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Extracts from the USBN (part 2)

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No. 59 - February 1932 - page 1

The Guardian has recently sent the following word through one of his secretaries:

"It is very gratifying to see the National Spiritual Assembly and the friends whole-heartedly arise for the completion of this edifice which was so dear to the Master's heart. If this spirit of co-operation and sacrifice should be sustained it will indirectly affect all the other phases of our activity and usher in a new era in the history of the progress of the Movement in that country."

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 2

In a recent letter from Haifa, the Guardian writes:

"We should have faith in the power of the Master to come to our help and guide us in our difficulties. We should at the same time do our best in awakening the friends to their duties and urge them to keep up their sacrifices."

... and endorsed by our Guardian. " It fully and truly deserves the unreserved support of every American believer."

... those stirring words cabled by Shoghi Effendi:

"An appeal to individuals and Assemblies alike to maintain, despite world-wide depression, high standard of self-sacrificing efforts (for) National Fund, is imperative. Abundant blessings shall be vouchsafed its staunch supporters."

Extract from letter received February 4, 1932

Persian Colony

Haifa, Palestine

Jan. 14, 1932

Dear Roy:

. . . Concerning the general letter he has sent lately to the Western friends, to which you refer in your letter; Shoghi Effendi thinks that the friends should spread the message it conveys to the public. It should undoubtedly be done in a very judicious way lest the people think that we have entered the arena of politics with rather drastic programs of reform. But we should at the same time show the lead that the teachings take towards the realization of the international ideal. The primary importance of the Cause among the existing religions of the world is that, whereas the others have no coherent program upon which they are united, the Movement is rich with the very spirit and teachings of world needs for solving its present international problems. It is wonderful chance for the Cause to absorb the interest of the intelligent elements in the public. . . .

Please convey Shoghi Effendi's greetings to your Mother as well as to the Members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Yours every sincerely,

(Signed) Ruhi Afnan.

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 3

Excerpts from letter from Shoghi Effendi to National Spiritual Assembly dated Dec. 20th, 1931.

Shoghi Effendi views the great sacrifice the friends are making to complete the Temple with great admiration. He, however, hopes that this will be continuous and not spasmodic. We have to show the world that though our number is small, our spirit of service is beyond measure and we can face any emergency with absolute assurance as to the final victory. Shoghi Effendi is now looking forward to the time when the external decoration will start, for that will begin to present the real beauty that edifice will possess when completed. Teaching and the completion of the Temple construction are the two subjects that should obtain the most careful attention.

(In the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

I deeply appreciate the continued and self-sacrificing endeavor of the American believers in the face of the grave financial and economic depression into which their country and the whole world is now plunged. That the Temple edifice should arise under such circumstances, that its elaborate and exquisite ornamentation should be carried out, through the efforts of a mere handful of Baha'i followers despite the gloom, the uncertainty and the dangers which surround them is but another evidence of the mysterious all-compelling power of Baha'u'llah whose blessings will be bountifully vouchsafed to all who arise to carry out His purpose. The Cause is entering upon a period of unprecedented achievements. The full measure of its glory and power will be gradually manifested, if we, on our part, execute in their entirety the instructions and bequests bequeathed to us by our beloved Master. The American believers have made a splendid beginning. Let them bring to a speedy and successful termination a task which they have so nobly initiated and which they along are destined to accomplish.

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 3

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to a believer

Shoghi Effendi has directed me to write this in answer to your letter, expressing his appreciation of your aspirations and conveying to you his loving greetings.

As to material sacrifices toward the welfare of the Cause, he wishes you to understand that the general interests of the Cause take precedence over the interests of the particular individuals. For instance, contributions to the welfare of individuals are secondary to contributions to the National and Local Funds and that of the Temple.

This is a general instruction. Of course helping the individuals in case one is able to help, is also desirable and merits appreciation. He is glad to learn that you have been helping . . .. Surely God will reward you. He prays for you and for . . . . so that you may prosper more day by day and . . . may also be released from the inconveniences of life.

Your humble brother in His Name,

(Signed) Aziullah S. Bahador.

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 3-4

Shoghi Effendi approves New York Declaration of Trust

The chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly .... of New York City has received from Shoghi Effendi a letter and also a cablegram....

The first portion of the letter was written through his secretary:

"It is surely very important to give to the Local Spiritual Assemblies some legal standing, for as the Cause progresses and its adherents increase, they will be confronted with duties they cannot even imagine at present. Not only will they have to make contracts for acquiring halls for their meeting place, but also they will be obliged to create new institutions to care for their sick, pure and aged people. We hope that before long the Baha'is will even (be able to) afford to have schools that would provide the children the intellectual and spiritual education as prescribed in the writings of Baha'u'llah and the Master.

"For such duties that will naturally devolve upon the Local Spiritual Assemblies there will be an increasing need for a legal standing. They will have to be considered as a legal person with the power of making binding contracts.

"In small centers where the friends are still few, the taking of such steps is rather premature and may add to the complexity of Baha'i administration. Not so, however, with New York which, I suppose, is the largest center in the United States."

The Guardian added the following words in his own handwriting:

"Kindly convey to the members of your distinguished Assembly and through them to the entire Baha'i Community in New York, the expression of my heartfelt gratification, admiration and gratitude for the historic step that has been taken by the Baha'is of New York, the City of the Covenant, for the consolidation of their local activities. I am entirely in agreement with the provisions of the Declaration of Trust, endorse its principles, approve its purpose, and believe it to be eminently practicable, useful and serviceable to the interests of the Cause. It will serve as a pattern for every Baha'i Local Spiritual Assembly in America and a model for every local community throughout the Baha'i world. This document, being the first of its kind, should, I feel, be published, in its final form and in its entirety, in "The "Baha'i World ."

The foregoing letter was dated December 25, 1931. Three days later the Guardian dispatched this cablegram:

"Urge mail promptly two photographs, one (of) New York Assembly, another (of) entire local community to accompany (the) publication (in) "Baha'i World (of) New York's splendid Declaration of Trust. Heartfelt congratulations."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 6 7

A recent letter from the Guardian to "The Baha'i World Committee chairman .... He says:

"I hope that the friends will gradually arise to enrich these sections and improve the standard of their contributions." In the same letter Ruhi Afnan says that "If in every center, the friends could win the co-operation of at least one of the local papers, they could thereby start a teaching campaign far more effective than anything yet attempted."

News notes from the British Isles

The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, sends the following message through the National Spiritual Assembly:

"I deeply sympathize with the increasing difficulties confronting the believers in Great Britain, but I feel that these will serve to deepen their faith in the power of the Cause and will enable them to reinforce the spirit of Baha'i solidarity among them. I strongly feel that the maintenance of the Center (Walmar House) is indispensible and vital to the interests of the Cause, and I will continue to pray that Baha'u'llah may protect and bless and sustain the upholders of His Faith in that land."

A paragraph from Ruhi Afnan written under the direction of the Guardian seems also so significant that it is here quoted. -

"He hopes that the friends will display a certain amount of faith and courage and not fear present economic conditions. We should not let financial considerations hamper our work and discourage us in rendering our services. Giving lavishly during days of plenty cannot be termed sacrifice. It applies only to our activities when depression and economic difficulties seem to block the way . . . Whatever we sacrifice at present is to assure the welfare of humanity and ourselves as members of it in the future."

Study Committee.....

In the words of Shoghi Effendi:

"How pressing and sacred the responsibility that now weighs upon those who are already acquainted with the teachings! How glorious the task of those who are called upon to vindicate their truth, and demonstrate its practicability to an unbelieving world."

...in the statement of Shoghi Effendi, who says:

"For Baha'u'llah, we should readily recognize, has not only imbued mankind with a new and regenerating Spirit. He has not merely enunciated certain universal principles, or propounded a particular philosophy, however potent, sound and universal these may be. In addition to these, He, as well as 'Abdu'l-Baha after Him, have, unlike the Dispensations of the past, clearly and specifically laid down a set of Laws, established definite institutions, and provided for the essentials of a Divine Economy."

No. 59 - February 1932 - page 8

Letter received by the Publishing Committee

Persian Colony

Haifa, Palestine

12-29-31.

Dear Mrs. Little:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, written on behalf of the Publishing Committee, regarding the Publication of the "Divine Art of Living .

Shoghi Effendi has laid down a principal that the Baha'is should not attribute much importance to talks, reported to have been given by the Master, if there have not in one form or another obtained His sanction.

Baha'u'llah has made it clear enough that only those things that have been revealed in the form of Tablets have a binding power over the friends. Hearsays may be matters of interest but can in no way claim authority. This basic teaching of Baha'u'llah was to preserve the Faith from being corrupted like Islam which attributes binding authority to all the reported sayings of Muhammad.

This being a basic principle of the Faith we should not confuse Tablets that were actually revealed and mere talks attributed to the founders of the Cause. The first have absolute binding authority while the latter can in no way claim our obedience. The highest thing this can achieve is to influence the activities of the one who has heard the saying in person.

Those talks of the Master that were later reviewed by Him and corrected or in some other form considered authentic by Himself, such as the "Some Answered "Questions , these could be considered as Tablets and therefore be given the necessary binding power. All the other talks such as are included in Ahmad's diary or the other diaries of pilgrims, do not fall under this category and could be considered only as interesting material to be taken for what they are worth.

For this reason Shoghi Effendi has not been encouraging the publication of reported sayings that were not authenticated by the Master Himself. Shoghi Effendi is trying to prevent the friends from considering as actual words of the Master things that were not authenticated by Him.

Now in so far as the "Divine Art of Living is concerned, some of the friends wrote Shoghi Effendi and stated that the book is very much liked, so he did permit its publication in its old form. The question, however, totally changes when the plates no more exist. He would surely not advise you to undertake that expense at this time and bring out a book where authentic and non-authentic material is hopelessly confused. It greatly detracts from the worth of a book to have in it quotations from Tablets which are absolutely binding and reported sayings that have no authority.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's prayers and best wishes and assure you of his loving greetings.

Yours ever sincerely

(Signed) Ruhi Afnan.

No. 60 - March 1932 - page 1

Extract from Letter from Shoghi Effendi, dated February 20, 1932, Addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly.

I wish to add a few words in person in order to re-affirm the paramount, the urgent necessity for devising ways and means that will ensure the success of the Plan of Unified Action, and compensate for the disadvantages it has, unavoidably and owing to unforeseen circumstances, suffered. I would appeal to every conscientious follower of the Faith in that land, not to rest until the means have been made available to insure the completion of the decoration of the Dome of this imposing and marvelous edifice before the end of the spring of next year. The Cause will suffer, its prestige will no doubt be affected if the Plan, so admirably conceived, should again fall into abeyance. This we must at all costs prevent. May the Almighty inspire and sustain you in your arduous task.

SHOGHI.

Guardian cables concerning Convention (24th)

Haifa, Palestine, March 9, 1932. Spiritual advantages derived from deliberations of delegates in Convention assembled outweigh financial considerations. Urge eliminate unnecessary expenses.

SHOGHI.

(Column 2 - unidentified - but obviously a quote)

"If we falter or hesitate, if our love for Him should fail to direct us and keep us within His path, if we desert Divine and emphatic principles, what hope can we any more cherish for healing the ills and sicknesses of this world?"

No. 60 - March 1932 - page 5

Shoghi Effendi said to a believer recently in Haifa that "by 'Oneness of Mankind' is meant an organized unification, not mere brotherhood. It is not a humanitarian principle, it does not imply a theoretical abstract conception, but a promise that the world is going to be unified politically, socially, economically and religiously."

No. 60 - March 1932 - page 7

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to Mr. Albert Windust,

Haifa, Palestine.

February 28, 1932.

Dear Mr. Windust:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated February 7th, 1932, written on your arrival in Chicago.

The account of your trip, of the centers you have visited and the friends you have met, was very interesting. Shoghi Effendi is sure that they have enjoyed seeing you as much as you have obtained from meeting them. There is always a mutual give and take in such visits and commerce of love. How much Shoghi Effendi hopes that other pilgrims would do the same! The service rendered is far beyond what we can estimate at the time.

Shoghi Effendi was especially glad to hear of the nice re-union you had with your relatives in England. He sincerely hopes that this introduction you have given them to the Cause, will awaken their interest and induce them to study the teaching. While visiting the Shrines, Shoghi Effendi will pray for them and ask for them all divine guidance and blessings. The Cause in England is at a standstill. It is only occasionally that someone enters the folds as a confirmed believer. They generally get interested and then drop off. The friends there are constantly writing Shoghi Effendi to ask the Baha'is who come to Haifa, to so arrange their plan as to visit England on their way home. They need assistance and the friends in America are in a position to render it.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that by now your business has taken some shape and that you do not find life so very exacting. Please convey his greetings to all the friends, especially to your daughters. Assuring you of his prayers and loving greetings.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

Dearly-beloved co-worker:

The days of our companionship under the shadow of the holy shrine, our collaboration, our discussions, and prayers at the sacred threshold, will long linger in my memory. Much as I had heard, and through correspondence learned, of your tenacity of faith, your thoroughness, your passionate devotion to our beloved Cause, the intimate experience of our meeting in this sacred spot has served only to heighten my admiration for the spirit that animates you in the service of the Cause. The sequel of your pilgrimage, your journey to Europe, I regard as an added blessing and invaluable service which I greatly value. The letters I received regarding your visit to the Baha'i centers testify to the deep impression you have made upon the believers. I will from the depth of my heart supplicate for you and your daughter, the Almighty's richest blessings.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to Mr. and Mrs. Harlan Ober

Haifa, Palestine.

February 2, 1932.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ober:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 22nd, 1932. You inquired concerning the Huquq. Shoghi Effendi would much prefer if the friends in America concentrate their financial resources towards the completion of the Temple, rather than dissipate their energy along the channels that do not as yet call for immediate attention. When the time comes that the Cause would need the enforcement of this religious donation Shoghi Effendi would say it and would set forth the amount prescribed. It is only gradually that the teachings of Baha'u'llah can be enforced. The time has to become ripe of the desired result is to be obtained.

Concerning the number of Baha'is throughout the world. This is a very difficult question to answer. Shoghi Effendi has been trying hard to obtain even an approximate figure but without result. This is true especially in Persia where besides the large number of the friends who are declared believers, there are innumerable souls who for some reason or other prefer to keep their faith a secret.

Orientalists who wrote many years ago gave the figure as two million. Sir Dennison Ross in an article published last year in the "London Times said that over one-half of the educated people of Persia are Baha'is. All these, however, are personal impressions, the best thing is to say that we do not know.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that before long the friends in Persia would send him an approximate figure, but he does not know when that will be, for he has been waiting for this figure ever since he took up the reins of the administration.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's prayers and best wishes for the services you are rendering the Cause.

Yours very sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

Dear and Precious co-workers:

I wish you to urge the friends, far and near, to concentrate their energy, attention and resources on the immediate needs and requirements of the Temple. Everything else, except the Teaching work, must be sub-ordinated to this pressing issue, this high enterprise, this noble ideal. I will continue to pray at the Shrine of Baha'u'llah for the success of your unsparing efforts, and wish to assure you in person of my great love and appreciation of your many past and present services to our beloved Faith.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

No. 61 - April 1932 - page 1

Recent Appeal of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly

March 14, 1932

Dear and valued co-workers:

I grieve, beyond words, to learn of the scanty response of the friends to the Plan of Unified Action to which the sacred interests of the Faith are at present so vitally and closely related. I am acutely conscious of the unprecedented character of the depression under which you labor. I am fully aware of the sacrifices you have already made, and realize the urgent need of allaying the burden which weighs so heavily on some of the poor and distressed believers. But I realize also the uniqueness of the opportunity which it is our privilege to seize and utilize. The world is watching the progress of our Faith and the steady expansion of our institutions. The eyes of countless men and women, both high and low, whether in the East or in the West, friendly or critical, are fixed upon the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, eager and expectant to know whether the growing vicissitudes and the successive crises that afflict your country are such as to deflect the American believers from their high purpose or to paralyze their efforts in the prosecution of their sacred task. Ours is the duty to vindicate the vitality and invincible power of our Faith.

SHOGHI.

No. 61 - April 1932 - page 2-3

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to the Washington Assembly

Haifa, Palestine.

February 20, 1932.

Dear Mr. McDaniel:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated Dec. 8th, 1931. You mention the need of the Cause for capable and enlightened souls who would arise and help the promotion of our beloved Faith and the carrying through of its divine plans. This has been for long the earnest prayer of Shoghi Effendi but for some reason or other it does not seem to be realized. It may be because we have failed to do our best, in living the life, and promoting the spread of the Message to the best of our ability. We have first to create the material with which we have to work and then hope to succeed. In the Bayan the Bab says that every religion of the past was fit to become universal. The only reason why they fail to attain that mark was the incompetence of their followers. He then proceeds to give a definite promise that this would not be the fate of the revelation of "Him whom God would make manifest," that it will become universal and include all the people of the world. This shows that we will ultimately succeed. But could we not through our shortcoming, failures to sacrifice and reluctance to concentrate our efforts in spreading the Cause, retard the realization of that ideal. And what would that mean? It shall mean that we will be held responsible before God, that the race will remain longer in its state of waywardness, that wars would not be so soon averted, that human suffering will last longer.

Shoghi Effendi will pray that the friends of God be helped in their task, that the hand of divine mercy lead us on to victory and that we may win the goodpleasure of our Lord.

Assuring you of his loving greeting, I remain,

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

No. 62 - April 1932 - page 3

Letter from Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Corinne True

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 28, 1932, together with the enclosed photograph of the Master.

Concerning the number nine: the Baha'is reverence this for two reasons, first because it is considered by those who are interested in numbers as the sign of perfection. The second consideration, which is the more important one, is that it is the numerical value of the word "Baha." (B equals 2, h equals 5, a equals 1, and there is an accent at the end of the word which also equals 1; the "a" after the "B" is not written in Persian so it does not count). In the Semitic languages, both Arabic and Hebrew, every letter of the alphabet has a numerical value, so instead of using figures to denote numbers they used letters and compounds of letters. Thus every letter had both a literal meaning and also a numerical value. This practice is no more in use but during the time of Baha'u'llah and the Bab it was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in the Bahan. As the word Baha also stood for the number nine it could be used interchangeably with it.

Besides these two significances the number nine has no other meaning. It is, however, enough to make the Baha'is use it when an arbitrary number is to be chosen.

Ruhi Afnan.

Dear and precious co-worker:

The news of the splendid results of the completion of the Temple superstructure is a source of great joy and satisfaction and greatly heartens me in my arduous work. I would urge you to do all in your power to arouse the believers, far and near, to continue in their heroic efforts for the completion of their great enterprise. You should regard it as your first and most sacred obligation to stimulate the friends to maintain, nay to raise, if possible, the already high standard of their self-sacrifice. You will thereby be ennobling and enriching the record of your manifold and unforgettable services to the Cause in that land.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Extract from letter from Ruhi Afnan to Mr. Roy Wilhelm

Haifa, Palestine.

January 29, 1932.

My dear Roy:

Many thanks for your card of Jan. 12th. . . . Shoghi Effendi and the rest of us are delighted as to the work that is being accomplished in America. This failure of material civilization should bring man near to spiritual matters. Working for material comfort and prosperity is becoming so useless and hopeless that we may well turn our attention more to God and the future life. The Temple also seems to be attracting so much attention and arousing so much interest in the teachings. We do hope that the friends are availing themselves of these opportunities and are really active in spreading the Message.

Shoghi Effendi and the rest of the family are well and send you their loving greetings.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

No. 62 - April 1932 - page 3-4

Eulogy of Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani by Shoghi Effendi

[It is with deep regret that we learn of the passing into the Realm of the unseen, of the faithful Custodian of the Sacred Shrine of the Bab on Mt. Carmel,Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani. He was greatly loved by 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi and recognized as an outstanding servant of the Cause. His loving devotion to the care and upkeep of the gardens surrounding the Shrine was reflected in the exquisite beauty of that Sacred spot recognized as the most beautiful in Palestine.]

Haifa, Palestine.

Dear Mr. Lunt:

Shoghi Effendi sent today a cable addressed to "Baha'i, New York" conveying the sad news of the sudden death of our dear and beloved friend, Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani, custodian of the international archives and caretaker of the gardens surrounding the Holy Shrine of the Bab on Mt. Carmel.

Though originally from Khurasan, Persia, he had spent most of his life in the near East, especially Egypt and Palestine. He came to Haifa at about the same time that the Master returned from Egypt, after His tour in the West. All during the history of the Cause, the friends of Khurasan have been known for the tenacity of their faith and their desire to sacrifice their all in the path of God. During the war, the caretaker of the Shrine of Baha'u'llah in Bahji passed away, and the Master, seeing in Abul'-Qasim the same spirit that animated the friends that came from that part of Persia, chose him as custodian of that blessed spot. With such sincerity did he serve the Shrine that the Master looked to him with great admiration. He used often to say that "when Abu'l-Qasim is in Bahji, my heart is at rest." He was confident that that servant of His would perform his duties properly and use true love and worship in pursuing his noble task. So conscientious was he, that when the Master passed away, instead of rushing to Haifa to attend the service and partake of that wondrous honour and privilege, he remained at his post, even more vigilant than before - knowing that at such a crisis the enemies of the Cause would become even more active than before.

His fears were not wholly unwarranted, for only a few days later the violators pretending to desire to visit the Shrine of Baha'u'llah wrested the keys from his hands. He refrained from violence but informed Haifa immediately and remained himself on the spot to see that no object was taken away. Fortunately, the government immediately stepped in, took over the keys and placed guards to see that peace was kept. After thorough investigation on the part of the government as to the rightful successor of the Master as custodian of the Shrines - in connection with which the Will of the Master was seen and authenticated - and constant cables from all parts of the world saying that the keys should go to Shoghi Effendi, the governor in Haifa withdrew the guards, delivered the keys in person to Abu'l-Qasim and returned to our exclusive care the service and custody of our Most Sacred Shrine.

All during this period, Abdu'l-Qasim (sic) showed wisdom coupled with devotion and untiring vigilance. Those were difficult days, but he performed his task in a most exemplary manner.

A few years later, Shoghi Effendi transferred him to Haifa and put the gardens surrounding the Shrine of the Bab under his care. Those who have had the privilege of visiting that beautiful spot will bear witness to the wonderful spirit of love, absolute self-abnegation, strenuous exertions and exemplary fidelity that he put in his work. He showed his devotion to the Bab and 'Abdu'l-Baha by making the gardens adjoining their resting place the most beautiful in the country.

When Shoghi Effendi decided to create the international archives, he chose Abu'l-Qasim as its caretaker. He tried to keep the place spotlessly clean and night after night kept watch over its precious contents.

Besides these services, he was always ready to contribute from his meagre means to the progress of the Cause. When Shoghi Effendi made an appeal to the friends to contribute to the Temple fund, he was the first in Haifa to send his share and also donate the little sacred treasurers he possessed to the archives in America.

His funeral was very simple but the service was led by Shoghi Effendi. The sense that everyone of us had of losing a precious and devoted friend has undoubtedly gladdened his spirit. We are sure that in the world beyond he will receive the blessings and bounties that await every true and devoted servant of the Master. Knowing how Shoghi Effendi was attached to him and how deeply he mourned his loss, we feel a certain sense of envy. But, however much Shoghi Effendi's affection, Abu'l-Qasim fully deserved it - he has on his record almost nineteen years of devoted service to the Shrines. Shoghi Effendi hopes to include in "The Baha'i World a copy of his photograph. Maybe the friends would desire to see the face of one of the most selfless and humble servants of our Beloved Faith.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and loving prayers.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

P.S. - Shoghi Effendi would like you to publish this letter in the "Baha'i "News . He wishes the friends to know something of Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani, the faithful gardener of the Shrines.

Ruhi.

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 1

"The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah

"That the Cause associated with the Name of Baha'u'llah feeds itself upon those hidden springs of celestial strength which no force of human personality, whatever its glamour, can replace; that its reliance is solely upon that mystic Source with which no worldly advantage, be it wealth, fame, or learning can compare; that it propagates itself by ways mysterious and utterly at variance with the standards accepted by the generality of mankind, will, if not already apparent, become increasingly manifest as it forges ahead towards fresh conquests in its struggle for the spiritual regeneration of mankind."

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 8

Some years ago Shoghi Effendi wrote....

"A vital necessity, a step fraught with immense possibilities for our beloved Cause." He wrote, "May 'Abdu'l-Baha guide every step you take and protect and inspire you, who are his chosen, dearly beloved standard bearers in that vast continent. Teach, teach, teach and the victory, the most glorious victory is ultimately yours."

He further writes:

"When one of the friends arises to spread the Cause with absolute determination and complete severance, God will confirm his efforts and guide his steps."

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 11

Report of World's Fair (1933) Religious Congress Committee

The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, .... his personal postscript to a letter dated November 30th, 1930:

"I feel that every effort should be made to secure from the authorities their approval for the holding of a special Baha'i session in connection with the Inter-Religious Congress, at which a paper should be read on the Cause, its purpose, teachings and activities. The American believers, and if feasible, believers from Europe, should be adequately and befittingly represented. It would, I am sure, be of great value to the Cause, and if properly organized, would considerably enhance the prestige of the Cause. An international Baha'i Congress would, on the other hand, due to manifold obstacles in our way, not produce this result. I trust and pray that the Assembly will be divinely assisted and inspired in taking the most effective preliminary measures for such a valuable and far-reaching undertaking."

SHOGHI.

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 12

Writing through his secretary , the letter being dated December 25, 1931, the Guardian stated that:

"It is surely very important to give to the Local Assemblies some legal standing, for as the Cause progresses and its adherents increase, they will be confronted with duties they cannot even imagine at present. Not only will they have to make contracts for acquiring halls for their meeting place, but also they will be obliged to create new institutions to care for their sick, poor, and aged people. We hope that before long the Baha'is will even afford to have schools that would provide the children the intellectual and spiritual education as prescribed in the writings of Baha'u'llah and the Master. For such duties that will naturally devolve upon the Local Assemblies there will be an increasing need for a legal standing. They will have to be considered as a legal person with the power of making binding contracts. In small centers where the friends are still few the taking of such steps is rather premature and may add to the complexity of Baha'i administration."

