The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community (Part 3)

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31 August 1953

ASSURE LJUNGBERG DEEPEST APPRECIATION PRAYERS. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Faroe Islands.)

SHOGHI <p322>

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6 September 1953

ASSURE ASGHARZADIH LOVING APPRECIATION FERVENT PRAYERS. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Channel Islands.)

SHOGHI

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8 September 1953

ASSURE BAXTER LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Channel Islands.)

SHOGHI

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11 September 1953

ASSURE DUNNING DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Orkney Islands.)

SHOGHI

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22 September 1953

ASSURE HASSELBLATT DEEPEST LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Shetland Islands.)

SHOGHI

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4 October 1953

ADVISE TAKE NO RISK OWING POSSIBILITY HIGHER OUTLAY. URGE SEARCH OTHER PLACES AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE.[1] APPROVE HAINSWORTH SIX MONTHS LEAVE.

[1 Refers to purchase of National Haziratu'l-Quds, London.]

SHOGHI

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7 October 1953

ASSURE UNA LOVING PRAYERS. (Una Townshend, Knight of Baha'u'llah to Malta.)

SHOGHI <p323>

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10th October 1953

ASSURE CRANEY LOVING APPRECIATION. (Knight of Baha'u'llah to Hebrides.)

SHOGHI

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10 October 1953

ADVISE ASSIST EGYPT BY PIONEER BRITISH SOMALILAND.

SHOGHI

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16 October 1953

APPROVE SHOMAIS DEPARTURE ETHIOPIA.

SHOGHI

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16 October 1953

ASSURE BATTAH LOVING APPRECIATION.

SHOGHI

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9 November 1953

Dear Baha'i Friends:

In your recent News Letter the beloved Guardian noted some quotations from the pilgrims notes of ..., and he wishes me to tell you that he feels it is wiser, in such official organs as our News Letters, not to publish such notes as, unfortunately, they often contain errors. He has recently had occasion to call the American N.S.A.'s attention to this too....

His loving thoughts and prayers are often with you all.

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21 November 1953

APPROVE SUBSTITUTION LANGUAGES REFERRED LETTER DATED NOVEMBER THIRTEEN SENDING SECOND PIONEER HAS NO GREATER <p324> PRIORITY. REGRET OWING INCREASING EXPENSES UNABLE EXTEND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXERCISE STRICT ECONOMY.

SHOGHI

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29 November 1953

DISAPPROVE CIRCULATION STATEMENT MARRIAGE OWING GENERAL PRINCIPLE ALREADY ESTABLISHED.

SHOGHI

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12 January 1954

TRANSMITTING FIVE HUNDRED NATIONAL FUND SENT THROUGH LANGDON-DAVIES RUG FROM BAHA'U'LLAH'S SHRINE AND PHOTOS FOR NATIONAL HAZIRA LOVE.

SHOGHI

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12 January 1954 (Teaching Conference)

DEEPLY APPRECIATE NOBLE SENTIMENTS DEDICATION ATTENDANTS CONFERENCE. ARDENTLY SUPPLICATING FULFILMENT HOPES ACHIEVEMENT UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES. DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

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9 March 1954

CABLE NAMES LANGUAGES ALREADY TRANSLATED UNDER TEN YEAR PLAN SPECIFY ALSO WHICH LANGUAGES PROCESS TRANSLATION.

SHOGHI

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24 March 1954

ADVISE SEND PIONEERS PROMPTLY BRITISH TOGOLAND FRENCH TOGOLAND FRENCH CAMEROONS. ORME SQUARE TOO EXPENSIVE. ADVISE TOWNSHENDS ABANDON PLAN MALTA. EXPENDITURE <p325> HUNDRED POUNDS SOMALILAND INADVISABLE. PURCHASE SITE INSIDE KAMPALA OR WITHIN THREE MILES.

SHOGHI

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7 April 1954

FOLLOW LAWYER'S ADVICE REGARDING TEMPLE LAND OUTSIDE KAMPALA.

SHOGHI

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13 April 1954

ASSURE PRAYERS BLACKBURN NOTTINGHAM.

SHOGHI

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17 April 1954 [1]

[1 Joint Convention Message to all National Assemblies. Published "Baha'i Journal" No. 114 and "Messages to the Baha'i World 1950-1957", p. 60.]

Dear Baha'i Brother:

At the instruction of our beloved Guardian, I am forwarding you herewith his Convention Message.

He wishes you to have it read aloud to the assembled delegates, and then published and circulated among the believers....

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20 April 1954[1]

[1 On report that all overseas territories opened and all home Assemblies assured.]

HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS GREAT VICTORY.

SHOGHI

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21 April 1954 [1]

[1 Joint Convention Message to all National Assemblies. Published "Baha'i Journal" No. 114 and "Messages to the Baha'i World 1950-1957", p. 60.]

Dear Baha'i Friends:

I am forwarding you herewith a copy of the Guardian's <p326> Convention Message which was mailed you a short time ago. As there is a pilgrim leaving, he is taking the precaution of having this mailed in Europe.

I hope it reaches you in time for the Convention....

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24 April 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning the Island of Malta. He attaches great importance to this Island, and wishes your Assembly to see that the teaching work there progresses as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

At the present time, it has again become virgin, according to our records. Do you know if Miss Townshend intends to return? If not, your Assembly should undertake to fill the post just as quickly as possible, with someone else.

As you have become aware through the Guardian's Convention Message, he is very happy with the result of the first year of the Ten-Year Crusade. He is hoping that the second year will witness even more glorious victories, and this time on the home front, as well as in foreign fields.

He would appreciate a report of the plans for Malta, as soon as possible. In order to save him work, it is suggested it be sent to me. (Mr. L. Ioas)

The Guardian sends you his loving greetings....

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25 April 1954 (Convention)

ASSURE ASSEMBLED DELEGATES ARDENT PRAYERS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS PROUD RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY CHERISH GREAT HOPES FUTURE HISTORIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

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29 April 1954

WELCOME PLEDGE DELEGATES PRAYING SUCCESS ATTAINMENT GOALS.

SHOGHI <p327>

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3 May 1954

European and Asian Committee

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of the 9th of Nur, 110, was received by the beloved Guardian.

As he has been tremendously busy during this Holy Year -- and indeed his work is increasing all the time -- and there was nothing urgent that required an immediate reply -- he has delayed in answering you until he had more time.

He hopes that your committee will be able to gradually assist in the work allotted to the British National Spiritual Assembly during the Plan.

The most important thing of course is to get the believers out into wholly virgin areas, and keep them there. So far, England has done nobly, and he is proud of their efforts.

The Pacific area is also of great importance. If there is any possibility of British subjects going out to territories that are under the jurisdiction of other National Bodies, but difficult to get into, he feels that they should be referred to the committees concerned, or the National Spiritual Assemblies concerned, because of the importance of achieving all the goals of the Plan, regardless of which Assembly has certain goals under its immediate jurisdiction.

He assures you he will pray for the success of your devoted labours, in the Holy Shrine.

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your meritorious activities, guide and sustain you always, and enable you to lend a great impetus to the splendid work now being accomplished in Europe and in Asia.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

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6 May 1954

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your loving letter of April 30th has just come to hand, calling attention to the fact that Olga Mills, one of the pioneers in Malta, <p328> is serving there very actively. The beloved Guardian had been informed by someone that she had left.

However, the intent of the letter of April 24th still remains -- that no pioneer should leave their goal unless for very urgent reasons. In the case of Malta, this is a country which can only be settled by English Baha'is, and therefore the Guardian feels it of great importance that any pioneer who goes there should remain. It is hoped that it may be possible for Una Townshend to return in due course, to carry on her work there.

The Guardian asks that you convey to Olga Mills his loving appreciation of her devoted services, and assure her of his prayers in her behalf.

If Una Townshend finds it impossible to return to Malta, then the Guardian hopes you can send some other pioneer to that important post....

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16 May 1954

I am enclosing, at the instruction of our beloved Guardian, the original title-deed of one-quarter of an acre of land recently purchased near the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf on Mount Carmel; and registered in the name of the Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles.

The cost of this property was six thousand dollars.

He feels sure that the British Baha'is will rejoice to know that they now have a part of the International Baha'i Endowments in the name of their own special Israel Branch....

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4 June 1954

British Africa Committee

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The various letters of your committee dated June 8 and 25, July 6, August 13, September 23, October 8, November 25 and December 31, 1953, and January 27 (3), March 6 and 30 and April 20, 1954, with their enclosures, have been received by the <p329> beloved Guardian and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. As he has been in constant cable communication with you during the past year, I will not go into many of the matters which have already been attended to.

Of all the places in the world where the Baha'i Faith exists and is spreading, the Guardian is definitely most pleased with Africa, and most proud of Uganda. He feels that the spirit shown by white and negro pioneers alike in that continent, presents a challenge to the Baha'is everywhere in the world, and that old and staid communities may well learn from, and emulate the example of, the believers of Africa, many of them scarcely a year old in the Cause of God!

He feels that your committee and the British N.S.A. have every reason to be proud of the work you have accomplished, and grateful for the blessings you have received from on High.

It has particularly rejoiced his heart to see the way almost every goal was attained at the last minute, before the end of the first year of the Ten Year Crusade, many of these goals through the immediate whole-hearted response of some of these new African Baha'is, themselves the spiritual children of other African Baha'is -- young in the Faith, but old in their understanding of it.

The main task, now that the back of the pioneer settlement work has been broken, so to speak, is the consolidation of these territories and the maintaining of the pioneers at their posts. He is constantly urging all National Assemblies to impress upon those who have gone forth to settle virgin territories, the importance of staying there, and of only abandoning their posts if they are forced to do so by the Government in question, and not for some other reason. The friends have had such difficulty in gaining access to some of these countries, -- visas, housing, expenses have all been such a problem -- that once they get there, they should really move heaven and earth to remain.

He is very happy that two of the Temple sites on the African continent have been purchased, and feels that this will release a tremendous spiritual impetus. He hopes that the Egyptian Baha'is will soon decide on a site, and that will complete the chain for the time being.

