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Title: Messages to America
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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Messages to America


by Shoghi Effendi



Edition 1, (September 2006)



                           BAHA’I TERMS OF USE


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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
[Frontispiece]
NABÍL’S NARRATIVE
IMMORTAL SPIRIT
UNITED WILL, CONCERTED ACTION
NON-PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL AFFAIRS
PERSONALITIES SUBORDINATED
MOMENTOUS CONVENTION
AN EMINENT RANK
POTENTIALITIES OF MAJESTIC EDIFICE
THE VOTING RIGHT
UNPRECEDENTED IMPETUS
SEPARATION FROM OUTWORN CREEDS
THE NATIONAL FUND
THE NEW HOUR HAS STRUCK
THIS IS TRULY PROVIDENTIAL
‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S HISTORIC APPEAL
FRESH CONQUESTS AND UNPRECEDENTED TRIUMPHS
INTENSIFY TEACHING WORK A THOUSANDFOLD
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNDERTAKING
A COMPLETE REDEDICATION
INSTITUTION OF GUARDIANSHIP NOW FURTHER REINFORCED
DUAL GIFT
THE CALL HAS GONE FORTH ... THE PATH IS CLEAR
CONVENTION DELEGATES INCREASED
ALL SHOULD ARISE
ARCHBREAKER OF COVENANT
CERTAIN VITAL REQUIREMENTS OF SEVEN YEAR PLAN
A YEAR HAS ALMOST ELAPSED
DRAW NIGH UNTO BAHÁ’U’LLÁH
MARCHING TOWARD THEIR GOAL
UNBROKEN SOLIDARITY, UNQUENCHABLE ENTHUSIASM
LOYALTY TO WORLD ORDER OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH
NINE HOLY SOULS
THE RAREST PRIVILEGE EVER CONFERRED BY PROVIDENCE UPON THE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í
COMMUNITY
GOD’S CREATIVE PLAN
APPROACH OF FINAL ERUPTION
GRATITUDE TO PIONEERS
MY PLEA, MY SUPREME ENTREATY
PENETRATION OF LATIN AMERICA
PROVE THEMSELVES ... WORTHY OF THAT PRICELESS HERITAGE
OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF WORLD MISSION
FULFIL THE REQUIREMENTS
THE MOST FATEFUL HOUR
IMPERILLED HUMANITY
IN GALAXY OF BAHÁ’Í IMMORTALS
MANDATE CONFERRED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ
THE SPIRITUAL POTENCIES OF THAT CONSECRATED SPOT
THE SEAL OF COMPLETE TRIUMPH
DUAL, VITALLY URGENT OBLIGATION
BELOVED HANDMAID
THEIR GOD-GIVEN TASK
BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SPIRITUAL SOVEREIGNTY
SECTION OF ORNAMENTATION
CONTINUOUS CONSECRATION
EMERGENCE OF SPIRITUAL WORLD ORDER
SUPREMELY CHALLENGING HOUR
CHAOS AND REDEMPTION
TORCHBEARER OF WORLD CIVILIZATION
THIS VETERAN WARRIOR
THE ANGER OF GOD AND HIS CORRECTION
FATE-LADEN WORLD ORDEAL
ELIZABETH GREENLEAF
UNCONQUERABLE POWER
THE PROCESS OF INTEGRATION AND DISINTEGRATION
THE CRUCIBLE OF WORLD CONFLAGRATION
A TRULY WORLD-EMBRACING CRISIS
IMPELLED TO DEPUTIZE FIVE MEMBERS
THE SEVEN YEAR PLAN
CONSECRATED TO TEACHING TASKS
A BEFITTING CLIMAX
ACCLAIM WITH GRATEFUL HEART
THE IMMORTAL LUA
THE UNFINISHED TASKS
COMPLETION OF TEMPLE EXTERIOR
HIS SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE
ALL-AMERICA CENTENNIAL CONVENTION
FOUNDATION STONE LAID BY THE CENTER OF THE COVENANT
BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES OF EAST AND WEST
THE CROWNING CRUSADE
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CENTENARY
THE BELOVED FAITH IS SURGING FORWARD
A STILL MORE COMPELLING DISPLAY
THE AUSPICIOUS YEAR
ADDITION TO ENDOWMENTS
PARTICIPATION OF LATIN AMERICAN BELIEVERS
BEFITTINGLY CONSUMMATE THE ENTERPRISES
TURNING POINT IN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY
INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
MESSAGE TO CENTENARY CONVENTION
CONSOLIDATION OF NOBLY-WON VICTORIES
A SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY IN EVERY REMAINING REPUBLIC
THE SEAL OF SPIRITUAL TRIUMPH
FAITHFUL PIONEER
PASSAGES IN “GOD PASSES BY”
THE SUCCEEDING STAGE IN THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR WORLD MISSION
THE ADMISSION OF PERSIANS
STAUNCH PIONEER
THE ONE MESSAGE THAT CAN EXTRICATE HUMANITY
MY HEAVY-LADENED HEART
NATIONWIDE, INTERCONTINENTAL PLANS
A SINGLE, ORGANICALLY-UNITED WORLD COMMONWEALTH
A NEW PHASE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION
HEARTS UPLIFTED IN THANKSGIVING
THE WORK OF REHABILITATION
THE GERMAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY
EXEMPLARY PIONEER
LYDIA ZAMENHOF
HISTORIC DECISIONS
MOMENTOUS RESPONSIBILITIES
INAUGURATION OF SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN
SPIRITUAL CONQUEST OF THE OLD WORLD
THIRTY NEW ASSEMBLIES
A GOD-GIVEN MANDATE
THE UTMOST VIGOR, VIGILANCE AND CONSECRATION
DISTINGUISHED SERVANT
THIS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CRUSADE
THE FORCES MYSTERIOUSLY RELEASED
THE PIVOT ON WHICH HINGES SUCCESS
FIFTH YEAR OF PLAN MESSAGE TO 1941 CONVENTION



[FRONTISPIECE]


MESSAGES TO AMERICA
by SHOGHI EFFENDI
GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH

Selected Letters and Cablegrams Addressed to the Bahá’í’s of North America
1932–1946

“As the end of the First Century of the Bahá’í Era approaches, as the
shadows descending upon and enveloping mankind steadily and remorselessly
deepen, this community, which can almost be regarded as the solitary
champion of the Faith in the Western World, is increasingly evincing and
demonstrating its capacity, its worth, and ability as the torchbearer of
the New, the World Civilization which is destined to supplant in the
fulness of time the present one.”—Shoghi Effendi, December 3, 1940.

BAHÁ’Í PUBLISHING COMMITTEE
WILMETTE, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.
1947



NABÍL’S NARRATIVE


Feel impelled appeal entire body American believers to henceforth regard
Nabíl’s soul-stirring Narrative as essential adjunct to reconstructed
Teaching program, as unchallengeable textbook in their Summer Schools, as
source of inspiration in all literary and artistic pursuits, as an
invaluable companion in times of leisure, as indispensable preliminary to
future pilgrimage to Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, and as unfailing
instrument to allay distress and resist attacks of critical, disillusioned
humanity.

Cablegram June 21, 1932.



IMMORTAL SPIRIT


Greatest Holy Leaf’s immortal spirit winged its flight Great Beyond.
Countless lovers her saintly life in East and West seized with pangs of
anguish. Plunged in utterable sorrow humanity shall ere long recognize its
irreparable loss. Our beloved Faith, well nigh crushed by devastating blow
of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unexpected Ascension, now laments passing of last
remnant of Bahá’u’lláh, its most exalted member. Holy Family cruelly
divested of its most precious great Adorning. I for my part bewail sudden
removal of my sole earthly sustainer, the joy and solace of my life.
Remains will repose in the vicinity of the Holy Shrines. So grievous a
bereavement necessitates suspension for nine months through Bahá’í world
every manner religious festivity. Inform Local Assemblies and groups hold
in befitting manner memorial gatherings to extol a life so laden with
sacred experiences, so rich in imperishable memories. Advise holding
additional Commemoration Service of strictly devotional character in the
Auditorium of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár.

Cablegram July 15, 1932



UNITED WILL, CONCERTED ACTION


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

October 27, 1932



NON-PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL AFFAIRS


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

March 16, 1933



PERSONALITIES SUBORDINATED


Concerning the removal of believers I feel that such a vitally important
matter should be given the most serious consideration and preferably be
referred to the National Assembly for further consideration and final
decision. We should be slow to accept and reluctant to remove. I fully
approve and wholeheartedly and unreservedly uphold the principle to which
you refer that personalities should not be made centers around which the
community may revolve but that they should be subordinated under all
conditions and however great their merits to the properly constituted
Assemblies. You and your co-workers can never over-estimate or
over-emphasize this cardinal principle of Bahá’í Administration.

April 11, 1933



MOMENTOUS CONVENTION


Message to 1933 Convention

Entire Bahá’í world stirred with expectations to witness results of
American believers’ momentous Convention. On its proceedings hang issue of
incalculable benefit to world-wide Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. To its delegates
is given great opportunity to release forces which will usher in an era
whose splendor must outshine the heroic age of our beloved Cause. Supreme
Concourse waiting for them to seize it.

Cablegram June 1, 1933



AN EMINENT RANK


Keith’s precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in
Bahá’u’lláh’s native land. On Persian soil, for Persia’s sake, she
encountered, challenged and fought the forces of darkness with high
distinction, indomitable will, unswerving, exemplary loyalty. The mass of
her helpless Persian brethren mourns the sudden loss of their valiant
emancipator. American believers grateful and proud of the memory of their
first and distinguished martyr. Sorrow stricken, I lament my earthly
separation from an invaluable collaborator, an unfailing counselor, an
esteemed and faithful friend. I urge the Local Assemblies befittingly to
organize memorial gatherings in memory of one whose international services
entitled her to an eminent rank among the Hands of the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh.

Cablegram October 30, 1933



POTENTIALITIES OF MAJESTIC EDIFICE


Message to 1934 Convention

American believers’ inspired leadership steadily unfolding to Bahá’ís
world over the potentialities of the majestic edifice heralding formative
period of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Their unerring vision conceived its
matchless design. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own hands laid its cornerstone. Their
dynamic faith reared its structure. Their sustained self-sacrifice crowned
it with immortal glory. May the flame of their unconquerable enthusiasm
continue glowing undimmed in their hearts till its naked frame is
enveloped in its shining mantle.

Cablegram June 4, 1934



THE VOTING RIGHT


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

April 28, 1935



UNPRECEDENTED IMPETUS


Message to 1935 Convention

Heartily reciprocate sentiments conveyed in your message. Appeal to
assembled delegates and incoming National Assembly to deliberate on
measures required to stimulate all local communities and groups to lend
immediate, unprecedented impetus to teaching activities throughout United
States and Canada. Sustained concentration on this paramount issue can
alone reveal the potentialities of beloved Temple and enable the superb
self-sacrifice associated with it to yield its fairest fruit.

Cablegram April 29, 1935



SEPARATION FROM OUTWORN CREEDS


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

June 15, 1935



THE NATIONAL FUND


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

July 29, 1935



THE NEW HOUR HAS STRUCK


Convey to assembled believers celebrating termination entire dome unit of
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár my heart-felt congratulations on triumphant progress
of their undeniably glorious enterprise. To prayers and testimonies
ascending to Throne of Bahá’u’lláh I am moved to add my fervent though
inadequate tribute to solidarity of so dazzling an achievement. The forces
which progressive revelation of this mighty symbol of our Faith is fast
releasing in heart of a sorely tried continent no one of this generation
can correctly appraise. The new hour has struck in history of our beloved
Cause, calling for nation-wide, systematic, sustained efforts in teaching
field, enabling thereby these forces to be directed into such channels as
shall redound to the glory of our Faith and to the honor of its
institutions.