In his own handwriting Shoghi Effendi added these words:

"I am entirely in agreement with the provisions of the Declaration of Trust, endorse its principles, approve its purpose, and believe it to be eminently practicable, useful and serviceable to the interests of the Cause. It will serve as a pattern for every Baha'i Local Assembly in America and a model for every local community throughout the Baha'i world."

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 13

The following comments have been received from Shoghi Effendi since our last Annual Report:

"He wishes me to congratulate you on the sane, sober but interesting and appealing tone which you have given to all your writings and which he trusts will find a suitable place in the press of the country." (April 16, 1931). "Shoghi Effendi wishes me to express his full appreciation of the statement concerning the Temple which the Assembly is going to send out to the news agencies." (May 6, 1931).

"Shoghi Effendi read the open letters written by the Publicity Committee with great interest and he hopes that these appeals will awaken the intelligent people of that country to the importance of the teachings and their need for rehabilitating our dislocated society." (December 25, 1931).

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 17

...the following letter from the Guardian since receiving a copy of this edition:

"I am greatly pleased with the new edition of the "Iqan" and I am arranging to send a large number of copies to distinguished people throughout the country." SHOGHI.

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 18

The following quotation from a letter written by the Guardian to the Publishing Committee, clearly indicates his feeling on the matter:

. . . "Much of the progress of the Cause depends upon you (the Publishing Committee, for more people are attracted through reading than by hearing lectures. The first requisite, however, is that everything put before the public should be of the highest type both literary and artistic. The Cause is in great need of first class publications." . . .

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 22

This question has been answered for us by a direct communication from Shoghi Effendi which reads as follows:

"Shoghi Effendi fully approves the idea of publishing articles that are humanitarian even if they are not purely Baha'i, such as the one by Mrs. Cook about Mr. Rosenwald. Such articles are also educative for the Baha'is, and will enhance the interest of the magazine."

Ruhi Afnan writing for the Guardian, says:

"Shoghi Effendi found the articles written by Siyyid Mustafa Roumie excellent and deeply enjoyed reading them. He is an old war horse and has won many battles for the Cause."

No. 62 - May 1932 - page 23

...our latest word from our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi: Speaking of the Magazine, Ruhi Afnan, writing for our Guardian, says:

"He is fully satisfied with its present rate, and hopes it will keep on developing. He does read its numbers with great interest and really enjoys some of its articles. . . . Shoghi Effendi wishes me to express his deep appreciation for the wonderful work you, as well as those associated with you, are doing in the field of service. May the Master ever guide and assist you in your noble task."

And in our Guardian's handwriting the following:

"I wish to confirm in person the message written on my behalf, and to assure you of my keen and loving appreciation of the many and notable services you are rendering to the Faith."

No. 63 - June 1932 - page 3

Baha'i Summer Schools

"Shoghi Effendi feels that the real purpose of these Summer Schools is to deepen the knowledge of the friends. Lectures are very essential for they give a wonderful picture of the subject matter. But it is not sufficient to have a picture; the friends should deepen their knowledge and this can be achieved if, together with the lectures, there are study classes and seminar work carried on by the same lecturer. The world is undoubtedly facing a great crisis and the social, economic and political conditions are becoming daily more complex. Should the friends desire to take the lead in informing the world, they should start by educating themselves and understand what the troubles and problems really are which baffle the minds of men. It is in these Summer Schools that this training should be provided for the friends." (Shoghi Effendi through his secretary, to Mr. John Bosch.)

On March 14, 1932, Shoghi Effendi, through his secretary, wrote the following letter to Mr. Winthrop Lee, one of the officers of Esperanto Informo:

"The Baha'is have always considered with deep interest and esteem the wonderful work of the Esperantists are achieving in putting into practise one of the foremost principles of their Faith. Many of their numbers have been encouraged to study that language and participate in promoting its many interests. They would therefore be very willing to cooperate with you in matters that are of mutual interest. . . . May God hasten the day when your hopes as well as ours will be realized."

No. 63 - June 1932 - page 4

Louhelen Ranch, Davison, Mich.

In regard to it Ruhi Afnan wrote:

"To achieve success in such manner the first year is surely beyond what we could expect. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the friends will make the necessary preparation to do even more next season. Such gatherings will give chance to friends from different localities to come together and exchange views on the different problems of the Cause and also attract new souls to the spirit and teachings of the Faith. Not only will their knowledge of the writings deepen but also the unity of the Cause will be strengthened and the work of teaching be enhanced. It is surely a wonderful service Mr. and Mrs. Eggleston have rendered to the Cause. It is only God that can recompense them for it.

"Shoghi Effendi was very glad to hear that so many souls were confirmed there. As we see the suffering around us, caused by the prevailing financial crisis, we should redouble our efforts in bringing the message of comfort and peace to those desperate souls, and add to our labors, that the golden age promised by Baha'u'llah may dawn sooner."

In Shoghi Effendi's own hand are added these words:

"The account regarding your Baha'i summer school is most encouraging and augurs well for the future. I wish you to persevere in your efforts and extend its scope and influence. I will especially pray for the success of your devoted and continued efforts."

(Signed) Your true brother, Shoghi.

The Dawn-Breakers

Once more we quote the cablegram sent by Shoghi Effendi to the National Assembly on November 2, 1931:

"Urge all English speaking believers concentrate (on) study (of) Nabil's Immortal Narrative as essential preliminary to renewed intensive Teaching campaign necessitated by completion (of) Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Strongly feel widespread use of its varied, rich and authentic material constitutes most effective weapon to meet challenge of a critical hour."

No. 64 - July 1932 - page 1

A cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

"Assembly's momentous decision fraught with incalculable consequences, worldwide benefits. Greatest Holy Leaf filled with delight. Both devoutly praying (for) unrelaxing determination (to) consummate heroic enterprise. Abiding gratitude."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa,

June 10, 1932.

"Feel impelled appeal entire body American believers (to) henceforth regard Nabil's soul-stirring Narrative as essential adjunct to reconstructed Teaching program, as unchalleangeable (sic) 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) Baha'u'llah's native land, and as unfailing instrument to allay distress and resist attacks of critical, disillusioned humanity."

(Cablegram signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa,

June 21, 1932.

No. 64 - July 1932 - page 4

Excerpts from such letters (from Shoghi Effendi) ..

"Public speaking is undoubtedly very important for a person who desires to teach, but this should be learned in schools and classes especially arranged for such training. We should not permit an inferior presentation of the Cause to the public for the sole reason that we desire to learn to do it better in the future. The youth should be encouraged to train themselves in public speaking while they are still pursuing their studies in schools or colleges.

"It is surely very necessary that the friends should keep in touch with the modern social movements, but their main objective should be to draw more people to the spirit and teachings of the Cause. They should learn from the experience of others and not permit themselves to go (off) at a tangent, and finally be so absorbed in other movements as to forget the Cause of God." (To Mrs. Harding, Urbana, through Ruhi Afnan. Received December 25, 1931).

"You mentioned in one of your letters that some of the old believers who for many years had kept away are not coming back and attending the meetings. How wonderful it would be if all such persons, together with all those who met the Master and whose life was changed through His influence would come along and help us in spreading these divine teachings! Perhaps the friends should take the initiative and make their meetings so inspiring and their activities so interesting and far-reaching in importance that they would of their own accord come forward and lend us their help." (To Roy C. Wilhelm, West Englewood, through Ruhi Afnan, March 9, 1932).

"Every now and then we hear that a new Assembly has been formed and that more people are being attracted to the Cause, but there is still much to be desired. As you mention in your letter the Cause needs some more people who are able to shoulder its responsibilities and extend real help in promoting its many interests, both spiritual and material. These people whom we are so eagerly awaiting to appear will not, however, come of their own accord. They have to be brought in. it is for us to become active and really spread the Message." (To Allen B. McDaniel, Washington, D.C., through Ruhi Afnan, April 4, 1932).

"Another essential thing is that those who do embrace the Faith should be constantly urged to study the literature of the Cause. It is not sufficient that our numbers should increase, we want people whose faith stands on a rock no trial can move. We want people who in turn arise and carry the message to other people and guide other souls.

"From every corner of the earth letters come to Shoghi Effendi asking for teachers, but he is far, far from being able to answer all the demands. The only way we can satisfy that need is to have every Baha'i follow the command of Baha'u'llah and become himself a teacher. And that task is not so very impossible; it only needs a thorough knowledge of the teaching and a burning desire to spread the message." (To Spiritual Assembly of Fruitport, Mrs. Frazer, Secretary, through Ruhi Afnan, April 13, 1932.)

"As to teaching work in colleges and universities, this is very important, for students as a whole are open-minded and little influenced by tradition. They would easily enter the Cause if the subject is properly presented and their intellect and sentiments properly satisfied. This, however, should be attempted only by persons who have had university training and are therefore acquainted with the mind of the intelligent and educated youth.

"The movement surely needs educated and devoted souls who will through their deeds as well as pen promulgate the teachings throughout the world." (To Mrs. Mabel Paine and Miss Sylvia Paine, Urbana, through Ruhi Afnan, received in April, 1932.)

"A group that does not progress and show signs of life will soon die out and be forgotten. We have to keep virile and remain active if we desire our Cause to prosper and become an active force in shaping the destiny of the world. . . . You asked concerning some plans whereby funds could be gathered for the Temple. Shoghi Effendi believes that the best and noblest method is to have free donations that are made spontaneously and with the sense of making some sacrifice in furthering the Cause. it is with sacrifice that this Temple is to be built. This is the truly worthy method. This principle therefore excludes any method whereby the help of non-Baha'is is included." (To Kenosha Spiritual Assembly, through Ruhi Afnan, April 14, 1932.)

"He (Shoghi Effendi) was very sorry to learn that you are passing through difficult times, but such seems to be the fate of every single person on the surface of the earth at the present time. When such a crisis sweeps over the world no person should hope to remain intact. We belong to an organic unit and when one part of the organism suffers all the rest of the body will feel its consequences. This is in fact the reason why Baha'u'llah calls our attention to the unity of mankind. But as Baha'is we should not let such hardships weaken our hope in the future. Read the last general letter of Shoghi Effendi ("The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah") and see the description of the future which he has tried to put before our eyes. We may be suffering at present but that will soon cease and glorious days will dawn.

"In all such matters as you mention in your letter, Shoghi Effendi wishes the friends to take the Assemblies into their confidence and discuss it with them. Being on the spot they can judge better and take into consideration all the different aspects of the problem. We should always trust the Assemblies and go to them for advice. Our debts, however, should be considered as sacred and take precedence over any other thing (i.e., payment of debts comes before contributions to the Cause) for upon this principle does the foundation of our economic life rest. (To a Baha'i family of Kenosha, through Ruhi Afnan, April 14, 1932.)

No. 65 - August 1932 page 1

On July 15 the National Assembly received from the Guardian the following cablegram: -

Shoghi Effendi's Message

"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 erelong recognize its irreparable loss. Our beloved Faith, well nigh crushed by devastating blow of Abdu'l-Baha's unexpected Ascension, now laments passing (of) last remnant of Baha'u'llah, 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 throughout Baha'i 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-Adhkar."

(Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 65 - August 1932 - page 2-3

..Guardian now once again points the path of true service in this cablegram received July 21:-

"Entreat sorrow-stricken American believers never allow consciousness their agonizing loss (to) paralyze (their) determination (to) prosecute an enterprise on which (the) adored Object (of) our mourning centered her brightest hopes."

No. 65 - August 1932 - page 3

On October 24, 1925, ....qualifications of those to be enrolled as voting members of a Baha'i community, the Guarding (Baha'i Administration, page 81) gave the following explanation:

" Regarding the very delicate and complex question of ascertaining the qualifications of a true believer, I cannot in this connection emphasize too strongly the supreme necessity for the exercise of the utmost discretion, caution and tact, whether it be in deciding for ourselves as to who may be regarded as a true believer or in disclosing to the outside world such considerations as may serve as a basis for such a decision. I would only venture to state very briefly and as adequately as present circumstances permit the principal factors that must be taken into consideration before deciding whether a person may be regarded as a true believer or not. Full recognition of the station of the Forerunner, the Author, and the True Exemplar of the Baha'i Cause, as set forth in Abdu'l-Baha's Testament; unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their Pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved's sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of the present day Baha'i administration throughout the world - these I conceive to be the fundamental and primary considerations that must be fairly, discreetly and thoughtfully ascertained before reaching such a vital decision. Any attempt at further analysis and elucidation will, I fear, land us in barren discussions and even grave controversies that would not only futile but even detrimental to the best interests of a growing Cause. I would therefore strongly urge those who are called upon to make such a decision to approach this highly involved and ever-recurring problem with the spirit of humble prayer, and earnest consultation, and to refrain from drawing rigidly the line of demarcation except on such occasions when the interests of the Cause absolutely demand it."

No. 66 - September 1932 - page 1

The Guardian's cablegram informing us of the ascension of the Greatest Holy Leaf concluded with these words:

"Advise holding additional Commemoration Service of strictly devotional character (in the) Auditorium (of the) Mashriqu'l-Adhkar."

No. 66 - September 1932 - pp. 1-2

The Guardian's Words to America on the Completion of the Temple

"The New Plan of Unified Action conceived, adopted and published by your Assembly is an admirable one. It is at once concise, appealing in tone, dignified in presentation and practical in its conception. It fully and truly deserves the unreserved support of every American believer. I shall be glad to associate myself with this further collective and heroic effort exerted by the friends by contributing to your National Fund every month for the period of three years, the sum of ninety-five dollars. Your Assembly, faithful to its trust and conscious of its high calling, has sounded the call for a further and final effort on the part of the followers of Baha'u'llah in that land. It is for them, now if ever, to arise for the speedy consummation of a divinely appointed task." August 25, 1931.

"I deeply appreciate the continued and self-sacrificing endeavors of the American believers in the face of the grave financial and economic depression into which their country and the whole world is now plunged. That the Temple edifice should arise under such circumstances, that its elaborate and exquisite ornamentation should be carried out, through the efforts of a mere handful of Baha'i followers despite the gloom, the uncertainty and the dangers which surrounded them is but another evidence of the mysterious, all-compelling power of Baha'u'llah whose blessings will be bountifully vouchsafed to all who arise to carry out His purpose. The Cause is entering upon a period of unprecedented achievements. The full measure of its glory and power will be gradually manifested, if we, on our part, execute in their entirety the instructions and bequests bequeathed to us by our beloved Master. The American believers have made a speedy and successful termination a task which they have so nobly initiated and which they alone are destined to accomplish." December 20, 1931.

"I wish to add a few words in person in order to reaffirm the paramount, the urgent necessity of devising ways and means that will ensure the success of the Plan of Unified Action, and compensate for the disadvantage it has, unavoidably and owing to unforeseen circumstances, suffered. I would appeal to every conscientious follower of the Faith in that land not to rest until the means have been made available to ensure the completion of the decoration of the Dome of this imposing and marvelous Edifice before the end of the spring of next year. The Cause will suffer, its prestige will no doubt be affected if the Plan, so admirably conceived, should again fall into abeyance. This we must at all cost prevent." February 2, 1932.

"I grieve, beyond words, to learn of the scanty response of the friends to the Plan of Unified Action to which the sacred interests of the Faith are at present so vitally and closely related. I am acutely conscious of the unprecedented character of the depression under which you labor. I am fully aware of the sacrifices you have already made, and realize the urgent need of allaying the burden which weighs so heavily on some of the poor and distressed believers. But I realize also the uniqueness of the opportunity which it is our privilege to seize and utilize. The world is watching the progress of our Faith and the steady expansion of our institutions. The eyes of countless men and women, both high and low, whether in the East or in the West, friendly or critical, are fixed upon the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, eager and expectant to know whether the growing vicissitudes and the successive crises that afflict your country are such as to paralyze their efforts in the prosecution of their sacred task. Ours is the duty to vindicate the vitality and invincible power of our Faith." March 14, 1932.

"In the blood of the unnumbered martyrs of Persia lay the seed of the Divinely-appointed Administration which, though transplanted from its native soil, is now budding out, under your loving care, into a new order, destined to overshadow all mankind. For great as have been the attainments and unforgettable the services of the pioneers of the heroic age of the Cause in Persia, the contribution which their spiritual descendants, the American believers, the champion builders of the organic structure of the Cause, are now making towards the fulfilment of the Plan which must usher in the golden age of the Cause is no less meritorious in this strenuous period of its history. . . . Would to God that by the end of the spring of the year 1933 the multitudes who, from the remote corners of the globe, will throng the grounds of the Great Fair to be held in the neighborhood of that hallowed shrine may, as the result of your sustained spirit of self-sacrifice, be privileged to gaze on the arrayed splendor of its dome - a dome that shall stand as a flaming beacon and a symbol of hope amidst the gloom of a despairing world." March 31, 1932.

"May completion dome Mashriqu'l-Adhkar crown united labors newly elected National Assembly." (Cablegram) May 3, 1932.

"I am eager to learn of the status of the national finances of the Cause, and of the prospects of an early resumption of the construction of the Temple. I have already appealed to the American believers in this connection and wish to reiterate my plea and reaffirm my conviction that the completion of the dome before the end of the spring of 1933 is vital to the highest interests of the Cause in that land, and is the supreme obligation of every conscientious and loyal believer in the Faith of Baha'u'llah. Great damage will be inflicted on the prestige of the Cause if this glorious plan fails to materialize, while, on the other hand, its fulfilment will confer untold blessings on all branches of the activities of our beloved Faith." June 8, 1932.

"Assembly's momentous decision* fraught with incalculable consequences, world-wide benefits. Greatest Holy Leaf filled with delight. Both devoutly praying (for) unrelaxing determination (to) consummate heroic enterprise. Abiding gratitude." (Cablegram) June 10, 1932.

"Entreat sorrow-stricken American believers never allow consciousness their agonizing loss paralyze determination (to) prosecute an enterprise on which (the) adored Object (of) our mourning centered her highest hopes." (Cablegram) July 21, 1932.

"Pray assure American believers (on) behalf (of the) Holy Family (and) myself abiding gratitude (for the) numerous evidences (of) their valued sympathy. Our sorrow laden hearts much relieved (and) filled with gratitude. Out of (the) pang of anguish (which) bereaved America experienced in her sudden separation from Abdu'l-Baha, (the) administration (of) God's invincible Faith was born. Might not this present grief at loss (of) Baha'u'llah's precious daughter release such forces as will ensure speedy completion (of) Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, (the) administration's mighty bulwark, (the) symbol of its strength and harbinger (of) its promised glory." (Cablegram) August 8, 1932.

No. 66 - September 1932 - page 3

...words of steadfast assurance from Shoghi Effendi:

"We should welcome, therefore, not only the open attacks which its avowed enemies persistently launch against it, but should also view as a blessing in disguise every storm of mischief with which they who apostatize their faith or claim to be its faithful exponents assail it from time to time. Instead of undermining the Faith, such assaults, both from within and from without, reinforce its Foundations, and excite the intensity of its flame."

No. 67 - October 1932 - page 2

...a cablegram received from the Guardian which explains what religious festivities are to be suspended.

"Festive Anniversaries should be suspended. Administrative gatherings, including Nineteen-Day Feasts, should be held with utmost simplicity."

On September 2, Shoghi Effendi cabled this important information:

"Prolonged delicate negotiations resulted purchase (for) $5,000 a lot adjoining the precincts of the Bab's Shrine. The deed has been officially registered (in the name of) American National Assembly, Palestine branch. Mailing documents to national Secretary. Inform all believers who, in response to my appeal, transmitted their donations through the National Assembly."

...a statement which the Guardian wrote on August 25, through his secretary, to Mr. and Mrs. Bishop Brown, members of the National Teaching Committee:

"You have rightly realized that there is a great need for the Local Spiritual Assemblies to learn to function, and they have hitherto been rather passive in the hope that the National Assembly can by itself do all the work."

No. 67 - October 1932 - page 4

Letters from Haifa

"Regarding the hoarding of gold, Shoghi Effendi would not advise that, but have your investments very secure." (To the Secretary of the National Assembly, through Ruhi Afnan, June 8, 1932.)

"Shoghi Effendi hopes that you two, who have come to appreciate the light of guidance shed so gloriously by Baha'u'llah [Baba'u'llah sic.], will first try and deepen your knowledge of the teachings and then arise to lend an effective help in spreading them throughout the world. For it is only with the saving grace of God, revealed this day through the Baha'i Faith, that the world can hope to be relieved from its many social and spiritual ills." (To Mr. John B. Richardson, Chicago, through Ruhi Afnan, April 6, 1932).

"Shoghi Effendi has never said that the members of the National Assembly have to be renewed partially every year. The important thing is that they should be properly elected. It would be nice if there should be new members elected, for new blood always adds to the energy of the group and will keep up their spirit. But this depends entirely upon the will of the delegates as represented in the result of their voting.

"The teachers of the Cause can surely become members of any Assembly or committee. There should be no incapacity attached to them. But Shoghi Effendi would just prefer to see them devote all their time to teaching and leave the administrative functions for those who cannot serve as teachers." (To Mr. Willard Hatch, Los Angeles, through Ruhi Afnan, April 27, 1932.)

"How wonderful it would be if all the friends could arrange to spend at least a few days in one of these summer schools and take an active part in their development. These centers could attract many souls if properly arranged and made interesting; those non-Baha'is who visit them will then have some time to get into the spirit of the place and make a study of the Cause. . . We constantly receive letters from people who became Baha'is by visiting one of these centers and obtaining the Message there." (To Miss Cora Gray, received about May 1, 1932, through Ruhi Afnan.)

The Dawn-Breakers

"You may be interested to know that many of the distinguished men to whom Shoghi Effendi sent a copy of "The Dawn-Breakers as a present, wrote him in answer that it is one of the most beautiful books they have seen for a long time. This proves how succesful you have been in that important task." (To Mrs. Marion Little, Secretary of the Publishing Committee, New York, through Ruhi Afnan, May 7, 1932.)

In the same letter, written by the Guardian:

"I wish to reaffirm in person the cable I was moved to send to your address expressing my keen appreciation of and profound gratitude for the manner you as well as your collaborators have cooperated in producing such a splendid and impressive edition. It is a striking and abiding evidence of the efficiency and exemplary devotion which characterize your work for the Cause."

"Shoghi Effendi was glad to hear of your work among the ranchers. He sincerely hopes that they will advance in spirituality and become imbued with the Spirit of Baha'u'llah. Country people should be much readier for the Message, for they are not so completely carried away by material civilization and its blinding influence. They ought to be more receptive and more pure in heart." (To Mrs. Shahnaz Waite, Los Angeles, through Ruhi Afnan, May 13, 1932.)

"Shoghi Effendi undertook the translation of "The Dawn Breakers only after being convinced that its publication will arouse the friends to greater self-sacrifice and a more determined way of teaching. Otherwise he would not have devoted so much time to it. Reading about the life and activities of those heroic souls is bound to influence our mode of living and the importance we attach to our services in the Cause. Shoghi Effendi therefore hopes that the friends will read, nay rather, study that book, and encourage their young people to do that as well.

"It is also very important to hold study classes and go deep in the Teachings. A great harm is done by starting to teach without being firmly grounded in the literature. 'Little knowledge is dangerous' fully applies to the teaching work. The friends should read the Writings and be able to quote from the Tablets when discussing subjects pertaining to the Faith." (To Mrs. Edith Hildebrand, Clearlake Highlands, California, through Ruhi Afnan, May 9, 1932.)

On Teaching

"Administrative work and teaching do not exclude each other. Even though you will find yourself forced to give more time to the former, Shoghi Effendi hopes that you will keep up the latter form of service and continue to draw new souls into the movement.

"Shoghi Effendi read the plan of work you have set for the National Teaching Committee with great care. It surely depends ultimately upon the National Assembly to approve it, or to modify it, but it seems as a whole to be most promising.

"Shoghi Effendi has seen, through the experience of the international teachers that keep him informed regarding their activities, that intensive work is ultimately of a more lasting nature. It has proven to be far better that a teacher should spend a month or two in one center and wait until a group is formed, than to cover a larger area and not stay enough in a center to help the progress of those interested to the stage that they would feel themselves able to embrace the Cause and identify themselves with it." (To Mr. Leroy Ioas, San Francisco, through Ruhi Afnan, May 30, 1932.)

On Collection of Baha'i Funds

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated May 8th, 1932, telling him of some incidents that transpired during the Convention this year, especially when funds were collected for the Temple. He was very glad to learn of the wonderful spirit that prevailed in those gatherings; for it is only through such a spirit of devotion and sacrifice that the Cause can prosper and its message embrace the whole world. It was also wonderful to see the interest shown by the public in the general gatherings that formed part of the Convention program.

"Shoghi Effendi hopes that as the Temple is gradually completed this interest will increase and they will try to share in the spirit that motivates the friends and accepting the Faith of Baha'u'llah, arise to serve it and dedicate their life to its spread.

"Such gatherings for collections of funds are permissible if it is done with a true spirit of sacrifice, not when the audience is especially aroused to a frenzy and mob psychology is used to induce them to pay.

"Shoghi Effendi has repeatedly stated that no pressure should be used upon the friends and psychological pressure falls under that category. But there is much difference between such gatherings often used by religious bodies, and a true quiet, prayerful atmosphere when a person is, of his own accord, aroused to make some sacrifice. The distinction is very delicate, but it is for the Chairman to use his power to see that one desirable form is not corrupted into the other. All the activities of the Cause should be carried through in a dignified manner.

"Shoghi Effendi is sure that the funds gathered at the last Convention was not due to the play of mob psychology but to the prayerful attitude of the friends and their desire to make further sacrifice." (to Mrs. Corinne True, Wilmette, through Ruhi Afnan, May 28, 1932.)