Concerning the various questions you have raised regarding literature and translations, he thinks that it is perhaps better to have a proper introductory pamphlet on the Faith translated into <p330> ... and not give any wide publicity for the time being, than to spend money translating a lopsided presentation of the Teachings. However, he believes that, with sufficient effort and good judgment, a pamphlet could be gotten out that would neither stress too strongly the racial teachings, nor minimise them too much, and could discreetly be used for teaching purposes in...

He has spoken very strongly to some of the pilgrims here about the teaching work in that country, and impressed upon them that the whole object of the pioneers in going forth to Africa, is to teach the coloured people, and not the white people. This does not mean that they must refuse to teach the white people, which would be a foolish attitude. It does, however, mean that they should constantly bear in mind that it is to the native African that they are now carrying the Message of Baha'u'llah, in his own country, and not to people from abroad who have migrated there permanently or temporarily and are a minority, and many of them, judging by their acts, a very unsavoury minority.

He hopes that every effort will be made to get out a pamphlet in each of the languages chosen, or those that you have substituted for a chosen language. He fully realises that, in many cases, the people who speak the language are illiterate, and, strictly speaking, do not require a printed pamphlet in their own tongue. He considers however the psychological values of having something translated into their own language, the compliment implicit in it, so to speak, of great importance, sufficient to offset the time, effort and expense involved.

He would like your committee to convey to all the pioneers, most particularly the negro ones, the expression of his deep admiration of the wonderful spirit that animates them, his feeling of affection for them, and the assurance of his ardent prayers for their success.

Africa is truly awakening and finding herself, and she undoubtedly has a great message to give, and a great contribution to make to the advancement of world civilisation. To the degree to which her peoples accept Baha'u'llah, will they be blessed, strengthened and protected.

He hopes that, whilst concentrating on the consolidation of the work under your jurisdiction, you will give every assistance within your power to the other National Assemblies who have <p331> difficult places to settle. The Portuguese and Spanish territories seem to be the hardest of all to gain access to. Any help your committee can give along this line would certainly be rendering a great service to the Cause.

He deeply appreciates the work you have done, and your committee achievements, during the past year, and assures each and all of you of his loving prayers on your behalf....

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving and constant prayers for the success of the efforts you are so devotedly exerting for the promotion of our beloved Faith and its institutions,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

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6 June 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has been greatly pleased with the reports he has received of the progress of the teaching work in Oxford. He feels the friends in that city have undertaken their responsibility diligently and successfully.

It is his feeling that the Faith should be firmly established in Cambridge, which is also one of the great centres of learning in the British Isles. He understands that Cambridge is a goal city of the Crusade, and he feels that the time has now arrived for the opening of that city and the expansion of the teaching work there.

He would appreciate a report from you as to the progress of the Faith in that important city. This report should be addressed to me, and I will inform him of its contents....

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11 June 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection with the purchase of the Haziratu'l-Quds for the city of London. The Guardian is very hopeful that your Assembly will be able to complete this important matter in the near future.

In connection with the purchase of Haziratu'l-Quds, under the <p332> Ten Year Crusade there are a total of 49 to be procured. 4 of them were procured during the first year of the Crusade.

At the Guardian's direction, I have written the National Assemblies involved, calling for the purchase of 17 Haziratu'l-Quds of the 45, during this year. One of these 17 Haziratu'l-Quds is the one in London.

The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to the fulfilment of this aspect of the Ten Year Crusade; and sincerely hopes your Assembly will concentrate on the purchase of the Haziratu'l-Quds for London, so that it may be consummated as soon as possible....

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17 June 1954

Dear Baha'i Brother,

Your Assembly's letters dated June 10 (2), 17, 22 and 26, July 3, 7, 8, 9 (2), 16 and 24, August 17, 19 (2) and 24, September 17, 21, 24 and 25, October 1, 8, 12, 22 and 28, November 13 (4) and 18 (2), December 10 (2), 12 and 23, 1953, and January 7, 20 (2), 21 and 22, February 17 (3), 19 (3), 21, 23 (2) and 25, March 1, 23, 24 and 25 (3), April 13 and 28, May 12, 21 and 25, June 1 (4) and 15, 1954, with enclosures, have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He regrets very much the long delays in answering the National Spiritual Assemblies, but is finding it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of his work. He feels sometimes that he will soon be forced to give up correspondence with individuals, although he is reluctant to do so, because so many of the new believers brought in during the present teaching activities in Africa and other far goals are writing to him. However, he has attended to a great many of your questions by cable, and the visits of a number of English pilgrims have enabled him to send you messages and to keep the British community in contact with the work in the Holy Land.

He greatly appreciated the desire of John and Dorothy Ferraby to go out as pioneers, but considered that it would weaken the work of the National Assembly altogether too much. Important as the pioneer field is, if all the most able workers go out, the <p333> campaigns carried on from different national bases will become absolutely unwieldy for lack of adequate able management.

The expression of condolences which your Assembly conveyed to him at the time of the passing of Fred Schopflocher and Dorothy Baker, two dear and trusted Hands of the Cause who could ill be spared from their work at this time, touched him very much. Others must now arise, and through their services seek to fill the gaps which such valuable workers have left in the vanguard of the Baha'i host.

He would like you to express to the British pioneers on the home front, whose names you forwarded to him, his sincere thanks. Their arising to protect the goals which have been won by other pioneers at a cost of such sacrifice and effort was noble and highly meritorious.

Speaking of pioneers, he was very pleased to hear recently that Mrs. Shomais Afnan had succeeded in gaining entry into Ethiopia. Her perseverance in the face of a great deal of opposition is certainly exemplary.

As he already cabled you, he did not approve of the statements you had prepared for circulation amongst the Assemblies regarding Baha'i marriage. Some of the remarks were incorrect in the first place, and in the second place he is strongly against Statements! He wishes the friends to keep as elastic as possible in administering the affairs of the Faith, while at the same time adhering to fundamentals. He knows that at times this inconveniences the National Bodies and makes their work more detailed, but believes it to be the lesser, so to speak, of two evils.

He was very sorry to learn that dear Mr. Townshend's health is in such a precarious state, and necessitated the return of his daughter from Malta. His devotion is so single-hearted and touching, and his determination to carry on at all costs is exemplary, and should inspire the young people to follow in his footsteps.

When compiling the list of African languages into which the Baha'i Message should be translated, the Guardian realised that certain changes would probably be necessary -- naturally the fewer the better. In this connection, if you feel it advisable and not otherwise, he would like you to convey to Dr. Berry, of the African Department of the School of Oriental and African studies, his personal thanks for the valuable advice he has given <p334> your Assembly, and his friendly co-operation. You might also, at your discretion, extend his thanks to any other members of the Staff who have assisted you.

He is very pleased that the Temple land has been bought in Kampala. Mr. and Mrs. Elston are visiting here at the present time; and he has told them he feels that at present the Temple land should merely be held in trust, and all meetings continue in the Haziratu'l-Quds building. Should this eventually prove too small, enlarging one of the rooms to accommodate more of the people at the meetings might be considered as a possibility; but any work carried out must be of a very economical nature, and he does not think it is pressing at present, anyway.

I need not tell you that the work in Africa, and more particularly in Uganda, is very dear to his heart. The progress made there during the last year has borne him up and encouraged him greatly when he was often weighed down with work. He feels that this country and its peoples, in the very heart of Africa, are a most precious trust. Their receptivity to the Teachings, their great desire to serve their new Faith, the number of them who have arisen to go out as pioneers, mark them as a people apart in the Baha'i world, at least for the time being. May many others in neighbouring countries prove as worthy, and follow their example.

In dealing with people who are still backward in relation to our civilised standards, and in many cases guided by a tribal system which has strong orders of its own, he feels that you should be both tactful and forbearing. There is no specific minimum age mentioned in the Baha'i teachings at which girls may marry. In the future, this and other questions unspecified will be dealt with by the International House of Justice. In the meantime, we must not be too strict in enforcing our opinions on peoples still living in primitive social orders.

The difficulty of getting a Baha'i into ... has now been temporarily solved. The Guardian does not see why Baha'is should have to state to any Government that the reason for their visit to a country is for the purposes of teaching the Baha'i Faith. Most of the time, though not perhaps invariably, this is calculated to arouse suspicion and opposition. One has to deal with cases as they arise. A blanket rule could never apply over so wide a field as that in which Baha'i pioneers are working. <p335>

Although the children of Baha'i parents are considered to be Baha'is, there is no objection at the present time, for purposes of keeping a correct census, and also ascertaining whether the young people are, sincerely, believers, and willing to do their share in service to the Faith, to asking them to make a declaration of their intention at the age of fifteen or so. Originally, the Guardian understands, this was adopted in America to enable young Baha'i men to make certain arrangements in connection with their application for non-combatant status upon their attaining the age of military service. There is really nothing about it in the Teachings or in the Administration. Your Assembly is free to do as it pleases in this matter.

Regarding the publication of a pamphlet on the Baha'i Teachings on Monarchy, funds and circumstances permitting, the Guardian sees no objection to this whatsoever. It might appeal to a certain type of British mind very much, though he fears there are other minds to which it may not appeal! However, considering Baha'u'llah has taught these things, there is no reason why we should not share them with those interested in the subject.

He is very sorry that it has not been possible to purchase the National Haziratu'l-Quds yet. In spite of the fact that he attaches great importance to this, he does not think that the cost should become exorbitant merely in order to accomplish a goal before a certain date. The Baha'is, not only in England, but all over the world, have embarked upon a Plan which will involve over a period of years a very heavy expenditure. Undoubtedly they will have to help each other; but they will scarcely have the financial strength to help each other to the tune of extremely expensive buildings, Temple sites, etc., in different parts of the world. He has given instructions to Canada, Germany, Rome, etc., to cut down on the proposals they made to him, because the price of these things in different parts of the world, when added up, would be well beyond the means of the Faith to meet at present. He feels sure that, however painful and toilsome the process may be, you will eventually find a suitable spot in London, and one that your Assembly, with the help of the British believers and other possible contributions from outside as well, can afford.

