Unfolding Destiny, Shoghi Effendi
Unfolding Destiny
Shoghi Effendi
18:39 h Bahá’í
... ...this community can do no better than to gird up afresh its loins, turn its back upon the clamour of the age, its fears, confusion and strife, step resolutely forward on its chosen path, unshakably confident that with every step it takes, should it remain undeflected in its purpose and undimmed in its vision, a fresh outpouring of Divine grace will reinforce and guide its march on the highroad of its destiny. - Shoghi Effendi

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The Messages from the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith to the Bahá’í Community of the British Isles

[Frontispiece]

“…this community can do no better than to gird up afresh its loins, turn its back upon the clamour of the age, its fears, confusion and strife, step resolutely forward on its chosen path, unshakably confident that with every step it takes, should it remain undeflected in its purpose and undimmed in its vision, a fresh outpouring of Divine grace will reinforce and guide its march on the highroad of its destiny.”

Shoghi

“…The annals of the British Bahá’í community, small in numbers, yet unconquerable in spirit, tenacious in belief, undeviating in purpose, alert and vigilant in the discharge of its manifold duties and responsibilities, have in consequence of its epoch-making achievements been vastly enriched.

“The process set in motion and greatly accelerated through the successive formulation of the Six Year Plan, the Two Year Plan and the Ten Year Plan, must continue unabated and unimpaired. Nay with every passing day it must gather momentum. Every individual believer must, henceforth, encouraged and inspired by all that has already been achieved, contribute to its future and speedy unfoldment.

“That the entire community may befittingly respond to the call of the present hour and bring to a final consummation the Mission with which it has been entrusted is the deepest yearning of my heart and the object of my unceasing prayers.”

Shoghi

THE SEEDS ARE TENDED 922–1944

Letter of 5 March 1922

5 March 1922

Dear Fellow-workers in the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh,

It is with words of regret and disappointment that I desire to open this letter because of my inability, in view of my manifold and pressing duties, to respond individually and in writing to the many messages of love and sympathy and of hope that you have so affectionately sent me since our Beloved’s passing from this World. I am sure I am voicing the sentiments of the bereaved ladies of the Household when I say that however desirous we may be to correspond separately with every one of you, the grave responsibilities and manifold duties now devolved upon us make it regrettably impossible to express in written messages to every friend what we constantly feel in our hearts, and pray for when visiting His sacred Shrine.

At this grave and momentous period through which the Cause of God in conformity with the Divine Wisdom is passing, it is the sacred duty of every one of us to endeavour to realise the full significance of this Hour of Transition, and then to make a supreme resolve to arise steadfastly for the fulfilment of our sacred obligations.

Great as is the love and paternal care which our beloved Master is extending to us from on High, and unique as is the Spirit that animates today His servants in the world, yet a great deal will depend upon the character and efforts of His loved ones on whom now rests the responsibility of carrying on His work gloriously after Him. How great is the need at this moment when the promised outpourings of His grace are ready to be extended to every soul, for us all to form a broad vision of the mission of the Cause to mankind, and to do all in our power to spread it throughout the world. The eyes of the world, now that the sublime Personality of the Master has been removed from this visible plane, are turned with eager anticipation to us who are named after His name, and on whom rests primarily the responsibility to keep burning the torch that He has lit in this world. How keenly I feel at this challenging hour in the history of the Cause the need for a firm and definite determination to subordinate all our personal likings, our local interests, to the interests and requirements of the Cause of God! Now is the time to set aside, nay, to forget altogether, minor considerations regarding our internal relationships, and to present a solid united front to the world animated by no other desire but to serve and propagate His Cause.

It is my firm conviction which I now express with all sincerity and candour, that the dignity and unity of the Cause urgently demands — particularly throughout the American continent — that the friends should in their words and conduct emphasise and give absolute prominence to the constructive dynamic principles of Bahá’u’lláh, rather than attach undue importance to His negative Teachings. With hearts cleansed from the least trace of suspicion and filled with hope and faith in what the spirit of love can achieve, we must one and all endeavour at this moment to forget past impressions, and with absolute goodwill and genuine co-operation unite in deepening and diffusing the spirit of love and service that the Cause has thus far so remarkably shown to the world. To this attitude of goodwill, of forebearance and genuine kindness to all, must be added, however, constant but unprovocative vigilance, lest unrestricted association with the peoples of the world should enable the very few who have been definitely pronounced by the Master as injurious to the body of the Cause, to make a breach in the Movement. Not until, however, an unmistakable evidence should appear, manifestly revealing the evil motives of a certain individual or groups of individuals, is it advisable to make the matter public; for an untimely declaration that shall give rise to open differences among the friends is far more detrimental than forbearing still further with those who are suspected of evil intentions. As the Master so fully and consistently did throughout His lifetime, we must all make a supreme effort to pour out a genuine spirit of kindness and hopeful love to peoples of various creeds and classes, and must abstain from all provocative language that may impede the effect of what true and continued kindness can produce.

Does not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wish us, as He looks down upon us with loving expectation from His glorious Station, to obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of conflicting discussions, of cooling remarks, of petty unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract from the sublimity of the Bahá’í Cause in the eyes of the inquirer? In order, however, to insure fair and quick and vigorous action whenever such an evil activity is revealed and has been carefully ascertained, the best and only means would appear to be, for the careful observer, once he is assured of such an evil action, and has grown hopeless of the attitude of kindness and forbearance, to report it quietly to the Spiritual Assembly representative of the friends in that locality and submit the case to their earnest and full consideration. Should the majority of the members of that Assembly be conscientiously convinced of the case — and this being a national issue affecting the body of the friends in America — it should, only through the intermediary of that Assembly, be cautiously communicated to that greater body representing all the Assemblies in America, which will in its turn obtain all the available data from the local Assembly in question, study carefully the situation and reserve for itself the ultimate decision. It may, if it decides so, refer to the Holy Land for further consideration and consultation.

This clearly places heavy responsibilities on the local as well as national Assemblies, which in the course of time will evolve, with the Master’s power and guidance, into the local and national Houses of Justice. Hence the vital necessity of having a local Spiritual Assembly in every locality where the number of adult declared believers exceeds nine, and of making provision for the indirect election of a Body that shall adequately represent the interests of all the friends and Assemblies throughout the American Continent.

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