No. 68 - November 1932 - page 1

"One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha'u'llah." - Shoghi Effendi, September 24, 1924.

No. 68 - November 1932 - page 2

In a letter dated Haifa, September 10, 1932, the Guardian has written the National Spiritual Assembly, through his secretary, as follows:

"The Guardian fully agrees with your idea that the permanent welfare of the Faith demands the steady development of local Baha'i community life. The policy your Assembly has adopted regarding the publication of Baha'i News, the signing of a new contract regarding the dome of the Temple, and various measures involving a strict retrenchment of administrative expenditure, have met with the Guardian's whole-hearted and unqualified approval. He truly admires the spirit which enables you to face the rigors and surmount the obstacles of a crisis unprecedented in its gravity and worldwide in its effects. The constancy, wisdom, courage and loyalty you have so thoroughly displayed are beyond all praise, and are worthy of your high station as the standard-bearers of the Administration of the Faith of Baha'u'llah."

To this letter the Guardian added the following words: "I am moved to add a few words with my own pen, to what has been written on my behalf, renewing my plea to you, and through you, to each member of your beloved community, to prosecute with undiminished vigor, the enterprise which you have so splendidly inaugurated. The Greatest Holy Leaf, from her retreat of Glory, is watching over you, is interceding for every one of you and is expecting you to play your part in the great task with which the prestige of her Father's glorious Cause is so closely associated. You have, while she lived among us, contributed to a remarkable degree to the brightening of her earthly life. By your persistent, your heroic endeavors, you will, I am sure, bring added joy to her soul, and will vindicate afresh your undying loyalty to her memory."

No. 69 - December 1932 - page 1

"United Will and Concerted Action"

Words of Shoghi Effendi to the Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly

"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-Baha, 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 depend? The American believers, the stout-hearted supporters of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, 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."

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 27, 1932.

No. 69 - December 1932 - page 3

"See how through national hatreds, economic shortsightedness and racial prejudice the world is reaching the verge of ruin. Should we stay our hand and fail to apply the Divine remedy Baha'u'llah has prescribed in His Writings, all the people of the civilized world will perish."

- From a letter written by the Guardian, through his secretary, to Mr. C. G. Nordquist, Seattle, dated Haifa, Palestine, November 15, 1931.

No. 69 - December 1932 - page 4

...in the letter published as "The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah," Shoghi Effendi declared, "I feel it, therefore, incumbent upon me to stress, now that the time is ripe, the importance of an instruction which, at the present stage of the evolution of our Faith, should be increasingly emphasized, irrespective of its application to the East or to the West. And this principle is no other than that which involves the non-participation by the adherents of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, whether in their individual capacities or collectively as local or national Assemblies, in any form of activity that might be interpreted, either directly or indirectly, as an interference in the political affairs of any particular government."

The reply is dated Haifa, Palestine, October 22, 19342, and consists of a letter written by Shoghi Effendi through his secretary, with a postscript in the Guardian's own hand:

"As regards the participation of the friends in general elections, Shoghi Effendi has written about it in his letters explaining his views on the subject. He strongly feels that the friends should abstain from any election that is along party lines. In elections that are not political the friends can enter but not when it is in any way political. The Assembly can judge best as to what is political and what is not."

The postscript: "The Baha'i Faith as it forges ahead throughout the western world and particularly in lands where the political machinery is corrupt and political passions and prejudices are dominant among the masses, should increasingly assert and demonstrate the fact that it is non-political in character, that it stands above party, that it is neither apathetic to national interests nor opposed to any party or faction, and that it seeks through administrative channels, rather than through diplomatic and political posts to establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the capacity, the sane patriotism, the integrity and high-mindedness of its avowed adherents. This is the general and vital principle; it is for the National representatives to apply it with fidelity and vigor."

No. 70 - January 1933 - page 2

... by Shoghi Effendi to the National Treasurer on December 4, 1932:

"The photograph of a section of the exterior decoration of the dome has thrilled me. What a great and priceless opportunity lies before the American believers! How great a responsibility rests upon their shoulders! It is in their power by their self-denial, their heroism and concerted efforts, to lend an impetus to the world-wide spread of the Faith, such as no believer has ever yet witnessed ever since the inception of our glorious Cause. Let them ponder the assurances, the promises, the warnings, of our departed Master and, despite the prevailing depression, arise to carry out the last wishes of His beloved sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf."

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 1

In a letter dated November 30, 1932, our beloved Guardian in his own handwriting utters these inspiring words:

"Dear and Precious Co-Worker: I would infinitely deplore any cessation or even an interruption, however brief, in the magnificent work which is now being undertaken by Mr. Earley and his associates. It is for the American believers, and particularly those whose financial resources have been relatively less impaired, to ensure, through their concerted, their constant and self-sacrificing endeavors the uninterrupted progress, and the successful termination of an enterprise on which so much that is vital to our beloved Faith must depend. Blessings, unimaginable and incomparably more potent than any in the past, will assuredly crown their efforts if they only persevere.

Your true brother,

SHOGHI."

No. 71 - February 1933 - pp. 1-2

The exact status which Shoghi Effendi has intended the friends to give to those communications he sends to individual believers is explained in the following statement written through his secretary to the National Assembly on November 16, 1932:

"As regards Shoghi Effendi's letters to the individual Baha'is, he is always very careful not to contradict himself. He has also said that whenever he has something of importance to say, he invariably communicates it to the National Spiritual Assembly or in his general letters. His personal letters to individual friends are only for their personal benefit and even though he does not want to forbid their publication, he does not wish them to be used too much by the Baha'i News. Only letters with special significance should be published there."

Letters from Haifa

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated October 24, 1932, regarding elections in the United States.

"The Guardian has written the National Assembly in detail and given them the principle upon which he would like to see them act. He has asked them to advise the friends accordingly and also to expound the principle so as to apply to the local conditions in America.

"To facilitate matters and avoid misunderstandings he prefers to refer you and the individual friends to them (the National Assembly). He is sure that you will obtain full satisfaction by putting the question to them. The purpose of the Guardian in this is not to avoid the issue but only to facilitate matters and eliminate misunderstandings. In all such matters the friends should first approach the Local, then the National Assembly and only in case they can obtain no satisfaction should they approach the Guardian on these matters. This way many difficulties will be avoided." - (To Mrs. Corinne True, Wilmette, Illinois, through Ruhi Afnan, Haifa, November 11, 1932).

"The friends have a great duty, first towards the Cause and then towards society at large. Baha'u'llah has come to the world with a divine Message and devoted all His life and withstood all forms of persecution in the hope of establishing it firmly. We are now the trustees of that Mission. It is for us to bring that task begun by Baha'u'llah to a final consummation. Should we fail, we have been untrue to our Lord and also remained deaf to the cry of humanity seeking salvation." - (To Miss Elsa Nordquist, Seattle, Washington, through Ruhi Afnan, Haifa, November 15, 1931).

"The report of your teaching work in Milwaukee made him (Shoghi Effendi) very happy. He sincerely hopes that every one of those individuals who expressed his desire to join the Movement will gradually become so confirmed that no amount of trials and tribulations will deter him from sharing in the work of spreading the Faith throughout the world.

"Before undertaking such a task, however, it is necessary that they should deepen their knowledge of the Teaching. They should learn to study the words for themselves and both grasp their significance and also become imbued with their spirit. The hope of Shoghi Effendi is not only to increase the number of the friends but also to have true and more understanding Baha'is. The task of the teachers is to produce such efficient servants for our beloved Faith. . . . These nine months, during which the Guardian has asked the friends to discard Feast Days, are meant to be months of mourning for the passing away of the Greatest Holy Leaf. The friends should also use them as a period of redoubled energy in serving the Cause, in expression of our deep love for her as well as for the Cause for which she suffered so much." - (To Mrs. Ruth Moffett, Chicago, Illinois, through Ruhi Afnan, Haifa, October 18, 1932).

"What impressed him (Shoghi Effendi) most in the account of your services was the statement that the old and the young Baha'is are firmly united and cooperating in bearing the burden of the Faith in that locality. Nothing will attract God's blessings and grace more than the unity of the friends, and nothing is more destructive of their highest purpose than divisions and misunderstandings. Cling therefore to unity if you desire to succeed and abide by the will of your Lord Baha'u'llah; for that is the true objective of His Mission in this world."- (To the Spiritual Assembly of West Englewood, New Jersey, through Ruhi Afnan, Haifa, October 11, 1932).

"The Guardian values your Hymns which you so beautifully composed. They certainly contain the realities of the Faith, and will indeed help you to give the Message to the young people. It is music which assists us to affect the human spirit; it is an important means which helps us to communicate with the soul."- (To Mrs. Shahnaz Waite, Los Angeles, California, through Ruhi Afnan, Haifa, November 15, 1932).

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 2-3

"loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of Abdu'l-Baha's sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of present-day Baha'i administration throughout the world."

... this particular instruction from the Guardian....

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 3

"I would infinitely deplore any cessation, or even an interruption, however brief, in the magnificent work which is now being undertaken by Mr. Earley and his associates. It is for the American believers, and particularly those whose financial resources have been relatively less impaired, to assure, through their concerted, their constant and self-sacrificing endeavors, the uninterrupted progress and the successful termination of an enterprise on which so much that is vital to our beloved Faith must depend. Blessings, unimaginable and incomparably more potent than any in the past, will assuredly crown their efforts if they only persevere."

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine

November 30, 1932

To Mr. Allen B. McDaniel

Shoghi Effendi writes: "I feel an organized, systematic and thorough study of Nabil's Narrative should constitute this year a valuable adjunct to the teaching program."

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 4

"Baha'is Constantinople and Adana, numbering about forty, imprisoned, charged subversive motives. Urge induce Turkish minister Washington make immediate representations his government release law-abiding followers (of this) non-political Faith. Advise also National Assembly cable authorities (at) Angora and approach State Department."

SHOGI.

(Cablegram)

Haifa, Palestine

January 29, 1933

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 5

On January 28, 1933, the National Spiritual Assembly cabled Shoghi Effendi as follows: "Please advise Convention date whether as usual or later for Chicago Fair."

This cabled reply was sent by the Guardian on February 2:

"Advise June 1st. Beseech entire body American believers by love they bear departed Greatest Holf [sic] Leaf not allow slightest interruption progress Temple work, so near her heart, (to) dim (the) splendor (of their) past achievements. Beg them ponder (the) extreme urgency (of my) entreaty." - SHOGHI

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 5-6

In a letter dated Haifa, Palestine, October 27, 1932, written through his secretary, the Guardian's views are expressed as follows:

"Shoghi Effendi believes that the best solution is to have some reasonable age limit for the actual membership of the body of the organization so that only the young people may take part in the different activities and have no older person usurp the floor or deprive themselves and express their ideas. At the same time the National Assembly could appoint on the National Committee that is to supervise their work some older and experienced persons who could cooperate with them and guide them in their activities. The National Committee should be composed both of people within the age limit and also older people."

No. 71 - February 1933 - page 6

The Guardian likewise wrote to Mrs. Stuart W. French, in reply to a letter written by her after the meeting of the World Council of Youth which was held in Pasadena during August, 1932: "The activities, hopes and ideals of the Baha'i youth in America, as well as in all other parts of the world, are close and dear to my heart. Upon them rests the supreme and challenging responsibility to promote the interests of the Cause of God in the days to come: to coordinate its world-wide activities, to extend its scope, to safeguard its integrity, to exalt its virtue, and translate its ideals and aims into memorable and abiding achievements. Theirs is a mighty task, at once holy, stupendous and enthralling. May the spirit of Baha'u'llah protect, inspire and sustain them in the prosecution of their divinely appointed task." (Dated October 26, 1932.)

... This letter was dated March 9, 1931, and the extract is from the Guardian's own handwriting as follows:

"'My dear Co-workers: I wish to add a few lines and remind you of the necessity of refusing to admit to your Assembly, or associate with, any Oriental who does not have proper credentials from a recognized Spiritual Assembly. No excuse whatever is acceptable. I am sure that a few are trying to cause mischief and bring about a split in the ranks of the believers in these days of stress, and the utmost caution should be exercised, lest these mischief-makers succeed in undermining the foundation of the Cause.

Your true brother and well-wisher,

(signed) SHOGHI.'"

A cable from Shoghi Effendi to the New York Assembly .... dated February 7, 1931, .... was read, as follows:

"'Appeal believers recall Master's repeated warning exercise vigilance discrimination reception Orientals otherwise great mischief will result; their credentials behavior should be critically examined.'"

No. 72 - April 1933 - page 1

"Would to God that by the end of the spring of the year 1933 the multitudes who, from the remote corners of the globe, will throng the grounds of the Great Fair to be held in the neighborhood of that hallowed shrine may, as the result of your sustained spirit of self-sacrifice, be privileged to gaze on the arrayed splendor of its dome - a dome that shall stand as a flaming beacon and a symbol of hope amidst the gloom of a despairing world." - Shoghi Effendi to the American believers, March 21, 1932.

No. 72 - April 1933 - page 3

"Shoghi Effendi wishes me to send you these few lines to enclose a copy of the power of attorney that our lawyer here has framed in case any one of the friends desires to transfer the property he holds around the Shrine to the name of the National Assembly.

"As I told you in my previous letter, by law such lands can only be transferred during one's lifetime. Otherwise it will go to the heirs according to prescribed shares. The will of the deceased is inoperative in such cases. Shoghi Effendi does not want to bring any form of pressure upon the friends. They are naturally free to keep the property in their name and have it go to their heirs.

"In case they express the desire to make such a transfer and have the property revert to the Cause then they have to sign this power of attorney before a Notary Public and then have it countersigned by the British Consul in that locality.

"The power of attorney is in my name and not in the name of the Guardian because he represents the N.S.A. and will sign for them. He cannot represent both parties to the transfer.

"For the transfer there are some expenses, among them 3 per cent of the value of the land, which is government taxes. They do not, however, amount to very much.

"Please note that besides putting their name and signature they have also to state the number of the deed which is mentioned on the Certificate of Registration which they hold.

"Assuring you of Shoghi Effendi's prayers and best wishes, I remain,

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

Haifa, Palestine,

October 2, 1932."

"Power of Attorney

I/we the undersigned ................. do hereby give power of attorney to Mr. Ruhi Agnan [sic] of Haifa, authorizing him in my/our place and name to sell, transfer and register in the name of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada - Palestine Branch the property registered in my/our name under deed No. ...... situate in Haifa and also to administer the said property, to effect partition, parcellation, correction of area and boundaries, sue in Courts and generally do such things and steps in connection with the said property as my said agent shall think fit, and for that purpose to appear before the Land Registries, Courts and Government Offices, sign applications, deeds and other documents, admit receipt of purchase price, and also to appoint other and others in his place and revoke at pleasure such substitutes.

In Witness Whereof I/We Have Set Hereunto My/Our Hands.

No. 72 - April 1933 - pp. 3-4

MESSAGES FROM THE HOLY LAND

The responsibility which the American believers have so generously and spontaneously assumed through their national elected representatives for the preparation and publication of "The Baha'i World - an international activity of the utmost importance - is yet another evidence of their preponderating influence and their decisive share in the prosecution of this mighty Cause.

(signed) SHOGHAI.[sic]

Haifa, Palestine,

November 16, 1932.

I wish to express to your distinguished Assembly my gratitude for the action they have taken in reproducing in facsimile my humble Tribute to the Greatest Holy Leaf. The hundred copies you sent me have been received and are splendid reproductions of the original. The finest and most enduring tribute which can be paid to her memory lies within the grasp and constitutes the supreme opportunity of the American believers. Her earthly life, as it drew to a close, was much brightened by the brilliant accomplishments of her devoted lovers in the American continent. May her pure, angelic soul in the realms above derive added satisfaction from the uninterrupted progress and the eventual completion of an enterprise on which she centered the one remaining joy of her life. (signed) SHOGHI. Haifa, Palestine, October 27, 1932.

Before you extend any sort of help to, or affiliate yourself with, the World Fellowship of Faiths, Shoghi Effendi feels that the N.S.A. should find out whether its purpose is in any way political, especially now that its leadership is transferred from Rabbi Wise to Mr. Das Gupta. In case it is non- political and its purpose is not a form of Indian propaganda, then the Guardian feels you should take part in their gatherings. The first task is to find out the underlying motive of the Society and then, in case it coincides with the Baha'i spirit, lend them help and advise the friends to cooperate with them. Otherwise the Guardian believes we will be involved in grievous difficulties.

(signed) Ruhi Afnan.

Haifa, Palestine,

November 16, 1932.

Your letter of November 17 reveals the character of the Fellowship of Faiths and I would urge the Assembly to exercise the utmost possible pressure on any believer no matter how influential he or she may be to withdraw from participation in its political activities.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

November 30, 1932

The Guardian wishes me to draw the attention of the friends through you that they should be very careful in their public utterance not to mention any political figures - either side with them or denounce them. This is the first thing to bear in mind. Otherwise they will involve the friends in political matters, which is infinitely dangerous for the Cause.

(signed) Ruhi Afnan,

Haifa, Palestine,

January 12, 1933.

From Mrs. French's letter I gather that steps are being taken to gather the necessary material for Vol. V of "The Baha'i World . I am delighted, for it seems to indicate that Vol. IV will soon be published. I earnestly hope that its early publication will be reconsidered by your Assembly, as an indefinite postponement of such a valuable international record will damage the prestige of our beloved Cause.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

January 12, 1933.

Cablegrams

Repeated evidences American believers sleepless vigilance courageous loyalty exemplary self-sacrifice established them in every Baha'i heart as champion builders World Order Baha'u'llah. Founders of our Faith well pleased tokens their wise stewardship Abdu'l-Baha proud of their valor Greatest Holy Leaf radiant with joy at their fidelity.

SHOGHI. (Received February 18, 1933.)

Istanbul friends acquitted, 53 still imprisoned Adana. Urge renew energetically representations immediate release.

SHOGHI (Received March 7, 1933)

No. 72 - April 1933 - page 4

Thus in a letter dated January 26, 1933, Shoghi Effendi referred to the Tablet which the Master revealed to Mr. Thornton Chase in 1907.

"The Guardian fully recognizes the authenticity and controlling influence of this instruction from Abdu'l-Baha upon the question. He, however, feels under the responsibility of stating that the attitude taken by the Master implies certain reservations. He, therefore, lays it upon the individual conscience to see that in following the Master's instructions no Baha'i vote for an officer (i.e., in a civil election) nor Baha'i participation in the affairs of the Republic shall involve acceptance by that individual of a program or policy that contravenes any vital principle, spiritual or social, of the Faith."

...

The Guardian's letter of January 26, already quoted in part, has the following words in his own hand:

"Dear Co-workers:

I feel it incumbent upon me to clarify the above statement, written on my behalf, by stating that no vote cast, nor office undertaken, by a Baha'i, should necessarily constitute acceptance, by the voter or office-holder, of the entire program of any political party. No Baha'i can be regarded as either a Republican or Democrat as such. He is, above all else, the supporter of the principles enunciated by Baha'u'llah, with which, I am firmly convinced, the program of no political party is completely harmonious.

Your true brother, SHOGHI."

...

On March 16 the following cablegram was received:

"Elaborate, emphasize in News Letter excellent explanation paragraph five, page two, February News Letter.

(signed) SHOGHI."

...

Let us recall those words written by the Guardian in his general letter dated January 1, 1929 and published soon afterward in Baha'i News:

"To all these (i.e., actions of the Soviet Government) the followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah have with feelings of burning agony and heroic fortitude unanimously and unreservedly submitted, ever mindful of the guiding principles of Baha'i conduct that in connection with their administrative activities, no matter how grievously interference with them might affect the course of the extension of the Movement, and the suspension of which does not constitute in itself a departure from the principle of loyalty to their Faith, the considered judgment and authoritative decrees issued by their responsible rulers must, if they be faithful to Baha'u'llah's and Abdu'l-Baha's express injunctions, be thoroughly respected and loyally obeyed. In matters, however, that vitally affect the integrity and honor of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, and are tantamount to a recantation of their faith and repudiation of their innermost belief, they are convinced, and are unhesitatingly prepared to vindicate by their life-blood the sincerity of their conviction, that no power on earth, neither the arts of the most insidious adversary nor the bloody weapons of the most tyrannical oppressor, can ever succeed in extorting from them a word or deed that might tend to stifle the voice of their conscience or tarnish the purity of their faith."

No. 72 - April 1933 - page 5

(Message in "The Star of the West for May 1923)

"Dearest Fellow-workers in the Vineyard of God:

"Though your number in each of these cities be small and limited, yet by virtue of that Celestial Potency bequeathed to every one of you by our departed Master, you are assured that ere long your small company shall expand and wield such power and influence as no earthly power can ever hope for or attain. Who can doubt that He is ever watching from His Station on high over His scattered fold and is guiding and strengthening His faithful lovers who toil and labor for the fulfilment of His word and the realization of His purpose for mankind?

"As we observe the sad conditions of the world and the complexity of the problems that are besetting humanity, we may at times lose heart and grow forgetful of the promised dawn of the New Day, so repeatedly and emphatically foretold in the Sacred Writings. But we need only refer to some of the earliest writings of our beloved Master to regain that confidence which the vicissitudes of the world, however distressing, can never shake. Are not these words wherein He assures us of the onward march of the Cause - a march which no one can resist and which is sure to lead humanity to its glorious destiny - (abundantly sufficient)?

"'Now in the world of being, the Hand of Divine Power hath firmly laid the foundations of the all-highest bounty and this wondrous gift. Whatsoever is latent in the innermost of this Holy Cycle shall gradually appear and be made manifest, for now is but the beginning of its growth and the dayspring of the revelation of its signs. Ere the close of this century and of this age it shall be made clear and evident how wondrous was that springtide and how heavenly was that gift!'

"And as the outlook grows darker and despondency overtakes the hearts, it is incumbent upon us to arise with greater confidence than ever before, endeavoring to clear the mists of hate and prejudice that have dimmed the vision of mankind and, relying upon these assuring words of His, point out to a weary world the way of true Salvation.

"I very eagerly await the news of the progress of the Movement in your cities and shall be grateful and delighted to hear that you have reinforced your numbers, extended your activities, established a center and founded a Spiritual Assembly that shall direct and coordinate your efforts for the promotion of the Cause.

"Awaiting your joyful news and beseeching the blessings of the Almighty on your efforts, I am

Your brother and co-worker,

SHOGHI.

Haifa Palestine,

January 8, 1923."

No. 72 - April 1933 - page 8

"He (Shoghi Effendi) was very glad and gratified to learn that the friends of Poona have contributed the sum of one thousand rupees towards the construction of the Temple in America. It is a most appropriate and timely contribution because the friends have undertaken to complete the exterior decoration of the dome before the end of spring, that is, before the opening of the World Fair that is to be opened in Chicago about June of next year. And the sum needed for the purpose, due to the existing depression, is not flowing in. Any sum offered by the friends at this time is most welcome and will be deeply appreciated by Shoghi Effendi and the friends in America.

"The Guardian is most pleased with the way the friends in Poona are striving to serve the Faith and consecrating their life for its promotion. In his hours of prayer at the blessed Shrines he will think of them and ask God to help them and sustain their noble endeavors. He trusts that, through their persistent efforts and Baha'u'llah's infinite blessings the Cause will be established in that land and thousands of pure souls will be brought under its banner." Ruhi Afnan.

And in our Guardian's own blessed hand this postscript:-

"Dear co-workers: I am eagerly awaiting the news of the completion of the Urdu, the Hindi, the Gujrati, and the Burmese translations, and eventual publication of Dr. Esslemont's valued book, for I regard them as essential preliminaries to an intensive campaign of teaching among the unbelieving masses in that great and promising country. May your efforts, in collaboration with the believers of that land hasten the fulfilment of this, my heart's cherished desire." - SHOGHI.

In the general Epistle dated December 6, 1928, our Guardian defines what the nature of our contributions to the Temple fund should be: -"Not by the abundance of our donations, not even by the spontaneity of our efforts, but rather by the degree of self-abnegation which our contributions will entail, can we effectively promote the speedy realization of Abdu'l-Baha's cherished desire. How great our responsibility, how immense our task, how priceless the advantages that we can reap!"

[The Poona Baha'i Spiritual Assembly, Rustom Khosrove, Secretary. Post Box No. 8, Poona. December 30, 1932.]

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 1

"I am overjoyed at the news of the remarkable impetus which the sustained and ever-increasing efforts of the American believers have lent to the progress of our glorious enterprise. The intensest effort, and a still higher, a more compelling evidence of the vitality of our Faith are required to insure the realization of our fondest hopes." - Shoghi Effendi. (March 7, 1933).

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 2

In a letter dated March 27, 1933, the Guardian wrote as follows to Mrs. Ivy Edwards, Secretary of the Eliot Spiritual Assembly: (through his secretary)

"Your group occupies an important position in the Baha'i world for you are situated in that locality where the Green Acre Summer School is held - the most important institution of its kind in the world. Through your persistent efforts all the people living in that vicinity should learn of the true spirit of the Faith and be drawn to it. They should not only be made to befriend the Cause, but arise for its active service.

"The world is in great turmoil and its problems seem to become daily more acute. We should therefore not sit idle; otherwise we would be failing in carrying out our sacred duty. Baha'u'llah has not given us His teachings to treasure them and hide the for our personal delight and pleasure. He gave them to us that we may pass them from mouth to mouth until all the world becomes familiar with them and enjoys their blessings and uplifting influence.

"You inquired regarding the meaning of the sentence, 'The Mysterious Power that creates new spiritual worlds.' This, Shoghi Effendi believes, refers to the transcendental Essence of God who is the Creator of this world and the worlds to come; for as Baha'u'llah says, God's worlds are infinite."

And in the Guardian's hand:

"May the Almighty bless you and enable you, together with your diligent, able and devoted collaborators in Eliot to hoist the standard of the Faith in that part of your native land, where its institutions are fast developing and where its light will be fully and resplendently revealed."