Cablegram October 26, 1935



THIS IS TRULY PROVIDENTIAL


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

January 10, 1936



‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ’S HISTORIC APPEAL


Message to 1936 Convention

Convey to American believers abiding gratitude efforts unitedly exerted in
teaching field. Inaugurated campaigns should be vigorously pursued,
systematically extended. Appeal to assembled delegates ponder historic
appeal voiced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Tablets of the Divine Plan. Urge earnest
deliberation with incoming National Assembly to insure its complete
fulfilment. First Century of Bahá’í era drawing to a close. Humanity
entering outer fringes most perilous stage its existence. Opportunities of
present hour unimaginably precious. Would to God every State within
American Republic and every Republic in American continent might ere
termination of this glorious century(1) embrace the light of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh and establish structural basis of His World Order.

Cablegram May 1, 1936



FRESH CONQUESTS AND UNPRECEDENTED TRIUMPHS


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

May 30, 1936



INTENSIFY TEACHING WORK A THOUSANDFOLD


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

July 28, 1936



THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNDERTAKING


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

November 14, 1936



A COMPLETE REDEDICATION


The progress of the teaching campaign is most remarkable and reassuring:
the uninterrupted prosecution of this holy enterprise and its extension to
the South American continent and the islands of the Pacific will no doubt
attract unimaginable blessings and must entail far-reaching consequences.
In the course of this year, when the American believers are commemorating
the 25th anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to America, a mighty impetus
should be lent to this campaign which you have so splendidly initiated. A
complete rededication to its ideals, its purposes and requirements on the
part of all individuals and Assemblies, can alone befit such a nation-wide
celebration. I pray that you may fulfil your high destiny.

March 22, 1937



INSTITUTION OF GUARDIANSHIP NOW FURTHER REINFORCED


Deeply moved by your message. Institution of Guardianship, head
cornerstone of the Administrative Order of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh,
already ennobled through its organic connection with the Persons of Twin
Founders of the Bahá’í Faith, is now further reinforced through direct
association with West and particularly with the American believers, whose
spiritual destiny is to usher in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. For my
part I desire to congratulate community of American believers on
acquisition of tie vitally binding them to so weighty an organ of their
Faith.

Cablegram March 30, 1937



DUAL GIFT


Message to 1937 Convention

Dual gift providentially conferred upon American Bahá’í community invests
recipients with dual responsibility fulfil historic mission. First,
prosecute uninterruptedly teaching campaign inaugurated at last Convention
in accordance with Divine Plan. Second, resume with inflexible
determination exterior ornamentation of entire structure of Temple. Advise
ponder message conveyed to delegates through esteemed co-worker, Fred
Schopflocher. No triumph can more befittingly signalize termination of
first century of Bahá’í era than accomplishment of this twofold task.
Advise prolongation of Convention sessions to enable delegates consult
National Assembly to formulate feasible Seven Year Plan to assure success
Temple enterprise. No sacrifice too great for community so abundantly
blessed, so repeatedly honored.

Cablegram May 1, 1937



THE CALL HAS GONE FORTH ... THE PATH IS CLEAR


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

June 4, 1937



CONVENTION DELEGATES INCREASED


Election of hundred seventy-one delegates for this year’s and future
Conventions absolutely essential. Admitted expansion American community
vitally demands it. Appeal delegates unable attend in person exercise
conscientiously ballot right by mail. Increased participation by believers
in Convention proceedings reinforces authority and broadens basis body
national representatives and knits them closer to entire body electorate.
Advise share message American believers.

Cablegram November 21, 1937



ALL SHOULD ARISE


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

November 25, 1937



ARCHBREAKER OF COVENANT


The Hand of Omnipotence has removed the archbreaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Covenant, his hopes shattered, his plottings frustrated, the society of
his fellow-conspirators extinguished. God’s triumphant Faith forges on,
its unity unimpaired, its purpose unsullied, its stability unshaken. Such
a death calls for neither exultation nor recrimination, but evokes
overwhelming pity at so tragic a downfall unparalleled in religious
history.

Cablegram December 20, 1937



CERTAIN VITAL REQUIREMENTS OF SEVEN YEAR PLAN


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

January 30, 1938



A YEAR HAS ALMOST ELAPSED


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

April 14, 1938



DRAW NIGH UNTO BAHÁ’U’LLÁH


Message to 1938 Convention

On this auspicious occasion when number elected representatives American
Bahá’í Community is well-nigh doubly reinforced moved convey on eve
Thirtieth Convention to all delegates friends expression most loving
welcome. Gathered within House of Worship which enterprise persevering
loyalty self-abnegation American believers reared and adorned summoning
their aid vitalizing influence prayers meditations which Author their
Faith Himself revealed let them delegates visitors alike draw nigh unto
Bahá’u’lláh that He may draw nigh unto them. Community American believers
whose hearts have been stirred by tragic tale events immortalizing early
history their Faith whose minds have been enriched by further measure
fundamental Bahá’í Teachings whose hands have been fortified by fashioning
instruments wherein embryonic World Order can mature must at so critical
stage in fortunes declining civilization seek purge galvanize their souls
through daily prayer meditation that can best sustain them in discharge
task still initial stage development. As token my gratitude to such
community entrusted beloved co-worker Mrs. Collins locks Bahá’u’lláh’s
most precious hair arranged preserved by loving hands Greatest Holy Leaf
to rest beneath dome of Temple nobly raised by dearly beloved believers in
American continent.

Cablegram April 27, 1938



MARCHING TOWARD THEIR GOAL


Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes
of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and
every day are inexorably moving towards a climax. The rumblings that must
precede the eruption of those forces that must cause “the limbs of
humanity to quake” can already be heard. “The time of the end,” “the
latter years,” as foretold in the Scriptures, are at long last upon us.
The Pen of Bahá’u’lláh, the voice of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have time and again,
insistently and in terms unmistakable, warned an unheeding humanity of
impending disaster. The Community of the Most Great Name, the leaven that
must leaven the lump, the chosen remnant that must survive the rolling up
of the old, discredited, tottering order, and assist in the unfoldment of
a new one in its stead, is standing ready, alert, clear-visioned, and
resolute. The American believers, standard-bearers of this world-wide
community and torch-bearers of an as yet unborn civilization, have girt up
their loins, unfurled their banners and stepped into the arena of service.
Their Plan has been formulated. Their forces are mobilized. They are
steadfastly marching towards their goal. The hosts of the Abhá Kingdom are
rushing forth, as promised, to direct their steps and reinforce their
power. Through their initial victories they have provided the impulse that
must now surge and, with relentless force sweep over their
sister-communities and eventually overpower the entire human race. The
generality of mankind, blind and enslaved, is wholly unaware of the
healing power with which this community has been endowed, nor can it as
yet suspect the role which this same community is destined to play in its
redemption. Fierce and manifold will be the assaults with which
governments, races, classes and religions, jealous of its rising prestige
and fearful of its consolidating strength, will seek to silence its voice
and sap its foundations. Unmoved by the relative obscurity that surrounds
it at the present time, and undaunted by the forces that will be arrayed
against it in the future, this community, I cannot but feel confident,
will, no matter how afflictive the agonies of a travailing age, pursue its
destiny, undeflected in its course, undimmed in its serenity, unyielding
in its resolve, unshaken in its convictions.

July 5, 1938



UNBROKEN SOLIDARITY, UNQUENCHABLE ENTHUSIASM


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

September 10, 1938



LOYALTY TO WORLD ORDER OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH


Loyalty to world order of Bahá’u’lláh, security of its basic institutions,
both imperatively demand all its avowed supporters, particularly its
champion builders of the American continent, in these days when sinister,
uncontrollable forces are deepening the cleavage sundering peoples,
nations, creeds, and classes, resolve despite pressure of fast
crystallizing public opinion, abstain individually, collectively in word,
action, informally as well as in all official utterances and publications
from assigning blame, taking sides, however indirectly, in recurring
political crises now agitating, ultimately engulfing human society. Grave
apprehension lest cumulative effect of such compromises disintegrate
fabric, clog channel of grace that sustains system of God’s essentially
supra-national, supernatural order so laboriously evolved, so recently
established.

Cablegram September 24, 1938



NINE HOLY SOULS


Recent swift progress of Temple ornamentation prompts me entreat American
Community to focus immediate attention and center energies upon
corresponding acceleration in the Teaching enterprise formulated in Seven
Year Plan. Final phase in construction of Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár already
entered. Initial stage in the inaugurated Teaching Campaign still
untraversed. End of First Century rapidly approaching. Alaska, Delaware,
Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Manitoba and Nova
Scotia still unsettled. Universal, prolonged intensification in pioneer
activity is the crying need of this fateful hour. The establishment of one
resident believer in each virgin territory is the precondition to the full
launching of the subsequent, eagerly-anticipated stage aiming at the
spiritual conquest of the Southern Half of the Western Hemisphere. The
Concourse on high expectantly await, ready to assist and acclaim the nine
holy souls who, independently or as deputies, will promptly, fearlessly
volunteer to forsake their homes, cast away their attachments and
definitely settle in these territories to lay firm anchorage of the
Administrative Order of this undefeatable Faith. I am irresistibly urged
and proud of the privilege to pledge nine hundred pounds to facilitate the
permanent settlement of pioneers in these States and Provinces whose acts
and heroic self-abnegation will mark the conclusion of this shining Epoch
in American Bahá’í history.

Cablegram January 26, 1939



THE RAREST PRIVILEGE EVER CONFERRED BY PROVIDENCE UPON THE AMERICAN BAHÁ’Í
COMMUNITY


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

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

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

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

January 28, 1939



GOD’S CREATIVE PLAN


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

February 8, 1939



APPROACH OF FINAL ERUPTION


Fresh, ominous rumblings demonstrate the inevitability and foreshadow the
approach of the final eruption involving the dissolution of a lamentably
defective international order. The privileged community of American
believers forewarned, undismayed, spiritually equipped. Notwithstanding
the gravity of the times, they will pursue unswervingly the
divinely-chartered course, their attention undistracted, their objective
unobscured, their resolve unimpaired, their support undiminished, their
loyalty unsullied. The immediate obligation is to complete settlement of
Delaware, Utah, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia before termination of Bahá’í
administrative year. Responsibility solemn, pressing, unavoidable.

Cablegram March 24, 1939



GRATITUDE TO PIONEERS


Assure each pioneer immeasurable gratitude. Such vigorous response at such
perilous times to so vital a call opens brilliant epoch in Formative Age
of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. I am impelled to congratulate the Assembly
for its wise, efficient trusteeship.

Cablegram April 1, 1939



MY PLEA, MY SUPREME ENTREATY


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

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

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

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

This is my plea, my supreme entreaty.

April 17, 1939



PENETRATION OF LATIN AMERICA


Message to 1939 Convention

Brilliant conclusion of second year in Seven Year Plan evokes universal
admiration of the Bahá’í world, deepens its spiritual consciousness and
mitigates the hardships of its increasingly harassed communities. Closing
phase of Temple ornamentation already entered. Initial stage of
Intercontinental Teaching Campaign successfully terminated. Firm anchorage
of the institutions of the Administrative Order permanently established in
every State and Province of North American continent. Mexico, lying in the
forefront of the southward marching army, recently enlisted. Pedro
Espinosa’s auspicious attendance at the Convention is welcome evidence.
Settlement of the Central American republics is next step in progressive,
systematic penetration of Latin America. Upsurge of Bahá’u’lláh’s
impelling Spirit can not, will not, be stemmed nor impeded. Methodical
advance along the line traced by pen of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá irresistible.
Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba,
Dominica and Haiti immediate objectives. Though politically unsettled,
religiously intolerant, socially backward and climatically inhospitable,
these unexplored territories hold forth inestimable prizes for audacious
adventures in the path of Bahá’í service. Dearly-beloved Martha’s
unrivaled experience, indomitable faith and indefatigable labors will soon
reinforce powers released for contemplated campaign. Task admittedly
laborious, hour laden with fate, privilege incomparable, precious
divinely-promised aid unfailing, reward predestined immeasurable. Appeal
to all believers, white and Negro alike, to arise and assume rightful
responsibilities. Urge prolongation of sessions of Convention to enable
delegates to exercise their inalienable right to deliberate and formulate
recommendations designed to aid incoming National Assembly resolutely to
prosecute this momentous enterprise. Fervor of prayers intensified.