The remarkable achievements in the pioneer field, a field in <p336> which your own Assembly has been far from backward, are a source of great encouragement to all the believers as well as to him. The addition of one hundred countries during one year is certainly history-making.

Now that the back of the foreign pioneering work has been broken, so to speak, a greater measure of attention must be paid to the home fronts. The consolidation work, though far less spectacular, constitutes a very weighty task, and will require a constant measure of sacrificial effort if the goals are to be fulfilled. He thinks that during the coming year greater attention should be paid to the home front, while at the same time maintaining the pioneer posts at their present standard, at least.

The principle is, and it should be impressed on the minds of all pioneers, to hold their territory at any cost. Just because they have left their homes, and gone out and carried the Faith to one of these virgin areas, does not mean that the task is accomplished. On the contrary, nothing could be sadder than that these newly-won territories should be lost after a few months' effort. He hopes that in your correspondence with the pioneers you will impress this fact upon them and make them realise that to be a "Knight of Baha'u'llah" is not only a very high and pleasant position, but involves a truly tremendous responsibility. To remain at one's post, to undergo sacrifice and hardship, loneliness and, if necessary, persecution, in order to hold aloft the torch of Baha'u'llah, is the true function of every pioneer.

Let them remember Marion Jack, who for over twenty years, in a country the language of which she never mastered; during war and bombardment; evacuation and poverty; and at length, serious illness, stuck to her post, and has now blessed the soil of the land she had chosen to serve at such cost with her precious remains, every atom of which was dedicated to Baha'u'llah. Perhaps the friends are not aware that the Guardian, himself, during the war on more more than one occasion urged her to seek safety in Switzerland rather than remain behind enemy lines and be entirely cut off. Lovingly she pleaded that he would not require her to leave her post, and he acquiesced to her request. Surely the standard of Marion Jack should be borne in mind by every pioneer!

Regarding your question about including the Tablet of the Virgin in a compilation of "Baha'i Scriptures" which you wish <p337> to publish -- the old translation is very poor and has many inaccuracies. However, the Guardian has no time at all to retranslate it or correct it himself.

He leaves it to the discretion of your Assembly as to whether you wish to include it in a compilation or not.

I am returning to you the list you sent with suggested corrections in relation to the pamphlet your Assembly published last year -- "The Baha'i Faith 1844-1952, Information Statistical and Comparative". The righthand column marked "Suggested", he considers quite acceptable. The places where you have put question marks are correct, with very few exceptions which the Guardian has corrected, in the column marked "As Listed", with the exception of the transliteration of the name Shu'a'u'llah, (Number 12) which the Guardian has corrected.

Assuring you of the Guardian's loving prayers for the success of your devoted labours....

P.S. July 28th. Your letter of July 7th has likewise been received.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The achievements of the members of the tenacious, the valiant and wide-awake British Baha'i community, within the borders of their homeland and beyond its confines, in the course of the opening year of the Baha'i World Crusade, deserve the highest commendation and have considerably heightened its prestige and deepened my own admiration for it as well as that of its sister communities in both Hemispheres.

Called into being through the dispensations of a watchful Providence, in the middle of the memorable decade that witnessed the introduction of the Faith of Baha'u'llah into the Western world; sharing with its sister community across the Channel the distinction of being the first to be quickened by the life-giving influences generated by the newly-established Covenant of Baha'u'llah in the Holy Land; the recipient of untold blessings showered upon it by the Centre of the Covenant in the days of its infancy; singled out among the newly-fledged communities in both Europe and the North American Continent through the twice repeated visits of Abdu'l-Baha to the shores of its homeland; fully equipped with the agencies of a divinely conceived Administrative Order, patiently and laboriously erected by its stalwart members in the years immediately following the setting of <p338> the Orb of that same Covenant; enriched by the experience derived from the successful prosecution of two successive nationwide Plans formulated by its national elected representatives, this community finds itself, on the morrow of the termination of the opening year of the afore-mentioned Crusade, simultaneously firmly rooted within the soil of its homeland and vigorously branching out on the first stage of its mission in foreign fields, and exhibiting, both at home and abroad, evidences of a development that bids fair to eclipse any of its collective achievements in the past five decades since its inception.

In both the teaching and administrative spheres of its ever-expanding, swiftly unfolding activities, whether in the heart and capital city of the Empire to which it belongs, or in the chief cities recently opened by its pioneering members in the territories comprising its island home, or in the diversified and far-flung dependencies of the British Crown in the African Continent, this virile, forward marching, securely established community has amply demonstrated its capacity to be regarded as one of the chief strongholds of a divinely conceived Faith and one of the principal bastions sustaining the fabric of Baha'u'llah's world-encompassing Order.

Standing as it does on the threshold of the second phase of a Crusade with which its immediate destinies are inseparably linked, and to which it has voluntarily and enthusiastically pledged its combined resources, the tasks now confronting it demand a degree of concentration, dedication, co-ordination, resourcefulness and perseverance hitherto unequalled in any period of its career.

The prizes won in recent months, since the launching of the Ten Year Plan to which it stands committed, through the strenuous exertions and the shining example of its pioneers in the islands situated to the North, the West and the South of its homeland, as well as in the far away territories lying in the heart of the African Continent and situated on both its eastern and western shores, must, however great the sacrifices involved, be preserved. The acquisition of the national Haziratu'l-Quds in a centrally located area in a city that ranks as the chief metropolis of a vast Empire is yet another task of the utmost urgency and of the highest significance, the consummation of which should be considered as the chief objective and pre-eminent duty of this community's elected national representatives, and one which is bound to exert, in the days immediately ahead, a far-reaching and pervasive influence on the growth and unfoldment of the Faith which it is their privilege to serve and promote. <p339>

Of no less importance is the responsibility to reinforce the structure of the Administrative Order throughout the British Isles, and particularly in the newly opened territories of Scotland, Wales, Eire and Northern Ireland, through a rapid and unprecedented increase in the number of the avowed supporters of the Faith, and a multiplication of isolated centres, groups and assemblies that constitute the warp and woof of the fabric of its evolving Order.

A no less urgent task, which will directly reinforce this fabric, and heighten the prestige of the Faith itself, and pave the way for the establishment of Baha'i local endowments, is the prompt incorporation of firmly established local assemblies, a process which, as soon as it is initiated, must gather steady momentum throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles, and be ultimately reinforced by the incorporation of all local assemblies destined to be established in the virgin territories recently opened in the neighbourhood of the British Isles and in the African territories allotted to your Assembly under the provisions of the Ten Year Plan.

Special attention should, moreover, be paid to the no less vital duty of completing the translation, the publication and the dissemination of Baha'i literature in the languages assigned to your Assembly, in accordance with that same Plan, an achievement which will greatly stimulate the work to be undertaken in the course of the future phases of this world spiritual Crusade as it unfolds itself in the African Continent.

Whilst these highly meritorious enterprises are being assiduously carried on, the inescapable and sacred duty of consolidating the nine African territories and the two additional ones in Europe and Asia must be adequately discharged, in order to enable the British Baha'i community to bring to full fruition the noble mission entrusted so confidently to its care.

The tasks facing this community in the course of this second and future phases of a world-encircling Crusade are admittedly vast, complex and challenging. The resources at the disposal of its doggedly persevering, wholly dedicated members are, alas, circumscribed and inadequate. The Mission, however, to which its Founder is calling it, is unspeakably glorious. Many and divers will, no doubt, be the tests, the setbacks and trials which teachers and administrators alike within the ranks of its members, must necessarily experience. The times, during which the opening phase of its Mission overseas is to yield its fairest fruit, are fraught with great peril. Both at home and in distant <p340> outposts of the Empire, the opposition which those responsible for its development and consolidation will encounter from those in authority, whether civil or ecclesiastic, will progressively hamper their efforts. The competition from its own sister communities, in various regions of the globe and in the course of the systematic prosecution of the same world-embracing task will, in the meantime, grow keener.

Every ounce of energy its members can muster must unhesitatingly be expended to further the supreme end for which so sacred, so formidable and so momentous a Plan has been devised. With every sacrifice that is made, with every forward step that is taken along the toilsome and long road they are destined to tread, with every victory dearly and laboriously won by the champions, the representatives, the vanguard, the spokesmen, as well as the rank and file of this community, a measure of blessing from on high will undoubtedly be vouchsafed, in order to reinforce the exertions, cheer the hearts, and stimulate the march of all those enlisted in the service of so glorious a Cause.

The hour is propitious for a concerted effort which in its scope and intensity will surpass any united action of which the British followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah have proved themselves capable in the past.

That they may ascend from height to height, go forward from victory to victory, is the fervent prayer of one who has invariably followed the course of their exploits with undiminished confidence and admiration, who has cherished the brightest hopes for the ultimate attainment of their Mission, and whose love and esteem for them has correspondingly increased with every revelation of the capacities and energies with which they have discharged, and are constantly discharging, their Mission.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

21 June 1954

APPROVE ASGHARZADEH AND OTHER PIONEERS ISLANDS ATTEND SUMMER SCHOOL....

SHOGHI <p341>

==================================

23 June 1954

Dear John:

Thank you for your letter of June 15th, with regard to Dar-es-Salaam.

The Guardian attaches very great importance to the "incorporation" and "exemption" of any Assembly; likewise the acquirement of any endowments.

Therefore, if you have not already sent directly to the Guardian a photostatic copy of the Exemption granted the Dar-es-Salaam Assembly, I would like to suggest that one be sent to him through me.

Likewise if anything constructive develops with regard to the burial ground at Dar-es-Salaam, please let me know as soon as possible....

==================================

22 July 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends,

...The Guardian has instructed me to write your Assembly, calling attention to the manner in which questions of teaching activities in new areas and consolidation areas assigned to any Assembly, are carried out.