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 5

Dear and prized co-workers:

The handling of this delicate and vital problem regarding non-participation by Baha'is 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 worldwide, ever-advancing Cause. The misgivings and apprehensions of individual Baha'is should be allayed and eventually completely dispelled. Any misconception of the sane and genuine patriotism that animates every Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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.

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

March 16, 1933.

To the National Spiritual Assembly.

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 5

A letter from the Guardian

The Guardian is fully familiar with the difficult circumstances facing the Assembly, especially in providing for the financial needs of the Cause and completing the construction of the dome. Yet he is confident in God's blessings and assistance and the persistence and sacrifice of the friends in fulfilling their sacred pledges. In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines the Guardian will think of you all and ask God to assist you and reinforce your efforts.

As regards the admittance of new members into the different groups as declared Baha'is, and the expulsion of any from the community, Shoghi Effendi believes that the Assemblies should not act hurriedly. They should be wise and most considerate, otherwise they can do much harm to the body of the Cause. They should see to it that the new-comer is truly conversant with the teachings, and when he expresses his belief in the revelation of Baha'u'llah, knows what he is saying and what are the duties he undertakes.

On the other hand when any person is expelled, the Assembly should not act hurriedly. There is a great spiritual responsibility attached to the act. The Assemblies do not have only rights against the individuals, they have great duties also. They should act like the good shepherd whom Christ mentions in His well-known parable. We also have the example of the Master before us. The individual Baha'is were organic parts of His spiritual being. What befell the least one of the friends brought deep affliction and sorrow to him also. If by chance one of them erred he counselled him and increased His love and affection, if the Master saw that that friend is still stubbornly refusing to reform his ways, and that his living among the other Baha'is endangered the spiritual life of the rest, then He would expell him from the group. This should be the attitude of the Assemblies toward the individuals. The best criterion whereby you can measure the spiritual attainment of an Assembly, is the extent its members feel themselves responsible for the welfare of the group. And perchance they feel forced to deprive a person from his vote it should be only to safeguard the rest and not merely to inflict punishment.

The Guardian was very glad to learn that the work of the fourth volume of "The Baha'i World is progressing rapidly. He hopes that it will be soon out for circulation for undoubtedly the public is waiting for it.

Please convey the Guardian's loving greetings and best wishes to the members of the Assembly. He hopes that throught their endeavors the spirit of the Faith will permeate that land and solve the pressing problems of its suffering people.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

P.S. As regards the Tablet of the Master to Mr. James Morton, Shoghi Effendi would prefer to see the original Persian to decide as to its authenticity.

Ruhi.

(In the Guardian's hand-writing.)

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

Your true brother,

SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

April 11, 1933.

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 6

Under date of Nov. 30, 1932, the Guardian, in a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly, referred to this matter as follows:

"The Guardian welcomes such a proposition with deep gratification for it means that the energy that has been until now dissipated along channels not strictly Baha'i, will now be used solely for the progress of the Faith, and the promotion of its principles in their entirety. He was sure that sooner or later those directing the policy of the World Unity will take this step, for they believe in the Cause of the Baha'u'llah as the highest idea of the age and the highest goal towards which they can work. This is the logical result of those forces that operate in their hearts.

"The Guardian also welcomes this proposition because it means the strengthening of the organ of the Cause in America and bringing to its support both the talent and the means that are now at the disposal of the "World Unity "Magazine . Both will therefore profit from such a unity.

"There are, however, certain questions that Shoghi Effendi would urge the National Assembly to take into consideration before deciding on this important issue. First and foremost is the fact that the Magazine which is to result from such a union should become the organ of the Cause and under the full jurisdiction of the National Assembly. Non-Baha'is can cooperate but the responsibility for its policy should be in the N.S.A. In other words, the World Unity should become fully Baha'i."

No. 73 - May 1933 - page 7

Mrs. Clara Weir of Hollywood has received a letter from the Guardian..... [Last spring Mrs. Weir staged a "Pageant of Nations" .... lines ...selected by Mrs. Weir from "The Promulgation of Universal Peace".]

"Shoghi Effendi was very much interested to learn of the success of the 'Pageant of Nations' which you produced. He sincerely hopes that all those who attended it were inspired by the same spirit that animated you while arranging it.

"It is through such presentations that we can arouse the interest of the greatest number of people in the spirit of the Cause. That day will the Cause spread like wildfire when its spirit and teachings are presented on the stage or in art and literature as a whole. Art can better awaken such noble sentiments than cold rationalizing, especially among the mass of the people.

"We have to wait only a few years to see how the spirit breathed by Baha'u'llah will find expression in the work of the artists. What you and some other Baha'is are attempting, are only faint rays that precede the effulgent light of a glorious morn. We cannot yet estimate the part the Cause is destined to play in the life of society. We have to give it time. The material this spirit has to mould is too crude and unworthy, but it will at last give way and the Cause of Baha'u'llah will reveal itself in its full splendor."

The Guardian's instruction concerning the activities of the Economics Committee, conveyed in a letter written through his secretary to Mr. Dale S. Cole, Secretary, on January 11, 1933, has great importance at this time:

"As regards the activities of the economic committee of the National Assembly; Shoghi Effendi fully sympathizes with the desire of some of the members to see the committee find ways and means to put into practice the economic teachings of the Cause, as explained in some of the recorded writings and sayings of Baha'u'llah and the Master. But he believes that the time is not yet ripe for such activities. First we have to study the economic teachings in the light of modern problems more thoroughly so that we may advocate what the founders of the Faith say and not what we conjecture from their writings. There is great difference between sounding a great general principle and finding its application to actual prevailing conditions.

"Secondly, the Cause is not financially in a position to launch itself in such undertakings at present. Such plans need great financial backing to be worked out in a permanent form. In time, Shoghi Effendi hopes all these things will come to pass. For the present we have to consolidate our basic institutions and spread the teachings and spirit of the Faith among the public.

"This is, in short, the attitude of the Guardian; but as you are a committee of the National Assembly he wishes you to follow its directions. In creating your committee the N.S.A. had undoubtedly some definite purpose in mind for which they asked you to labor and it is your task to work for that purpose.

"In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrine the Guardian will think of you as well as the members of the Committee and ask God to guide and assist you in the service of His Faith."

No. 74 - May 1933 - page 2

...in December, 1931, the Guardian sent this cablegram:

"Kindly cable approximate time and expense required to complete external ornamentation first Temple unit. stop. Cable date opening Chicago Fair."

No. 74 - May 1933 - page 8

...as Shoghi Effendi has described:

"...As it has been observed already, the roll of these committees set up by the National Spiritual Assembly, the renewal, the membership and functions of which should be reconsidered separately each year by the incoming National Assembly, is chiefly to make thorough and expert study of the issue entrusted to their charge, advise by their reports, and assist in the execution of the decision which in vital matters are to be exclusively and directly rendered by the National Assembly."

No. 74 - May 1933 - page 15

Shoghi Effendi has said of the magazine:

"The Star is decidedly improving in scope, style and effectiveness . . . I wish to express in person my strong sense of appreciation of your continued services in connection with "The Baha'i Magazine . It is undoubtedly improving in tone, subject matter and general presentation of the Baha'i theme. You should feel happy and encouraged. Persevere and do not lose heart."

No. 74 - May 1933 - page 19

In commenting on the program of the Summer School, Shoghi Effendi, through his secretary, stated:

"The wide range of the topics that are to be discussed and studied by the Friends, cover most of the important aspects of the Cause and such a plan will undoubtedly give them a broad and sound knowledge of the essentials of the Faith. Special stress, however, should be put on the history of the Movement, as well as on the guiding principles of Baha'i Administration - for on these two points most of the believers are not adequately informed."

No. 75 - July 1933 page 1

...a cablegram from Shoghi Effendi [to National Convention]:

"Entire Baha'i world stirred with expectation witness results American believers momentous convention. On its proceedings hang issue of incalculable benefit world-wide faith Baha'u'llah. To its delegates given great opportunity release forces which will usher in era whose splendor must outshine heroic age our beloved Cause. Supreme Concourse waiting for them to seize it.

SHOGHI."

No. 75 - July 1933 - page 2

...a cablegram from the Guardian dated May 18th concerning the plight of the Persian Baha'is. This message reads as follows:

"Recent reports confirm the fact that Persian brethren are still maltreated. Ban entry of Baha'i literature still maintained. Printing and circulation of literature within Persia prohibited. Urge convention delegates earnestly consider grave issues involved." [1]

[1 The cablegram was addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly, which

referred to the Convention that portion of the message intended for the

delegates. The full text is published elsewhere in this issue.]

The Guardian's cablegram to the Convention

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

(signed) SHOGHI

Received June 1, 1933.

No. 75 - July 1933 - page 3

"Persian Brethren still Maltreated"

Cablegram from the Guardian

Recent reports confirm Persian brethren still maltreated. Ban (on) entry Baha'i literature maintained. Printing (and) circulation within Persia prohibited. Urge Convention delegates earnestly consider grave issues involved. Feel essential National Assembly renew through Keith strong representations Tihran authorities. Appoint also delegation (of) American representatives (to) meet Persian Minister (at) Washington, pressing him intervene remove intolerable burden present disabilities.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Received May 18, 1933.

No. 75 - July 1933 - page 5

The Guardian's cablegram to incoming National Spiritual Assembly

Praying fervently success newly elected Assembly. Love.

(signed) SHOGHI.

Received June 5, 1933.

No. 75 - July 1933 - page 7

"Fellow Believers in the American Continent!"

With these words our Guardian in his latest general letter to the believers of America initiates the following spiritual challenge:

"Great indeed have been your past and present achievements! Immeasurably great are the wonders which the future has in store for you! The Edifice your sacrifices have raised still remains to be clothed. The House which must needs be supported by the highest administrative institution your hands have reared is as yet unbuilt. The provisions of the Chief Repository of those laws that must govern its operation are thus far mostly undisclosed. The Standard which, if Abdu'l-Baha's wishes are to be fulfilled, must be raised in your country has yet to be unfurled. The Unity of which that standard is to be the symbol is far from being yet established. The machinery which must needs incarnate and preserve that unity is not even created. Will it be America, will it be one of the countries of Europe, who will arise to assume the leadership essential to the shaping of the destinies of this troubled age? Will America allow any of her sister communities in East or West to achieve such ascendency as shall deprive her of this spiritual primacy and which she has thus far so nobly retained? Will she not rather contribute, by a still further revelation of those inherent powers that motivate her life to enhance the priceless heritage which the love and wisdom of a departed Master have conferred upon her?

"Her past has been a testimony to the inexhaustible vitality of her faith. May not her future confirm it?"

No. 76 - August 1933 - page 1

The Guardian on July 25 sent the following reply:

"Much relieved, confident supreme continuous effort will be exerted until entire dome completed ere closing (of) Exposition. On early conclusion this mighty enterprise must chiefly depend satisfactory solution (of) grave issues confronting Faith throughout (the) East."

(signed)SHOGHI.

No. 76 - August 1933 - page 2

Consider these words which the Guardian has sent to America since the Convention:

"Critical situation calling for further sacrifice combined resources. My heart yearns for immediate response." (Cablegram to Mr. Siegfried Schopflocher). "The completion of the Temple dome is, indeed, of an imperative necessity, and the Guardian feels that during these five months the believers should persevere more than ever in order to safeguard the prestige of the Cause. Great as has been the measure of their self-sacrifice, yet, unless they redouble their efforts and concentrate all their resources to bring the whole work to a successful completion, their energies will have been spent in vain. . . I these exceptionally hard days we have to do our best and be confident in God's unfailing guidance and help. He will surely inspire us with hope and will lead us out of this worldwide and unprecedented chaos." (Letter to Mr. Philip Sprague.)

And in a letter addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly, dated June 17: "The thing, however, that is most urgent and of supreme importance is to insure by every means at our disposal the uninterrupted progress of the ornamentation work of the Temple. The cessation of work in connection with so noble and so sacred an edifice at so critical a time would not only create an unfavorable impression in the minds of the millions of visitors who will gather in Chicago this summer but will inflict grave injury on the prestige and the international standing of the Cause throughout the world. That the American believers, who have already on several occasions contributed so strikingly to the strengthening and widening of the basis of Baha'i institutions will allow them to suffer as a result of their failure to prosecute this glorious enterprise, the Guardian refuses to believe. He will continue to pray, and has sufficient confidence in the vitality of the Faith that animates them to feel assured that the hopes and expectations centered on them by the Baha'is of the world will not be disappointed, and that the successful termination of what is only the first stage in this historic enterprise will serve to ennoble the heritage bequeathed to them by a wise and loving Master."

In the Guardian's hand: "I am so eager to hear of the latest developments in connection with an enterprise in which so much that is vital to the immediate future of the Cause is involved. The American believers are deeply and solemnly committed to this stupendous task. It was gloriously conceived and nobly initiated. Its triumphal progress must suffer no setback. Its termination must be hastened with zeal, determination and vigor. Its concluding stages must redound as much to the glory and fair name of our beloved Faith as the initial steps taken for its establishment. I appeal to each of the champion builders of this majestic and unique Structure not to rest until the final section of the external ornamentation of the dome has been cast and set in position."

No. 76 - August 1933 - page 2-3

A letter to the National Spiritual Assembly dated Haifa, June 17, 1933.....

"Regarding association with the World Fellowship of Faiths and kindred Societies, Shoghi Effendi wishes to reaffirm and elucidate the general principle that Baha'i elected representatives as well as individuals should refrain from any act or word that would imply a departure from the principles, whether spiritual, social or administrative, established by Baha'u'llah. Formal affiliation with and acceptance of membership in organizations whose programs or policies are not wholly reconcilable with the Teachings is of course out of the question. In the case of the World Fellowship of Faiths, however, Shoghi Effendi sees no objection if the American National Assembly decides to appoint one or two Baha'i representatives to address such gatherings on one or two occasions on a subject which is in harmony with the spirit of the Teachings does not constitute acceptance by the Baha'i speaker of the entire program of the Fellowship. We should welcome and seize every opportunity that presents itself, however modest it may be, to give a wider publicity to the Cause, to demonstrate its all-inclusiveness and liberal attitude, its independence and purity, without committing ourselves, whether by word or by deed, to programs or policies that are not in strict conformity with the tenets of the Faith. Shoghi Effendi hopes that this principle will guide your distinguished Assembly in its dealings with various associations which will increasingly seek, in the days to come, the support of Baha'i individuals and Assemblies for the attainment of their ends."

No. 76 - August 1933 - page 3

"The important visits you have made to various Baha'i centers throughout the United States, together with the enthusiasm you have been able to create among the friends are, indeed, highly praiseworthy. You have set a good example before the friends. It is hoped that every one of them will arise to serve, as devotedly as you did, the beloved Temple and will be ready to suffer for its sake every possible deprivation." (From letter to Mr. Philip Sprague, dated Haifa, June 8, 1933.)

No. 77 - September 1933 - Page 1-2

Letters from Haifa

"Shoghi Effendi sincerely hopes that through these sacrifices that Edifice will be completed and become a focal center for the spirit and Teachings of the Cause in that land; that from it the light of guidance will spread and bring joy and hope to the heart of this depressed humanity. If you will study the history of Nabil, you will see how the Faith has been fed by the constant sacrifices of the friends. Under hardships, persecutions and constant worries has the Message of Baha'u'llah been established throughout the world." (To Miss Rachel Small, Roxbury, Mass., dated Haifa, November 30, 1932.)

"As regards what Mirza Abu'l Fazl has said concerning the Seven Religions of the past, Shoghi Effendi wishes to emphasize that what is truly authoritative are the words of the Master. In all such cases we should try and find out what He has said and abide by His words, even thought they seem to conflict with the findings of modern scholars. If He does not say anything on the subject, then the individual is free to accept, or refute what scholars such as Abu'l Fazl, say. Through the discussion of these (statements by scholars), the truth will ultimately be found, but at no time should their decision be considered as final." (To Mrs. Shahnaz Waite, Los Angeles, dated Haifa, February 23, 1933.)

"The different nations of the world will never attain peace except after recognizing the significance of the teachings and wholeheartedly upholding them, for through these precepts all international problems will be solved and every man will secure the spiritual environment in which his soul can evolve and produce its highest fruits." (To Miss Agnes Alexander, Tokyo, dated Haifa, January 15, 1933.)

"The Baha'i world should direct its attention towards Europe more than to any other land, because it is a hotbed of strife and rancor. The political hatreds that exist there will if not subdued not only consume its inhabitants but will ravage the whole world and bring devastation to the entire surface of the globe." (To Mrs. Louise Erickson, Brooklyn, dated Haifa, March 25, 1933.)

"Whenever he receives news of the progress of the Temple work he (Shoghi Effendi) becomes extremely happy, not only because that edifice comes thereby one step nearer completion, but also because it is an added proof to the world that there is a mighty spirit that animates the friends, that there is nothing impossible to them and that they shall attain ultimately their goal, which is the spiritual regeneration of mankind." (To Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm, National Treasurer, dated Haifa, March 5, 1933.)

"He (Shoghi Effendi) was deeply gratified to hear that the friends are attaching such a great importance to the teaching and training of Baha'i children. The education of the youth is, undoubtedly of paramount importance as it serves to deepen their understanding of the Cause and to canalize their energies along the most profitable lines. Inasmuch, however, as the national expenses of the Cause in America are daily increasing, the members of your Committee should be very careful not to extend beyond their financial resources the sphere of their activities. The plans your Committee has made should not develop to such an extent as to hamper the progress of the Temple work." (To members of Committee on the Teaching and Training of Children, dated Haifa, April 20, 1933.)

"There is a difference between taxes and spiritual offerings. The House of Justice has certain revenues such as inheritance shares, fees and fines. These are the taxes which, according to the Aqdas, go directly not to the Guardian but to the House of Justice. According to the Master's Will which complements the Aqdas, the Huquq goes only to the Guardian." (To Mr. George O. Latimer, Portland, Oregon, dated Haifa, June 17, 1933.)

No. 77 - September 1933 - page 3

In his letter of Feb. 20, 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly, the Guardian states the following:

"It is the duty and privilege of the National and Local Assemblies if they find that the pressing requirements of their local and national budgets have been adequately met, to encourage individuals and groups to initiate and conduct, with their knowledge and consent, any undertaking that would serve to enhance the work which they have set themselves to achieve. Not content with appeals addressed to each and every believer to offer any constructive suggestions or plan that would remedy an existing grievance, they should, by every means in their power, stimulate the spirit of enterprise among the believers in order to further the teachings as well as the administrative work of the Cause. They should endeavor by personal contact and written appeals, to imbue the body of the faithful with a deep sense of personal responsibility, and urge every believer, whether high or low, poor or wealthy, to conceive, formulate and execute such measures and projects as would redound, in the eyes of their representatives, to the power and the fair name of this sacred Cause."

Recently the National Spiritual Assembly has received a copy of a letter written by the Guardian, through his secretary, to a believer who wrote him frankly to state certain views about some incidents at the recent Convention.

"He has, however, grieved to learn that, despite his repeated references on the necessity of unity and concord among the friends, there have appeared some misunderstandings among them. Such negative forces have always hampered the progress of the Cause and have resulted in utter disappointment. The spirit of partisanship which is but the outcome of individual passion and selfishness is fundamentally opposed to the basic teachings of the Faith. It is for cooperation, motivated by self-sacrifice, that the Baha'is stand, and nothing short of the adequate realization of this ideal can redeem the world and insure its safe and speedy progress."

No. 77 - September 1977 - page 4

The Guardian has set forth in a letter to the believers of America, dated Sept. 24, 1924, the significance of "teaching by example":

"Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching - no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character - not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Baha'i Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha'u'llah."

Mrs. Louie Mathews, Chairman of the National Amity Committee, received these words from the Guardian, through his secretary:

"The entertainment given in honor of the N.S.A.C.P. . . . made a dignified effect, interesting and beneficial to the cause of unity between the races. It is hoped that your example will be followed and that in the future meetings of this sort will increase both in number and effectiveness."

No. 78 - October 1933 - page 2

We now quote the most recent message from the Guardian on the subject of the Temple, written to the National Assembly in his own hand:-

"The magnificent achievement of the American believers, the stupendous efforts they have exerted in the month of August on behalf of the Temple Fund cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed. A fresh record of service, an unexampled standard of self-sacrifice has been attained and established through their concerted, their persistent and heroic efforts. The entire Baha'i world cannot but feel thrilled as it contemplates such striking evidences of Baha'i solidarity, of spiritual fervor, of self-abnegation. Abdu'l-Baha, from the realms above, looks down upon those responsible for such deeds with feelings of unmitigated pride, joy and satisfaction. The concluding stages of this stirring episode in the history of the Faith in that land must witness still greater triumphs, must establish a still more excellent standard of Baha'i stewardship. The remaining months of September and October must set the seal of final and complete victory to an enterprise that stands unparalleled in the annals of the Cause in the West. Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi." (September 6, 1933).

...the Guardian in a letter dated March 16, 1933. ...

"The handling of this delicate and vital problem regarding non-participation by Baha'is of East and West in political affairs, calls for the utmost circumspection, tact, patience and vigilance, on the part of those whose function and privilege is to guard, promote and administer the activities of a world-wide, ever-advancing Cause. The misgivings and apprehensions of individual Baha'is should be allayed and eventually completely dispelled. Any misconception of the sane and genuine patriotism that animates every Baha'i 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 aim, the tenets and methods of the administrators of the Faith of Baha'u'llah should be vigorously faced and its fallacy pitilessly exposed. The Cause to which we belong stands on the threshold of an era of unprecedented expansion. Its problems are many, divers and challenging. Our methods and ways of approach must likewise be characterized by unusual sagacity, consummate skill and wisdom. He will surely never fail us in meeting the needs of a critical hour."

No. 78 - October 1933 - page 5

The believers of the newly constituted Baha'i community of Cabin John, Maryland, have received this beautiful message from the Guardian, through his secretary:

"Shoghi Effendi was very pleased to learn that you have formed an Assembly and sincerely trusts that it will gradually develop into an important and active Baha'i center. You have now gone one step farther in the administration of the Cause. Such a development carries with it both privileges and responsibilities that are immense. ...Shoghi Effendi will always be with you in spirit and will offer his prayers on behalf of each one of you, so that God may confirm your souls, deepen your vision of the Cause and enable you to render His Faith mighty and imperishable services."

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 1

Fellow-believers in the American continent! Great indeed have been your past and present achievements! Immeasurably greater are the wonders which the future has in store for you! The Edifice your sacrifices have raised still remains to be clothed. The House (Universal House of Justice) which must needs be supported by the highest administrative institution your hands have reared, is as yet unbuilt. The provisions of the chief Repository of those laws that must govern its operation are thus far mostly undisclosed. The Standard (of The Most Great Peace) which, if 'Abdu'l-Baha's wishes are to be fulfilled, must be raised in your own country has yet to be unfurled. The Unity of which that standard is to be the symbol is far from being yet established. The machinery which must needs incarnate and preserve that unity is not even created. Will it be America, will it be one of the countries of Europe, who will arise to assume the leadership essential to the shaping of the destinies of this troubled age? Will America allow any of her sister communities in East or West to achieve such ascendancy as shall deprive her of that spiritual primacy with which she has been invested and which she has thus far so nobly retained? Will she not rather contribute, by a still further revelation of those inherent powers that motivate her life, to enhance the priceless heritage which the love and wisdom of a departed Master have conferred upon her? - Shoghi Effendi, April 21, 1933 [World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 94]

On November 2, the following cablegram ...

"Appeal hard pressed American believers heed this, my last passionate entreaty, not to suffer slightest interruption in Temple construction to dim the magnificence of their epoch making enterprise. The fair name of our beloved Faith is at stake. Its American stalwart defenders will once again vindicate its triumphant glory. I promise one year's respite upon successful conclusion first stage of ornamentation of our glorious Temple."

(signed) Shoghi.

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 2

Perhaps also it is not too late to recall the Guardian's message to the 1931 Convention:

"Fervently appeal to all associated with this holy enterprise to consummate their achievement by upholding whatever measures National representatives may deem necessary for provision of exterior ornamentation. Inestimable blessing shall crown America's sustained, self-sacrificing endeavors."

The beloved Guardian, on October 30, despatched this message:

"Keith's precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in Baha'u'llah'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 counsellor, an esteemed and faithful friend. I urge the Local Assemblies befittingly to organize memorial gatherings in memory of one whose international services entitled her an eminent rank among the Hands of the Cause of Baha'u'llah."

- (signed) SHOGHI.

Shoghi Effendi, on November 3, sent this message:

"Instructed Isfahan Assembly to inter Keith in the vicinity of the grave of Sultanushushuada, surnamed by Baha'u'llah 'King of Martyrs.'"

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 3

"Unsatisfied with the achievements which crowned the concerted efforts of their elected representatives within the American continent, and emboldened by the initial success of their pioneer teachers, beyond its confines, in Great Britain, France and Germany, the community of the American believers resolved to win in distant climes fresh recruits to the advancing army of Baha'u'llah. Setting out from the western shores of their native land and impelled by the indomitable energy of a new-born faith, these itinerant teachers of the Gospel of Baha'u'llah pushed on towards the islands of the Pacific, and as far as China and Japan, determined to establish beyond the farthest seas the outposts of their beloved Faith."

- Shoghi Effendi,

April 21, 1933.

[World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 84]

...the Guardian....in a letter dated September 6, 1933, through his secretary:

"Regarding the practice of congregational prayer, the Guardian wishes you to know that this form of prayer has been enjoined by Baha'u'llah only for the dead. In all other circumstances there is no obligation whatever imposed upon the believers. When the Aqdas is published the form of congregational prayer prescribed by Baha'u'llah will be made clear to all the believers."