Cablegram April 28, 1939



PROVE THEMSELVES ... WORTHY OF THAT PRICELESS HERITAGE


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

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

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

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

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

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

May 22, 1939



OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF WORLD MISSION


Newly-launched Central American campaign marks official inauguration of
long-deferred World Mission constituting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s distinctive legacy
to the Bahá’í Community of North America. Chosen Community broadening its
basis, gaining in stature, deepening in consecration. Its vanguard now
entering arena monopolized by entrenched forces of Christendom’s mightiest
ecclesiastical institutions. Laboring amidst race foreign in language,
custom, temperament embracing vast proportion of New World’s ethnic
elements. American believers’ isolated oversea teaching enterprises
hitherto tentative, intermittent, now at end. New epoch opening, demanding
exertions incomparably more strenuous, unflinchingly sustained, centrally
directed, systematically organized, efficiently conducted. Upon alacrity,
tenacity, fearlessness of present prosecutors of the unfolding mission
depend speedy and fullest revelation, in the First and Second Centuries,
of the potentialities of the birthright conferred upon American believers.
Convey to pioneers in North, Middle and South America my eagerness to
maintain with each direct, personal contact. Assure Teaching and
Inter-America Committees my delight at successive testimonies of
believers’ glowing spirit reflected in Minutes, letters and reports
recently received. Entreat every section of community to labor
unremittingly until every nation in Western Hemisphere is illumined by
rays and woven into fabric of Bahá’u’lláh’s triumphant Administrative
Order.

Cablegram May 28, 1939



FULFIL THE REQUIREMENTS


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

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

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

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

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

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

July 4, 1939



THE MOST FATEFUL HOUR


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

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

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

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

Though the obstacles confronting the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the
American continent in their efforts to completely emancipate their
fellow-Bahá’ís on the one hand, and to speedily rehabilitate the fortunes
of their fellow-men on the other, be in the main unsurmountable, such
impediments cannot as yet be said to exist that can frustrate their
efforts to fully discharge the second duty now incumbent upon them in the
inter-continental sphere of Bahá’í teaching. The field, in all its
vastness and fertility, is wide open and near at hand. The harvest is
ripe. The hour is over-due. The signal has been given. The spiritual
forces, mysteriously released, are already operating with increasing
momentum, unchallenged and unchecked. Victory, speedy and unquestioned, is
assured to whosoever will arise and respond to this second, this urgent
and vital call. In this field, as in no other, the American believers can
most easily evince the full force of their latent energies, can exercise
in their plentitude their conspicuous talents, and can rise to the highest
level of their God-given opportunities.

Fired by their zeal, their love for and faith in Bahá’u’lláh; armed with
that Holy Charter, wherein ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mandate investing them with
their world mission is inscribed; piloted through the instrumentality of
those agencies which a divine, a smoothly functioning Administrative Order
has providentially placed at their disposal; disciplined and invigorated
by those immutable verities, spiritual principles and administrative
regulations that distinguish their religious beliefs, govern their
individual conduct and regulate their community life; aspiring to emulate
the example of those heroes and martyrs, the narrative of whose exploits
they have admired and pondered, it behooves all members of the American
Bahá’í community to gird themselves as never before to the task of
befittingly playing their part in the enactment of the opening scene of
the First Act of that superb Drama whose theme is no less than the
spiritual conquest of both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Their
immediate task, under the Seven Year Plan, the object of which is the
establishment of a minimum of one Bahá’í center in each of the Republics
of Middle and South America, has now been gloriously ushered in through
the settlement of one pioneer in most of the Central American Republics,
and bids fair to be recognized by posterity as the original impulse
imparted to an enterprise that will go round the world. That impulse must,
as time goes by, communicate itself to the farthest extremities of Latin
America, and must be reinforced in every manner, by as many of the
American believers as possible. The broader the basis of this campaign,
the deeper its roots, the finer the flower into which it shall eventually
blossom. That its call may be heeded, that its implications may be
recognized and its potentialities progressively unfold, is my earnest
prayer, and the supreme longing of my heart.

July 28, 1939



IMPERILLED HUMANITY


Shades of night descending on imperilled humanity are inexorably
deepening. American believers, heirs of Bahá’u’lláh’s covenant,
prosecutors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, are confronted by supreme opportunity
to vindicate indestructibility of their faith, inflexibility their
resolution, their incorruptibility, sanctity for appointed task.
Anxiously, passionately entreat them, whatever obstacles the march of
tragic events may create, however distressing barriers predicted
calamities raise between them and sister communities and possibly Faith’s
World Center, to unwaveringly hold aloft torch whose infant light heralds
the birth of the effulgent World Order destined to supplant disrupting
civilization.

Cablegram August 30, 1939



IN GALAXY OF BAHÁ’Í IMMORTALS


Martha’s unnumbered admirers throughout Bahá’í world lament with me the
earthly extinction of her heroic life. Concourse on high acclaim her
elevation to rightful position in galaxy of Bahá’í immortals. Posterity
will establish her as foremost Hand which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s will has raised
up in first Bahá’í century. Present generation of her fellow-believers
recognize her to be the first, finest fruit which the Formative Age of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh has as yet produced. Advise hold befitting memorial
gathering in Temple to honor one whose acts shed imperishable lustre on
American Bahá’í community. Impelled share with National Assembly expenses
of erection of monument in symbolic spot,(2) the meeting-place of East and
West, to both of which she unsparingly dedicated the full force of her
mighty energies.

Cablegram October 3, 1939



MANDATE CONFERRED BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ


Weighty resolutions of San Francisco meeting call forth emotions too deep
for expression. Fondest hopes excelled. Indomitable courage and
overflowing energy of the firmly-welded, providentially-directed American
Bahá’í community impelling them outstrip pace and surpass the limits of
the theatre of action assigned to the third year of the Seven Year Plan.
Welcome particularly recent action designed expedite termination of
Divinely-founded Temple ordained to be the Ark destined to ride triumphant
the tidal wave of world-encircling calamities and offering sole refuge to
storm-tossed sufferers of sinful, steadily sinking civilization. Kindly
renew to every established and intending pioneer in enumerated Republics
and dependencies my ardent plea to resolve to refuse, despite the
deepening world confusion, to abandon their posts and surrender the
responsibilities solemnly assumed under the Mandate conferred by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Cablegram October 23, 1939



THE SPIRITUAL POTENCIES OF THAT CONSECRATED SPOT


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 21, 1939



THE SEAL OF COMPLETE TRIUMPH


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

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

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

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

December 30, 1939



DUAL, VITALLY URGENT OBLIGATION


Urge Assembly focus attention at its forthcoming meeting upon the dual,
vitally urgent obligation: the conservation of the vigor and spiritual
health of the community and the intensification of effort aiming at
realization of recently approved Temple Plan. Sleepless vigilance to ward
off subtle attacks of enemies is first prerequisite to sound unfoldment of
the processes of the enterprise already operating. The fateful forties,
pregnant for weal and woe, are ushered in. The American believers enter
them firmly rooted in the fertile soil of the administrative order and
bountifully nourished by the vital sap of the animation of its
institutions, spreading its sheltering shadow to the farthest corners of
the Western Hemisphere. Centenary of the Birth of the Faith is
approaching. Victories unsuspected are within reach of community. The
sooner they are achieved, the sharper the contrast offered with
distracting miseries afflicting a generation which the Faith alone can and
must eventually redeem.

Cablegram January 18, 1940



BELOVED HANDMAID


‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s beloved handmaid, the distinguished disciple, May Maxwell,
is gathered into the glory of the Abhá Kingdom. Her earthly life, so rich,
eventful, incomparably blessed, is worthily ended. To sacred tie her
signal services had forged, the priceless honor of a martyr’s crown is now
added, a double crown deservedly won. The Seven Year Plan, particularly
the South American campaign, derive fresh impetus from the example of her
glorious sacrifice. Southern outpost of Faith greatly enriched through
association with her historic resting place, destined to remain a poignant
reminder of the resistless march of the triumphant army of Bahá’u’lláh.
Advise believers of both Americas to hold befitting memorial gathering.

Cablegram March 3, 1940



THEIR GOD-GIVEN TASK


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

The successive international crises which agitated the opening months of
the year that has elapsed, culminating in the outbreak of the war in
Europe, far from drowning the enthusiasm or daunting the spirit of the
prosecutors of God’s Plan, served by deflecting their gaze from a
storm-tossed continent, to focus their minds and resources on ministering
to the urgent needs of that hemisphere in which the first honors and the
initial successes of the heroes of the Formative Age of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh are to be scored and won.

The sudden extinction of the earthly life of that star-servant of the
Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, Martha Root, who, while on the last lap of her
fourth journey round the world—journeys that carried her to the humblest
homes as well as the palaces of royalty—was hurrying homeward to lend her
promised aid to her fellow-countrymen in their divinely-appointed
task—such a death, though it frustrated this cherished resolution of her
indomitable spirit, steeled the hearts of her bereaved lovers and admirers
to carry on, more energetically than ever, the work which she herself had
initiated, as far back as the year 1919, in every important city in the
South American continent.

The subtle and contemptible machinations by which the puny adversaries of
the Faith, jealous of its consolidating power and perturbed by the
compelling evidences of its conspicuous victories, have sought to
challenge the validity and misrepresent the character of the
Administrative Order embedded in its teachings have galvanized the
swelling army of its defenders to arise and arraign the usurpers of their
sacred rights and to defend the long-standing strongholds of the
institutions of their Faith in their home country.

And now as this year, so memorable in the annals of the Faith, was drawing
to a close, there befell the American Bahá’í community, through the
dramatic and sudden death of May Maxwell, yet another loss, which viewed
in retrospect will come to be regarded as a potent blessing conferred upon
the campaign now being so diligently conducted by its members. Laden with
the fruits garnered through well-nigh half a century of toilsome service
to the Cause she so greatly loved, heedless of the warnings of age and
ill-health, and afire with the longing to worthily demonstrate her
gratitude in her overwhelming awareness of the bounties of her Lord and
Master, she set her face towards the southern outpost of the Faith in the
New World, and laid down her life in such a spirit of consecration and
self-sacrifice as has truly merited the crown of martyrdom.

To Keith Ransom-Kehler, whose dust sleeps in far-off Iṣfáhán; to Martha
Root, fallen in her tracks on an island in the midmost heart of the ocean;
to May Maxwell, lying in solitary glory in the southern outpost of the
Western Hemisphere—to these three heroines of the Formative Age of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, they who now labor so assiduously for its expansion
and establishment, owe a debt of gratitude which future generations will
not fail to adequately recognize.

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

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

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

April 15, 1940



BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S SPIRITUAL SOVEREIGNTY


Message to 1940 Convention

Overjoyed, elated that dynamic energy, invincible valor of American
believers impelled them far outstrip the goal fixed for third year of
Seven Year Plan. Temple ornamentation has been uninterruptedly pursued.
The theatre of operation of the teaching campaign is already embracing
entire Central America and every South American Republic excepting
Paraguay and Colombia. Number of countries within the orbit of the Faith
is now exceeding sixty. Intercontinental crusade, through path broken by
Martha Root and seal set by May Maxwell’s death yielding destined fruit.
Galvanized, permanently safeguarded. Together with Keith they forged
through sacrifice a triple cord indissolubly knitting the community of
North American believers to cradle of Faith in every continent of Old
World and Latin America. Unperturbed by gathering gloom of tottering
civilization without, contemptuous of the assault of the perfidious
enemies within, the executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mandate must and will
strain every nerve in the course of the ensuing year to multiply the
number of enrolled pioneers to consolidate work achieved in newly opened
North American States and Provinces, to insure prompt settlement of
remaining Republics, to prosecute unremittingly ornamentation of last unit
of Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, to expedite formation in isolated centers of
nuclei capable of the establishment of local Assemblies. Urgently plead,
fervently pray that all ranks of the valiant forerunners of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Commonwealth may, ere expiry of allotted term, bring fruition of mission
to insure ascendancy of Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual sovereignty over entire
Western Hemisphere.