The National Spiritual Assembly is the Body which is charged with the administrative responsibility of the tasks of the Ten Year Crusade. Neither the Hands of the Cause nor their Boards have administrative responsibilities in connection with this work.

The members of the Boards are to report to the Hands of the Cause in the area regarding all situations, and of course in detail concerning any problem, so that the National Assembly may take appropriate action.

The Hands of the Cause themselves will correspond with the National Spiritual Assembly involved, calling their attention to the problem, so that the National Assembly may take appropriate action.

The Guardian has instructed that the Hands of the Cause are not to correspond with the committees of the National Spiritual <p342> Assemblies, but directly with the National Spiritual Assemblies themselves.

The beloved Guardian greatly values the outstanding work which your Assembly is doing. He will pray for your continued success. He sends you his loving greetings....

==================================

29 July 1954 (Summer School Committee)

DELIGHTED ASSURE ATTENDANTS LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

==================================

29 August 1954

SUBSTITUTE FON FOR POPO COMMITTEES SHOULD NOT CORRESPOND HANDS WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

SHOGHI

==================================

16 October 1954 [1]

[1 On signing of contract for Haziratu'l-Quds, London.]

DELIGHTED HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT.

SHOGHI

==================================

27 October 1954 [1]

[1 See letter 5 August 1955 for references to status of Assemblies with fewer than nine members, use of bequests and Freemasonry.]

FOLLOW AMERICAN POLICY REGARDING ASSEMBLY STATUS. USE PROCEEDS SALE HOUSE FOR HAZIRA.

SHOGHI

==================================

28 October 1954

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The content of your letter of October 15th was given to the beloved Guardian. <p343>

He sincerely hopes the problems surrounding Mr. ... have now been solved, as you seemed to think they have.

He advises that Baha'i pioneers should not become public charges under any circumstances; and the Assemblies concerned should see that this does not occur in the case of Mr. ....

The beloved Guardian assures all the members of the National Assembly of his appreciation of their devoted services. He assures them of his prayers in their behalf, and sends them his loving greetings....

==================================

11 November 1954 [1]

[1 See letter 5 August 1955 for references to status of Assemblies with fewer than nine members, use of bequests and Freemasonry.]

DISAPPROVE MEMBERSHIP FREEMASONRY.

==================================

16 December 1954

GRIEVE PASSING STAUNCH CONSECRATED PROMOTER FAITH LANGDON-DAVIES HER SERVICES UNFORGETTABLE REWARD GREAT ABHA KINGDOM.

SHOGHI

==================================

22 December 1954

PUBLISHING TRUST SHOULD NOT HAVE SEPARATE LEGAL STATUS. ANY BAHA'I DETERMINED RETAIN MEMBERSHIP FREEMASONRY LOSES VOTING RIGHTS.

SHOGHI

==================================

17 January 1955 [1]

[1This was sent in reply to a cable from a meeting at 27 Rutland Gate, London, S.W.7, jointly to dedicate the new Haziratu'l-Quds and to hold Teaching Conference.]

SHARE JOY FRIENDS SUPPLICATING UNPRECEDENTED BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI <p344>

==================================

20 February 1955

Dear Baha'i Co-workers:

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to inquire of your Assembly what the situation is surrounding the translation and publication of Baha'i literature into the following languages:

Erso

Gaelic

These are not languages of the Ten Year Crusade, but languages which have been translated prior to the opening of the Ten Year Crusade. He is very anxious to know what the status is of these translations and publications. If no work has been done on them, he would urge that you have the work undertaken at an early date....

==================================

8 March 1955

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian is very anxious to secure as quickly as possible data concerning the Haziratu'l-Quds which have been acquired in connection with the goals of the Ten Year Crusade. To this end, he would very greatly appreciate your sending me by return air mail the information concerning the Haziratu'l-Quds in London.

He would like to know the area of land involved, the size of the building, so far as number of rooms is concerned, the original purchase price of the Haziratu'l-Quds, the expenses of the transaction, and then the total cost.

The Guardian asks that this be sent to me by return airmail....

==================================

29 March 1955

Dear Baha'i Friends:

On April 21st we will enter the last year of the second phase of the Ten Year Crusade. As you know, one of the objectives of this second phase was the rapid multiplication of Assemblies, Groups and Centres throughout the world. <p345>

During the past year, a great deal has been accomplished by the friends in their efforts to disperse from the large centres of population in order to build up the goal cities and establish new centres. However, we have not accomplished a great deal in the way of increasing the number of Baha'is, nor the number of Spiritual Assemblies.

The beloved Guardian sincerely hopes you will make it a point of major study and consideration on the part of your Assembly, so that the entire community may lend itself to the accomplishment of this great goal during the coming year. Foundations must be laid for many more Assemblies. The friends must disperse from the large centres of population. Our teaching work must become so sanctified and penetrating that many, many souls will be confirmed. The friends should go forward on this great task in a very determined manner in order to establish as many new Assemblies during the coming year as are possible.

In letters which have come to the beloved Guardian, he has noted the friends feel there is no need to establish new Assemblies until 1963.

The Ten Year Crusade ends in 1963; but as many of the goals should be won as quickly as possible. It should certainly be clear to all of the friends that we cannot hold off on winning the various goals of our tasks until the last year of the Crusade. They should be won just as quickly as possible. Furthermore, there are many tasks of the Crusade which the Guardian is not launching until preliminary goals have been won. For instance, it would be impossible to establish National Assemblies in all of the areas proposed until there are more Baha'is, more Groups and more Assemblies in those countries. On the home front, further tasks are dependent upon the winning of victories now. The Guardian hopes the keynote of the teaching work on the home front during the current year will be the dispersion of the friends on an unprecedented scale, and the winning of as many Assemblies as is possible....

==================================

9 April 1955

URGENTLY APPEAL HIGH MINDED DEVOTED BELIEVERS BRITISH ISLES EXERT SUPREME EFFORT FILL GAPS ASSEMBLIES DEMONSTRATE <p346> ABILITY MAINTAIN STANDARD HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS FERVENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS.

SHOGHI

==================================

20 April 1955

Dear John:

In order not to keep the Assembly waiting for an answer, the beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you this letter in reply to yours of April 15th.

The principle is wherever the Baha'i laws at the present time conflict with the civil law of the country, the believers living in it must obey the civil law.

The Baha'is in England, as regards divorce will consequently have to follow British law, and in conjunction with this, as far as possible, uphold the Baha'i law of divorce as well. The way the details of this are to be worked out is left entirely to the discretion of your National Assembly....

==================================

21 April 1955 [1]

[1 On report that all Assemblies maintained; Nicosia had eight with ninth member en route to arrive 7 May.]

DELIGHTED LOVING APPRECIATION. REGRET FORMATION NICOSIA ASSEMBLY IMPOSSIBLE.

SHOGHI

==================================

24 April 1955

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has been greatly enthused the last few days with the reports that have been received of new Assemblies established in virgin areas. Of great importance and significance is the word that Spiritual Assemblies have been established in Mogadiscio, in Italian Somaliland and Djibouti in French <p347> Somaliland. This leaves the only Somaliland without an Assembly as British Somaliland. The beloved Guardian would appreciate your Assembly giving consideration to this matter, to see if there is any way that a pioneer could go from England to British Somaliland, to firmly establish the Faith there. He understands fully the problems involved.

A copy of this letter is being sent to Mr. Banani, Hand of the Cause, so that he might give consideration to the possibility of having some native Baha'is from Uganda move to British Somaliland, and either teach or settle there.

The beloved Guardian assures your Assembly of his prayers on your behalf. He sends you his loving greetings....

==================================

25 April 1955 (Convention)

DEEPLY APPRECIATE CONVENTION MESSAGE. APPEAL DELEGATES URGE ALL COMMUNITIES BRITISH ISLES CONCENTRATE ATTENTION ENERGIES INTENSIFICATION TEACHING ACTIVITIES MULTIPLICATION CENTRES STRENGTHENING ALLOTTED NEWLY-OPENED TERRITORIES INCORPORATION ASSEMBLIES ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENT PRAYING FERVENTLY ATTAINMENT OBJECTIVES COURSE SECOND LAST YEAR SECOND PHASE TEN YEAR PLAN.

SHOGHI

==================================

28 April 1955

REJOICE SPLENDID INITIATIVE ASSEMBLED REPRESENTATIVES VALIANT BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY ARDENTLY PRAYING FULFILMENT FONDEST HOPES.

SHOGHI

==================================

22 May 1955

CONSIDER CARDIFF MAINTAINED.

SHOGHI <p348>

==================================

2 June 1955

APPROVE PUBLICISING WORLD PROTEST DO NOT ATTACK GOVERNMENT APPROVE APPEAL AFRICAN COMMUNITIES.

SHOGHI

==================================

10 July 1955

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to inform you that he feels the time has come for the British N.S.A. to follow the procedure laid down by him as a general rule, namely that Spiritual Assemblies should adhere to the civil limits of their respective towns. All other National Assemblies are following this procedure and he feels yours should too.

The events in Persia have, naturally, distressed him greatly, particularly anxiety for the safety of the Holy House in Shiraz. However, the publicity will do the Faith a great deal of good....

==================================

26 July 1955

Dear John:

Just a line to inform you, and naturally through you the National Assembly, that the Beloved Guardian has instructed Varga to send you five hundred pounds for your National Fund, to be expended as the Assembly thinks best.

Regarding ... legacy he wishes your Assembly to hold this sum in trust for him until he gives directions for its use.

The beloved Guardian is most anxious that the representations to be made to UNO regarding the bitter and cruel persecutions in Persia at present should meet with success. I do hope all goes well....

==================================

5 August 1955

Dear Baha'i Brother,

Your letters of July 7, 13 and 15, August 19, 20 (three) and 31, September 17 (two) and 27, October 13, 16 (two) and 26, November 4, 15, 16 and 20, and December 8 (four) and 18, <p349> 1954, and January 6 (two), 10 and 25, February 7, 11, 14, 21 and 28, March 11 (two), 16 and 23, April 4, 7, 15, 19, 22 and 27, May 9, 12 and 27, June 8 and 9, July 5 (four), 11 and 14, 1955, with enclosures, also the material sent separately, have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The matters taken up by cable I will not go into again here in detail.