"Regarding the nature of the Nineteen Day Feasts, the Guardian feels that the excellent statement on their nature, function and purpose published in one of the recent issues of the News Letter is so comprehensive and faithful in its presentation that he does not find it necessary to restate and enlarge upon the matter. He has no objection, however, if you feel the need to elaborate the thought expressed in that statement, stressing particularly the spiritual, administrative and social aspects of this vital Baha'i institution."

[The statement referred to by the Guardian appeared in the July 1933 number of Baha'i News, on page 8.]

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 3-4

One of the American believers has shared with the National Assembly a letter from the Guardian dated August 30, 1933,...

"To approach such well-known and important persons is always an extremely delicate matter, since it requires a good deal of wisdom, courage and ability. But those friends who really feel the urge to do so, and possess the necessary qualifications, should cultivate such friendships which, if properly done, can be of an immense benefit to the Cause. In any case, however, the assistance and help of either the local or the National Assembly is not only useful but necessary, if important contacts of this sort are to be fruitful and promising. The principle of consultation, which constitutes one of the basic laws of the Administration, should be applied to all Baha'i activities which affect the collective interests of the Faith, for it is through cooperation and continued exchange of thoughts and views that the Cause can best safeguard and foster its interests. Individual initiative, personal ability and resourcefulness, through indispensable are, unless supported and enriched by the collective experiences and wisdom of the group, utterly incapable of achieving such a tremendous task."

...guidance for the future development of Baha'i Summer Schools has been given by the Guardian in a letter written on September 25, 1933, to Mrs. Kirkpatrick and Mrs. Baker, members of the Central States Baha'i Summer School Committee:

"The basic purpose of all Baha'i Summer Schools, whether in East or West, is to give the believers the opportunity to acquaint themselves, not only by mere study but through whole-hearted and active collaboration in various Baha'i activities, with the essentials of the Administration and in this way enable them to become efficient and able promoters of the Cause. The teaching of the Administration is, therefore, an indispensable feature of every Baha'i Summer School and its special significance can be better understood if we realize the great need of every believer today for a more adequate understanding of the social principles and laws of the Faith. It is now, when the Cause is passing through some of the most difficult stages of its development, that the friends should equip themselves with the necessary knowledge of the Administration. The Guardian wishes you, therefore, to stress again, in all coming summer schools, this vital point, and in this way add to the efficiency and success of your efforts along this line."

The above letter carried these words in the Guardian's hand:

"I certainly advice you to concentrate next year on the "Dawn-Breakers" as well as on the needs, the principles and the purpose of Baha'i Administration. The Cause in your land is still in its formative period. It needs men and women of vision, of capacity and understanding."

Shoghi Effendi on October 23 cabled this beautiful message to Mme. Ali Kuli Khan, daughter of the late Mrs. Alice Ives Breed, one of the active and influential early believers:

"Heartfelt sympathy your great sorrow. Mrs. Breed's pioneer services ever gratefully remembered. Assure you fervent prayers. Love.

(signed) SHOGHI.

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 4

...Shoghi Effendi wrote to the delegates and visitors to the Convention at Green Acre in 1925. [Baha'i Administration, page 88]

"I would also earnestly entreat all the delegates at this coming Convention, and through them I appeal to the larger body of believers whom they represent, to ever bear in mind the supreme injunction of 'Abdu'l-Baha, to teach unceasingly until the "head cornerstone of the foundation" of the Cause of God is firmly established in every heart. Let those whose time, resources and means allow, travel throughout the length and breadth of that vast continent, let them scatter to the most distant regions of the earth and, fired with enthusiasm and detachment, hand on the torch of God's undying flame to the waiting multitudes of a sadly-stricken world."

No. 79 - November 1933 - page 6

To the National Spiritual Assembly regarding Baha'i youth:

"There are two important points which Shoghi Effendi would like you always to emphasize. In the first place he would strongly urge you to cooperate, heart and soul, with all the various Assemblies, groups and committees throughout the Baha'i world, to ask for their assistance and help for the successful discharge of your duties and obligations, and in this way to try to build up an active and ready mind among the Baha'i youth throughout the world. In other words, you should not confine your activities to the national sphere but you should strive to create under the supervision of your N.S.A. an international body of active young Baha'i men and women who, conscious of their manifold and sacred responsibilities, will unanimously arise to spread the Holy Word. The second point which the Guardian wishes you to stress and to keep always in mind is the necessity for every loyal and active member of your committee to fully concentrate on the thorough study and understanding of the spiritual and administrative principles of the Faith, as a necessary step for active and fruitful teaching. You should first equip yourself with the necessary amount of knowledge about the Cause, and then, and only then, try to teach."

No. 79 - November 1933 - pages 6 - 10 [Excerpts from "Baha'i Administration"]

1.

You stand at this challenging hour in the history of the Cause at the threshold of a new era; the functions you are called upon to discharge are fraught with immense possibilities; the responsibilities you shoulder are grave and momentous; and the eyes of many people are turned, at this hour, towards you, expectant to behold the dawning of a Day that shall witness the fulfilment of His divine Promise.

Forgetful of the past and its vicissitudes, conscious of the need for renewed and combined effort, freed from all earthly limitations and motives, with every lingering trace of ill-feeling forever banished from our hearts, freshly united and determined, let us join in deep and silent communion with the ever-watchful Spirit of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha, and with humility and earnestness supplicate for the guidance that will enable us to fulfil the task which is now committed to our charge.- To the Convention delegates. April 8, 1923. [BA, p. 44]

2.

It is expressly recorded in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Writings that these National Assemblies must be indirectly elected by the friends; that is, the friends in every country must elect a certain number of delegates, who in their turn will elect from among all the friends in that country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. In such countries, therefore, as America, Great Britain and Germany, a fixed number of secondary electors must first be decided upon (95 for America, including the Pacific Islands; 95 for Germany; and 19 for Great Britain). The friends then in every locality where the number of adult declared believers exceeds nine [1] must directly elect its quota of secondary electors assigned to it in direct proportion to its numerical strength. These secondary electors will then, either through correspondence, or preferably by gathering together, and first deliberating upon the affairs of the Cause throughout their country (as the delegates to the Convention), elect from among all the friends in that country nine who will be the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.- To the believers of America, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Australia. March 12, 1923. [BA, p.39-40]

[1 The Guardian's first instruction was that a Spiritual Assembly should be elected in communities [sic] having more than nine declared believers; this instruction was later modified by the statement that a group of exactly nine believers may constitute themselves a Spiritual Assembly by joint declaration.-Editor.]

3.

I am deeply convinced that if the Annual Convention of the friends in America, as well as the National Spiritual Assembly, desire to become potent instruments for the speedy realization of the Beloved's fondest hopes for the future of that country, they should endeavor, first and foremost, to exemplify, in an increasing degree, to all Baha'is and to the world at large the high ideals of fellowship and service which Baha'u'llah and the beloved Master repeatedly set before them. They can claim the admiration, the support and eventually the allegiance of their fellow-countrymen only by their strict regard for the dignity, the welfare, and the unity of the Cause of God, by their zeal, their disinterestedness, and constancy in the service of mankind, and by demonstrating, through their words and deeds, the need and practicability of the lofty principles which the Movement has proclaimed to the world.- To the American National Spiritual Assembly, November 26, 1923. [BA, p. 53]

4.

Again I earnestly appeal to every one of you, and renew my only request with all the ardor of my conviction, to make, before and during the coming Convention, yet another effort, this time more spontaneous and selfless than before, and endeavor to approach your task - the election of your delegates, as well as your national and local representatives - with that purity of spirit that can alone obtain our Beloved's most cherished desire. Let us recall His explicit and often-repeated assurances that every Assembly elected in that rarefied atmosphere of selflessness and detachment is, in truth, appointed of God, that its verdict is truly inspired, that one and all should submit to its decision unreservedly and with cheerfulness.

Let us first strive to fulfill these conditions, difficult yet essential, in our lives, so that, contented and assured, we may make of this new year of activity a year of abundant blessings, of unprecedented achievements. May this dearest wish be fulfilled! - To the American believers, February 23, 1924. [BA, p. 65]

5.

Hitherto the National Convention has been primarily called together for the consideration of the various circumstances attending the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. I feel, however, that in view of the expansion and the growing importance of the administrative sphere of the Cause, the general sentiments and tendencies prevailing among the friends, and the signs of increasing interdependence among the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world, the assembled accredited representatives of the American believers should exercise not only the vital and responsible right of electing the National Assembly, but should also fulfill the functions of an enlightened, consultative and cooperative body that will enrich the experience, enhance the prestige, support the authority, and assist the deliberations of the National Spiritual Assembly. It is my firm conviction that it is the bounden duty, in the interest of the Cause we all love and serve, of the members of the incoming National Assembly, once elected by the delegates at Convention time, to seek and have the utmost regard, individually as well as collectively, for the advice, the considered opinion and the true sentiments of the assembled delegates. Banishing every vestige of secrecy, of undue reticence, of dictatorial aloofness, from their midst, they should radiantly and abundantly unfold to the eyes of the delegates, by whom they are elected, their plans, their hopes, and their cares. They should familiarize the delegates with the various matters that will have to be considered in the current year, and calmly and conscientiously study and weigh the opinions and judgments of the delegates. The newly elected National Assembly, during the few days when the Convention is in session and after the dispersal of the delegates, should seek ways and means to cultivate understanding, facilitate and maintain the exchange of views, deepen confidence, and vindicate by every tangible evidence their one desire to serve and advance the common weal. Not infrequently, nay oftentimes, the most lowly, untutored and inexperienced among the friends will, by the sheer inspiring force of selfless and ardent devotion, contribute a distinct and memorable share to a highly involved discussion in any given Assembly. Great must be the regard paid by those whom the delegates call upon to serve in high position to this all-important though inconspicuous manifestation of the revealing power of sincere and earnest devotion.

The National Spiritual Assembly, however, in view of the unavoidable limitations imposed upon the convening of frequent and long-standing sessions of the Convention, will have to retain in its hands the final decision on all matters that affect the interests of the Cause in America, such as the right to decide whether any local Assembly is functioning in accordance with the principles laid down for the conduct and the advancement of the Cause. It is my earnest prayer that they will utilize their highly responsible position, not only for the wise and efficient conduct of the affairs of the Cause, but also for the extension and deepening of the spirit of cordiality and wholehearted and mutual support in their cooperation with delegates to the Convention, i.e., the right to decide upon the validity of the credentials of the delegates at a given Convention, is vested in the outgoing National Assembly, and the right to decide who has the voting privilege is also ultimately placed in the hands of the National Spiritual Assembly, either when a Local Spiritual Assembly is for the first time being formed in a given locality, or when differences arise between a new applicant and an already established local Assembly. While the Convention is in session and the accredited delegates have already elected from among the believers throughout the country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the current year, it is of infinite value and a supreme necessity that as far as possible all matters requiring immediate decision should be fully and publicly considered, and an endeavor be made to obtain after mature deliberation, unanimity in vital decisions. Indeed, it has ever been the cherished desire of our Master, 'Abdu'l-Baha, that the friends in their councils, local as well as national, should by their candor, their honesty of purpose, their singleness of mind, and the thoroughness of their discussions, achieve unanimity in all things. Should this in certain cases prove impracticable the verdict of the majority should prevail, to which decision the minority must under all circumstances, gladly, spontaneously and continually, submit.

Nothing short of the all-encompassing, all-pervading power of His Guidance and Love can enable this newly-enfolded order to gather strength and flourish amid the storm and stress of a turbulent age, and in the fulness of time vindicate its high claim to be universally recognized as the one Haven of abiding felicity and peace. - To the American National Spiritual Assembly. January 19, 1925. [BA, pp. 78-81]

6.

Regarding the method to be adopted for the election of the National Spiritual Assemblies, it is clear that the text of the Beloved's Testament gives us no indication as to the manner in which these Assemblies are to be elected. In one of His earliest Tablets, however, addressed to a friend in Persia, the following is expressly recorded:-

"At whatever time all the beloved of God in each country appoint their delegates, and these in turn elect their representatives, and these representatives elect a body, that body shall be regarded as the Supreme Baytu'l-'Adl (Universal House of Justice)."

These words clearly indicated that a three-stage election has been provided by 'Abdu'l-Baha for the formation if the International House of Justice, and as it is explicitly provided in His Will and Testament that the "Secondary House of Justice (i.e., National Assemblies) must elect the members of the Universal One," it is obvious that the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies will have to be indirectly elected by the body of the believers in their respective provinces. In view of these complementary instructions the principle, set forth in my letter of March 12th, 1923, has been established requiring the believers (the beloved of God) in every country to elect a certain number of delegates who, in turn, will elect their national representatives (Secondary House of Justice or National Spiritual Assembly) whose sacred obligation and privilege will be to elect in time God's Universal House of Justice.

Should the appointing of the delegates be made a part of the function of local Spiritual Assemblies, who are already elected bodies, the principle of a four-stage election would be introduced which would be at variance with the provisions explicitly laid down in the Master's Tablet. On the other hand, were the local Spiritual Assemblies, the number of whose members is strictly confined to nine, to elect directly the members of the National Spiritual Assembly - thus maintaining the principle of a three-stage election - all Baha'i localities, which must necessarily differ in numerical strength, would then have to share equally in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly - a practice which would be contrary to fairness and justice. Moreover, the central principle guiding for the present the administration of the Cause has been to make the Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies as independent as possible in the conduct of such affairs as fall within their province, and to lessen the hampering influence of any institution within their jurisdiction that might, whether directly or indirectly, impair their authority and prestige. - To the American National Spiritual Assembly. May 12, 1925. [BA 84-85]

7.

And now regarding this forthcoming Convention, I feel that the dominating purpose inspiring the assembled friends, delegates and visitors alike, should be a two-fold one. The first is a challenge to the individual, the second a collective responsibility. The one seeks to reinforce the motive power of our spiritual activities, the second aims at raising the standard of administrative efficiency so vitally needed at this advanced stage of our work. We should first and foremost endeavor by every conceivable means to revitalize our precious Cause, rudely shaken by the constant vicissitudes attending the outward departure of a vigilant and gracious Master. Our next object should be to seek to approach, through more intimate association, fuller and more frequent consultations, and a closer familiarity with the character, the mission and the teachings of the Cause, that standard of excellence which should characterize the cooperative efforts of Baha'i Communities in every land.

High aims and pure motives, however laudable in themselves, will surely not suffice if unsupported by measures that are practicable and methods that are sound. Wealth of sentiment, abundance of good-will and effort, will prove of little avail if we should fail to exercise discrimination and restraint and neglect to direct their flow along the most profitable channels. The unfettered freedom of the individual should be tempered with mutual consultation and sacrifice, and the spirit of initiative and enterprise should be reinforced by a deeper realization of the supreme necessity for concerted action and a fuller devotion to the common weal.

It would be impossible at this stage to ignore the indispensability or to overestimate the unique significance of the institution of the National Spiritual Assembly - the pivot round which revolve the activities of the believers throughout the American continent. Supreme is their position, grave their responsibilities, manifold and arduous their duties. How great the privilege, how delicate the task of the assembled delegates whose function it is to elect such national representatives as would by their record of service ennoble and enrich the annals of the Cause! If we but turn our gaze to the high qualifications of the members of Baha'i Assemblies, as enumerated in 'Abdu'l-Baha' Tablets, we are filled with feelings unworthiness and dismay, and would feel truly disheartened but for the comforting thought that if we rise to play nobly your part every deficiency in our lives will be more than compensated by the all-conquering spirit of His grace and power. Hence it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience. - To the Convention delegates. June 3, 1925. [BA 87-88]

8.

In connection with the annual holding of the Baha'i Convention and Congress, I feel that although such a representative body need not be convened necessarily every year, yet it is highly desirable, in view of the unique functions it fulfills in promoting harmony and good-will, in removing misunderstandings and in enhancing the prestige of the Cause, that the National Spiritual Assembly should exert itself to gather together annually the elected representatives of the American believers. It would in some ways be obviously convenient and eminently desirable though not absolutely essential, if the National Spiritual Assembly could arrange that the holding of such a Congress should synchronize with the time at which the national elections are renewed, and that both events should take place, if not on the first of Ridvan, at least during the twelve joyous days of what may be justly regarded as the foremost Baha'i Festival. Apart from the local elections, which universally are to be renewed on the 21st day of April, it is entirely left to the discretion of the National Spiritual Assembly to decide, after having given due consideration to the above mentioned observations, on whatever time and place the Baha'i Convention as well as the annual elections are to be held. Were the National Spiritual Assembly to decide, after mature deliberations, to omit the holding of the Baha'i Convention and Congress in a given year, then they could, only in such a case, devise ways and means to insure that the annual election of the National Spiritual Assembly should be held by mail, provided it can be conducted with sufficient thoroughness, efficiency and dispatch. It would also appear to me unobjectionable to enable and even to require in the last resort such delegates as cannot possibly undertake the journey to the seat of the Baha'i Convention to send their votes, for the election of the National Spiritual Assembly only, by mail to the National Secretary, as in my view the advantages of such a procedure outweigh the considerations referred to in your letter. It should, however, be made clear to every elected delegate - who should be continually reminded - that it is a sacred responsibility and admittedly preferable to attend if possible in person the sessions of the Convention, to take an active part in all its proceedings, and to acquaint his fellow-workers on his return with the accomplishments, the decisions and the aspirations of the assembled representatives of the American believers. - To the American National Spiritual Assembly. October 14, 1925. [BA, p. 91-92]

9.

In connection with the best and most practical methods of procedure to be adopted for the election of Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies, I feel that in view of the fact that definite and detailed regulations defining the manner and character of Baha'i elections have neither been expressly revealed by Baha'u'llah nor laid down in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, it devolves upon the members of the Universal House of Justice to formulate and apply such system of laws as would be in conformity with the essentials and requisites expressly provided by the Author and Interpreter of the Faith for the conduct of Baha'i administration. I have consequently refrained from establishing a settled and uniform procedure for the election of the Assemblies of the East and the West, leaving them free to pursue their own methods of procedure which in most cases had been instituted and practiced during the last two decades of the life of 'Abdu'l-Baha.

The general practice prevailing throughout the East is the one based upon the principle of plurality rather than absolute majority, whereby those candidates that have obtained the highest number of votes, irrespective of the fact whether they command an absolute majority of the votes cast or not, are automatically and definitely elected. It has been felt, with no little justification, that this method, admittedly disadvantageous in its disregard of the principle that requires that each elected member must secure a majority of the votes cast, does away on the other hand with the more serious disadvantage of restricting the freedom of the elector who, unhampered and unconstrained by electoral necessities, is called upon to vote for none but those whom prayer and reflection have inspired him to uphold. Moreover, the practice of nomination, so detrimental to the atmosphere of a silent and prayerful election, is viewed with mistrust inasmuch as it gives the right to the majority of a body that, in itself under the present circumstances, often constitutes a minority of all the elected delegates, to deny that God-given right of every elector to vote only in favor of those who he is conscientiously convinced are the most worthy candidates. Should this simple system be provisionally adopted, it would safeguard the spiritual principle of the unfettered freedom of the voter, who will thus preserve intact the sanctity of the choice he first made. It would avoid the inconvenience of securing advance nominations from absent delegates, and the impracticality of associating them with the assembled electors in the subsequent ballots that are often required to meet the exigencies of majority vote.

I would recommend these observations to your earnest consideration, and whatever decision you arrive at, all local Assemblies and individual believers, I am certain, will uphold, for their spiritual obligation and privilege is not only to consult freely and frequently with the National Spiritual Assembly, but to uphold as well with confidence and cheerfulness whatever is the considered verdict of their national representatives. - To the American National Spiritual Assembly. May 27, 1927. [BA 135-137]

10.

The Guardian wishes the N.S.A. to remind, and make it quite clear to, the believers in that land that the supreme body in the United States and Canada, whose privilege and function is to lay down, amend and abrogate the administrative principles of the Faith with the approval of the Guardian, is not the Convention, however representative it may be, but the N.S.A. On the other hand, it is the sacred obligation and the primary function of the National Assembly not to restrict under any circumstances, the freedom of the assembled delegates, whose twofold function is to elect their national representatives and to submit to them any recommendations they may feel inclined to make. The function of the Convention is purely advisory and though the advice it gives is not binding in its effect on those on whom rest the final decision in purely administrative matters, yet, the utmost caution and care should be exercised lest anything should hamper the delegates in the full and free exercise of their function. In discharging this sacred function no influence whatever, no pressure from any quarter, even though it be from the National Assembly, should under any circumstances affect their views or restrict their freedom. The delegates must be wholly independent of any administrative agency, must approach their task with absolute detachment and must concentrate their attention on the most important and pressing issues.

The Guardian believes that the right to elect the chairman and the secretary of the Convention should be vested in the assembled delegates, lest any objection be raised that the members of the outgoing National Assembly are seeking to direct the course of the discussion in a manner that would be conductive to their own personal interests. The National Assembly, however, must at all times vigilantly uphold, defend, justify and enforce the provisions of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws which are binding on the Convention no less than on themselves. The N.S.A. has the right to lay down, enforce and interpret the National Constitution of the Baha'is in that land. It cannot, if it wishes to remain faithful to that Constitution, lay down any regulations, however secondary in character, that would in the least hamper the unrestricted liberty of the delegates to advise and elect those whom they feel best combine the necessary qualifications for membership of so exalted a body.

Non-delegates, however, according to the Guardian's considered opinion, should not be given the right to intervene directly during the sessions of the Convention. Only through an accredited delegate they should be given indirectly the chance to voice their sentiments and to participate in the deliberations of the Convention. Much confusion and complications must inevitably result in the days to come, if such a restriction be not imposed on a gathering which is primarily intended for the accredited delegates of the Baha'i communities. Bearing this restriction in mind, it is the duty of the N.S.A. to devise ways and means which would enable them to obtain valuable suggestions, not only from the total number of the elected delegates, but from as large a body of their fellow-workers as is humanly possible.

Shoghi Effendi has not departed from any established Administrative principle. He feels he has neither curtailed the legislative authority of the N.S.A. nor invested the Convention with undue powers enabling it to rival or supersede those whom it has to elect. What the Guardian is aiming at is to remind the friends, more fully than before, of the two cardinal principles of Baha'i Administration, namely, the supreme and unchalleng[e]able authority of the N.S.A. in national affairs working within the limits imposed by the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, and the untrammelled freedom of the Convention delegates to advise, deliberate on the actions, and appoint the successors of their National Assembly. The Guardian is confident that you will elucidate and give the widest publicity to these already established principles, upon which the progress, the unity and welfare of Baha'i administrative institutions must ultimately depend.- To the American National Spiritual Assembly, through the Guardian's secretary. August 12, 1933.

The utmost care and vigilance should be exercised lest any fresh misunderstandings arise regarding these fundamental issues. The root principle of Baha'i Administration is unreservedly maintained. No departure from its established tenets is contemplated. The undisputed authority of America's supreme Baha'i administrative body has been reaffirmed, while on the other hand, the untrammelled freedom of individual believers and delegates to exercise their functions has been once again reaffirmed and strengthened. On the continuous and harmonious cooperation of the two leading Baha'i institutions in America, the growth and success of the administration bequeathed by Abdu'l-Baha must ultimately depend. May next year's Convention witness the triumph of these basic principles. - To the American National Spiritual Assembly. August 12, 1933 (the Guardian's postscript to the foregoing letter).

No. 80 - January 1934 - page 1

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi:

Baha'i Communities East and West acclaim with one voice stupendous accomplishments those responsible for this latest manifestation of America's superb, sustained self-sacrifice. Supreme Concourse echo praises those whose shining deeds are shedding on Baha'i name a great, imperishable lustre. My heart swells with admiration (and) gratitude as I contemplate increasing evidences American believers' well-deserved, steadily-advancing fame. Hour of victory is at hand. America's invincible heroism must and will achieve it.

- Shoghi.

Haifa, Palestine,

November 18, 1933

"As the progress and extension of spiritual activities is dependent and conditioned upon material means, it is of absolute necessity that immediately after the establishment of local as well as national Spiritual Assemblies, a Baha'i Fund be established, to be placed under the exclusive control of the Spiritual Assembly. All donations and contributions should be offered to the Treasurer of the Assembly, for the express purpose of promoting the interests of the Cause, throughout that locality or country. It is the sacred obligation of every conscientious and faithful servant of Baha'u'llah who desires to see His Cause advance, to contribute freely and generously for the increase of that Fund. The members of the Spiritual Assembly will at their own discretion expend it to promote the Teaching campaign, to help the needy, to establish educational Baha'i institutions, to extend in every way possible their sphere of service. I cherish the hope that all the friends, realizing the necessity of this measure, will bestir themselves and contribute, however modestly at first, towards the speedy establishment and the increase of that Fund." - Shoghi Effendi, March 12, 1933.

No. 80 - January 1934 - page 2-3

.. from the letter written by Shoghi Effendi on March 21, 1932, published under the title of "The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah." [WOB, pp.63-65]

"I feel it, therefore, incumbent upon me to stress, now that the time is ripe, the importance of an instruction which, at the present stage of the evolution of our Faith, should be increasingly emphasized, irrespective of its application to the East or to the West. And this principle is no other than that which involves the non-participation by the adherents of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, whether in their individual capacities or collectively as local or national Assemblies, in any form of activity that might be interpreted, either directly or indirectly, as an interference in the political affairs of any particular government.

"Let them refrain from associating themselves, whether by word or by deed, with the political pursuits of their respective nations, with the policies of their governments and the schemes and programs of parties and factions. In such controversies they should assign no blame, take no side, further no design, and identify themselves with no system prejudicial to the best interests of that world-wide Fellowship which it is their aim to guard and foster. Let them beware lest they allow themselves to become the tools of unscrupulous politicians, or to be entrapped by the treacherous devices of the plotters and the perfidious among their countrymen. Let them so shape their lives and regulate their conduct that no charge of secrecy, of fraud, of bribery or of intimidation may, however ill-founded, be brought against them. . . . It is their duty to strive to distinguish, as clearly as they possibly can, and if needed with the aid of their elected representatives, such posts and functions as are either diplomatic or political from those that are purely administrative in character, and which under no circumstances are affected by the changes and chances that political activities and party government, in every land, must necessarily involve. Let them affirm their unyielding determination to stand, firmly and unreservedly, for the way of Baha'u'llah, to avoid the entanglements and bickerings inseparable from the pursuits of the politician, and to become worthy agencies of that Divine Polity which incarnates God's immutable Purpose for all men. . . .

