old
believer. Assure you loving sympathy.

[May 2, 1950]



Annie Romer


Grieved by passing of Annie Romer, devoted, able promoter and pioneer of
the Faith. Her services have been highly meritorious. Praying for progress
of her soul in the Kingdom.

[March 1955]



Fred Schopflocher


Profoundly grieved at passing of dearly loved, outstandingly staunch Hand
of Cause Fred Schopflocher. His numerous, magnificent services extending
over thirty years in administrative and teaching spheres for United
States, Canada, Institutions at Bahá’í World Center greatly enriched
annals of Formative Age of Faith. Abundant reward assured in Abhá Kingdom.
Advising American National Assembly to hold befitting memorial gathering
at Temple he generously helped raise. Advise hold memorial gathering at
Maxwell home to commemorate his eminent part in rise of Administrative
Order of Faith in Canada. Urge ensure burial in close neighborhood of
resting place of distinguished Hand of Cause Sutherland Maxwell.

[July 1953]



Anthony Y. Seto


Grieved by sudden loss of your dear husband, valued, consecrated,
high-minded promoter of the Faith. The record of his deeply appreciated
services both in America and Asia is unforgettable. His reward is great in
Abhá Kingdom. Assure you of loving, fervent prayers for progress of his
soul.

[May 7, 1957]



Philip G. Sprague


Heart filled with sorrow at premature passing of staunch, exemplary,
greatly admired, dearly loved Sprague. Memory of his notable services as
teacher and administrator in North and Latin America imperishable,
recompense in Abhá Kingdom bountiful. Praying ardently for progress of his
soul.

[September 27, 1951]



Gertrude Struven


Grieve at news. Praying for progress of her soul in the Kingdom.

[December 23, 1954]



Juliet Thompson


Deplore loss of much-loved, greatly admired Juliet Thompson, outstanding,
exemplary handmaid of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Over half-century record of manifold,
meritorious services, embracing the concluding years of Heroic and opening
decades of Formative Ages of Bahá’í Dispensation, won her enviable
position in the glorious company of triumphant disciples of the beloved
Master in the Abhá Kingdom. Advise hold memorial gathering in
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár to pay befitting tribute to the imperishable memory
of one so wholly consecrated to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and fired with
such consuming devotion to the Center of His Covenant.

[December 6, 1956]



George Townshend


Inform Hands and national assemblies of the Bahá’í world, of the passing
into Abhá Kingdom of Hand of Cause George Townshend, indefatigable, highly
talented, fearless defender of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Agnes Alexander, distinguished pioneer of the Faith, elevated to rank of
Hand of Cause. Confident her appointment will spiritually reinforce
teaching campaign simultaneously conducted in North, South and heart of
Pacific Ocean.

[March 27, 1957]



Roy C. Wilhelm


Heart filled with sorrow for loss of greatly prized, much loved, highly
admired herald of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, Roy Wilhelm. Distinguished
career enriched the annals of concluding years of Heroic and opening years
of Formative Age of Faith. Sterling qualities endeared him to his beloved
Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. His saintliness, indomitable faith, outstanding
services local, national, international, his exemplary devotion, qualify
him to join ranks of Hands of Cause, insure him everlasting reward in Abhá
Kingdom. Advise hold memorial gathering in Temple befitting his
unforgettable services and lofty rank.

[December 24, 1951]



Albert Windust


Deeply grieved by passing of much loved, greatly admired, staunch, ardent
promoter of the Faith, Albert Windust, herald of the Covenant, whose
notable services in Heroic and Formative Ages of the Faith are
unforgettable. Assure friends and relatives fervently supplicating for the
progress of his soul in the Kingdom.

[March 11, 1956]



FOOTNOTES


    1 See God Passes By, p. 276.

    2 See God Passes By, p. 257-8.

    3 William Sutherland Maxwell of Montreal





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