Messages to America, Shoghi Effendi
Messages to America
Shoghi Effendi
5:39 h Bahá’í
Selected Letters and Cablegrams Addressed to the Bahá’í’s of North America 1932–1946

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[Frontispiece]

“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.

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 Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

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

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