"Let them proclaim that in whatever country they reside, and however advanced their institutions, or profound their desire to enforce the laws, and apply the principles, enunciated by Baha'u'llah, they will, unhesitatingly, subordinate the operation of such laws and the application of such principles to the requirements and legal enactments of their respective governments. Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country's constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.

No. 80 - January 1934 - page 3

A Tablet revealed by Abdu'l-Baha to Mr. Thornton Chase was sent to the Guardian, and the following reply was received, dated January 26, 1933:

"The Guardian fully recognizes the authenticity and controlling influence of this instruction from Abdu'l-Baha upon the question. He, however, feels under the responsibility of stating that the attitude taken by the Master (i.e., that American citizens are in duty bound to vote in public elections) implies certain reservations. He, therefore, lays it upon the individual conscience to see that in following the Master's instructions no Baha'i vote for an officer nor Baha'i participation in the affairs of the Republic shall involve acceptance by that individual of a program or policy that contravenes any vital principle, spiritual or social, of the Faith."

The Guardian added to this letter the following postscript:

"I feel it is incumbent upon me to clarify the above statement, written in my behalf, by stating that no vote cast, or office undertaken, by a Baha'i should necessarily constitute acceptance, by the voter or office holder, of the entire program of any political party. No Baha'i can be regarded as either a Republican or Democrat, as such. He is above all else, the supporter of the principles enunciated by Baha'u'llah, with which, I am firmly convinced, the program of no political party is completely harmonious."

In a letter dated March 16, 1933, the Guardian sent these further details:

"As regards the non-political character of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi feels that there is no contradiction whatsoever between the Tablet (to Thornton Chase, referred to above) and the reservations to which he has referred. The Master surely never desired the friends to use their influence towards the realization and promotion of policies contrary to any of the principles of the Faith. The friends may vote, if they can do it, without identifying themselves with one party or another. The matter must be made perfectly clear to the individuals, who will be left free to exercise their discretion and judgment. But if a certain person does enter into party politics and labors for the ascendency of one party over another, and continues to do it against the expressed appeals and warnings of the Assembly, then the Assembly has the right to refuse him the right to vote in Baha'i elections."

No. 80 - January 1934 - pages 3-6

Letters from the Guardian

1. To the National Spiritual Assembly

Mr. Horace Holley

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The Guardian was extremely pleased to receive the photograph of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly taken in one of the outer sections of the Temple, and showing very clearly the strikingly beautiful ornamentation work which, thanks to the generous and continued efforts of our American believers, is proceeding quickly and without any interruption. In a recent cablegram to your Assembly the Guardian has given the promise of one year's respite, provided the dome ornamentation is successfully completed. It is for the distinguished National representatives of the American believers to exert their utmost, and to display the same enthusiasm and the same energetic and wise control which have thus far characterized both their national and their international services to the Faith, in order that this mighty Edifice may come nearer to its completion.

... Mrs. Keith Ransom-Kehler's passing is, indeed, an irretrievable loss which the Baha'i world has come to suffer at a time when her presence in their midst was so greatly needed, not only because of her inspiring personality, but due to her intelligent, wise and energetic handling of the many and varied problems confronting the followers of the Faith in Persia. For more than one year she toiled and suffered, undismayed by the forces of darkness which so increasingly challenge the devotion and loyalty, and hamper the progress of the work, of our Persian brethren. Nothing was strong enough to sap the vitality of her faith and neither the opposition of the Government, nor the slackness and inefficiency of those with whom she had to work, could possibly discourage and dishearten her. Her faith was deep, her energy inexhaustible. And she was, indeed, fully repaid for all that she did, whether in connection with the teaching of the Message, or in regard to the consolidation of the nascent administrative institutions of the Cause in the very land of its birth.

The Guardian, fully aware of the noble gifts of her heart and mind, has given her not only the station of a martyr but that of a Hand of the Cause of God. In two telegrams addressed to the Tihran and Isfahan Assemblies he has requested our Persian friends to fix her final resting place in the vicinity of Sultanu'sh-Shuhada's grave in Isfahan.

He has also, through the following cablegram, informed your National Assembly of his intention to do so: "Instructed Isfahan Assembly inter Keith vicinity grave Sultanu'sh-Shuhada surnamed by Baha'u'llah 'King of Martyrs.'" His instructions on this point have been immediately carried out by the Isfahan Assembly and it is, therefore, very encouraging to learn that our beloved Keith has been accorded such a befitting restingplace. For as you may know, Sultanu'sh-Shuhada, to whom Baha'u'llah gave the title of the "King of Martyrs" as a result of the glorious martyrdom he suffered for the Cause, was one of the most eminent and ardent followers of the Faith, not only in Isfahan but in the whole of Persia. His brother, surnamed by Baha'u'llah the "Beloved of Martyrs" was also a very distinguished and devoted Baha'u'llah, who gave up his life for the sake of the Cause. So, as you see, the interment of Keith in the vicinity of the grave of such an outstanding Persian believer is very befitting, and will pass down through the ages as the symbol of the unity of the East and West.

In another cablegram to your Assembly dated November 2, 1933, which runs as follows: "Holy Land's growing and increasingly appreciative inhabitants long witness model, however small, majestic Temple," he has requested you to send him, without any delay and in case it is not too expensive, a small model of the Temple to be placed either in the International Baha'i Archives on Mt. Carmel, or in any other place, where the many and increasingly appreciative visitors who come to the Shrines can be given a chance to visualize the glory and grandeur of the Edifice which your untiring hands have so well raised.

In closing please extend our Guardian's loving greetings and best wishes to all the members of the National Assembly. His prayers on their behalf will be continually offered to Baha'u'llah, that He may impart to them the wisdom, guidance and faith they need for the complete discharge of their manifold duties to the Cause.

Yours in His Service,

(signed) H. Rabbani.

Haifa, Palestine

November 3, 1933

Mr. Horace Holley

Dear Baha'i Brother:

... Regarding the situation in Persia, Shoghi Effendi wishes the N.S.A. to renew their representations to the Persian Minister and to persevere in their glorious efforts for the liberation of their persecuted Persian brethren. Now that our precious Keith is no more it is of vital importance to the success of their endeavors that they should work hard and impress the Minister with the urgency and rightfulness of our case. To cease pressing our case at this critical time will give the authorities the impression that our representations were mere formalities and without any solid foundation. To create such a highly unfavorable impression about the Cause is, indeed, an irreparable mistake which may greatly retard the administrative development of the Cause not only in Persia but also in the West.

The latest persecutions to which our beloved Faith has been subjected in the very land of its birth are of a distressing nature and are increasing both in number and in intensity. Not only our literature is confiscated at the frontiers but a number of books are reported to have been burnt by Government officials despite the fact that they contain nothing which can be said to be contrary to the laws of the State or to the basic teachings of its official Church. Furthermore, Baha'is are not permitted to use their own marriage certificates, but are indirectly compelled to use those belonging to other religious communities such a Moslems, Jews and Zoroastrians. And all this on the ground that their teachings are not in accordance with the prescribed laws of the Moslem clergy, and also because they do not belong to and do not form an essential part of a new religious Dispensation.

Please inform him of the answer which the Persian Minister has given, and if it is a written one, be sure to send him the text of the reply. The Guardian wishes you also to be in close and constant touch with the Tihran Assembly, to obtain from them all the information you need, and to welcome any suggestion they may offer. He hopes that through your continued and di(l)ligent labors much that is vital to the immediate interests of the Faith in Persia will be achieved. He will continue to pray on your behalf that your endeavors may be crowned with success.

Yours in His Service,

(signed) H. Rabbani.

Haifa, Palestine

November 9, 1933

Mr. Allen B. McDaniel

Dear and Prized Co-worker:

The situation in Persia is growing more dangerous, more confused and perplexing every day. Baha'i literature is banned, confiscated and burned. Baha'i marriage certificates are denied recognition by the civil authorities and the status of those who are married among the believers is fraught with incalculable difficulties and dangers. The printing of Baha'i news letters, magazines and calendars is tacitly forbidden and constantly interfered with. Intolerable restrictions are being increasingly imposed on Baha'i gatherings, celebrations, teaching activities, and inter-assembly communications. With the passing of Keith, that indefatigable, brilliant and whole consecrated international champion of the Cause, the Persian believers may be entering upon a period of systematic persecution reminiscent of the sufferings of a by-gone day. I urge your Assembly to obtain the fullest and up-to-date information from the Tihran Assembly and to exert the utmost pressure on the Persian Minister at Washington.

Your true and grateful brother,

(signed) SHOGHI...

Haifa, Palestine

November 8, 1933

Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm,

Dear Baha'i Brother:

I need not express his (the Guardian's) great joy at the news of the continued progress of the Temple work. For you known only too well how much he is eager to see the entire Edifice brought to successful completion. His repeated emphasis of the imperative necessity of insuring, by every means, the speedy termination of this historic enterprise seems to have created a new spirit of self-sacrifice and of initiative in the entire body of the believers throughout the world. It is of the utmost importance that this spirit should be kept alive through continued encouragement. For any slackness in the energy and enthusiasm of the friends, at this critical and most decisive moment, will have severe repercussions on the Cause. The Guardian will fervently pray that during the next few months the ornamentation of the Temple dome may proceed quickly, so as to impress and stimulate the many visitors and strangers who come to attend the Chicago World Fair. He will also offer his special prayers to Baha'u'llah on account of all the members of the National Spiritual Assembly that they may be guided and inspired in all their historic endeavors for the consolidation and the progress of the Cause.

Yours in His Service,

(signed) H. Rabbani.

Haifa, Palestine

October 27, 1933.

No. 80 - January 1934 - pages 5-6

To Individual Believers

He sincerely hopes and prays that the literature and letters you are sending to eminent men in the different parts of the country will have their desired effect and that the Word of God will gradually penetrate into their heart and win it. It however takes time. Such men are generally captive in the hands of some cherished ideas and principles which they cannot give up so quickly. The mere fact that a person is learned does not mean that he is free from prejudice.

The academic life also has its fashions and fads, even though they are of different nature from the fads of the man on the street. These fashions are not permanent; they are bound to change. Today the fad is a materialistic view of life and of the world. A day will soon come when it will become deeply religious and spiritual. In fact, we can discern the beginning of such a change in the writings of some of the most eminent souls and liberal minds. When the pendulum will start its full swing, then we shall see all such eminent men turn again to God. - (To Mr. Willard Hatch, October 18, 1932.)

As regards the meaning of the Baha'i Covenant: The Guardian considers the existence of two forms of Covenant both of which are explicitly mentioned in the literature of the Cause. First is the covenant that every prophet makes with humanity or, more definitely, with His people that they will accept and follow the coming Manifestation who will be the reappearance of His reality. The second form of Covenant is such as the one Baha'u'llah made with His people that they should accept the Master. This is merely to establish and strengthen the succession of the series of Lights that appear after every Manifestation. Under the same category falls the Covenant the Master made with the Baha'is that they should accept His administration after Him....

To divide the inheritance as it is prescribed by Baha'i we have to divide it into 2,520 shares. But we can also divide it into 42 shares. Then every one of the beneficiaries will take so many of these shares. These numbers form like a highest denominator for the different individuals that will benefit in case of intestacy. In case of the non-existence of one class of inheritors the Aqdas mentions how it should be divided. As a general rule a part goes to the House of Justice, a part to the children. - (To Mr. Dales S. Cole, October 21, 1932.)

I wish to urge the necessity of concentrating at your next summer session, on the systematic study of the early history and principles of the Faith, on public speaking, and on a thorough discussion, both formally and informally, of various aspects of the Cause. These I regard as essential preliminaries to a future intensive campaign of teaching in which the rising generation must engage, if the spread of the Cause is to be assured in that land. - (To Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Eggleston, November 2, 1932.)

The growth and development of the Baha'i center of West Englewood is a source of intense and genuine satisfaction. I particularly welcome their exemplary activity in associating themselves with the social and humanitarian efforts exerted by the local authorities in that center and in demonstrating, in a tangible manner, the universality of the Cause of Baha'u'llah and the vitality of His Faith. May its sister Assemblies follow the example which West Englewood has so nobly set, and by their perseverance and concerted efforts hasten the advent of the golden age of our beloved Faith.- (To Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm, November 14, 1932.)

All the spiritual and social movements existing in the world, and undoubtedly there are many of them, have some spark of the divine truth. Their very existence shows that they have something to offer to man and fulfil some purpose. But what the world needs, at such a critical moment in its history, is not a mere palliative. It needs a movement that goes deep into its social and spiritual illness and brings about a complete, fundamental change - a change that will include in its scope both the social and spiritual reform of man. But such a movement cannot be inaugurated save by a messenger of God, revealed by Him for that very object. In similar critical moments that have punctuated the history of man in the past, a Zoroaster, a Moses, a Christ and a Muhammad appeared, and in this day, the Baha'is declare, Baha'u'llah has been revealed.

Just as in the past the Prophets have been persecuted and their Mission was ridiculed, so has the message of Baha'u'llah been scoffed at as a mere impractical idealism. From His earliest youth He was put in chains, expatriated and persecuted. But what do we observe in this day? less than forty years after His death, the principles He advocated are the only solution for practical politics, the spiritual truths He voiced are the crying needs of man and the very thing he requires for his moral and spiritual development.

He does not ask us to follow Him blindly; as He says in one of His Tablets, God had endowed man with a mind to operate as a torchlight and guide him to truth. Read His words, consider His teachings, and measure their value in the light of contemporary problems and the truth of His mission, as well as the true spirit He creates in whosoever follows His ways. - (To Mrs. Paxton, February 26, 1933.)

The believers, and particularly those who have not had sufficient experience in teaching, should be very careful in the way they present the teachings of the Cause. Sincerity, devotion and faith are not the sole conditions of successful teaching. Tactfulness, extreme caution and wisdom are equally important. We should not be in a hurry when we announce the message to the public and we should be careful to present the teachings in their entirety and not to alter them for the sake of others. Allegiance to the Faith cannot be partial and half-hearted. Either we should accept the Cause without any qualification whatever, or cease calling ourselves Baha'is. The new believers should be made to realize that it is not sufficient for them to accept some aspects of the teachings and reject those which cannot suit their mentality in order to become fully recognized and active followers of the Faith. In this way all sorts of misunderstandings will vanish and the organic unity of the Cause will be preserved. - (To Mrs. Shahnaz Waite, June 12, 1933.)

Do not lose heart and never relax in your worldwide activities your magnificent endeavors for the consolidation of the Faith of God and the completion of the Temple. Confine your appeals to the Baha'i Assemblies, familiarize them with the deeds, the sufferings, the ideals and sacrifices of the immortal heroes of the Cause of Baha'u'llah - heroes the record of whose labors Nabil has so vividly described. May such familiarity arouse those who receive such letters from you to set a still nobler example of self-abnegation, of courage and sacrifice. - (To Mrs. Victoria Bedekian, received June 14, 1933.)

Regarding the principle that the Cause must not be allowed to center around any Baha'i personality, the Guardian wishes to make it clear that it was never intended that well qualified individual teachers should not receive from local Assemblies every encouragement and facilities to address the public. What the Guardian meant was that the personality and popularity of such a speaker should never be allowed to eclipse the authority, or detract from the influence of the body of the elected representatives in every local community. Such an individual should not only seek the approval, advice and assistance of the body that represents the Cause in his locality, but should strive to attribute any credit he may obtain to the collective wisdom and capacity of the Assembly under whose jurisdiction he performs his services. Assemblies and not individuals constitute the bedrock on which the Administration is built. Everything else must be subordinated to, and be made to serve and advance the best interests of these elected custodians and promoters of the Laws of Baha'u'llah. - (To Mr. Alfred E. Lunt, August 12, 1933.)

No. 80 - January 1934 - page 7

The abiding interest which Shoghi Effendi takes in racial amity is clearly reflected in what is perhaps his latest word on the subject, dated October 24, 1933. His message in part follows:

"Your warm and welcome message of Sept. 11, 1933, together with the enclosed reports and program of the annual conference for racial amity at Green Acre, were all duly received and their perusal greatly cheered and gladdened our Guardian's heart. His hope is that these annual gatherings will increasingly develop, and will serve to attract well known and important personalities to the Cause. Competent and eloquent speakers are needed who can present the teachings in a scholarly way, and who cannot merely inform, but inspire the attendants to rally themselves under the banner of the Faith. The keen and continued interest which Mr. Vail and yourself have always had in such activities will undoubtedly be of immense help to the cause of Racial Amity and peace throughout the States. You should therefore persevere and be confident in the complete and eventual success of your efforts in this most important field of activity."

No. 80 - January 1934 - Page 7-8

The Baha'i Youth Committee of the American N.S.A..... from the Guardian.... His secretary writes,

"...He would strongly urge you to cooperate, heart and soul, with all the various assemblies, groups and committees throughout the Baha'i world, to ask for their assistance and help for the successful discharge of your duties and obligations, and in this way to try to build up an active and ready mind among the Baha'i youth throughout the world. In other words, you should not confine your activities to the national sphere but should strive to create under the supervision of your N.S.A. an international body of active young Baha'i men and women who, conscious of their manifold and sacred responsibilities, will unanimously arise to spread the Holy Word."

No. 80 - January 1934 - Page 8

...the Guardian's view of Dr. Cobb's book, as conveyed in the following letter written to him on October 28, 1933:

"Its comprehensiveness, and its clear and convincing presentation of the outstanding aims and features of the Baha'i Revelation, will greatly appeal to every thoughtful student of present-day religious and social problems. It thus fills a big gap in the literature of the Movement, and will greatly assist all the believers in their efforts for the spread of the Message. We do not have as yet any better introduction to the Cause. Doctor Esslemont's most valuable book is much more than an introduction. It is far more detailed, and treats of the Cause from a totally different angle. Your treatise, therefore, does not replace the "New Era," but will serve as the best introduction to it. It is not a substitute, but an important addition to a work which is in many ways unique in the entire literature of the Movement, which has already acquired the widest possible publicity."

Yours in His Service,

H. Rabbani.

Another letter dated November 4, 19833, was also written Dr. Cobb as follows:

"I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to ask you to be kind enough to inform the Baha'i Publishing Committee of his wish to have fifty copies of your valuable book on the Cause "Security for a Failing World" as soon as it will be published. He feels that this work, together with a recent book published in Germany by our devoted and gifted friend Dr. Hermann Grossmann, have a special appeal to the youth of our present-day generation, and he hopes that their wide circulation, in all circles, and among all types of readers and writers, will greatly stimulate the spread of the Message, and at the same time encourage the friends to reinforce their efforts for the extension and the consolidation of the Faith. It is hoped that all the individual believers, as well as the Local Assemblies, both in America and abroad, will gladly and wholeheartedly respond to the appeal of the Publishing Committee in connection with the publication of your original and much-needed essay on the Cause."

Yours in His Service,

H. Rabbani.

No. 80 - January 1934 - page 14

Concerning Mrs. Keith Ransom-Kehler

"The beloved Guardian on October 30 dispatched this message: 'Keith's precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in Baha'u'llah'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 this valiant emancipator. American believers grateful and proud of the memory of their first and distinguished martyr. Sorrow stricken, I lament my earthly separation form an invaluable collaborator, an unfailing counsellor, 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 Baha'u'llah. (signed) SHOGHI.'

"Shoghi Effendi, on November 3, sent this messages: 'Instructed Isfahan Assembly to inter Keith in the vicinity of the grave of Sultanushushuada, surnamed by Baha'u'llah 'King of Martyrs.'"

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 1

About a month ago...... The Guardian immediately cabled the following: "Heartily welcome proposal. Additional sacrifices entailed clerestory ornamentation will add further laurels to crown already won American believers and hasten fulfillment long cherished expectations."

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 2

In a letter to the Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly, dated January 17, 1934, the Guardian writes through his Secretary H. Rabbani:

"In reply to the N.S.A.'s telegram expressing the hope of the American believers of proceeding with the ornamentation of the clerestory section of the Temple, Shoghi Effendi has sent the following cable and has given his whole-hearted approval to this new step which the friends have been prompted to take and which fully testifies to their exemplary resourcefulness and indomitable will in upholding the Cause of the Temple: (Cable as quoted above).

"The Guardian's motive in giving the believers the promise of one year's complete respite was to alleviate the financial burden which had for so long been weighing on their shoulders. His intention, however, was by no means to check the free and spontaneous desire of the friends to maintain the contributions to the Temple should they find it possible to do so. And it is really gratifying to witness that the promise instead of retarding, however temporarily, the ornamentation work of the Temple, has on the contrary stimulated the friends to redouble their efforts until the entire construction work on the dome and clerestory have been brought to full completion."

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 3

THE NATURE AND AIMS OF THE ANNUAL BAHA'I CONVENTION (Continued) (...published in BAHA'I NEWS for November, 1933.)

1.

Concerning the status, rights and prerogatives of the Annual Baha'i Convention, the Guardian wishes to make it quite clear to all the believers that this annual meeting of the delegates is by no means a continuous consultative body all through the year; that its twofold function of electing the body of the National Spiritual Assembly, and of offering any constructive suggestions in regard to the general administration of the Cause is limited to a definite period; and that consequently the opinion current among some of the believers that the delegates are to serve as a consultative body throughout the year is at variance with the fundamental, though as yet unspecified, principles underlying the Administration. Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that consultation must be maintained between the N.S.A. and the entire body of the believers, and that such consultation, while the Convention is not in session, can best be maintained through the agency of the local Assemblies, one of whose essential functions is to act as intermediaries between the local communities and their national representatives. The main purpose of the Nineteen Day Feasts is to enable individual believers to offer any suggestion to the local assembly which in its turn will pass it to the N.S.A. The local Assembly is, therefore, the proper medium through which local Baha'i communities can communicate with the body of the national representatives. The Convention should be regarded as a temporary gathering, having certain specific functions to perform, during a limited period of time. Its status is thus limited in time to the Convention sessions, the function of consultation at all other times being vested in the entire body of the believers through the local Spiritual Assemblies. - To the National Spiritual Assembly, November 18, 1933.

2.

Dear and precious co-workers:

I wish to affirm without the least hesitation or ambiguity, that the annual convention is not to be regarded as a body entitled to exercise functions similar to those which an ordinary parliament possesses under a democratic form of government. The administrative order which lies embedded in the Teaching of Baha'u'llah, and which the American believers have championed and are now establishing, should, under no circumstances, be identified with the principles underlying present-day democracies. Nor is it identical with any purely aristocratic or autocratic form of government. The objectionable features inherent in each of these political systems are entirely avoided. It blends, as no system of human polity has as yet achieved, those salutary truths and beneficial elements which constitute the valuable contributions which each of these forms of government have made to society in the past. Consultation, frank and unfettered, is the bedrock of this unique order. Authority is concentrated in the hands of the elected members of the National Assembly. Power and initiative are primarily vested in the entire body of the believers acting through their local representatives. To generate those forces which must give birth to the body of their national administrators, and to confer, freely and fully and at fixed intervals, with both the incoming and outgoing national Assemblies are the twofold functions, the supreme responsibility and sole prerogative of the delegates assembled in Convention. Nothing short of close and constant interaction between these various organs of Baha'i administration can enable it to fulfill its high destiny. - To the National Spiritual Assembly, November 18, 1933. (The Guardian's postscript to the foregoing letter.)

3.

Concerning the status of members of the N.S.A. at Convention sessions, the Guardian feels that the members both of the incoming and the outgoing Assemblies should be given the full right to participate in the Convention discussions. Those members of the N.S.A. who have been elected delegates will, in addition to the right of participation, be entitled to vote. The Guardian wishes thereby to render more effective the deliberations and the recommendations of the national representatives. He feels that the exercise of such a right by the members of the N.S.A. will enable them to consult more fully with the assembled delegates, to exchange fully and frankly with them their views, and to consider collectively the interests, needs and requirements of the Cause. This he believes is one of the primary functions of the Convention. - To the National Spiritual Assembly. December 25, 1933.

THE CHARACTER OF BAHA'I ELECTIONS

"Let us recall His explicit and often-repeated assurance that every Assembly elected in that rarified atmosphere of selflessness and detachment is, in truth, appointed of God, that its verdict is truly inspired, that one and all should submit to its decision unreservedly and with cheerfulness. . . The elector . . . is called upon to vote for none but those whom prayer and reflection have inspired him to uphold . . . Hence it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience . . . Nothing short of the all-encompassing, all-pervading power of His Guidance and Love can enable this newly enfolded order to gather strength and flourish amid the storm and stress of a turbulent age, and in the fulness of time vindicate its high claim to be universally recognized as the one Haven of abiding felicity and peace." - Shoghi Effendi.

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 4

Date of 1934 Convention (31 May to 3 June)

The Guardian to this inquiry cabled on June second: "Heartily approve. Deepest loving appreciation."

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 5

As the Guardian has declared, "Let us also remember that at the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to declare his conscience and set forth his views... Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of God is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation. Nothing short of the spirit of a true Baha'i can hope to reconcile the principles of mercy and justice, of freedom and submission, of the sanctity of the right of the individual and of self-surrender, of vigilance, discretion and prudence on the one hand, and fellowship, candor, and courage on the other."

In a letter dated December 14, 1933, the Guardian through his secretary has replied to these two questions as follows:

"As to the three aims which Shoghi Effendi has stated in his "America and the Most Great Peace" t have been the chief objectives of Abdu'l-Baha's ministry, it should be pointed out that the first was the establishment of the Cause in America. The erection of the Baha'i Temple in Ishqabad, and the building on Mt. Carmel of a mausoleum marking the resting-place of the Bab, were the two remaining ones.