It has been a great source of satisfaction to him to receive here last winter two members of the National Body, Mr. and Mrs. John Ferraby, as well as more than one believer from England. The contact with the British Baha'is always pleases him greatly. As you know, he admires many of the staunch British qualities very much, and is proud of the accomplishments of this community during recent years.

He has been pleased over the progress made in the teaching field abroad and at home; in the publication of Baha'i literature in African languages; and, above all, by the purchase of the National Headquarters in London, and the formal dedication of the building, recently held. He feels sure that, now that the National Assembly has a befitting seat for its national affairs -- a building which at the same time will solve the problem of the London Spiritual Assembly, through giving them a meeting-place -- the work in both London and throughout the country will receive a new impetus. With every important step forward there is a new release of spiritual energy; and the founding of the National Haziratu'l-Quds is certainly a most important milestone in the progress of the Cause in the British Isles.

As regards various questions raised in your correspondence with him, he sees no reason why the Publishing Trust should have a separate legal status, as long as it is not essential for it to do so.

He approves of returning to Ronga as one of the languages into which Baha'i literature should be translated, according to the provisions of the Ten Year Plan, and giving up Shangaan.

He would like very much to receive photostats of the actual Certificates of Incorporation issued to the London and Manchester and Liverpool Assemblies, to be placed in the Mansion of Baha'u'llah.

He does not think your Assembly need take any action about <p350> removing archives or other material from London. If, at a future date, the world situation reaches the point where it is obvious that things in London are in great danger, then

your Assembly should consider the matter. Fortunately, that is not the case at present.

Any monies received from the sale of the property bequeathed by Mrs. B ... can be used by your Assembly as it sees fit.

As he already pointed out to the Secretary, when he was in Haifa, a National Endowment is at the present time to be considered more in the nature of a token endowment. It need not be in the capital, and can represent a very small investment; indeed as little as one thousand dollars, if a suitable piece of property for that price should be found, would be acceptable.

He was very sorry to hear of the tragic death of Mrs. Langdon-Davies. She was a capable, staunch and devoted member of the community and of the National Assembly as well; and her services will be missed by her co-workers, and particularly the friends in Oxford. He prays for the progress of her soul in the Abha kingdom, and that she may be rewarded for her labours in this world, performed with so much zeal and steadfastness.

He hopes that Mr. John Mitchell's condition has improved. He was very sorry indeed to hear that he had been forced to leave Malta. Please assure him of the Guardian's loving and fervent prayers on his behalf.

As regards the question of Baha'is belonging to churches, synagogues, Freemasonry, etc., the friends must realise that now that the Faith is over a hundred years old, and its own institutions arising, so to speak, rapidly above-ground, the distinctions are becoming ever sharper, and the necessity for them to support whole-heartedly their own institutions and cut themselves off entirely from those of the past, is now clearer than ever before. The eyes of the people of the world are beginning to be focussed on us; and, as humanity's plight goes from bad to worse, we will be watched ever more intently by non-Baha'is, to see whether we do uphold our own institutions whole-heartedly; whether we are the people of the new creation or not; whether we live up to our beliefs, principles and laws in deed as well as word. We cannot be too careful. We cannot be too exemplary.

There is another aspect to this question which the friends should seriously ponder, and that is that, whereas organisations <p351> such as Freemasonry may have been in the past entirely free from any political taint, in the state of flux the world is in at present, and the extraordinary way in which things become corrupted and tainted by political thought and influences, there is no guarantee that such an association might not gradually or suddenly become a political instrument. The less Baha'is have to do, therefore, with such things, the better.

He wishes you to thank ... on his behalf for the spirit of devotion to the Faith which he has shown in connection with this matter. He feels sure that he will see the necessity to sever himself from his previous association with Freemasonry. The older Baha'is, through their example in such matters, form rallying points around which the younger Baha'is, not so steady yet on their spiritual legs, so to speak, can cluster.

If you send him five copies of everything published in the British Isles, it will be sufficient for the libraries here at the World Centre....

The Africa Committee should carefully consider such problems as that of the Negro pioneers being too long apart from their wives; and, if no other solution is feasible, the pioneer will have to return to his family. In the case of some of the very distinguished servants of the Faith who have arisen and gone forth from Uganda to pioneer, this would indeed be a loss to the work. If their wives could go and join them, it would naturally be preferable. This is a matter for the committee in consultation with your Assembly and the Hand of the Cause, Musa Banani, to decide.

Undoubtedly the most important task facing the British community at the present time, is to increase its membership. It has performed miracles during the past ten years, through shifting around devoted volunteers from one centre to another, in order to maintain or to create Spiritual Assemblies; but, efficacious as this has been in the past, it is certainly not a permanent solution to the problem. The only solution is to bring in more Baha'is. This requires patient, prayerful, ceaseless efforts on the part of, not only the Baha'i teachers and pioneers, but every single member of the community. The British people are traditionally slow to move. Fortunately, once they do move, it's almost impossible to stop them; but to overcome the inertia requires great effort. In bringing new people into the Faith, the <p352> friends always come up against this problem. He urges all the Baha'is, however, not to become discouraged, but to persevere and redouble their efforts, knowing that they can and must succeed in the end. He, on his part, will reinforce their efforts with his prayers in the Holy Shrines....

As regards your question about depleted Assemblies, as there is nothing in the constitution of the National Spiritual Assembly covering these matters, every National Body is free to make its own decision as to what the status of an Assembly is from one annual election to the next, if they fall below nine for any reason.

As regards certain matters raised in your recent letters:

Your Assembly is free to choose the place for the endowment for the East and Central N.S.A. if you feel Uganda inadvisable.

The delegates reaching the Conventions in Africa is a matter for each N.S.A., from whose area of jurisdiction they are elected, to arrange and provide financial help if needed.

A prisoner, showing sincere faith in the Cause, may be accepted as a Baha'i on the same basis of investigating his qualifications as to belief as any other individual outside prison. Each case should be carefully considered on its own merits. Naturally, a person in confinement cannot be active in any community and administrative work. When he gets out, he becomes part of the community in which he resides. No new ruling is required in this matter. All other details in relation to prisoners can be decided by the N.S.A. concerned as they arise.

The Guardian feels that, though it is naturally preferable, it is not essential for consolidation territories to have a group by Ridvan, 1956....

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The contribution made, since the inception of the world-wide Baha'i Crusade, severally as well as collectively, by the assiduously striving, clear-visioned, inflexibly resolved, and unswervingly faithful members of the British Baha'i community to the progress and development of the Ten Year Plan, inaugurated on the morrow of the centenary celebration of the birth of Baha'u'llah's Mission, has been such as to excite the heartfelt admiration of their fellow-workers in every continent of the globe. The prestige of this valiant community has soared rapidly, its annals have been notably enriched, the foundations on which its fortunes now rest have been considerably reinforced, <p353> whilst the variety and solidity of its administrative achievements have won the unstinted praise of its sister communities in both the East and the West. My own feelings of unqualified admiration for the tenacity of the faith of its members, for their unrelaxing vigilance, their unfailing sense of responsibility and their willingness to sacrifice in order to meet any challenges that confront them, have deepened with every advance they have made, and every victory they have won along the path leading them towards the fulfilment of their destiny.

The historic triumph achieved as a result of the successful prosecution of the Six Year Plan, spontaneously embarked upon by this numerically small yet richly endowed, spiritually resourceful community, on the morrow of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, followed immediately by the initiation of a Two Year Plan which marked the inauguration of this community's Mission beyond the confines of its homeland, culminated in the formal association of its members with their brethren in every continent of the globe for the launching and prosecution of a decade-long world-embracing crusade, destined to carry that same community through yet another stage, of the utmost significance, in the fulfilment of its world-wide and glorious mission among the widely scattered territories of the British Crown in no less than three continents of the globe.

The extension and consolidation, in the course of more than a decade, of the administrative base established so painstakingly for the prosecution of this community's far-flung mission, through the formation and multiplication of isolated centres, groups and local assemblies throughout the length and breadth of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire; the opening of the virgin islands lying in the neighbourhood of these territories and forming a part of the British Isles, constituting a most welcome and much needed reinforcement of the Administrative Structure raised so valiantly and patiently by its members in their island home; the magnificent success surpassing, in its quality and scope, the fondest expectations of the elected representatives of this community, which attended the spiritual conquest of a number of African territories, situated along the Western and Eastern shores of that continent and its very heart; the settlement of pioneers in two Mediterranean islands; the selection and purchase of a befitting national administrative headquarters situated close to the heart of the capital city of the British Empire; the acquisition of a plot in the outskirts of the capital city of Uganda, situated in the heart of the African continent, to serve as the site for a future Baha'i House of <p354> Worship; the rapid advancement in the translation and publication of Baha'i literature in the thirty-one African languages, allotted, under the Ten Year Plan to the elected national representatives of this same community; the steady progress made more recently in the incorporation of firmly established local assemblies; the formation of the Israel Branch of the British National Assembly at the world centre of the Faith in Israel -- these stand out as the most prominent and significant evidences of the uninterrupted development of the Faith of Baha'u'llah under the wise leadership, and through the assiduous and incessant exertions, of the elected national representatives of this virile community.

The year that has recently opened, constituting the second and last year of the second phase of a Ten-Year global crusade, must witness a development and consolidation of the activities already initiated, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Baha'i endeavour, as swift and as notable as the progress already achieved in recent years. Time is indeed short. The responsibilities shouldered by the members of this community are manifold, pressing, sacred and inescapable. The eyes of the entire Baha'i world are upon them, eager and expectant to witness feats as superb as those that have marked the birth and establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in the British Isles, and exploits as meritorious and significant as those that have accompanied the inception and progress of the mission entrusted to His British followers, on the morrow of the emergence of that Administrative Order in their homeland.