Cablegram April 25, 1940



SECTION OF ORNAMENTATION


Section of Temple ornamentation has been placed in the precincts of the
Báb’s Shrine. Magnificent reminder of American believers’ stupendous
efforts.

Cablegram April 27, 1940.



CONTINUOUS CONSECRATION


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

May 15, 1940



EMERGENCE OF SPIRITUAL WORLD ORDER


The stupendous struggle now convulsing the major part of the European
continent is progressively revealing the ominous features, and
increasingly assuming the proportions, of the titanic upheaval
foreshadowed seventy years ago by the prophetic Pen of Bahá’u’lláh. The
disruptive forces associated with humanity’s world-shaking ordeal are
closely interrelated with the constructive potentialities inherent in the
American believers’ Divinely-ordained Plan. Both are directly hastening
the emergence of the spiritual World Order stirring in the womb of a
travailing age. I entreat the American Bahá’í Community, whatever the
immediate or distant repercussions of the present turmoil on their own
continent, however violent its impact upon the World Center of their
Faith, to pledge themselves anew, before the Throne of Bahá’u’lláh, to
discharge, with unswerving aim, unfailing courage, invincible vigor,
exemplary fidelity and ever-deepening consecration, the dual
responsibility solemnly undertaken under the Seven Year Plan. I implore
them to accelerate their efforts, increase their vigilance, deepen their
unity, multiply their heroic feats, maintain their distant outposts in the
teaching field of Latin America and expedite the termination of the last
stage in the ornamentation of the Temple. I am praying continually with
redoubled fervor.

Cablegram June 13, 1940



SUPREMELY CHALLENGING HOUR


The long-predicted world-encircling conflagration, essential pre-requisite
to world unification, is inexorably moving to its appointed climax. Its
fires, first lit in the Far East, subsequently ravaging Europe and
enveloping Africa, now threaten devastation both in Near East and Far
West, respectively enshrining the World Center and the chief remaining
Citadel of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The Divinely-appointed Plan must and
will likewise pursue undeflected its predestined course. Time is pressing.
The settlement of the two remaining Latin Republics, the sounder
consolidation through formation of firmly-knit groups in newly-opened
territories, the provision of adequate means for the ornamentation of last
six faces of first story of Temple, stand out as vital requirements of
approaching supremely challenging hour. My eyes and heart are anxiously,
longingly turned to the New World to witness the evidences of a new, still
more heroic phase of enterprise confidently entrusted to vigilant care of
the American believers by the ever-watchful, powerfully-sustaining Master.
I refuse to believe that a community so richly endowed, so greatly envied,
so repeatedly honored, will suffer the slightest relaxation of its
resolution to jeopardize the spiritual prizes painstakingly and deservedly
won throughout the States and Provinces of the Republics of the Western
Hemisphere.

Cablegram July 21, 1940



CHAOS AND REDEMPTION


Present world chaos, exhibiting the impetuosity, follies, rebelliousness
characteristic of humanity’s adolescent stage of development, and
harbinger of the long-promised Golden Age of the maturity of the human
race, is relentlessly spreading and distressingly intensified. The
alternating victories and reverses, heralding parallel transition of
proscribed Cause of Bahá’u’lláh struggling towards emancipation, world
recognition and spiritual universal dominion, are simultaneously
multiplying. The recrudescence of the chronic persecution afflicting the
cradle of the Faith, the grave danger threatening the appropriated Temple
and disbanded centers in Turkistan and Caucasus, the repressive measures
successively choking the life and paralyzing the action of both the
long-standing and the newly-fledged communities of Central, Western and
South-Eastern Europe, the intermittent outbursts of religious fanaticism
directed against the North African Assemblies, and the aggravation of the
situation at the world Spiritual and Administrative Center, contrast with,
and are outweighed by, the surging spirit, the startling expansion, the
sweeping conquests, the superb consolidation of the swiftly-accumulating
resources of the one remaining community singled out for the proclamation
of the Administrative Order throughout the length and breadth of the
Western Hemisphere. I appeal to the New World champions of the New World
Order of Bahá’u’lláh to stand fast at this tragic hour in the fortunes of
mankind and the challenging state of the evolution of the Faith. I beg
them to close their ranks jointly, severally and vow themselves to
incomparably sublime task whose operation must hasten the ascendancy of
the beloved Cause and the spiritual redemption of a reconstructed mankind.

Cablegram October 29, 1940



TORCHBEARER OF WORLD CIVILIZATION


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

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

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

December 3, 1940



THIS VETERAN WARRIOR


I share your sorrow in the loss, and participate in your rejoicings for
the triumph of beloved Father Dunn. The magnificent career of this veteran
warrior of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh reflects the purest luster of the
world historic mission conferred upon American community by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
To the three heroines whose dust reposes in the heart of Persia, in the
Pacific Islands and southern extremity of the American continent, a fourth
witness in far-off Australasia is now added, attesting the first vital
sparks of far-flung spiritual dominion American believers have been
commissioned to establish. I am moved to congratulate them for the
resplendent successes of the Plan destined to encircle the entire globe.
Advise hold National Memorial Gathering in Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár befitting
the rank of Australia’s spiritual conqueror.

Cablegram February 21, 1941(3)



THE ANGER OF GOD AND HIS CORRECTION


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 25, 1941



FATE-LADEN WORLD ORDEAL


The fate-laden world ordeal is moving in steady, pre-ordained crescendo.
The blaze of a seemingly uncontrollable fire is leaping, ravaging last
remaining great Power on European continent. Shadows of God’s retributive
act are fast gathering. As the arena of world convulsing contest broadens;
as wounds it inflicts deepen; as issues it raises aggravate and multiply,
so will the operation of the spiritual forces, destined to cast the burden
of a travailing age, be accelerated. As the old world sinks beneath the
weight of a crumbling old order, so must new world exponents of
Bahá’u’lláh’s nascent, integrating World Order climb loftier summits of
their sublime calling. I urgently, insistently plead that all American
believers, particularly the National Teaching and Inter-America
Committees, above all the National elected representatives, arm their
souls, labor more resolutely, cooperate more closely, scatter more widely,
sacrifice more abundantly, to insure, during remaining years of Seven Year
Plan, the brilliant discharge of the one remaining obligation of their
dual task, whose consummation must signalize the termination and seal the
triumph of First Bahá’í Century.

Cablegram July 4, 1941



ELIZABETH GREENLEAF


Share deep grief of bereaved community at passing of Elizabeth Greenleaf,
beloved handmaid of Bahá’u’lláh. Her radiant spirit, staunch loyalty,
noble character, effective teaching method were distinguishing features of
her consecrated life. Praying abundant blessings in life beyond.

Cablegram August 7, 1941



UNCONQUERABLE POWER


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 12, 1941



THE PROCESS OF INTEGRATION AND DISINTEGRATION


Heart thrilled with pride at message announcing the approaching completion
of the ornamentation of seven faces of Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, proclaiming
an intensification of North American teaching campaign, and revealing the
adamantine resolution of the Temple builders and stalwart crusaders, in
face of the perfidy, ingratitude and opposition of the enemies both within
and without the Holy Faith. As the fury and destructiveness of the
tremendous world ordeal attains its most intensive pitch, so the Mission
conferred twenty years ago by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sacred Will on the worldwide,
indivisible and incorruptible body of His followers unfolds its fullest
potentialities. Securely abiding and confidently battling within the
impregnable structure which that Will has divinely established, the
dwellers in the ark of the divine Covenant the world over watch with awe,
pride and delight the evidences of the mounting momentum of the eternal
process of integration and disintegration hurrying the Faith along its
predestined course. The royal adversary, personally responsible for the
recrudescence of persecution closing all Bahá’í schools in Bahá’u’lláh’s
native land, has been humbled to the dust. The sufferings endured by the
builders of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár are being avenged. The
cornerstone of the National Administrative Headquarters of the Egyptian
Bahá’í community has been ceremoniously laid. The first officially
recognized Bahá’í cemetery is ready to receive the precious remains of the
illustrious Abu’l-Fadl and the immortal Lua. The Hazíratu’l-Quds in
Ba_gh_dád has been extended and is nearing completion. The property
dedicated as first Administrative Center of the Syrian Bahá’ís has been
purchased. A group of families of Persian believers, Muslim, Jewish,
Zoroastrian in origin, afire with the example set by American pioneers,
are settling the adjoining territories of Ḥijáz, Yemen, Afghanistan,
Baluchistan and Bahrein Island. The spiritual competition galvanizing the
organized followers of Bahá’u’lláh in East and West waxes keener as first
Bahá’í century speeds to its close. With bowed head, exultant spirit and
thankful heart I acclaim these recurrent, increasingly compelling
manifestations of the solidarity, loyalty and unquenchable spirit
animating, throughout five continents, the community of the followers of
the Most Great Name.

Cablegram November 22, 1941



THE CRUCIBLE OF WORLD CONFLAGRATION


The most great convulsion envisaged by the Prophets from Isaiah to
Bahá’u’lláh, cataclysmic in violence, planetary in range, is assailing, at
long last, the predominating nations of the Asiatic and American
continents. The leading Power of the Western Hemisphere which, together
with sister republics, Bahá’u’lláh’s ringing call significantly summoned
in His Most Holy Book, the object of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s tender solicitude and
ardent prayers, the center of His hopes, the recipient of His promises and
the beneficiary of His blessings, has been suddenly though not
unexpectedly plunged into the crucible of world conflagration. Purged,
tested, galvanized, coalescing with its sorely-tried sister nations the
world over, the great Republic of the New World, the enviable parent of
System heralding the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, must assume through
adversity its preponderating share of responsibility to lay down, once for
all, broad, worldwide, unassailable foundations of that discredited yet
immortal System. Though the immediate future be dark, critical and fraught
with anguish, I feel it my bounden duty to appeal in this hour as never
before to the Trustees of Bahá’u’lláh’s priceless Revelation whether
teachers or administrators, individuals or Assemblies, North or South,
white or colored, young or old, to refuse at all costs to surrender their
solemn spiritual responsibilities, refrain from relaxing their teaching
efforts, determine never to slacken their sacred task of building the
institutions whose progress destiny has indissolubly linked with the
fortunes of the most disastrous, most challenging, most pregnant period of
human history.

Cablegram December 13, 1941



A TRULY WORLD-EMBRACING CRISIS


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

January 15, 1942



IMPELLED TO DEPUTIZE FIVE MEMBERS


Message to 1942 Convention

Last phase of Seven Year Plan so auspiciously begun, so vigorously
prosecuted, is opening. The first Bahá’í Century is fast running out. The
agonies of a travailing age are culminating. The Báb’s stirring, unique
injunction, directing the peoples of the West to leave their cities to
insure the triumph of the Divine Cause was recorded a century ago in the
Qayyúmu’l-Asmá. Bahá’u’lláh’s significant summons calling upon all the
Presidents of the Republics of the western hemisphere to champion the
Cause of Justice was issued seventy years ago in His Most Holy Book. The
broad outlines of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s matchless design, conceived twenty-five
years ago for the benefit of the North American believers, was transmitted
to posterity in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. The Seven Year Enterprise,
regarded as the initial stage in the execution of a World Mission, has
been already launched. The gigantic Temple undertaking, constituting the
major obligation of this enterprise, has been virtually consummated. The
vast Intercontinental Teaching Campaign is visibly yielding first fruits
in every Republic of Latin America. Upon the crucial year ahead hinge the
fortunes of this historic crusade. From Alaska to Chile, the Americas are
astir with the leavening influences of the rising Order of the newborn
Revelation. The great Republic of the West is inescapably swept into the
swelling tide of the world tribulations, presaging the assumption of a
preponderating share in the establishment of the anticipated Lesser Peace.
Invisible hosts are marshalled, eager to rush forth and crown every
effort, however humble, however belated, exerted to speed the unfinished
tasks. Again I renew plea for closer communion with the Spirit of
Bahá’u’lláh, for more passionate resolve, for more abundant flow of
material resources, and for wider dispersion, intenser concentration, by a
still greater number of pioneers, settlers and itinerant teachers to
insure for the Plan a termination commensurate with and wondrous as the
exploits marking the opening decade of first Bahá’í Century. Myself
deprived of personal participation in the task allotted to the prosecutors
of the epoch-making Plan, I am impelled to deputize five members of the
American Bahá’í community to help fulfill in my behalf whatsoever pioneer
field is most vital to its urgent requirements. Pledging five thousand
dollars for accomplishment of this purpose.