"The following is the list of the five teachers whom the Master sent to America in order to spread the Cause. They were not all Persians. As a matter of fact, the first one was a Syrian. Their names are as follows: Khayru'llah, Abdu'l-Karim, Haji Mirza Hasan, Mirza Abdu'l-Fadl and Mirza Asadu'llah."

The [Guardian's] reply is dated December 10, 1933.

"As to the important issue you have raised in this connection regarding the nature and significance of the ties which must unite individual Baha'is with their Guardian, it should be made clear that such a relationship, though it transcends any relationship to an Assembly, is by no means intended to curtail the authority of the administrative bodies of the Cause, that it rather serves to strengthen and consolidate the unity of the Administration. Administrative efficiency and order should always be accompanied by an equal degree of love, of devotion and of spiritual development. Both of them are essential and to attempt to dissociate one from the other is to deaden the body of the Cause. In these days, when the Faith is still in its infancy, great care must be taken lest mere administrative routine stifles the spirit which must feed the body of the Administration itself. That spirit is its propelling force and the motivating power of its very life.

"But as already emphasized, both the spirit and the form are essential to the safe and speedy development of the Administration. To maintain full balance between them is the main and unique responsibility of administrators of the Cause." (Here follows the Guardian's postscript.)

"It is invariably my purpose and constant effort to uphold and reinforce the administrative principles of the Faith, and I trust that nothing will be allowed to interfere with the proper functioning of these administrative bodies."

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 5-6

In a letter dated December 20, 1933, the Guardian has made the following comment: -

"The bulletin entitled "A New World Order," which the N.S.A. has issued to representative people throughout the States is, in the opinion of the Guardian, an important and unique step your Assembly has taken in the direction of teaching. He does not only approve of your plan in this connection, but wishes to encourage you, and to urge you to persevere in your efforts for the further extension of the Cause in important social circles. Your bulletin can develop into an effective and world-wide organ of teaching provided you do your best in order to heighten its literary as well as its intellectual standard."

No. 81 - February 1934 - page 7

On January 27, 1934, the following cablegram was received from the Guardian concerning Mrs. [Agnes] Parsons, whose sudden and unexpected death had been reported to him.

"Greatly deplore loss distinguished handmaid of Baha'u'llah. Through her manifold pioneer services she has proved herself worthy of implicit confidence reposed in her by Abdu'l-Baha. Advise American believers hold befitting memorial gatherings. Assure relatives heartfelt sympathy, prayers." (Signed) SHOGHI.

No. 82 - April 1934 - page 1

Thus, on May 7, when Shoghi Effendi was informed that the ornamentation of the dome unit was completed, he sent this cablegram:

"Overjoyed epochmaking achievement. Intense gratitude. Ardently supplicating still mightier evidences American believers' exemplary stewardship Faith of Baha'u'llah."

With the Guardian's expressed approval, received in the form of the following cablegram:

"Heartily welcome proposal. Additional sacrifices entailed clerestory ornamentation will add further laurels to crown already won (by) American believers and hasten fulfilment long cherished expectations," -

No. 82 - April 1934 - page 4

"I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to inform you that Mr. Yadullah Mobasser, to whom you have referred in your note dated Jan. 9th, came last February to Haifa and met the Guardian, and shortly after left for Europe. Having no recommendation whatever from any Assembly in Persia, Shoghi Effendi insisted that he should obtain a recommendation if he wished to meet and associate with the friends. He apparently failed to follow the Guardian's instructions on this point, and had the Paris Assembly or Madame Dreyfus-Barney been informed of that, they would have certainly refused to give him any letter of introduction.

"The Guardian, wishing, therefore, to stress the necessity for every Baha'i to abide by this important principle of the Administration, requests you to inform the friends not to associate with him in case he comes to the States, unless and until he can produce a recommendation from the Spiritual Assembly of the locality in which he lives.

"Yours in His Service,"

(signed) H. Rabbani.

Haifa, Palestine,

January 29, 1934.

Mrs Parson's Career of Service

Your cablegram announcing the sad news of the sudden passing of Mrs. Parsons into the Kingdom has much grieved the Guardian, and has brought added weight to the burden of sorrow which, only a few months ago, Mrs. Keith Ransom-Kehler's tragic and unexpected death had placed upon his heart. He greatly deplores this loss which the American believers have once more sustained. But he feels confident that such losses will in the long run deepen in them the spirit of determination to serve the Cause.

Mrs. Parson's long and varied career of service, particularly in the teaching field, the inestimable gifts of her heart, her devotion, her sincerity, her unshakable faith and her implicit obedience to the counsels and injunctions of the Master greatly endeared her to all the believers, and particularly to Abdu'l-Baha who placed in her such firm confidence. ...

May Baha'u'llah abundantly reward her in the next world, and may He fully sanctify and bless her departed soul and enable it to reach a still higher state of true blessedness and perfection.

Yours in His Service,

H. Rabbani.

Haifa, Palestine.

January 28, 1934.

No. 83 - May 1934 - page 1

With Abdu'l-Baha's ascension, and more particularly with the passing of His well-beloved and illustrious sister the Most Exalted Leaf - the last survivor of a glorious and heroic age - there draws to a close the first and most moving chapter of Baha'i history, marking the conclusion of the Primitive, the Apostolic Age of the Faith of Baha'u'llah. It was Abdu'l-Baha Who, through the provisions of His weighty Will and Testament, has forged the vital link which must for ever connect the age that has just expired with the one we now live in - the Transitional and Formative period of the Faith - a stage that must in the fulness of time reach its blossom and yield its fruit in the exploits and triumphs that are to herald the Golden Age of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. - Shoghi Effendi.

No. 83 - May 1934 - page 1-2

Letters from the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly

I am overjoyed to hear of the contract that has recently been signed, a fresh and compelling evidence of the indomitable will of the American believers to prosecute, under the inspiring leadership of their able national representatives, their historic enterprise. (signed) Shoghi. - Haifa, February 13, 1934.

Shoghi Effendi feels it to be inadvisable that the Temple Foundation Hall be used for dramatic performances. He believes that only Baha'i meetings, and business sessions of the Convention, can be held in it until such time as the erection of a special edifice for this purpose has been undertaken by the American friends....

Concerning the best method of presenting the Master's Will to the newcomers, Shoghi Effendi is of the opinion that the N.S.A. should first make some suitable extracts from the testament, and to send these to all the local Assemblies for their use, so that there may be full unity in circulating the provisions of the Will among the new believers. The problem of choosing such excerpts is left entirely to the discretion of the N.S.A. The main thing, as it appears to the Guardian, is that the full station of the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha be clearly explained, and that the origin, nature and working of the Administrative Order of the Faith be clearly stated. The full implications of such a recognition are evidently beyond the comprehension of any new believer. Such a knowledge can be acquired gradually, and only when the essentials of the Faith have been clearly recognized and adequately understood.

In regard to the activities of Ahmad Sohrab, Shoghi Effendi has already stated that such attacks, however perfidious, do not justify the friends replying or taking any direct action against them. The attitude of the N.S.A. should be to ignore them entirely. For any undue emphasis on attacks made upon the Cause by Ahmad and his supporters would make them feel that they constitute a real challenge to the Cause and a menace to its institutions. Should these attacks continue and acquire a serious importance the Guardian will surely advise the N.S.A. to take definite and decisive action.

As regards the general conditions of the future in America, Shoghi Effendi feels that the existing distress will not be rapidly alleviated. There is no danger, however, of any great crisis in the immediate future. Conditions are certainly bad, and dissatisfaction is undoubtedly universal, but the hour of universal relief has not yet approached. The friends need not have any grave anxiety as to the immediate developments of the present situation.

May I also draw your attention to the fact that the Bab's photograph which appeared in Nicola's book "Siyyid Ali Muhammad di le Bab" many years ago is not authentic, although it presents great similarity to the original drawings of the Bab's portrait.

In closing I must express the Guardian's deep sense of admiration for the stupendous sacrifices which the American followers of the Faith have gladly and spontaneously and with such an unremitting zeal consented to undergo in order to carry out the oft-repeated wishes of the Master concerning the erection of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in America. The early signs of that great spiritual renaissance which the completion of this sacred edifice must inevitably usher in are already manifesting themselves in the growing unity and solidarity with which the new-born Administrative Order of the Cause is functioning and developing in no less than forty countries of the world. Surely the credit for such a truly remarkable development in the administrative field of the Cause must be primarily attributed to the members of the American Baha'i community and particularly to those who so fittingly represent them in the National Assembly. May Baha'u'llah continue to inspire you with His wisdom and guidance, that through your collective endeavors the Cause may progress and its institutions may increase and its unity, both doctrinal and administrative, be effectively safeguarded. (signed) H. Rabbani.

(Postscript to the foregoing letter.)

The completion of the Done, the mighty emblem of our invincible Faith, marks a notable landmark in the rise and establishment of the World Order of Baha'u'llah. The Baha'i world feels greatly indebted to the American believers for so striking a testimony of the unconquerable spirit of the Cause in these days of unprecedented stress and turmoil. They who by their self-sacrifice have crowned this noble and historic Edifice deserve the praise and are indeed the object of the envy and the admiration of their fellow believers throughout the world. For their imperishable deeds I cannot be feel eternally gratified. (signed) SHOGHI.- Haifa, March 21, 1934.

Concerning the list of Baha'i teachers sent to America by the Master, I wish to make it clear that the statement I made on that point on behalf of the Guardian in my communication (see article entitled "Explanation of Passages in 'America and the Most Great Peace'", published in BAHA'I NEWS February, 1934.- Editor) is, due to a misunderstanding on my part, incorrect. Khayru'llah could not have been one of these teachers, since these were sent to the United States in order to remedy the situation which Khayru'llah himself had created through his treacherous actions against the Master and the Cause. A careful perusal of the paragraph on page 14 in "America and the Most Great Peace" makes that point indubitably clear. As to the five teachers referred to in that epistle of the Guardian, there must have been Guardian, there must have been a typographical error, and instead of five we should, therefore, read only four. (signed) H. Rabbani.

(Postscript to the foregoing letter.)

I wish to add a few words in person to assure you and your dear and distinguished fellow-workers in the National Assembly of my fervent prayers for the success of your strenuous endeavors in connection with the ornamentation of the clerestory section of the Temple. May Baha'u'llah bless your efforts and crown your magnificent labors with signal success. (signed) SHOGHI. - Haifa, March 24, 1934.

No. 83 - May 1934 - page 3

In this connection reference is made to the Guardian's instruction on page 23 of Baha'i Administration:

"Not only with regard to publication, but all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in that locality, individually or collectively, should be referred to the Spiritual Assembly, in that locality, which shall decide upon it, unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the national body." And to the Guardian's further instruction of November 18, 1933, published in BAHA'I NEWS of February, 1934: "Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that consultation must be maintained between the N.S.A. and the entire body of the believers, and that such consultation, while the Convention is not in session, can best be maintained through the agency of the local Assemblies, one of whose essential functions is to act as intermediaries between the local communities and their national representatives. The main purpose of the Nineteen Day Feasts is to enable individual believers to offer any suggestion to the local Assembly which in its turn will pass it to the N.S.A. The local Assembly is, therefore, the proper medium through which local Baha'i communities can communicate with the body of the national representatives."

America's Contribution to Purchase of Mt. Carmel Land

"In this connection I feel I must express Shoghi Effendi's deep and abiding gratitude to the American Baha'i community for their truly remarkable response to his request for meeting the emergency which the enemies of the Faith had created through their treacherous and malignant action, and in the very international center of the Cause. Their never-to-be-forgotten assistance in the matter passes, indeed, all admiration and praise, and constitutes an example which the entire Baha'i world must adopt and follow." (signed) H. Rabbani.

(Postscript to the above letter.) "With the assurance of my continued prayers for the friends who through their unsparing and self-sacrificing efforts are so effectively promoting the national as well as international interests of the Faith of Baha'u'llah."

(signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine.

April 14, 1934.

No. 83 - May 1934 - page 4

The place which Shoghi Effendi gives it is revealed in a letter to the Eliot Assembly last year. He writes:

"Your group occupies an important position in the Baha'i world for you are situated in that locality where Green Acre Summer School is held - the most important institution of its kind in the world."

To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Baha'u'llah's stupendous Revelation must, it is my unalterable conviction, remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavor of each one of its loyal adherents. An exact and thorough comprehension of so vast a system, so sublime a revelation, so sacred a trust, is for obvious reasons beyond the reach and ken of our finite minds. We can however, and it is our bounded duty to, seek to derive fresh inspiration and added sustenance as we labor for the propagation of His Faith through a clearer apprehension of the truths it enshrines and the principles on which it is based.- Shoghi Effendi.

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 1

The Guardian's Message to the Convention

American believers' inspired leadership steadily unfolding to Baha'i world over (the) potentialities (of the) majestic edifice heralding formative period (of the) Faith of Baha'u'llah. Their unerring vision conceived its matchless design. Abdu'l-Baha'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.

(signed) SHOGHI. (Cablegram received June 4, 1934).

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 8

...published as "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" -

"They (referring to the Universal House of Justice) - They, and not the body of those who either directly or indirectly elect them, have thus been made the recipients of the divine guidance which is at once the life-blood and ultimate safeguard of this Revelation."

As the Guardian declared in that same communication:

"It should be noted . . . that this Administrative Order is fundamentally different from anything that any Prophet has previously established."

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 9

That statement culminated in the Guardian's words, conveyed in a cablegram dated October 30, 1933:

"Keith's precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in Baha'u'llah'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 counsellor, 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 Baha'u'llah."

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 10

These words, written to the Assembly by the Guardian on June 17, 1933, seemed to confirm that view: "The thing that is most urgent and of supreme importance is to insure . . . the uninterrupted progress of the ornamentation work of the Temple."

On July 26, the Assembly received this cablegram: "On early completion this mighty enterprise must chiefly depend satisfactory solution grave issues confronting Faith throughout East." On October 7, another cablegram was received as follows: "Maintenance full construction schedule indispensable agency (to) enhance worldwide prestige (of) American Baha'i community, (to) further its aims, enrich its life, cement its unity and consecrate its outstanding achievements. Praying incessantly fulfilment its high destiny." Finally, the cablegram dated November 18, 1933: "Baha'i communities East and West acclaim with one voice the stupendous achievements of those responsible for the latest manifestation of America's superb, sustained self-sacrifice. Supreme Concourse echo praises of those whose shining deeds are shedding on the Baha'i name a great, imperishable lustre. My heart swells with admiration and gratitude as I contemplate the increasing evidences of American believers' well-deserved, steadily advancing fame. The hour of Victory is at hand - America's invincible heroism must and will achieve it."

...those words of the Guardian quoted in the special Temple letter issued by the National Assembly from Evanston on September 26, 1933: "Great as has been the measure of their self-sacrifice, yet unless they redouble their efforts and concentrate all their resources to bring the whole work to a successful completion, their energies will have been spent in vain."

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 12

Communications from the Guardian

3. The passionate appeal cabled on November 2, 1933, and at once shared with the local Assemblies: -

"Appeal hard pressed American believers heed this, my last passionate entreaty, not to suffer slightest interruption in Temple construction to dim the magnificence of their epoch making enterprise. The fair name of our beloved Faith is at stake. Its American stalwart defenders will once again vindicate its triumphant glory. I promise one year's respite upon successful conclusion first stage of the ornamentation of our glorious Temple."

11. Letter to Mr. Ioas, chairman of the Teaching Committee, March 5, 1934:

"Concerning the abolition of the institution of paid national teachers, the Guardian wishes to reaffirm his former statements on this matter, and to stress once more that great care be taken to avoid the difficulties and the misunderstandings which in former days had caused so much trouble among the friends. "The main point to be emphasized in this connection is that of making "the teachings of the Cause not the work of a limited group but the chief duty "and responsibility of every Baha'i. This why no salaried teachers should any "longer exist . But occasionally to defray the expenses of a teaching trip of a certain Baha'i, particularly when it is done spontaneously, can cause no harm to the Cause. Such an action, provided it is done with care and only when circumstances make it necessary, constitutes no violation of the principle already referred to. The danger in all activities of this nature is to give the impression that the teaching of the Cause is an institution, depending on the support of paid teachers. Those who willingly and with utmost detachment arise to promote the Cause should, undoubtedly, be helped in every way. But they have no claim whatever on the financial help which some friends may freely choose to extend to them."

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 13

...on February 19, 1934, the Guardian, through his secretary, in acknowledging receipt of a copy of San Francisco BAHA'I NEWS, declared:

"On behalf of the Guardian I wish to thank you for your welcome letter of Jan. 23d, as well as for the enclosed December and January issues of the San Francisco news letter, all of which gave him a clear account of the progress of the Cause in that centre.

"He would greatly appreciate if you send him regularly two copies of your local news letter. He would also advise you to send to each of the Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies a copy of that circular which will, undoubtedly, prove of great interest to them.

"However, in view of the principle that local activities should always be subordinated to the national interests, needs and requirements of the Faith, he feels that your Assembly should be careful not to develop their local organ to the extent that would jeopardize the national activities of the Cause in their country. Just as all local institutions, whether administrative or otherwise, must under all circumstances be considered as subsidiary to national organizations, so also local circular letters should be viewed as secondary in importance compared to the national organ of Baha'i activities. This principle, however, should not be interpreted as being detrimental to the local interests of the Baha'i community, but as an essential, nay indispensable means, whereby the administrative system of the Cause can work with efficiency and order."

On February 20, a similar letter was sent the New York Assembly from which the following excerpt is quoted:

"Just as the local Baha'i fund must under all circumstances be subordinated to the national fund, so also, every local circular letter should be considered as subsidiary to the national report of Baha'i activities in every country. Such a coordination between local and national efforts is indispensable, not only because of its economic advantages, but essentially due to the fact that upon the application of the principle underlying this process must inevitably depend the effective working of the entire administrative machinery of the Faith. There is order, coordination and system in the Cause, and not a jungle of conflicting interests and of continually clashing wills."

This question is decisively settled in a letter to the National Assembly dated May 10, 1934: "Concerning local Baha'i news letters, the Guardian strongly feels that they should be primarily devoted to the spread of local news and activities, and should under no circumstances contain any statement implying criticism of or even interference with the policy of the N.S.A. They may occasionally refer to items of a national scope, but this should be done only with the view of assisting and not hindering the national body of the Cause to carry out effectively its program and decisions. There is thus a definite line of demarcation between correspondence initiated by local and National Assemblies. Local activities should always be subordinated to those of a national character and importance. This is intended not to minimize the role of the local Assembly in the administrative order, but to establish and insure a sane relationship between that body and the national organism of the Cause."

No. 84 - June 1934 - page 14-15

...two cablegrams recently received from Shoghi Effendi:

The first dated May 12, 1934:

"Urge believers strictly adhere (to) National Assembly's instructions regarding anonymous letters."

The second is dated May 18, 1934:

"Prolonged negotiations (with) Palestine authorities (has) resulted (in) exemption from taxation (of the) entire area surrounding dedicated Shrines (on) Mount Carmel. Mountfort's notable share in securing implicit recognition (of the) sacredness (of the) Faith's International Center heightens (the) value (of) his services (to) Baha'u'llah's House in Bagdad."

The newly elected National Spiritual Assembly has received the following cablegram from Shoghi Effendi.

"Prayers, appreciation Assembly's distinguished record of service. Love."

(signed) SHOGHI.

No. 85 - July 1934 - page 1

"The Revelation proclaimed by Baha'u'llah, His followers believe, is divine in origin, all embracing in scope, broad in its outlook, scientific in its method, humanitarian in its principles and dynamic in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men. The mission of the Founder of their Faith, they conceive to be to proclaim that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is continuous and progressive, that the Founders of all past religions, though different in the non-essential aspects of their teachings, 'abide in the same Tabernacle, soar in the same heaven, are seated upon the same throne, utter the same speech and proclaim the same Faith.' His Cause, they have already demonstrated, stands identified with, and revolves around, the principle of the organic unity of mankind as representing the consummation of the whole process of human evolution. This final stage in this stupendous evolution, they assert, is not only necessary but inevitable, that it is gradually approaching, and that nothing short of the celestial potency with which a divinely ordained Message can claim to be endowed can succeed in establishing it." - Shoghi Effendi.

No. 85 - July 1934 - pages 1 3

From letters addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly itself, the following important explanations and instructions are quoted:-

Haifa, May 10, 1934. "He also wishes me to express his approval of your suggestion that as soon as the ornamentation work of the clerestory section of the Temple is completed no new contract be signed for the next unit unless the entire sum required for the contract has already been collected. Economic conditions, both within and without the Cause, are nowadays too unstable to allow us to undertake any extensive scheme before insuring its uninterrupted and succesful prosecution. He would urge the friends, however, to continue exerting themselves in order to complete the ornamentation of the clerestory section of the Temple which they have spontaneously undertaken, towards the end of the summer, and if not, at least by the end of the year. Their resourcefulness, courage and self-sacrifice surely offer a sufficient guarantee that they will not fail in bringing their task to a happy and successful completion.

"Concerning local Baha'i news letters the Guardian strongly feels that they should be primarily devoted to the spread of local news and activities, and should under no circumstances contain any statement implying criticism of or even interference with the policy of the N.S.A. They may occasionally refer to items of a national scope, but this should be done only with the view of assisting and not hindering the national body of the Cause to carry out effectively its program and decisions. There is thus a definite line of demarcation between correspondence initiated by local and National Assemblies. Local activities should always be subordinated to those of a national character and importance. This is intended not to minimize the role of the local Assembly in the administrative order, but to establish and insure a sane relationship between that body and the national organization of the Cause.

"The Guardian wishes you to convey to the N.S.A., and through them to the entire body of the American believers the news of the successful negotiations initiated with the Palestine authorities concerning the exemption from taxation of the entire area surrounding and dedicated to the International Sacred Shrines of the Faith on Mt. Carmel.

"After long repeated representations Shoghi Effendi has succeeded in obtaining from the Government an exemption which is tantamount to a recognition by the Palestine Administration of the sacredness of our Shrines, and of the importance and significance of the international center of our Faith. The exempted area has been purchased largely through the contributions sent for that purpose by the American believers. A section of it has already been transferred to the Palestine Branch of the American National Assembly, while a portion of the remaining part is still registered in the name of individual American believers.

"This exemption granted by the Government constituted, indeed, a triumph which the friends will certainly appreciate, and a step forward towards the further establishment and consolidation of the administrative order of the Cause, in both the Holy Land and beyond its confines. The title deeds which testify to the purchase and transfer of various plots to the name of your Assembly will soon be forwarded to your address. Negotiations are still pending in connection with further purchases and transfers which the Guardian is endeavoring to effect on behalf of the Palestine Branch of the American N.S.A.

"In this connection I am directed to extend to you, as well as to the general body of the American believers, Shoghi Effendi's abiding appreciation of the American Baha'is' splendid cooperation in preventing the area surrounding the Shrines from falling into the hands of non-Baha'is. Now that the town of Haifa is developing so rapidly and so many buildings are being erected along the slopes of Mt. Carmel, the friends can realize the full wisdom of their having kept such an extensive area as an open space around the Shrines. This is becoming increasingly manifest to the government officials and also to the increasing number of tourists and visitors who annually flock to the Holy Land and admire the beauty and impressions of so important a center in the Baha'i world. And the Guardian cannot, indeed, but feel deeply indebted to you and to those who have cooperated with you in taking such a vital and historic step, as a result of which the Faith has seen its prestige heightened and its interests effectively promoted and insured."

(In the Guardian's hand) "The American believers have in recent years shouldered tremendous responsibilities and have acquitted themselves magnificently of their task. The erection of the superstructure of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the completion of the ornamentation of the dome, their spontaneous decision to proceed with the decoration of the clerestory section, the purchase, the safeguarding and eventual recognition of the precincts of the Shrines on Mt. Carmel, the consolidation of the administrative machinery of the Faith in their country, the generous assistance extended by them to the needy, the harassed and suffering among their brethren in many lands and the activity they now display in the teaching field are deeds for which the entire Baha'i world may well feel grateful."

Haifa, May 19, 1934. "As to the problem which has arisen in connection with the News Letter published and circulated by the Boston Assembly, the Guardian has already written about it to your N.S.A., expressing the view that under no circumstances should any local Assembly be given the right to criticize and much less oppose, the policy duly adopted and approved by the N.S.A. It is his hope that henceforth the problem of the relationship between the N.S.A. and the local Assemblies in matters of this nature will, in the light of his instructions, be carefully understood by individuals and Assemblies alike."

(In the Guardian's hand) "I wish to reaffirm in clear and categorical language, the principle already enunciated upholding the supreme authority of the National Assembly in all matters that affect the interests of the Faith in that land. There can be no conflict of authority, no duality under any form or circumstances in any sphere of Baha'i jurisdiction whether local, national or international. The National Assembly, however, although the sole interpreter of its Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, is directly and morally responsible if it allows any body or institution within its jurisdiction to abuse its privileges or to decline in the exercise of its rights and privileges. It is the trusted guardian and the mainspring of the manifold activities and interests of every national community in the Baha'i world. It constitutes the sole link that binds these communities to the International House of Justice, the supreme administrative body in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah."

Haifa, May 18, 1934. (Cablegram) "Urge believers strictly adhere (to) National Assembly's instructions regarding anonymous letters." (signed) Shoghi.

No. 85 - July 1934 - page 4-5

...by our Guardian in "Baha'i News Letter of September, 1926, wherein he says:

"We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by the fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the source of all wealth and all good. This is the secret of right living."

"The Baha'i Faith recognizes the unity of God of His Prophets, upholds the principle of an unfettered search after truth, condemns all forms of superstition and prejudice, teaches that the fundamental purpose of religion is to promote concord and harmony, that it must go hand-in-hand with science, and that it constitutes the sole and ultimate basis of a peaceful, an ordered and progressive society. It inculcates the principle of equal opportunity, rights and privileges for both sexes, advocates compulsory education, abolishes extremes of poverty and wealth, exalts work performed in the spirit of service to the rank of worship, recommends the adoption of an auxiliary international language, and provides the necessary agencies for the establishment and safeguarding of a permanent and universal peace." - Shoghi Effendi.