The process aiming at the rapid increase in the number of the avowed and active supporters of the Faith must continue unabated in the months immediately ahead. A simultaneous multiplication in the number of isolated centres, groups and local assemblies must be ensured in order to reinforce the agencies on which the rising administrative structure of the Faith must ultimately rest. The process of incorporation must likewise be strenuously stimulated for the purpose of strengthening legally, and enhancing the prestige of, these rising institutions. The newly opened territories forming part of the British Isles, situated in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic Ocean, along the western and eastern coasts of Africa, and in its very heart, must be continually reinforced, and the prizes won in those distant fields safeguarded, however great the sacrifice involved. The establishment of national Baha'i endowments in the British Isles is yet another task which, ere the termination of the current year, must be accomplished, as a prelude <p355> to the establishment of a similar endowment in the continent of Africa following the emergence of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa.

Above all, the most careful consideration should be given to the measures required to ensure the emergence of the afore-mentioned National Assembly in the heart of the African continent, marking the culmination of the efforts so diligently exerted, and the fruition of the enterprises so painstakingly inaugurated, since the formation of the Two Year Plan by the British Baha'i community.

The emergence of this institution, signalising the erection of yet another pillar of the Universal House of Justice in the African continent, and constituting the first fruit, yielded on foreign soil, of the Mission entrusted to the British followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, and which may be hailed as a worthy counterpart of the central Administrative Institution established, on the morrow of Abdu'l-Baha's Passing, in the heart of the British Isles, will be acclaimed by posterity as a milestone of far-reaching significance in British Baha'i history. It will proclaim to the entire Baha'i world the maturity of the swiftly rising, highly promising, steadily consolidating British Baha'i community. Every British follower of the Faith, whether in his home islands or overseas, must feel proud and deeply grateful for the impending consummation of so superb and momentous a victory. Every energy must be lent to ensure a befitting celebration of such an enduring and magnificent achievement.

The efforts of the members of this community must indeed be redoubled, nay trebled, as they view with afflicted hearts the tragic trend of events transpiring with such dramatic and sudden swiftness in Baha'u'llah's native land. The tribulations suffered, over so wide a field, by so many of their co-religionists, under circumstances so appalling and harrowing in their nature, at the hands of redoubtable, pitiless, barbarous adversaries, should spur them on to still greater endeavours in a land blessed with freedom of religion and tolerance, and occupying so conspicuous a position among its sister nations.

Theirs is an opportunity which they must instantly grasp. Theirs is a responsibility which they cannot escape. Theirs is the duty to offset, by the quality of their achievements, the dire losses which are now being sustained in the cradle of the Faith. That they may in every field and at all times discharge their heavy responsibilities is my constant prayer and dearest hope.

Shoghi <p356>

==================================

22 August 1955

Dear John,

I am writing you this at the instruction of the beloved Guardian.

As you will have no doubt seen by his recent cable, he has come to the historic decision to build a Temple in Africa, in Kampala. He has been in communication with Mr. Banani about this, and from reports received it appears there will be no objections. The land must be surveyed (this is being done), and design of the building submitted so as to meet health and building requirements.

The Guardian wishes your Assembly to please get busy at once and have a design, or designs, made for the building; it is not necessary to try in any way to copy the Wilmette Temple: the things that are essential are the following:

1. A nine-sided building.

2. A dome, in proportion to the building.

3. A seating capacity between 300 and 500; you could count floor space at 300 or 400 and provide a balcony around the auditorium for expansion in seating capacity.

4. No "chapels" or small rooms should be added; this was a misapprehension held in the old days.

As to materials your Assembly and architect can go into that, but brick or cement would be all right. Stone would seem to be out of the question.

It should not be too expensive or pretentious, but dignified and worthy.

There is no reason why the architect should be a Baha'i -- in fact your use of someone there would get it done faster, probably. The imperative thing is to send preliminary drawings to the Guardian within two months, if possible.

The terrible situation in Persia makes him most anxious to have this project go forward speedily. He feels funds will not be too much of a problem if great costs are not involved.

He sends you and all N.S.A. members his loving greetings.... <p357> 30 August 1955

The beloved Guardian has received the clippings from English newspapers and read them with keen interest; he attached much importance to such publicity in journals of such high standing....

Regarding your questions --

It is permissible to use selections from the "Promulgation of Universal Peace" in compilations.

Better omit the prayer of the Bab you mentioned.

The Guardian does not feel the present status of London, regarding its assembly, should be changed. Other cities should have their assemblies based, as usual, and already adopted in other countries, on the civil limits of the city in question....

==================================

6 September 1955

KINDLY EXPEDITE PREPARATION PLANS KAMPALA TEMPLE IMPORTANT.

SHOGHI

==================================

6 September 1955 (Summer School)

DELIGHTED GREAT SUCCESS. DEEPLY APPRECIATE RESOLVE LOVING PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

==================================

20 September 1955

Dear John:

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write and inform your Assembly of the following:

The National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa should be elected by 76 delegates, which is four times nineteen. This number should be apportioned amongst the spiritual assemblies within the countries the future N.S.A. will represent. <p358> He leaves an equitable distribution of the number of delegates to the Assemblies, to your Assembly to decide.

The British N.S.A. certainly has its work cut out for it in the near future, what with this historic convention in the offing and a Temple to be built!...

==================================

4 October 1955

LEAVE MATTERS REGARDING ASSEMBLIES LETTER SEPTEMBER 23 DISCRETION YOUR ASSEMBLY.

SHOGHI

==================================

28 October 1955

CABLE WHETHER TRANSLATION ERSE GAELIC STARTED.

SHOGHI

==================================

4 November 1955

DISAPPROVE CHANGE TEMPLE SITE.

SHOGHI

==================================

11 November 1955

APPROVE APPROACH JANNER EMPHASISE OCCUPATION TIHRAN HAZIRA BY MILITARY.

SHOGHI

==================================

18 November 1955

The drawings for the Temple in Kampala have reached the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf regarding their suitability.

Frankly, he was very discouraged by these drawings, as he feels that such an ultra-modern style is wholly unsuitable for a <p359> Baha'i Temple.... It seems to him that the modern influence is now so strong and widespread that it is out of the question to get a discreet and dignified building designed for our purposes.

...He is sorry to disappoint your Assembly, and regrets the time, trouble and expense which has been involved in finding a design.

As he cabled your Assembly he also feels that to seek a new Temple site is unwise; from descriptions received at the time of its purchase it seems satisfactory, and there is enough land around it for possible expansion in the future....

He feels therefore that until your hear from him you (had) better take no further steps as regards a design for Kampala.

==================================

8 December 1955 [1]

[1 Replied "exactly 100".]

CABLE NUMBER LOCALITIES BRITISH ISLES WHERE BAHA'IS RESIDE AIRMAIL LIST.

SHOGHI

==================================

13 December 1955

Dear John:

This is just a note on behalf of the beloved Guardian to answer the point raised in one of your recent letters.

You say that in Irish, the word "Bab" is not appropriate to be used; and as the word "Gate" is not as nice in translation in any language, he suggests that in place of the word "Bab", you use "Herald"....

P.S. The Guardian approves your sending "Advice to Baha'is in British Colonies" to other N.S.A.'s, but feels it is not necessary to send a copy to the Colonial Office itself. He feels teaching work in Uganda should now be concentrated on consolidation, primarily.

The Guardian's decision regard Mr. ... design is final; it is too extreme for any modification to render it possible as a temple.... <p360>

==================================

14 December 1955

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your loving letter of December 1st has been received.

The Guardian attaches the utmost importance to the development of the Faith in the Pacific Islands. Wherever an opportunity opens for expansion of the work in one of the Islands, he feels that opportunity should be seized and exploited to the fullest extent. Thus, if it is possible for anyone to proceed to the Solomon Islands to assist the Blums there, it would be very, very helpful.

As the Guardian understands the situation, the Blums have not left the Solomon Islands, but are expanding their business and service. Thus the work which Mr. Blum previously engaged in, of driving a taxi, is now open to someone else; and therefore the pioneer to go to the Solomons would find a position waiting for him.

The Guardian understands that the Blums are very well thought of and respected throughout the Solomon Islands.

I am sending a copy of this correspondence to the Persian N.S.A., and encouraging them to send pioneers to the Solomon Islands. You may wish to also correspond with them....

==================================

15 December 1955

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection with the translation of Baha'i literature into languages as called for by the Ten Year Crusade.

31 languages have been assigned to your Assembly; and of these, 24 translations have been made or are under way. The Guardian feels this is a very fine record, and one of which you may be proud.

At the same time he feels special effort should be made to complete the translations. He has no record of translations of 7 languages. Will you please send me a letter for him, indicating what the status of each of these languages is.... <p361>

==================================

16 December 1955

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection with the purchase of an endowment for East Africa.

As you know, a contribution has been made by the Hand of the Cause, Mrs. Amelia E. Collins, of One Thousand Dollars for the purchase of the endowment for Kampala. The Guardian feels a small piece of property which can be bought for this One Thousand Dollars should be procured at once, so that this goal of the Ten Year Crusade can be concluded. He feels that you should at once buy a small plot of land in Uganda, at a cost of approximately One Thousand Dollars. The American N.S.A. will remit the funds as you direct.

Will you please let me know just what can be done in connection with this project?

The Guardian sends the members of the National Assembly his loving greetings, and assures them of his prayers in their behalf....

==================================

1 January 1956 [1]

[1 Refers to Dr. John Mitchell.]

GRIEVED NEWS ASSURE JOHN DEAREST LOVE FERVENT PRAYERS.

SHOGHI

==================================

4 January 1956

DISREGARD PERSIAN STATEMENT REGARDING DIVORCE. ASSEMBLY'S UNDERSTANDING REGARDING STRIKES CORRECT.