Cablegram April 26, 1942



THE SEVEN YEAR PLAN


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

May 26, 1942



CONSECRATED TO TEACHING TASKS


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

June 17, 1942



A BEFITTING CLIMAX


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

August 15, 1942



ACCLAIM WITH GRATEFUL HEART


Acclaim with grateful heart, on twenty-first Anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Ascension, the glorious emergence of the firmly-welded, incorruptible
American Bahá’í community from severest crisis since His passing which the
blindness of the breakers of Bahá’u’lláh’s and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Covenants
has, amidst His kindred, and in the City of the Covenant, recently
tragically precipitated. Posterity will unhesitatingly recognize so
spontaneous, shining, stirring demonstration of fidelity rendered alike to
the Lord of the Covenant and to its Center as a victory more enduring,
more momentous, than any triumphs, however notable, which the
standard-bearers of the Administrative Order, the champion builders of the
Temple, the stalwart executors of the Divine Plan have achieved or may yet
achieve in the closing years of the expiring First Bahá’í Century. Nursed
since birth in the lap of the unfailing solicitude of the Center of the
Covenant, torch-bearer of the Divine Order recognized as child of that
Covenant, vanguard of that host destined to diffuse the Light of that same
Covenant over the face of the entire globe, American Bahá’í community is
now assuming rightful place at the forefront of the world-wide, loyal,
unbreachable spiritual army of Bahá’u’lláh preparing, both in the East and
West, to launch still greater campaigns, scale loftier heights, at the
dawning of the Second Bahá’í Century.

November 30, 1942



THE IMMORTAL LUA


The immortal Lua, mother-teacher of the American Bahá’í Community, herald
of the dawn of the Day of the Covenant, has been ceremoniously and
reverently transferred by Egyptian brethren representing the local Bahá’í
communities to the immediate vicinity of the grave of far-famed Abu’l-Fadl
in the newly established Bahá’í cemetery in Cairo. The Ismá’ílíyyih
believers together with Assembly delegates of Egypt have held an inaugural
ceremony at the second Bahá’í cemetery allocated by the Egyptian
authorities. The sacred rights of the persecuted, expelled community,
repeatedly denied legitimate burial, are now vindicated. The progressive
emancipation of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh from the traditional shackles of
religious orthodoxy is increasingly evident and humbly, gratefully
recognized by followers of the Faith the world over.

Cablegram January 7, 1943



THE UNFINISHED TASKS


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

January 8, 1943



COMPLETION OF TEMPLE EXTERIOR


Heart aglow with pride, love, gratitude for superb achievement of
completion of exterior of the House of Worship, Mother Temple of the West.
Bahá’u’lláh’s high behest, enshrined in His Most Holy Book, has been
brilliantly executed. The thirty-five year old enterprise, initiated on
same day that the Báb’s sacred remains were transferred to Mount Carmel,
has been triumphantly consummated. The unique Edifice, singled out for
consecration by the hands of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has been nobly reared. The
Greatest Holy Leaf’s last ardent wish has been befittingly fulfilled. The
Concourse on high is jubilant. Myself bow head in joyous, reverent
recognition of prodigious accomplishment which deserves to rank among the
outstanding enterprises launched in the Heroic Age and the most signal
victory won since the inception of the Formative Period of the Bahá’í
Dispensation.

Cablegram January 18, 1943



HIS SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE


Assure relatives of Mathew Kaszab of my heartfelt condolences and profound
sympathy for the loss of this heroic pioneer. His services are
unforgettable and abundantly rewarded. Loving prayers.

Cablegram January 18, 1943



ALL-AMERICA CENTENNIAL CONVENTION


Message to 1943 Convention

I desire to announce to the elected representatives of the valiant,
blessed, triumphant American Bahá’í Community assembled beneath the dome
of the recently completed Mother Temple of the West on the occasion of the
Convention inaugurating the hundredth year of the first Bahá’í Century,
the

momentous decision to convene, in May, 1944, an All-America Centennial
Convention comprising delegates to be separately elected by each State and
Province in the North American continent, and to which every Republic of
Latin America may send one representative. All groups, all isolated
believers, as well as all local communities already possessing Assemblies,
will henceforth share in the election of Convention delegates. The
multiplication of Bahá’í Centers and the remarkable increase in the number
of groups and isolated believers, prompt my decision. The historic
occasion of next year’s festivities, commemorating alike the Hundredth
Anniversary of the birth of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and the Fiftieth
Anniversary of its establishment in the Western Hemisphere, and
celebrating the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the first
House of Worship in the Western World, imperatively demand it. Details of
the project have already been mailed. I congratulate the best-loved
American believers, I share their joy and wish them God-speed, confident
of still greater victories as they forge ahead in the course of the second
Bahá’í Century along the path leading them to their high destiny. I hope
to forward, in time for the solemn thanksgiving service to be held in the
auditorium of the Temple on the evening of May twenty-second, at the hour
of His epoch-making Declaration, a sacred portrait of the Báb, the only
copy ever sent out from the Holy Land, to be unveiled at the dedication
ceremony and to repose for all time, together with Bahá’u’lláh’s blessed
hair, beneath the dome of the Holy Edifice within the heart of the North
American continent.

April 14, 1943



FOUNDATION STONE LAID BY THE CENTER OF THE COVENANT


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 28, 1943



BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITIES OF EAST AND WEST


Successive reports, proclaiming the American believers’ brilliant feat,
the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the Temple, their historic
exploits in the spiritual conquest of every Republic of Latin America, as
well as their impending victory to be won through the establishment of the
structural basis of the Bahá’í administrative order in the Virgin States
and Provinces of North America, are thrilling the Eastern communities of
the Bahá’í world with delight, with admiration and with wonder.

Ninety-five Persian families, emulating the example of the American
trail-blazers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, have recently forsaken their
homes and followed in the footsteps of pioneers already departed from
Persia yesterday evening to hoist its banner in the adjoining territories
of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Sulamaniyyih, Ḥijáz and Bahrein Island.

Local Assemblies have been founded in Kashmir Valley in the extreme north
and in Madras Presidency in the extreme south, as well as in Haydarabad,
the leading stronghold of Muslim orthodoxy in India.

The National Bahá’í Administrative Headquarters of the Egyptian believers
are nearing completion. A similar institution is in process of
establishment in India’s capital city, Delhi. A Guest House, adjunct to
the newly built Administrative Headquarters of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq, has
been constructed.

Bahá’í communities of East and West are arising in the fourth year of the
devastating conflict in the full strength of their undisruptable
solidarity, resolved to write, through immortal deeds, further glorious
pages in the last Chapter of the first Bahá’í Century.

I appeal to the standard-bearers of Bahá’u’lláh’s ever-advancing army to
safeguard the spiritual prizes already won and maintain every outpost of
the Faith established in the southern hemisphere. I entreat them to exert
still more magnificent efforts to discharge befittingly the one remaining
responsibility in the North American continent.

I am praying for the achievement of a resounding total victory in all the
Americas, thereby sealing the triumph of the first stage in the Divine
Plan for whose execution the entire machinery of the Administrative Order
was for no less than sixteen years patiently and laboriously erected.

May 27, 1943



THE CROWNING CRUSADE


The American believers’ seven year enterprise consecrated to the service
of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, deriving direct inspiration from
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, launched on the eve of the world catastrophic
conflict, recognized as the greatest collective undertaking in the annals
of the first Bahá’í Century, is rapidly culminating. Their sister
communities of Persia, British Isles, Egypt, ‘Iráq, India, Syria,
Australia and New Zealand marvel at the scale of the prodigious labors of
the American Bahá’í community, gratefully rejoice at the accumulating
evidences of its incomparable victories and are galvanized into action,
inspired to emulate its example. The multiplication of Bahá’í centers in
recent years in both East and West, the erection of administrative
headquarters, the purchase of historic sites, the settlement of virgin
areas, the migration into neighboring territories are all directly
attributable to the potent impulse communicated through the superb action
initiated and executed by the American adherents of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh. The initial stages of the momentous plan have been
brilliantly executed. The most formidable obstacles impeding its progress
have been courageously faced and progressively swept away. Its first
fruits, exemplified by the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the
Temple and the formation of a nucleus of the Faith in every Republic of
Latin America, have been triumphantly gathered. The pivotal year marking
the turning point of its fortunes has been immortalized by the
unparalleled exploit of the formation of twenty-eight Assemblies in the
States and Provinces of the North American continent. The range of its
unfinished tasks is swiftly diminishing. Total victory is within sight but
the six remaining virgin areas of Alaska, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward
Island, South Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as the
inadequately reinforced Republics of Nicaragua, San Domingo, Paraguay,
Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru still demand the concentrated and sustained
attention of the National representatives of the American Bahá’í
community, the speedy assistance of the National Teaching and
Inter-America Committees, and the systematic support of all subsidiary
agencies both regional and local. The goal cities and the far-off
Republics are calling for fresh recruits to complete the pioneer roll of
honor. Veteran believers, however brilliant their record, neophytes,
however limited their experience, are alike summoned as the final hour
approaches to rush forth in a last supreme effort to bridge the remaining
gaps in the spiritual front extending the entire length of the Western
Hemisphere. I am ardently supplicating fresh outpourings of the sustaining
grace of the Lord of Hosts to enable His stalwart warriors befittingly to
consummate the crowning crusade of the first century of the Bahá’í Era.

August 2, 1943



PREPARATIONS FOR THE CENTENARY


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

August 8, 1943



THE BELOVED FAITH IS SURGING FORWARD


My heart is overflowing with joyous gratitude at the magnificent advance
made in numerous spheres of Bahá’í activity. The formation of an Assembly
in the few remaining areas of the North American continent, the
consolidation of the foundation of the newly-established Assemblies, and
the preservation of the status of the Bahá’í centers in all Republics of
Latin America, imperatively demand vigilant care, concentrated attention
and further self-sacrifice from the vanguard of the valiant army of
Bahá’u’lláh. The beloved Faith is surging forward on all fronts. Its
undefeatable, stalwart supporters, both teachers and administrators, are
steeling themselves for noble tasks, braving acute dangers, sweeping away
formidable obstacles, capturing new heights, founding mighty institutions,
winning fresh recruits and confounding the schemes of insidious enemies.
The American Bahá’í community must, and will at whatever cost, despite the
pressure of events and the desolating war, maintain among its sister
communities the exalted standard of stewardship incontestably set during
the concluding years of the first Bahá’í Century. The confident spirit,
unfaltering resolution animating its members, their tenacious valor,
elevated loyalty, nobleness of spirit and mighty prowess, will, ere the
expiry of the century, crown with complete victory the monumental
enterprises undertaken during the course of the fifty years of its
existence.