No. 85 - July 1934 - page 7

"The period since Abdu'l-Baha's passing has been characterized by the formation and consolidation of the Local and National Assemblies, the bedrock on which the edifice of the Universal House of Justice is to be erected. There are, according to the latest (1933) reports from Tihran, over five hundred Local Assemblies already constituted in Persia. Organized Baha'i communities are to be found in every continent of the globe. National Assemblies have already been formed and are functioning in the United States and Canada, in India and Burma, in Great Britain, in Germany, Iraq and Egypt. Such Assemblies are in the process of formation in Persia, Caucasus, Turkistan, and Australia. Local Assemblies and groups have already been established in France, Switzerland and Italy, in the Scandinavian countries, in Austria and the Balkans, in Turkey, Syria, Albania, Abyssinia, China, Japan, Brazil and South Africa. Christians of various denominations, Muslims of both the sunni and shia sects of Islam, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and Buddhists, have eagerly embraced its truth, have recognized the divine origin and fundamental unity underlying the teachings of all the Founders of past religions, and have unreservedly identified themselves with both the spirit and form of its evolving institutions. All these centers function as the component parts of a single organism, of an entity the spiritual and administrative center of which lies enshrined in the twin cities of Akka and Haifa."- Shoghi Effendi.

No. 85 - July 1934 - page 9

Through his secretary the Guardian wrote an American believer recently:

"In the Aqdas Baha'u'llah considers teaching as a spiritual obligation imposed upon every devoted believer and servant of His Faith. Should the friends become fully conscious of this duty and arise to do their share, this Cause will soon permeate every home throughout the world and the Kingdom of God will be established."

No. 85 - July 1934 - page 10

The Guardian urging the establishment of the Faith ..... commenting that "now is the time of settlement of the world community - it is not so much travel as permanent settlement that is the requirement of today."

No. 86 - August 1934 - page 1

...in view of the Guardian's instruction, published in BAHA'I NEWS, February, 1934:

"Shoghi Effendi firmly believes that consultation must be maintained between the N.S.A. and the entire body of believers, and that such consultation, while the Convention is not in session, can best be maintained through the agency of the local Assemblies, one of whose essential functions is to act as intermediaries between the local communities and their national representatives. The main purpose of the Nineteen Day Feast is to enable individual believers to offer any suggestion to the local Assembly which in its turn will pass it to the N.S.A. The local Assembly is, therefore, the proper medium through which local Baha'i communities can communicate with the body of the national representatives. The Convention should be regarded as a temporary gathering, having certain specific functions to perform, during a limited period of time. Its status is thus limited in time to the convention sessions, the function of consultation at all other times being vested in the entire body of the believers through the local Spiritual Assemblies."

No. 86 - August 1934 - page 2

...the following instruction from the Guardian, quoted in BAHA'I NEWS, May, 1933:

"As regards the activities of the economics committee of the National Assembly; Shoghi Effendi fully sympathizes with the desire of some of the members to see the committee find ways and means to put into practice the economic teachings of the Cause, as explained in some of the recorded writings and sayings of Baha'u'llah and the Master. But he believes that the time is not yet ripe for such activities. First we have to study the economic teachings in the light of modern problems more thoroughly so that we may advocate what the Founders of the Faith say and not what we conjecture from their writings. There is great difference between sounding a general principle and finding its application to actual prevailing conditions.

"Secondly, the Cause is not financially in a position to launch itself in such undertakings at present. Such plans need great financial backing to be worked out in a permanent form. In time, Shoghi Effendi hopes all these things will come to pass. For the present we have to consolidate our basic institutions and spread the teachings and spirit of the Faith among the public."

No. 86 - August 1934 - page 5

"That Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Baha'i Faith." - Shoghi Effendi. (World Order of Baha'u'llah, pages 3 and 4).

The various Assemblies, local and national, constitute today the bedrock upon the strength of which the Universal House is in future to be firmly established and raised. Not until these function vigorously and harmoniously can the hope for the termination of this period of transition be realized. (Baha'i Administration, page 54.)

And now as I look into the future, I hope to see the friends at all times, in every land and of every shade of thought and character, voluntarily and joyously rallying around their local and in particular their national centers of activity, upholding and promoting their interests with complete unanimity and contentment, with perfect understanding, genuine enthusiasm and sustained vigor. This indeed is the one joy and yearning of my life, for it is the fountainhead from which all future blessings will flow, the broad foundations upon which the security of the Divine Edifice must ultimately rest. (Baha'i Administration, page 58.)

We have but to turn our eyes without to realize the fierceness and magnitude of the forces of darkness that are struggling with the dawning light of the Abha Revelation. Nations, though exhausted and disillusioned, have seemingly begun to cherish anew the spirit of revenge, of domination, and strife. Peoples, convulsed by economic upheavals, are slowly drifting into two great opposing camps with all their menace of social chaos, class hatreds, and worldwide ruin. (Baha'i Administration, page 58.)

As the Baha'i Faith permeates the masses of the peoples of East and West, and its truth is embraced by the majority of the peoples of a number of the Sovereign States of the world, will the Universal House of Justice attain the plentitude of its power, and exercise, as the supreme organ of the Baha'i Commonwealth, all the rights, the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon the world's future super-state. (World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 7.)

In a world writhing with pain and declining into chaos this (American Baha'i) community - the vanguard of the liberating forces of Baha'u'llah - succeeded in the years following Abdu'l-Baha's passing in raising high above the institutions established by its sister communities in East and West what may well constitute the chief pillar of that future House - a House which posterity will regard as the last refuge of a tottering civilization. (America and the Most Great Peace, page 21.)

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

........they "all witness," in the words of our Beloved Guardian, "to the tumult which the birth of this mighty Organ of the Religion of Baha'u'llah has cast into the world - a tumult which will grow in scope and intensity as the implications of this constantly evolving Scheme are more fully understood and its ramifications more widely extended over the surface of the globe."

No. 87 - September 1934 - page 1

The following explanations..... by the Guardian .... a letter dated August 7, 1934:

"Concerning the passage in 'The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah' in which the Guardian quotes Abdu'l-Baha's interpretation of the prophecy referring to the times when the sun would stand still in the heavens, he wishes me to explain that the days referred to in this prophecy have to be reckoned differently. In the Sacred Scriptures of various religions there are to be found frequent references to days, but these have to be considered as indicating different periods of time, as for instance in the Qur'an a day is reckoned as one thousand years. The first ten days in the above mentioned prophecy represent each a century, making thus a total of one thousand lunar years. As to the twenty days referring to the Babi Dispensation, each of them represents only one lunar year, the total of twenty years marking the duration of the Revelation of the Bab. The thirty days in the last Dispensation should not be reckoned numerically, but should be considered as symbolizing the incomparable greatness of the Baha'i Revelation which, though not the final, is none the less thus far the fullest revelation of God to man. From a physical point of view, the thirty days represent the maximum time taken by the sun to pass through a sign of the zodiac. They thus represent a culminating point in the evolution of this start (i.e., the earth). So also from a spiritual standpoint these thirty days should be viewed as indicating the highest, though not the final, stage in the spiritual evolution of mankind.

"As to the list of the prophets with whom Baha'u'llah identified Himself in the passage found on pages 26 and 27 of 'The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah,' their names are as follows: Abraham, Moses, Joseph, John the Baptist, Jesus, Imam Husayn, on whom Baha'u'llah has conferred an exceptionally exalted station, (and) the Bab."

Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly

For example, in "The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah," Shoghi Effendi wrote:

"Who, contemplating the helplessness, the fears and miseries of humanity in this day, can any longer question the necessity for a fresh revelation of the quickening power of God's redemptive love and guidance? Who, witnessing on one hand the stupendous advance achieved in the realm of human knowledge, of power, of skill and inventiveness, and viewing on the other the unprecedented character of the sufferings that afflict, and the dangers that beset, present-day society, can be so blind as to doubt that the hour has at least struck for the advent of a new Revelation, for a re-statement of the Divine Purpose, and for the consequent revival of those spiritual forces that have, at fixed intervals, rehabilitated the fortunes of human society?"

And in "America and the Most Great Peace":

"Would it seem extravagant, in the light of so sublime an utterance, to expect that in the midst of so enviable a region of the earth and out of the agony and wreckage of an unprecedented crisis there should burst forth a spiritual renaissance which, as it propagates itself through the instrumentality of the American believers, will rehabilitate the fortunes of a decadent age?"

No. 87 - September 1934 - page 2

... Shoghi Effendi declared..... "unquestioned loyalty, selfless devotion, a well trained mind, recognized ability, mature experience."

(See "Baha'i Administration, page 79.)

No. 87 - September 1934 - page 3

Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi

Present controversy agitating American believers if unchecked will through its inevitable worldwide repercussions inflict irreparable injury (upon) Cause (of) Baha'u'llah. Nothing short (of the) following measures can avert threatening danger: retension (of) Lunt's membership, and inflexible resolve by whomsoever directly or remotely concerned (to) refrain from slightest criticism, expressed or implied, that must necessarily impair (the) undivided authority (of the) institution (of the) National Assembly. Even barest reference to issues involved should be instantly dropped (and) forgotten. Concentrate precious energies (upon) uninterrupted prosecution (of) divinely appointed enterprise. Appeal entire community (to) heed (my) passionate entreaty (and) grave warning.

(Signed) SHOGHI.

Haifa, Palestine,

August 20, 1934.

No. 87 - September 1934 - page 6

The World Order of Baha'u'llah

"That Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Baha'i Faith." - Shoghi Effendi. (World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 3 and 4).

2.

Regarding the very delicate and complex question of ascertaining the qualifications of a true believer, I cannot in this connection emphasize too strongly the supreme necessity for the exercise of the utmost discretion, caution and tact, whether it be in deciding for ourselves as to who may be regarded a true believer or in disclosing to the outside world such considerations as may serve as a basis for such a decision. I would only venture to state very briefly and as adequately as present circumstances permit the principal factors that must be taken into consideration before deciding whether a person may be regarded a true believer or not. Full recognition of the station of the Forerunner, the Author, and the True Exemplar of the Baha'i Cause, as set forth in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Testament; unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their Pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved's sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of the present day Baha'i administration throughout the world - these I conceive to be the fundamental and primary considerations that must be fairly, discreetly and thoughtfully ascertained before reaching such a vital decision. (Baha'i Administration, pages 80, 81.)

We need but glance at the Words of Baha'u'llah and the Epistles of 'Abdu'l-Baha to realize the great privilege of teaching the Cause, its vital necessity, its supreme urgency, and its wide-reaching effects. These are the very words of 'Abdu'l-Baha:-

"In these days, the Holy Ones of the Realm of Glory, dwelling in the all-highest Paradise, yearn to return unto this world, and be of some service to the Cause of Baha'u'llah and prove their servitude to the Threshold of Abha beauty."

What a wondrous vision these words unfold to our eyes! How great our privilege to labor in this Day in the Divine Vineyard! Is it not incumbent upon us to arise and teach His Cause with such an ardor which no worldly adversity can quell, nor any measure of success can satiate?

And, now that this all-important Work may suffer no neglect, but rather function vigorously and continuously in every part of the Baha'i world; that the unity of the Cause of Baha'u'llah may remain secure and inviolate, it is of the utmost importance that in accordance with the explicit text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book, in every locality, be it city or hamlet, where the number of adult (21 years and above) declared believers exceeds nine, a local "Spiritual Assembly" be forthwith established. To it all local matters pertaining to the Cause must be directed and immediately referred for full consultation and decision. The importance, nay the absolute necessity of these local Assemblies is manifest when we realize that in the days to come they will evolve into the local Houses of Justice, and at present provide the firm foundation on which the structure of the Master's Will is to be reared in future. (Baha'i Administration, page 32.)

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 1-2

Communications from Shoghi Effendi

"He feels that during the last few months considerable progress has been achieved in safeguarding and in extending the area of the lands surrounding and dedicated to the Shrines on Mount Carmel. It is his hope that through the generous and self-sacrificing efforts of the believers still further steps will be taken towards the complete safeguard of the entire area surrounding these sacred spots." (September 9, 1934, to National Spiritual Assembly.)

"Anything whatsoever affecting the interests of the Cause and in which the National Assembly as a body is involved should, if regarded as unsatisfactory by local Assemblies and individual believers, be immediately referred to the National Assembly itself. Neither the general body of the believers, nor any local Assembly, nor even the delegates to the Annual Convention, should be regards as having any authority to entertain appeals against the decision of the National Assembly. Should the matter be referred to the Guardian it will be his duty to consider it with the utmost care and to decide whether the issues involved justify him to consider it in person, or to leave it entirely to the discretion of the National Assembly.

"This administrative principle which the Guardian is now restating and emphasizing is so clear, so comprehensive and simple that no misunderstanding as to its application, he feels, can possibly arise. There are no exceptions whatever to this rule, and the Guardian would deprecate any attempt to elaborate or dwell any further upon this fundamental and clearly-enunciated principle.

"The problems with which the Faith is now grappling, whether national or international, are so pressing and momentous that no one among its loyal adherents can afford to dissipate his precious energies on details arising from the application of administrative principles, or even on the perfecting of the machinery of the administration itself. Purely secondary matters can be postponed until the primary tasks are performed.

"The situation in Persia which is going from bad to worse, the necessary measures which should be taken to insure the uninterrupted completion of the clerestory section of the Temple, the adoption of such measures as will stimulate the teaching campaign in America, the exercise of the utmost vigilence [sic] lest the authorities in Soviet Russia inflict any injury upon Baha'i lives and institutions, the extension of any support that may be required to safeguard the interests of the Cause at its most vital and international center to ward off the malicious attacks of enemies from both within and without - these are the outstanding issues which demand the sustained and concentrated attention of every devoted believer...

"Regarding the photograph sent to your Assembly the National Assembly of Iraq, Shoghi Effendi wishes me to confirm his previous request regarding the circulation of his own photograph. (That is, photographs of the Guardian are not to be circulated.- Editor.)

"With reference to the statement on the Annual Convention which the Guardian had requested you to send to the National Assembly of Persia, he wishes you to send as soon as you possibly can the final draft after having made the following alteration. The Guardian feels that in view of the definite and vital functions of the Annual Convention it would be more proper not to regard its sessions as joint meetings with the National Assembly. The gatherings of the Convention should, the Guardian believes, be given a more distinctive character. As to the rule requiring the National Assembly to present any and all facts that may be required in order to clarify matters discussed at the Convention, he wishes to express his complete approval.

"Shoghi Effendi would be very pleased to receive English translations of the Baha'i News Letters issued by the National Assembly of the Baha'is of Germany and Austria. He wishes you in this connection to convey to Mr. Schopflocher his deepest thanks and appreciation of his invaluable assistance in translating such important communications from so promising an Assembly in the Baha'i world...

(September 16, 1934, to National Spiritual Assembly).

(The Guardian's postscript to the above letter.) "I feel urged, in view of the compelling evidence of your exemplary devotion to the interests of our beloved Faith, to renew the expression of my profound and unqualified admiration for the spirit animating you in its service. You have faced a critical situation with marvelous fidelity, high courage and unswerving loyalty. Nothing short of this spirit can enable you to weather the storms and overcome the obstacles that must confront you in the future. His Guidance, you may rest assured, will never fail you in the days to come." (Signed) Shoghi.

"He wishes you particularly to impress the believers with the necessity of maintaining the flow of their contributions to the Temple, and also to stress the importance of the institution of the National Baha'i Fund which, in these early days of the administrative development of the Faith, is the indispensable medium for the growth and expansion of the Movement. Contributions to this fund constitute, in addition, a practical and effective way whereby every believer can test the measure and character of his faith, and to prove in deeds the intensity of his devotion and attachment to the Cause." (September 25, 1934, to Allen B. McDaniel, Chairman, National Spiritual Assembly.)

(In the Guardian's hand.) "The international expenses of the Faith are continually increasing, and the emphasis that has been placed of late on the necessity of intensifying and extending the national institutions of the Cause in Persia, America and elsewhere together with the severe restrictions that are being increasingly imposed by the authorities in Tihran have depleted the resources required for the promotion of the vital interests of the community at its world center. For this reason I have felt impelled to suspend temporarily the contributions which I have been making for the Temple. I will pray that the efforts of the friends the world over and particularly the mighty exertions of the American Baha'i community for the prosecution of the Temple work may soon be abundantly rewarded." (Signed) Shoghi. (September 30, 1934, to Roy C. Wilhelm, Treasurer, National Spiritual Assembly.)

On October 1, 1934 the National Spiritual Assembly cabled the Guardian as follows: "Continuance Temple construction assured. Love." on Ostober [sic] 4 the following reply was received:

"Delighted. Profound gratitude." (Signed) Shoghi.

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 2

Passing of Dr. Moody

This cabled message was received October 31: "Passing dearly beloved Susan Moody deprives Baha'i world (of the) far-famed pioneer who, through her indomitable spirit, ceaseless services, earned unique distinction. (She) forged first link in (the) chain uniting (the) spiritual destinies (of the) cradle of our Faith (i.e., Persia) and (the) community (of its) stalwart defenders in (the) great American Republic. (I am) instructing Persia rear monument perpetuating memory (of) her noble mission. (I) am gladly defraying whatever expense incurred as token (of) my admiration for community (i.e., America) to which she originally belonged and on which her secred [sic] life shed imperishable lustre. Advise hold befitting Memorial gathering (in) Temple Foundation Hall."(Signed) Shoghi.

Let us begin with these words found on page 12 of "America and the Most Great Peace": - "The remaining ten years (1923-1933), distinguished throughout by further internal development, as well as by a notable expansion of the international activities of a growing community, witnessed the completion of the superstructure of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar - the Administration's mighty bulkwark, the symbol of its strength and the sign of its future glory."

With that quotation let us consider another excerpt, from page 64 of "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah."

"The rise and establishment of this Administrative Order - the shell that shields and enshrines so precious a gem - constitutes the hall-mark of this second and formative age of the Baha'i era. It will come to be regarded, as it recedes farther and farther from our eyes, as the chief agency empowered to usher in the concluding phase, the consummation of this glorious Dispensation."

Here the Guardian makes it clear .... (page 52 of the same communication)

"assert its claim and demonstrate its capacity to be regarded not only as

the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in

the fullness of time the whole of mankind."

What the Guardian feels......the Revelations of the past.

"It should be noted (page 53) in this connection that this Administrative Order is fundamentally different from anything that any Prophet has previously established, inasmuch as Baha'u'llah has Himself revealed its principles, established its institutions, appointed the person to interpret His Word and conferred the necessary authority on the body designed to supplement and apply His legislative ordinances... Nowhere in the sacred scriptures of any of the world's religious systems, nor even in the writings of the Inaugurator of the Babi Dispensation, do we find any provisions establishing a covenant or providing for an administrative order that can compare in scope and authority with those that lie at the very basis of the Baha'i Dispensation."

...which the Guardian made on page 21 of the "America and the Most Great Peace": -

In a world writhing with pain and declining into chaos this community - the vanguard of the liberating forces of Baha'u'llah - succeeded in the years following 'Abdu'l-Baha's passing in raising high above the institutions established by its sister communities in East and West what may well constitute the chief pillar of that future House - a House which posterity will regard as the last refuge of a tottering civilization.

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 3

"Alone of all the Revelations gone before it," the Guardian declared on page 54 of "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah," "this Faith has, through the explicit directions, the repeated warnings, the authenticated safeguards incorporated and elaborated in its teachings, succeeded in raising a structure which the bewildered followers of bankrupt and broken creeds might well approach and critically examine, and seek, ere it is too late, the invulnerable security of its world-embracing shelter."

"They (the members of the House of Justice), and not the body of those who either directly or indirectly elect them, have thus been made the recipients of the divine guidance which is at once the life-blood and ultimate safeguard of this Revelation." (Dispensation, page 61)

...Shoghi Effendi's words ... reported on page 13 of BAHA'I NEWS, June, 1934:

"However, in view of the principle that local activities should always be subordinated to the national interests, needs and requirements of the Faith..." etc. And "Just as all local institutions, whether administrative or otherwise, must under all circumstances be considered as subsidiary to national organization,s so also local circular letters should be viewed as secondary in importance compared to the national organ of Baha'i activities. This principle, however, should not be interpreted as being detrimental of the local interests of the Baha'i community, but as an essential, nay indispensable means whereby the administrative system of the Cause can work with efficiency and order." And, "Just as the local Baha'i fund must under all circumstances be subordinated to the national fund. ... Such a coordination between local and national efforts is indispensable, not only due to its economic advantages, but essentially due to the fact that upon the application of the principle underlying this process must inevitably depend the effective working of the entire administrative machinery of the Faith. There is order, coordination and system in the Cause, and not a jungle of conflicting interests and of continually clashing wills. ... Local activities should alwas [sic] be subordinated to those of a national character and importance. This is intended not to minimize the role of the local Assembly in the administrative order, but to establish and insure a sane relationship between that body and the national organism of the Cause."

THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES

"The situation in Persia which is growing from bad to worse, the necessary measure which should be taken to insure the uninterrupted completion of the ornamentation of the clerestory section of the Temple, the adoption of such measures as will stimulate the teaching campaign in America, the exercise of the utmost vigilance lest the authorities in Soviet Russia inflict any injury upon Baha'i lives and institutions, the extension of any support that may be required to safeguard the interests of the Cause at its most vital and international center to ward off the malicious attacks of enemies from both within and without - these are the outstanding issues which demand the sustained and concentrated attention of every believer." - Shoghi Effendi, in letter to N.S.A., September 16, 1934.

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 4

"The national Assembly is the trusted guardian and the mainspring of the manifold activities and interests of every national community in the Baha'i world. It constitutes the sole link that binds the communities to the International House of Justice, the supreme administrative body in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah." (Shoghi Effendi, June 11, 1934, in letter to the N.S.A.)

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 5

HOW EVERY BELIEVER CAN TEST THE MEASURE OF HIS FAITH

"He wishes you particularly to impress the believers with the necessity of maintaining the flow of their contributions to the Temple, and also stress the importance of the institution of the National Baha'i Fund which, in these early days of the administrative development of the Faith, is the indispensable medium for the growth and expansion of the Movement. Contributions to this fund constitute, in addition, a practical and effective way whereby every believer can test the measure and character of his faith, and to prove in deeds the intensity of his devotion and attachment to the Cause." - Shoghi Effendi, in letter to Chairman of the N.S.A., September 25, 1934.

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 6-7

"That Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Baha'i Faith." - Shoghi Effendi. (World Order of Baha'u'llah, pages 3 and 4).

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 7

Regarding the establishment of "National Assemblies," it is of vital importance that in every country, where the conditions are favorable and the number of the friends has grown and reached a considerable size, such as America, Great Britain and Germany, that a "National Spiritual Assembly" be immediately established, representative of the friends throughout that country.

Its immediate purpose is to stimulate, unify and coordinate by frequent personal consultations, the manifold activities of the friends as well as the local Assemblies; and by keeping in close and constant touch with the Holy Land, initiate measures, and direct in general the affairs of the Cause in that country.

It serves also another purpose, no less essential than the first, as in the course of time it shall evolve into the National House of Justice (referred to in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Will as the "secondary House of Justice"), which according to the explicit text of the Testament will have, in conjunction with the other National Assemblies throughout the Baha'i world, to elect directly the members of the International House of Justice, that Supreme Council that will guide, organize and unify the affairs of the Movement throughout the world.

It is expressly recorded in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Writings that these National Assemblies must be indirectly elected by the friends; that is, the friends in every country must elect a certain number of delegates, who in their turn will elect from among all the friends in that country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. ... These secondary electors will then, either through correspondence, or preferably by gathering together, and first deliberating upon the affairs of the Cause throughout their country (as the delegates to the Convention), elect from among all the friends in that country nine who will be the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

This National Spiritual Assembly, which, pending the establishment of the Universal House of Justice, will have to be re-elected once a year, obviously assumes grave responsibilities, for it has to exercise full authority over all the local Assemblies in its province, and will have to direct the activities of the friends, guard vigilantly the Cause of God, and control and supervise the affairs of the Movement in general.

Vital issues, affecting the interests of the Cause in that country such as the matter of translation and publication, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the Teaching Work, and other similar matters that stand distinct from strictly local affairs, must be under the full jurisdiction of the National Assembly.

It will have to refer each of these questions, even as the local Assemblies, to a special Committee, to be elected by the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, from among all the friends in that country, which will bear to it the same relation as the local committees bear to their respective local Assemblies.

With it, too, rests the decision whether a certain point at issue is strictly local in its nature, and should be reserved for the consideration and decision of the local Assembly, or whether it should fall under its own province and be regarded as a matter which ought to receive its special attention. The National Spiritual Assembly will also decide upon such matters which in its opinion should be referred to the Holy Land for consultation and decision.

With these Assemblies, local as well as national, harmoniously, vigorously, and efficiently functioning throughout the Baha'i world, the only means for the establishment of the Supreme House of Justice will have been secured. (Baha'i Administration, pages 34-36)

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 8

They [LSA of Poona (India)] quote from the letter of our Guardian to their National President, as follows:

"...I urge you to remind the friends to fulfil their sacred obligations in connection with their annual renewal of their subscription to the leading periodicals of the Baha'i world and particularly to the Star of the West (now the Baha'i Magazine)."

No. 88 - November 1934 - page 10

From a letter of the Guardian dated March 17, 1934:

"The question of prejudice is a very important one. We should not expect a new believer to be free from every prejudice. It would be asking too much from him. For even a believer cannot claim to have such a station. The main thing on which much stress must be laid when accepting a new member into the community is sincerity and a willingness to discard as much as possible all forms of prejudice and bigotry. More than that we cannot do."