SHOGHI

==================================

18 January 1956

DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE CONFERENCE WELCOME NEW DETERMINATION BEFITTINGLY RESPOND FRESH CHALLENGE PRAYING MIGHTY VICTORIES.

SHOGHI <p362>

==================================

26 March 1956

APPEAL HIGHMINDED VIGILANT STAUNCH UPHOLDERS FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH SCATTERED HUNDRED CENTRES BRITISH ISLES ARISE THIS CRUCIAL HOUR EXERT SUPREME EFFORT CONCLUDING MONTH SECOND PHASE WORLD CRUSADE MEET URGENT NEEDS HOMEFRONT VALIANTLY DEFEND HARD WON PRIZES ENSURE PRESERVATION PIVOTAL CENTRE. CONFIDENT HIS DEARLY BELOVED HIGHLY ADMIRED BRITISH FOLLOWERS WILL REFUSE ALLOW ANY SETBACK CONSOLIDATION WORK THEIR HOMELAND TARNISH SPLENDID RECORD PIONEER SERVICES ACHIEVED TERRITORIES AFRICAN CONTINENT PRAYING WHOLE HEARTED UNIVERSAL IMMEDIATE RESPONSE PLEDGING FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS MERITORIOUS PURPOSE.

SHOGHI

==================================

5 April 1956

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Attached is a copy of a dispatch issued by Reuters in December, giving the conclusions of the persecutions in Persia.

The Guardian considers this a very fine statement, and urges you to have it given as widespread publicity as possible.

Dorothy Wigington will have a copy, and she should be given the opportunity to read this at the British National Convention.

The Guardian would appreciate your sending copies of any publicity received on this important statement....

==================================

6 April 1956

Dear John:

Enclosed please find the Guardian's long message to all the Conventions, to be shared with the friends and delegates at the National Convention soon to be held.

He hopes that it will be stimulating to the pioneer work at home and abroad.... <p363>

==================================

10 April 1956

BALYUZI'S PRESENCE ESSENTIAL [1] UTMOST EFFORT NECESSARY IF ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE SUBSTITUTE JOHN.

[1 As convening Chairman, Kampala Convention.]

SHOGHI

==================================

27 April 1956 [1]

[1 Diya'u'llah Asgharzadih.]

GRIEVED PASSING CONSECRATED PIONEER FAITH LONG RECORD SERVICES HIGHLY MERITORIOUS UNFORGETTABLE PRAYING PROGRESS SOUL ABHA KINGDOM.

SHOGHI

==================================

29 April 1956

ASSURE FERVENT PRAYERS HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS GREAT VICTORIES AFRICA URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS HOME FRONT DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

==================================

2 May 1956

WELCOME RESOLVE MEET CHALLENGES LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS OFFERED SUCCESS DEARLY LOVED VALIANT COMMUNITY.

SHOGHI

==================================

10 May 1956

SUGGESTED DISPENSATION LETTER MAY FOURTH NOT POSSIBLE.[1]

[1 For allocation of delegates to Assemblies lapsing after civic limits rule imposed.]

SHOGHI <p364>

==================================

26 June 1956

REGIONAL ASSEMBLY RESPONSIBLE FOR TEMPLE.

SHOGHI

==================================

11 July 1956

Dear John,

As a number of questions raised in your communications addressed to the beloved Guardian have been answered by cable or through the Assistant Secretary, I will not go into these matters here, but merely acknowledge on his behalf receipt of the letters from your National Body, together with their enclosures and material sent under separate cover which were dated as follows: July 22, August 8, 9, 11 (two), 12 (two), and 18, September 7, 9, 10, 23 (three), 26 and 28, October 7 (two), 13 (two), 25, 26, 28 (two), and 29, November 3, 4, 9, 21 (two), 24 and 30, December 1, 2, 9 (three), 19 and 29 (two), 1955, and January 6, 10, 17, 23, 27, and 30 (two), February 10, 16, and 27, March 8, 9, 19, and 29, April 2, 10, 13, 16, 17, and 26, May 4, 14, 16, 31, and June 13, 19, 22, and 29, 1956.

He appreciated receiving copies of the Diary which your Assembly forwarded to him, and which is invariably gotten out efficiently and in a pleasing manner. He thinks the five copies you sent will be sufficient.

The generous spirit in which the British Baha'is, hard-pressed as they are to meet the requirements of the work in Great Britain, responded to the needs of their persecuted brethren in Persia, deeply touched him. These evidences of Baha'i sacrifice and solidarity cannot but nourish the very roots of the Faith and strengthen its institutions.

As he advised you by cable, he felt it unwise to seek to clarify the relationship of the Baha'is to the advertised holding of Ahmad Sohrab's conference in Jerusalem. Having a very shrewd eye to his own advantage, it has become obvious that one of the means by which he hopes to promote interest in his conference is to arouse active opposition from the Baha'is and create a source of discussion in the press. In view of this, the Guardian has been very careful to have the friends avoid rising to this bait. They should, in their personal contacts with people, and in a quiet <p365> manner, point out when occasion arises that the Caravan activities have nothing whatsoever to do with the Baha'i Faith and are indeed unfriendly to it. Whatever he does cannot but end in failure, because he has cut himself off entirely from the living tree of the Faith and is wholly insincere in his motives.

In spite of the fact that Mr. ... has been expelled from Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the remarkable progress of the Faith there has been a source of great satisfaction. It shows that a spiritual receptivity, a purity of heart and uprightness of character exists potentially amongst many of the peoples of the Pacific Isles to an extent equal to that of the tribesmen of Africa. It is indeed an encouraging and awe-inspiring sight to witness the spread of our beloved Faith amongst those whom civilised nations misguidedly term "savages", "primitive peoples" and "uncivilised nations". He hopes that your Assembly will do all in its power to ensure that Mrs. ... remains in the Islands. Although for some period at least this may entail separation from her husband, he believes that these two dedicated and exemplary pioneers will be willing to accept this sacrifice in view of the extraordinary work they have accomplished and are accomplishing. The community there must not be abandoned, particularly by its "mother", so to speak. It must be well and profoundly grounded in the Faith before such a risky step can be taken. He hopes that you will deal most wisely and co-operatively with the Colonial Office officials in this matter and any others that may arise. Their esteem, their good-will, and their co-operation are practically indispensable for the future work in many islands throughout the Pacific area, and nothing but the frustration of our objectives can be gained through alienating them in any way. This should be impressed upon the pioneers and the local Baha'is as well.

The beloved Guardian regrets very much the entire situation in which the dear Hand of the Cause, Mr. Townshend, finds himself. He is much loved, and his services have been of a unique nature in providing the Faith with so many excellent books, the latest of which the Guardian hopes will soon be ready for publication....

The persecution of the Faith last year in Persia, although no doubt a great trial to the Persian believers, can be regarded in no other light than as a triumph. The designs of the traditional enemies of the Faith, the mullahs, have been entirely frustrated. <p366> The Government has been forced to take action for the first time in its history to officially protect the Baha'is and their institutions and the Cause of God has received a publicity all over the world -- entirely free of charge -- which an expenditure of many thousands of pounds could not have secured for it.

In spite of the great anxiety and pain which the crisis of last summer caused the Guardian, he could not help being highly gratified that, for practically the first time, publicity of a weighty nature was given to the Faith in such papers as the "Spectator", the "Observer", "The Times" and the "Manchester Guardian", and that the voices of two such distinguished scholars as Professor Gilbert Murray and Professor Arnold Toynbee were raised in defence of the believers of Baha'u'llah and His Faith. This has opened the door on a new phase of the unfoldment of the Faith in the British Isles. However slow the process may seem, the first inklings of its emergence as a public force can now be discerned....

The loss of some of the Spiritual Assemblies in England this year need not be viewed as an unduly horrible experience. It was inevitable that the British Baha'i community would have to get itself, once and for all, grounded on the same basis as all other Baha'i communities, namely, that of having Spiritual Assemblies function within defined civil limits. Although this seems to have dealt a set-back to the work, it is purely temporary. The localities have perforce been increased, which is a step in the right direction, and which cannot but widen the foundation of the Administrative Order. In those islands more members of the community will be given the opportunity to serve on local Assemblies and their committees; and above all, the new crisis which developed because of this change-over once more demonstrated the truly extraordinary and exemplary steadfastness of the British Baha'is which had led them, over and over again, at great cost to themselves, to throw themselves into the breach. Although this is a well-known national characteristic, it provides nevertheless a great example to their fellow-Baha'is all over the world. The Guardian knows of no community, east or west, which so valiantly and so consistently, one might almost say ferociously, has arisen to defend its Home Front. He has the greatest admiration for the spirit which animates them and for their achievements. <p367>

He was sorry to refuse the request of the National Assembly to, under certain circumstances, permit the localities that would achieve Assembly status by next Ridvan, to have a delegate at the National Convention. He feels that, although this would no doubt have provided a great stimulus to the friends, it was an unjustifiable breach of the general administrative procedure. If there are too many exceptions, the rule has a tendency to lose its clearly defined character, not to mention encouraging other communities to want to be exceptions too, under various circumstances!

The Guardian hopes that during the coming year there will be more Assemblies incorporated, as he attaches great importance to this process.

He was delighted that the Irish translation had been completed, and also very happy to hear that the National Endowment for the British National Spiritual Assembly had been purchased. All these signs of life and vitality are greatly to be admired, and prove the intense virility and youthfulness of the British Baha'i community.

He was sorry to have to disappoint Mr. ... who was so enthusiastic about his own design for the Temple. However, there was no possible question of accepting something as extreme as this. The Guardian feels very strongly that, regardless of what the opinion of the latest school of architecture may be on the subject, the styles represented at present all over the world in architecture are not only very ugly, but completely lack the dignity and grace which must be at least partially present in a Baha'i House of Worship. One must always bear in mind that the vast majority of human beings are neither very modern nor very extreme in their tastes, and that what the advanced school may think is marvellous is often very distasteful indeed to just plain, simple people.