October 5, 1943



A STILL MORE COMPELLING DISPLAY


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

November 16, 1943



THE AUSPICIOUS YEAR


The auspicious year destined to witness the Centenary of the Birth of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is brilliantly opening. The last year of the first
Bahá’í Century is more than half spent. The tempo of organized, concerted
activities of the members of the worldwide Bahá’í community is
correspondingly accelerating. Teaching campaigns, enterprises of
institutional significance, publicity measures, publication projects, and
celebration plans are rapidly multiplying. Inter-community competition is
steadily mounting. The world-desolating conflict, now in its fifth year,
is powerless to cloud the splendid prospect of the triumphant termination
of the first, most shining century of the Bahá’í Era. Ṭihrán reports
thirty-four Assemblies constituted, fifty-four groups reinforced,
fifty-eight new centers established. Messages from Delhi indicate that
Bahá’ís have established residence in over sixty localities in India and
eighteen Assemblies are already functioning. To the National Bahá’í
Headquarters previously founded in Ṭihrán, Wilmette and Ba_gh_dád, are now
added similar centers in Cairo, Delhi and Sydney, officially registered in
the names of their respective National Assemblies, and representing an
addition to Bahá’í national endowments amounting to approximately eighteen
thousand pounds. The Bahá’í international endowments have been further
enriched by a recent acquisition on Mount Carmel in the vicinity of the
Báb’s Shrine transferred to the name of the Palestine Branch of the
American National Assembly. Twenty-five acres of land situated in the
Jordan Valley have just been dedicated to the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh. The
recent acquisition of land adjacent to the site of the projected Ṭihrán
Temple raises the holding to over three and a half million square meters.
The Seven Year Plan, providing the chief impulse to the extraordinary
expansion of these magnificent activities, must, during the remaining five
months, as befitting thanksgiving act for continued outpouring of God’s
unfailing grace, surge ahead to dazzling victory surpassing our highest
expectations. The prosecution of the Plan, whose scope transcends every
other enterprise launched by Bahá’í communities throughout the whole
century, must, ere the hundred years run out, culminate in one last,
supreme effort whose repercussions will resound throughout the Bahá’í
world.

January 4, 1944



ADDITION TO ENDOWMENTS


Since the transmission of my recent message conveying news of the
magnificent progress achieved by Bahá’í communities, a substantial
addition to the endowments dedicated to the Shrines raises the holdings in
the Jordan Valley to over five hundred acres. The extension of teaching
enterprises East and West, the multiplication of Bahá’í endowments,
national and international, the consolidation of administrative
institutions, above all the superb evidences of incorruptible loyalty to
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His Will, equally proclaim the unyielding determination
of the world community to seal with triumph the first Bahá’í Century.

January 16, 1944



PARTICIPATION OF LATIN AMERICAN BELIEVERS


The participation of Latin American believers in the Bahá’í Centennial
Convention is vital to the future development of the Faith in the
Americas. I urge individuals as well as the National Assembly to extend
assistance, financial and otherwise, to enable as many representatives as
possible to join the North American believers in the proceedings of a
gathering of such momentous importance and historic significance in the
evolution of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the western hemisphere.

January 29, 1944



BEFITTINGLY CONSUMMATE THE ENTERPRISES


The brilliant achievements of the heroic pioneers, the itinerant teachers,
the indefatigable administrators of Bahá’í teaching activities whether
local, regional or national, set the seal of total victory on the Seven
Year Plan, befittingly consummate the fifty year long enterprises
undertaken by the American Bahá’í Century. My heart is filled with joy,
love, pride and gratitude at the contemplation of the stupendous shining
deeds immortalizing the valiant prosecutors of the greatest collective
enterprise ever launched in the course of the history of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh.

April 2, 1944



TURNING POINT IN BAHÁ’Í HISTORY


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

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

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

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

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

April 15, 1944



INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT


Bahá’ís have established residence in seventy-eight countries, fifty-six
of which are sovereign states. Bahá’í literature has been translated and
published in forty-one languages. Translations have been undertaken in
twelve additional languages. Thirty-one races are represented in the
Bahá’í world community. Five National Assemblies and sixty-one local
Assemblies belonging to ten countries are incorporated and legally
empowered to hold property. The Bahá’í international endowments held in
the Holy Land are estimated at a half million pounds sterling. National
Bahá’í endowments in the United States are estimated at one million, seven
hundred thousand dollars.

The area of land in the Jordan Valley dedicated to the Bahá’í Shrines is
over five hundred acres. The site purchased for future Bahá’í Temple of
Persia comprises three and a half million square meters. The cost of the
structure of the first Bahá’í Temple in the West has been one million,
three hundred thousand dollars.

In every state and province of North America Bahá’í Assemblies are
functioning. In thirteen hundred localities of the United States and
Canada Bahá’ís reside. Bahá’í Centers have been established in every
republic of Latin America, fifteen of which possess Spiritual Assemblies.
The Faith in the Western Hemisphere now stretches from Anchorage, Alaska,
to Magallanes, the world’s southernmost city. Sixty-two Centers have been
established in India, twenty-seven with Spiritual Assemblies.

Among the historic sites purchased in Persia are the Ṭihrán home of
Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb’s shop in Bushire, the burial place of Quddús, part
of the village _Ch_ihríq, three gardens in Badasht, and the place where
Táhirih was confined.

Bahá’í administrative headquarters have been founded in Ṭihrán, Delhi,
Cairo, Ba_gh_dád, Wilmette and Sydney. Bahá’í endowments in the Holy Land
and the United States have been exempted from taxes by the civil
authorities. Civil recognition has been extended to Bahá’í Assemblies in
five states of the United States to solemnize Bahá’í marriages.

May 9, 1944



MESSAGE TO CENTENARY CONVENTION


Hail with glad, grateful heart the historic Assembly of the elected
representatives of the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh throughout
the Western Hemisphere participating in the first All-America Convention
gathered in the vicinity of the first Bahá’í Center of the Western World
beneath the dome of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West to
commemorate alike the Anniversary of the founding of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh and the Birth of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Anniversary of its
establishment in the Occident and to celebrate the completion of the
exterior ornamentation of the most hallowed House of Worship in the entire
Bahá’í world. I recall with profound emotion on this solemn, auspicious
occasion the milestones in the progress of the community whose rise
constitutes one of the noblest episodes in the history of the First Bahá’í
Century. Called into being through the operation of the will of the Center
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, energized at the hour of its birth by dynamic
spirit communicated to it by the band of first returning pilgrims, purged
in its infancy by fiery tests involving the defection of its acknowledged
founder, nursed through the dispatch of unnumbered Tablets by the vigilant
Master, as well as by the successive messengers designed to support its
infant strength, launched upon its rapid career through series of
institutional acts and missionary journeys signalizing the first stirrings
of its community life, infinitely enriched by priceless benefits conferred
upon its members in the course of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sojourn in their midst,
invested with a unique mission through the revelation of the Tablets of
the Divine Plan, firmly knit through processes proclaiming the emergence
of the Divinely appointed Administrative Order, immortalized through the
signal acts of its illustrious member who succeeded in winning the
allegiance of royalty to its cause, consummating its record of
achievements through total victory of the Seven Year Plan thereby sealing
the triumph of the first stage in the Mission bestowed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
this repeatedly blessed, much envied community deserves to be acclaimed
the Torchbearer of the civilization, the foundations of which the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh is destined unassailably to establish in the course of the
Second Bahá’í Century. I am moved to pay a well deserved tribute at this
great turning point in the career of so privileged a community to the
gallant band of its apostolic founders whose deeds heralded the dawn of
the Day of the Covenant in the West, to its intrepid pioneers who labored
to enlarge the bounds of the Faith in the five continents, to its
indefatigable administrators whose hands reared the fabric of the
Administrative Order, to its heroic martyrs who followed in the footsteps
of the Dawn-Breakers of the heroic age, to its itinerant teachers who with
written and spoken word pleaded its cause and repulsed the attacks of its
adversaries, to its munificent supporters whose liberality accelerated the
expansion of its manifold activities, and last but not least to the mass
of its stout-hearted, self-denying members whose strenuous, ceaseless,
concerted efforts so decisively contributed to the consolidation and
broadening of its foundations. I desire to direct a particular appeal to
the Latin American representatives participating in the Centennial
Convention to deliberate on measures to reinforce the ties binding them to
their Sister Community, unitedly devise means for the inauguration of
teaching campaigns in their respective Republics, the dissemination of
Bahá’í literature, the multiplication of Bahá’í administrative centers as
preliminary steps in the formation of Bahá’í National Assemblies, and lend
impetus to the prosecution of any enterprise launched to carry still
further the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the American Bahá’í
Community.

May 15, 1944



CONSOLIDATION OF NOBLY-WON VICTORIES


The magnificent victories achieved in the teaching field and the sphere of
administrative activity by the American Bahá’í community crowned with
glory the historic services rendered by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh
throughout the West during the last fifty years of the first Bahá’í
Century. I rejoice in the brilliant celebrations befittingly consummating
the record of splendid achievements. Immediate attention should be focused
in the course of the opening year of the Second Century on consolidation
of the nobly-won victories through reinforcement of newly formed
Assemblies, multiplication of groups and increase in number of Assemblies
as well as corresponding effort through Latin America. Praying for
continuous flow of Divine outpourings.

Cablegram May 27, 1944



A SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY IN EVERY REMAINING REPUBLIC


I rejoice in the success of the vitally needed, timely conference with
Latin American representatives; greatly welcome the decisions reached and
the plans formulated. The first year of the second Bahá’í century should
witness the establishment of a Spiritual Assembly in every remaining
Republic and be signalized by a steady increase in the number of pioneers
for both Latin and North America; by a further multiplication of groups, a
wider dissemination of Bahá’í literature in both Spanish and Portuguese,
closer relationships consolidating the communities and more effective
contact by these communities with the masses of the population and all
races and classes. I am ardently praying for mighty victories in every
field as essential preliminary to the emergence of independent National
Spiritual Assemblies and as indispensable prelude to launching in other
continents, soon after the termination of the world conflict, the second
stage of the momentous World Plan so intimately associated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
with the future destinies of the illustrious American Bahá’í Community.

July 17, 1944



THE SEAL OF SPIRITUAL TRIUMPH


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

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

August 18, 1944



FAITHFUL PIONEER


Share grief at passing of devoted, faithful pioneer (John Stearns). His
services have been unforgettable and highly meritorious. Advise the
construction of a memorial. Assure friends in Lima (Peru) my deepest,
loving sympathy.

Cablegram November 19, 1944



PASSAGES IN “GOD PASSES BY”


Comforted, strengthened by assurance of sympathy and loyalty of American
believers in the deplorable, delicate situation created by dishonorable
alliances made by members of my family, first with Covenant-breakers and
now with external enemies of the Faith.

The marvelous, rapid, sound evolution of the institutions of the Faith in
five continents, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, constitutes best
monition, most effective counteraction to the detrimental influence of
those whose acts proclaim their severance from the Holy Tree and their
forfeiture of their sacred birthright.

The occasion demands that you direct special attention to passages in “God
Passes By” indicating the gravity of the past crises precipitated since
the inception of the Faith by kinsmen both of the Manifestation and the
Center of His Covenant, demonstrating the pitiful futility of their
nefarious activities and the sad fate overtaking defectors and betrayers.

The present hour calls for unrelaxing vigilance, continued heroism,
redoubled efforts, renewed dedication by rank and file of the community
enjoying preponderating share alike in the erection, the defense, and the
consolidation of the worldwide Administrative Order of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh since the passing of the Center of His Covenant.

I urge the entire Bahá’í community of the Western Hemisphere to focus its
attention during the remaining months of the opening year of the second
century on the formation of local Assemblies in the remaining Republics of
Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia and San Domingo, guard against
dissolution of Assemblies already painstakingly established throughout the
Americas, exert effort on further multiplication of groups, wider
dissemination of literature, greater use of radio, closer contact with
masses, more audacious proclamation of the Faith, more effective
coordination of local and national activities aiming at fuller
demonstration of the rights and claims of the Faith to be regarded as sole
refuge of humanity in its hour of bitterest agony.

The American believers’ meritorious activities, individual, local,
interstate, intercontinental, will be the object of my special prayers
during the approaching Anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Ascension.

Cablegram November 21, 1944



THE SUCCEEDING STAGE IN THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR WORLD MISSION


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

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

December 24, 1944



THE ADMISSION OF PERSIANS


I desire to reiterate the warning that no Persian, student or otherwise,
must be admitted into the community under any circumstances unless
provided with full credentials. Exception and compromise would be
detrimental to the vital interests of the Faith at the present juncture.
The utmost caution and vigilance is imperative.

January 20, 1945



STAUNCH PIONEER


Deeply grieve passing of indefatigable, staunch pioneer (i.e., Miss Mary
Lesch) of the Faith in the Day of the Covenant. The record of her services
imperishable, her reward great in the Abhá Kingdom.

Cablegram, March 27, 1945



THE ONE MESSAGE THAT CAN EXTRICATE HUMANITY


The Divine Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the American Bahá’í
community, in the midst of one of the darkest periods in human history and
with which the destinies of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North
American continent must for generations to come remain inextricably
interwoven, has, during the concluding years of the first Bahá’í Century,
triumphantly emerged from the first stage of its evolution. Its
initiation, officially and on a vast scale, had, for well nigh twenty
years, been held in abeyance, while the processes of a slowly emerging
administrative Order, were, under the unerring guidance of Providence,
creating and perfecting the agencies for its efficient and systematic
prosecution. The next stage in the evolution of the Plan cannot, however,
be embarked upon, until the external causes, hampering its further
unfoldment in other continents of the globe, are removed through the
cessation of hostilities and the signal victories already won through its
initial development are sufficiently consolidated throughout the Western
Hemisphere. The tasks confronting those who have so valiantly and
brilliantly inaugurated the first stage in the execution of the Great
Design unfolded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the promulgation of the Faith of His
Father, during this transitional period, are manifold, exacting, urgent,
and sacred. The local administrative units, so laboriously constituted
throughout the Americas, must needs, as already pointed out and repeatedly
stressed, be maintained, reinforced, closely integrated and their number
steadily multiplied. The spirit that has inflamed the pioneers who have
set the seal of triumph on the Seven Year Plan, must under the vigilant
care of the National representatives of the American Bahá’í community be
constantly watched, kept alive and nourished. The literature of the Faith,
particularly in Spanish and Portuguese, must be widely disseminated in
both Central and South America, as a necessary adjunct to the systematic
consolidation of the work that has been undertaken. Above all, the healing
Message of Bahá’u’lláh must during the opening years of the second Bahá’í
Century, and through the instrumentality of an already properly
functioning Administrative Order, whose ramifications have been extended
to the four corners of the Western Hemisphere, be vividly, systematically
brought to the attention of the masses, in their hour of grief, misery and
confusion. A more audacious assertion of the challenging verities of the
Faith; a more convincing presentation of its distinguishing truths; a
fuller exposition of the character, the aims and the achievements of its
rising Administrative system as the nucleus and pattern of its future
world-embracing order; a more direct and intimate contact and association
with the leaders of public thought, whose activities and aims are akin to
the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, for the purpose of demonstrating the
universality, the comprehensiveness, the liberality and the dynamic power
of His Divine Message; a closer scrutiny of the ways and means whereby its
claims can be vindicated, its defamers and detractors silenced, and its
institutions safeguarded; a more determined effort to exploit, to the
fullest extent possible, the talents and abilities of the rank and file of
the believers for the purpose of achieving these ends—these stand out as
the paramount tasks summoning to a challenge, during these years of
transition and turmoil, the entire body of the American believers. The
facilities which the radio and press furnish must be utilized to a degree
unprecedented in American Bahá’í history. The combined resources of the
much-envied exemplary American Bahá’í community must be harnessed for the
effectual promotion of these meritorious purposes. Blessings undreamt of
in their scope and plenteousness, are bound to be vouchsafed to those who
will, in these dark yet pregnant times, arise to further these noble ends
and to hasten through their acts the hour at which a still more momentous
stage in the evolution of a Divine and worldwide Plan can be launched.

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

March 29, 1945



MY HEAVY-LADENED HEART


My heavy ladened heart, already oppressed by repeated defections of the
unworthy kindred of the beloved Master, is relieved by latest signal
evidence of the indomitable spirit of the members of divinely chosen
American Bahá’í community now unfurling the banner of the Faith and
establishing the structural basis of its administrative order in the
world’s southernmost city. I hail the staunchness and fidelity
distinguishing the winners of such superb victories. I acclaim them true
brothers and sisters worthy of the name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. I urge the
Inter-America Committee to devote special attention and undertake prompt
measures designed to increase the number of believers, establish local
administrative headquarters, and multiply the subsidiary agencies
indispensable to the maintenance of a flourishing community in the
southern extremity of the western hemisphere. Praying ever increasing
successes.

Cablegram April 21, 1945



NATIONWIDE, INTERCONTINENTAL PLANS


Assure newly-elected members of my fervent prayers for divine guidance and
strength to accomplish the tasks confronting the American Bahá’í community
in the second year of the second Bahá’í century. I appeal to National
Teaching, Regional and Inter-America Committees to intensify efforts for
multiplication of groups and Assemblies the length and breadth of the
western hemisphere. An ever-increasing flow of pioneers is indispensable
to meet the urgent requirements of the present hour. Renewed, determined,
continued exertions by individuals aimed at an unprecedented increase in
the number of enrolled believers is vital to the consolidation of
activities undertaken by pioneers. Systematic, well-conceived, carefully
coordinated plans, nationwide and intercontinental, devised by elected
national representatives of the community, are likewise a necessary
preliminary to a seed-sowing unexampled both in range and effectiveness in
American Bahá’í history. The attainment of this threefold objective in
North, Central and South America will signalize the initiation, in other
continents, of the world mission constituting the sacred birthright of the
American followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Cablegram May 8, 1945



A SINGLE, ORGANICALLY-UNITED WORLD COMMONWEALTH


The followers of Bahá’u’lláh throughout five continents unanimously
rejoice in the partial emergence of a war-torn humanity from the titanic
upheaval unerringly predicted seventy years ago by the Pen of the Author
of their Faith. The cessation of hostilities in the European continent
signalizes yet another chapter in the tragic tale of fiery trials
providentially decreed by inscrutable wisdom designed ultimately to weld
the mutually antagonistic elements of human society into a single,
organically-united, unshatterable world commonwealth. They gratefully
acclaim the signal evidence of the interposition of divine Providence
which during such perilous years enabled the World Center of our Faith to
escape what posterity will recognize as one of the gravest dangers which
ever confronted the nerve center of its institutions. They are profoundly
aware of the bountiful grace vouchsafed by that same Providence insuring,
unlike the previous world conflict, uninterrupted intercourse between the
spiritual Center and the vast majority of the communities functioning
within the orbit of a far-flung Faith. They are immeasurably thankful for
the miraculous preservation of the Indian, Persian, Egyptian, British and
Iráqí communities, long threatened by dire perils owing to their proximity
to the theatre of military operations. They are deeply conscious that the
progress achieved, despite six tempestuous years, in both the Eastern and
Western Hemispheres, through the collective enterprises launched by these
communities, outshines the sum total of the accomplishments since the
inception of the Formative Age of the Faith.

The Seven Year Plan inaugurated by the American Bahá’í community under the
lowering clouds of the approaching conflict victoriously completed the
exterior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West, established the
structural basis of the Faith in every State and Province of the North
American continent, and hoisted its banner in every Republic of Latin
America. The Indian believers’ Six Year Plan, launched on the eve of
hostilities, more than quadrupled the centers functioning within the pale
of the Administrative Order. The edifices consecrated to the
administrative affairs of an ever-advancing Cause, involving the
expenditure of over a hundred thousand dollars, were erected, purchased or
completed in the Capital Cities of India, ‘Iráq and Egypt as well as
Sydney, Australia. The acquisition of numerous properties in Bahá’u’lláh’s
native land, on Mount Carmel and in the Jordan Valley, as well as the
purchase of several important historic sites associated with the Lives of
both the Herald and the Author of the Faith, swelled to an unprecedented
degree our Bahá’í endowments.

Preliminary steps for the completion of the Báb’s Sepulchre and the
establishment of the World Administrative Center through the removal of
the Remains of the Brother and Mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were undertaken. The
termination of the First Century of the Bahá’í Era, synchronizing with the
climax of the raging storm, was publicly and befittingly celebrated,
despite the multiplication of restrictions. Above all, the unity and
integrity of an incorruptible world community was consistently safeguarded
in face of the insidious opposition of avowed enemies without and the
Covenant-breakers within.

Such splendid victories, over so vast a field, amidst such tribulations
during so prolonged an ordeal, augur well for the colossal tasks destined
to be accomplished during the course of the peaceful years ahead by the
builders of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh amidst the wreckage
of a disrupted, disillusioned society.

Cablegram May 12, 1945



A NEW PHASE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION


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

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

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

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

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

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

Cablegram August 10, 1945



HEARTS UPLIFTED IN THANKSGIVING


Our hearts are uplifted in thanksgiving for complete cessation of the
prolonged, unprecedented world conflict. I hail the prospects of the
removal of the restrictions enabling American Bahá’í Community to expedite
the preliminary measures required to launch the second stage of the Divine
Plan. I appeal focus attention upon the requirements of the all-important
Latin American work. The adequate fulfillment of this vital task preludes
the assumption of collective responsibility by triumphant community of the
spiritual enlightenment and ultimate redemption of sorely-tried,
war-ravaged European continent, destined to be associated with exploits
which must immortalize the second stage of the World Mission entrusted by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the apostles of His Father’s Faith in the western world.
The opportunities of the present hour are infinitely precious, the time is
pressing, the call of the distressed, groping peoples of Europe pitiful,
insistent. The work still to be accomplished to consummate the mighty
enterprise undertaken in Latin America is considerable. The Almighty’s
sustaining grace is assured, unfailing. I am praying from the depths of a
joyful, thankful heart for the outpouring of blessings no less remarkable
than the divine bounties vouchsafed unto the valiant prosecutors of the
Plan in the course of the opening phase of their World Mission.

Cablegram August 20, 1945



THE WORK OF REHABILITATION


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

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

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

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

December 21, 1945



THE GERMAN BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY


The German Bahá’í community, dearly beloved, highly honored by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and destined to play an outstanding role in the spiritual
revival of an oppressed continent, has abundantly demonstrated in the
course of ten years of severest tribulations, dire peril and complete
suppression, the high character of its indomitable faith. I appeal to the
entire community of the greatly blessed, highly privileged American
believers, to arise unitedly and contribute generously through dispatch of
funds and literature designed to alleviate the distress and rehabilitate
the institutions with which the future prosecutors of the second stage of
the Divine Plan must be closely associated.

Cablegram December 31, 1945



EXEMPLARY PIONEER


Deeply grieve passing of exemplary pioneer of the Faith, Emogene Hoagg.
Her long record of national and international services is unforgettable,
her reward in the Abhá Kingdom assured and abundant.

Cablegram December 31, 1945



LYDIA ZAMENHOF


Heartily approve nationwide observance for dauntless Lydia Zamenhof. Her
notable services, tenacity, modesty, unwavering devotion fully merit high
tribute by American believers. Do not advise, however, that you designate
her a martyr.

Cablegram January 28, 1946



HISTORIC DECISIONS


Overjoyed, profoundly thankful for munificent donation made by American
Bahá’í community for international relief. Urge establishment of
communication with German believers and careful consultation with their
representatives to collaborate in publication and expansion of much needed
German Bahá’í literature. Delighted at news of consolidation of activities
in Central America, the progress of the Public Campaigns and development
of youth activities. Advise address special immediate appeal to American
believers to insure large, representative attendance at approaching
Convention owing to momentous, historic decisions to be disclosed to
assembled representatives of ever-victorious, increasingly blessed,
spiritually maturing American Bahá’í community.

Cablegram February 25, 1946



MOMENTOUS RESPONSIBILITIES


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

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

March 25, 1946



INAUGURATION OF SECOND SEVEN YEAR PLAN


Message to 1946 Convention

Hail with joyous heart the delegates of the American Bahá’í Community
assembled beneath the dome of the Mother Temple of the West in momentous
Convention of the first year of peace. The souls are uplifted in
thanksgiving for the protection vouchsafed by Providence to the preeminent
community of the Bahá’í world enabling its members to consummate, despite
the tribulations of a world-convulsing conflict, the first stage of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan. The Campaign culminating the Centenary of the
inauguration of the Bahá’í Era completed sixteen months ere the appointed
time the exterior ornamentation of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, laid the
basis of the administrative order in every virgin state and province of
the North American Continent, almost doubled the Assemblies established
since the inception of the Faith, established Assemblies in fourteen
republics of Latin America, constituted active groups in remaining
republics, swelled to sixty the sovereign states within the pale of the
Faith.

The two-year respite, well-earned after the expenditure of such a colossal
effort, covering such a tremendous range, during so dark a period, is now
ended. The prosecutors of the Plan who in the course of six war-ridden
years achieved such prodigies of service in the Western Hemisphere from
Alaska to Magallanes are now collectively summoned to assume in the course
of the peaceful years ahead still weightier responsibilities for the
opening decade of the Second Century. The time is ripe, events are
pressing. Hosts on high are sounding the signal for inauguration of second
Seven Year Plan designed to culminate first Centennial of the year Nine
marking the mystic birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic mission in
Síyáh-_Ch_ál at Ṭihrán.

A two-fold responsibility urgently calls the vanguard of the dawn-breakers
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Order, torch-bearers of world civilization, executors of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mandate, to arise and simultaneously bring to fruition the
tasks already undertaken and launch fresh enterprises beyond the borders
of the Western Hemisphere.

The first objective of the new Plan is consolidation of victories already
won throughout the Americas, involving multiplication of Bahá’í centers,
bolder proclamation of the Faith to the masses. The second objective is
completion of the interior ornamentation of the holiest House of Worship
in the Bahá’í world designed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of
the inception of this historic enterprise. The third objective is the
formation of three national Assemblies, pillars of the Universal House of
Justice, in the Dominion of Canada, Central and South America. The fourth
objective is the initiation of systematic teaching activity in war-torn,
spiritually famished European continent, cradle of world-famed
civilizations, twice-blest by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visits, whose rulers
Bahá’u’lláh specifically and collectively addressed, aiming at
establishment of Assemblies in the Iberian Peninsula, the Low Countries,
the Scandinavian states, and Italy. No effort is too great for community
belonging to the continent whose rulers Bahá’u’lláh addressed in the Most
Holy Book, whose members were invested with spiritual primacy by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and named by Him apostles of His Father, whose country was
the first western nation to respond to the Divine Message and deemed
worthy to be first to build the Tabernacle of the Most Great Peace, whose
administrators evolved the pattern of the embryonic world order,
consummated the first stage of the Divine Plan, and whose elevation to the
throne of everlasting dominion the Center of the Covenant confidently
anticipated. As the resistless impulse propelling the Plan accelerates,
the American Community must rise to new levels of potency in response to
the divine mandate, scale loftier heights of heroism, insure fuller
participation of the rank and file of members, and closer collaboration
with the agencies designed to insure attainment of the fourfold
objectives, and evince greater audacity in tearing down the barriers in
its path.

Upon the success of the second Seven Year Plan depends the launching,
after a brief respite of three brief years, of a yet more momentous third
Seven Year Plan which, when consummated through the establishment of the
structure of the administrative order in the remaining sovereign states
and chief dependencies of the entire globe, must culminate in and be
befittingly commemorated through world-wide celebrations marking the
Centennial of the formal assumption by Bahá’u’lláh of the Prophetic Office
associated with Daniel’s prophecy and the world triumph of the Bahá’í
revelation and signalizing the termination of the initial epoch in the
evolution of the Plan whose mysterious, resistless processes must continue
to shed ever-increasing lustre on successive generations of both the
Formative and Golden Ages of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Pledging ten thousand dollars as my initial contribution for the
furtherance of the manifold purposes of a glorious crusade surpassing
every enterprise undertaken by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh
in the course of the first Bahá’í century.

April 25, 1946



SPIRITUAL CONQUEST OF THE OLD WORLD


Opening phase of spiritual conquest of the old world under divinely
conceived Plan must be speedily and befittingly inaugurated. Feel
necessity prompt dispatch of nine competent pioneers to as many countries
as feasible charged to initiate systematic teaching work, commence
settlement and promote dissemination of literature. Urge establishment of
auxiliary office in Geneva as adjunct to International Bureau equipped
with facilities to foster development of Assemblies in countries falling
within the scope of Plan. Recommend European Teaching Committee undertake
without delay measures aiming at close collaboration of British Publishing
Trust and Publishing Committee of German National Assembly. Advise include
Duchy of Luxembourg in Low Countries and enlarge range of Plan through
addition of Switzerland. Owing to considerable sum already accumulated in
Ṭihrán I prefer to divert sum for International Relief not yet forwarded
to Persia, as well as Assembly’s annual contribution to World Center, to
funds earmarked for all-important far-flung European teaching and
publication activities. The challenge offered by virgin fields of Europe
outweighs momentous character of task already confronting American Bahá’í
Community in the Americas. Vast distances sundering the old and new world
are visibly, providentially contracting, enabling the ambassadors of
Bahá’u’lláh’s New World Order swiftly to discharge their apostolic mission
through the continent destined to be stepping-stone to still vaster
enterprises associated with future stages of divinely impelled,
ever-unfolding, world-encircling Plan.

Cablegram June 5, 1946



THIRTY NEW ASSEMBLIES


Appeal National Teaching Committee unitedly arise play notable part in
stupendous exertions now being made by Bahá’í communities throughout
Americas in furtherance of second Seven Year Plan. Plead focus attention
enable thirty groups having six or more members speedily attain Assembly
status. Devoutly praying number of Assemblies functioning in North America
will reach one hundred and seventy-five ere expiry of second year of
second stage of Divine Plan. Attainment of this immediate objective will
challenge and galvanize all other agencies functioning in Latin America
and European continent to follow the superb example set for sister
committees laboring at the heart of the mother community of the Western
hemisphere.

Cablegram June 13, 1946



A GOD-GIVEN MANDATE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 15, 1946.



THE UTMOST VIGOR, VIGILANCE AND CONSECRATION


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

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

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

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

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

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

July 20, 1946



DISTINGUISHED SERVANT


Profoundly grieve passing dearly-beloved, great-hearted, high-minded,
distinguished servant Bahá’u’lláh, John Bosch. His saintly life, pioneer
services, historic contribution of institution of summer school, entitle
him to rank among outstanding figures of the closing years heroic, and
opening years of the formative age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. Concourse
on high extol his exalted services. Assure his wife and valiant companion
of my deepfelt sympathy. Advise hold special gathering in Temple as
tribute to his imperishable memory.

Cablegram July 29, 1946



THIS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CRUSADE


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

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

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

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

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

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

October 5, 1946



THE FORCES MYSTERIOUSLY RELEASED


The opening year of the second Seven Year Plan so auspiciously inaugurated
is half spent. The entire American Bahá’í Community, galvanized through
fuller perception of the progressive unfoldment of its glorious destiny,
is geared to a higher speed of organized activity, and uplifted to a new
level of collective achievement. The forces mysteriously released,
designed to direct the operation and stimulate the processes to insure the
consummation of the second stage of the Divine Plan, are inconceivably
potent. Full, rapid use of these forces, by an organized community alive
to the sublimity of its mission, is imperative. The manifold agencies,
local, regional, national and intercontinental, directly responsible for
prosecution of the Plan are now called upon to achieve, in their
respective spheres, ere termination of this current year, successes so
conspicuous as shall immeasurably fortify hopes of winning, within the
stipulated time, a total, decisive victory. An immediate notable increase
in the number of pioneers, particularly for the newly-opened transatlantic
field of service, is the supreme necessity of this challenging hour. The
present trickle must at all costs swell into a steady flow of consecrated
settlers and itinerant teachers, who, mindful of the Master’s poignant
plea, careless of their limited resources, undismayed by the somber
international outlook, undeterred by the formidable character of the tasks
undertaken or by the obstacles to be surmounted, will, in both the
administrative and teaching spheres, arise to accomplish feats outshining
the exploits immortalizing the record of American Bahá’í stewardship in
both continents of the New World since the inception of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Divine Plan. May the months immediately ahead be productive of results
exceeding my fondest expectations.

Cablegram October 7, 1946



THE PIVOT ON WHICH HINGES SUCCESS


I recall with profound emotion, on the morrow of the Twenty-Fifth
Anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, the dramatic circumstances marking
simultaneously the termination of the Heroic Age, and the commencement of
the Formative Period, of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

I acclaim with thankfulness, joy and pride the American Bahá’í community’s
manifold, incomparable services rendered the Faith at home and across the
seas in the course of this quarter century.

I hail with particular satisfaction the consummation of the twin major
tasks spontaneously undertaken and brilliantly discharged by the same
community in both the administrative and missionary fields, constituting
the greatest contribution ever made to the progress of the Faith by any
corporate body at any time, in any continent, since the inception of the
administrative order.

Nursed during its infancy by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s special care and unfailing
solicitude; invested at a later stage with spiritual primacy through the
symbolic acts associated with His historic visit to the North American
continent; summoned subsequently to the challenge through the revelation
of the epoch-making Tablets of the Divine Plan; launched on its career
according to the directives of and through the propelling force generated
by these same Tablets; utilizing with skill, resourcefulness and tenacity,
for the purpose of executing its mission, the manifold agencies evolving
within the administrative order, in the erection of whose fabric it has
assumed so preponderating a share; emerging triumphantly from the arduous
twofold campaign undertaken simultaneously in the homeland and in Latin
America; this community now finds itself launched in both hemispheres on a
second, incomparably more glorious stage, of the systematic crusade
designed to culminate, in the course of successive epochs, in the
spiritual conquest of the entire planet.

The task of this stern hour is challenging, its scale of operation
continually widening, the races and nations to be contacted highly
diversified, the forces of resistance more firmly entrenched, yet the
prizes destined for the valiant conquerors are inestimably precious and
the sustaining Grace of the Lord of Hosts promised to the executors of His
mandate is indescribably potent.

The present European project heralding the spiritual regeneration of the
entire continent is the pivot on which hinges the success of the second
Seven Year Plan. I appeal to the National representatives of the
community, in conjunction with the European Teaching Committee, to focus
attention upon its immediate requirements. The dispatch of nine additional
pioneers to facilitate the immediate formation of stable groups in the
goal towns of the ten selected countries is imperative. The selection of
suitable literature, its prompt translation into the languages required,
its publication and wide dissemination, is essential. The visit of an
ever-swelling number of itinerant teachers designed to foster the
development of the groups is urgently required. A more liberal allocation
of funds for the furtherance of the most vital objective is indispensable.

I entreat the entire community to arise, while time remains, contribute
generously, volunteer its services and accelerate its momentum, to assure
the total success of the first, most momentous collective enterprise
launched by the American Bahá’í community beyond the barriers of the
Western Hemisphere.

Cablegram December 3, 1946



FIFTH YEAR OF PLAN MESSAGE TO 1941 CONVENTION


The Fifth Year of the Seven Year Plan is opening under circumstances of
utmost gravity in Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The fever of the times
is steadily mounting, throwing into sharper relief the contrast between
the rising greatness of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and the falling fortunes
of a moribund civilization. The American Bahá’í Community, rapidly
pursuing the career traced by unerring finger of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, can neither
halt nor waver. I cannot forbear address my particular plea to focus,
owing to virtual termination of Temple ornamentation, attention on
teaching requirements of the Plan. I appeal to incoming National Assembly,
its auxiliary Teaching Committees and subsidiary agencies to deliberate
and devise means to insure prompt reinstatement of the Assemblies recently
disbanded and formation of Assembly in each newly-opened State and
Province of North America and continuity of the consolidation of the
pioneer work initiated in every Latin Republic. Undismayed by aggravation
of the fury of the world tempest threatening their shores, scornful of the
agitation stirred up by their adversaries, the breakers of the Covenant,
the resolute upholders of the Divine Plan will, indeed cannot but, persist
in their ordained task to propagate the flame, enlarge the administrative
limits, and strike deeper roots of the world-encircling world-redeeming
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Shoghi Rabbani

Cablegram received April 23, 1941.



FOOTNOTES


    1 The First Century of the Bahá’í Era, ending May 22, 1944.

    2 Honolulu

    3 The next message, dated April 23, 1941, will be found on page 110.





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