The Hand of the Cause, Mr. Remey, has now completed a design for the Kampala Temple which meets with the Guardian's approval. It will shortly be ready to be forwarded to the Central and East Africa National Assembly.

It was a great pleasure for Shoghi Effendi to have a number of pilgrims from the British Isles as his guests this winter. They brought with them the spirit of perseverance and devotion so clearly evinced by the British believers; and he feels sure that, <p368> upon their return, they carried back much of inspiration and encouragement to the friends at home.

Not the least of the landmarks reached on the international Baha'i scene this year has been the formation of the three new National Bodies in Africa. Your Assembly and the community you represent have every reason to look with pride and affection upon the development of the Cause in the African continent, and upon the many spiritual children and grandchildren, and perhaps great-grandchildren you have over there. The record has been truly astonishing, and such as to gladden the heart of Abdu'l-Baha Who so ardently longed, Himself, to go forth "on foot" and carry the Message to yet another of the far corners of the world.

No doubt although the Central and East Africa Assembly is a strong one, it will still welcome and need at least a large measure of moral support from its parent; and he feels sure that you will always be ready and willing to help in any way you can with advice and suggestions, and perhaps teachers and pioneers and other support as opportunity affords. (As he informed you when you were here, he does not feel the British National Spiritual Assembly can support financially its Central and East Africa one. However, a token contribution would be a kind and appropriate gesture.) In any case, you should keep in close touch with the work there, a work dear, not only to the Guardian's heart, but to all of yours as well.

As regards certain questions raised in your letters: There is no objection for the time being in going on including in Prayer Books the Prayer of the Bab: "In the Name of God, the Victor of the Most Victorious", etc.

As regards the question raised in Africa about divorce connected with adultery, these are matters for the future. No action of any new kind should be taken at present.

As regards strikes, the Guardian feels that your own understanding of the matter as expressed in your letter is quite correct, and he does not see the necessity of adding anything to it. We should avoid becoming rigid and laying down any more rules and regulations of conduct.

Regarding taking oaths, there is nothing in the Teachings on this subject. As a Baha'i is enjoined by Baha'u'llah to be truthful, he would express his truthfulness, no matter what the formality of the law in any local place required of him. There can be no <p369> objection to Baha'is conforming to the requirements of the law court whatever they may be in such matters, as in no case would they constitute in any way a denial of their own beliefs as Baha'is.

Concerning the short obligatory Prayer: the Guardian does not wish to define these things at present; the time will come for it in future. The friends need not be too strict about it at present. The Greatest Name is Allah-u-Abha.

He remembers you and all the N.S.A. members in his prayers most lovingly, and supplicates for your success and that strength may be given you to discharge your many important duties.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The emergence of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa, under such auspicious circumstances, and after the lapse of such a short period of time since the inception of the Ten Year Plan, marks a milestone of far-reaching significance in the unfoldment of the great historic Mission entrusted to the British Baha'i community in the vast and far-flung territories beyond the confines of its motherland. It is, moreover, a striking evidence of the exemplary and whole-hearted devotion of its members to that Mission, and of the vigour, the vigilance, the resourcefulness, the tenacity and the courage with which they have conducted this vast and magnificent enterprise launched in the heart of that continent, in the face of various obstacles and with such limited resources at their disposal. The entire community, now standing on the threshold of still greater and nobler enterprises in other parts of the world, and particularly its national elected representatives, who have so splendidly discharged their responsibilities overseas, and assumed with characteristic resolution, fearlessness and consecration the direction of the manifold activities of so dynamic an enterprise, must be heartily congratulated on so conspicuous a victory, won in such a distant field, within so brief an interval, at the cost of so much sacrifice, by so limited a number of pioneers, labouring amidst a people so divergent in language, customs and manners.

Its sister communities in both the East and the West, and particularly its daughter communities, now blossoming into new life, and marching forth, unitedly and resolutely, along the path traced for them in the Ten Year Plan, cannot but feel proud of the tremendous work first initiated in the heart of Africa by British Baha'i pioneers, and of the organising ability, the sound judgement, the unquestioning <p370> fidelity, and the dogged determination that have characterised every stage in the rise, the development and fruition of the first collective enterprise embarked upon beyond the confines of the British Isles by the British adherents of the Faith of Baha'u'llah.

Though much of the responsibility hitherto discharged by your Assembly, in both the heart of the continent and the territories situated on its Eastern and Western shores, will now devolve on the newly established Regional Spiritual Assemblies, the particular Mission you have been called upon, through the dispensation of Providence to fulfil, is by no means concluded. Every assistance within your power, particularly in matters requiring the aid, support and intervention of the authorities at the Colonial Office, and in connection with the translation of Baha'i literature into African languages, their publication and dissemination, as well as with any publicity that can be given in the British press to the marvellous achievements of the numerous Baha'i communities recently raised up in Africa, and now energetically discharging their manifold and sacred duties all over that continent -- such assistance should be constantly and unstintingly extended to these newly fledged communities which the power of the Most Great Name has called into being at so crucial a period in human history, and at so auspicious a stage in the mysterious unfoldment of God's Plan for all mankind.

While this beneficent, slowly maturing, irresistibly advancing enterprise develops and gains momentum, through the concerted and tireless efforts of its original organisers in the British Isles and those in charge of its immediate destinies in Africa itself, a corresponding endeavour, no less consecrated, persistent and enthusiastic, should be exerted in the Islands of the Mediterranean and the Far East, where similar exploits must needs be achieved by those who have performed such unforgettable feats among the Negroes of the African continent.

Parallel with this highly vital and urgently needed exertion in foreign fields, a further intensification of effort is required on the homefront, and particularly throughout the newly opened islands bordering the homeland itself, now standing in such dire need of a flow of pioneers and a concentration of material resources unexampled in British Baha'i history. There is no reason to doubt that the phenomenal progress achieved within the span of a few years, amidst an alien people, and in such distant and backward territories, will be duplicated, nay surpassed, among people of the same race, speaking the same language, of the same background, and living in such close proximity <p371> to the Administrative Centre in the British Isles, provided that a determination no less unyielding, and a dedication no less whole-hearted and complete, will be displayed by those who have already won such memorable victories in such far-off and inhospitable regions of the globe. He Who in recent years infallibly guided from His realms above the steps of the little band of pioneers and administrators under such difficult and challenging circumstances, Who galvanised their souls, blessed their handiwork, raised their status, and noised abroad their fame, can well enable them, if they but arise to the occasion now presenting itself, to conquer with no less rapidity and even greater effectiveness, the citadels of men's hearts, to tear down the barriers which now confront them, and ignite a fire in the hearts of their own countrymen as consuming as the one that has set ablaze, in so conspicuous a fashion, the souls of the African races over the length and breadth of an entire continent.

The rapid increase in the number of the avowed supporters of the Faith, the multiplication of groups, isolated centres and assemblies within the limits of the homeland and its neighbouring islands, must be accompanied by a marked acceleration in the process of internal consolidation, such as the incorporation of firmly established local Assemblies, expansion in the publication and dissemination of Baha'i literature, and the adoption of carefully considered measures aimed at giving a still wider publicity, among circles hitherto unapproached, or as yet inadequately informed of the tenets, the aims and purposes, as well as the world-wide achievements of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in both the teaching and administrative spheres of its activities.

The highly gratifying and truly praiseworthy success which has attended, so unexpectedly, the energetic efforts exerted by your Assembly in connection with the campaign of publicity initiated for the purpose of safeguarding the rights of our oppressed brethren in Persia must be regarded as a most encouraging sign, and should constitute a prelude and a stepping-stone to a still wider undertaking, aimed at a more systematic presentation of the ideals animating our beloved Cause and of its fundamental verities, and an adequate proclamation of its God-given mission to this distracted, sadly erring, and increasingly tormented generation.

The annals of the British Baha'i community, small in numbers, yet unconquerable in spirit, tenacious in belief, undeviating in purpose, alert and vigilant in the discharge of its manifold duties and responsibilities, have in consequence of its epoch-making achievements <p372> been vastly enriched. The process set in motion and greatly accelerated through the successive formulation of the Six Year Plan, the Two Year Plan and the Ten Year Plan, must continue unabated and unimpaired. Nay with every passing day it must gather momentum. Every individual believer must, henceforth, encouraged and inspired by all that has already been achieved, contribute to its future and speedy unfoldment. That the entire community may befittingly respond to the call of the present hour and bring to a final consummation the Mission with which it has been entrusted is the deepest yearning of my heart and the object of my unceasing prayers.

Shoghi

==================================

4 November 1956

Northern Ireland Regional Teaching Committee

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of 16 Mashiyyat 113, with enclosures, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is most hopeful that the second week-end school will prove as successful and fruitful as the one held in February apparently was.

The Guardian is delighted over the progress being made in Northern Ireland. He greatly admires the tenacity and spirit of dedication of the believers living in the British Isles, and is confident the friends in your region will unitedly bend all their energies toward the fulfilment of the goals they have set their hearts on attaining by next Ridvan.

Rest assured of his loving prayers for you all....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts and those of your dear co-workers, and aid you to extend the range of your valued activities, and enable you to win memorable victories in the service of His Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi <p373>

==================================

8 December 1956

REGARDING CHILDREN FOLLOW AMERICAN PROCEDURE. APPROVE SUGGESTED METHOD INCORPORATION MAURITIUS.

SHOGHI

==================================

14 December 1956

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write to your Assembly, with regard to the Tristan da Cunha Island.

Earlier in the Ten Year Crusade, one of the English Baha'is offered to settle in this Island, in order to establish the Faith there. At that time, the Guardian felt we must concentrate on the goals of the Crusade only. Now, however, the Friends have won so many victories, and the goals of the Crusade are being gained currently, early in the Crusade, he feels supplementary areas may be settled -- and for that matter, supplementary activities engaged in.

Thus, if this friend still wishes to settle in the Island of Tristan da Cunha, he would welcome it being done.

If only the home front would surge ahead, then the Crusade would surely be moving ahead of the schedule. Let us pray those at home will arise with the same dedication, and consecration as the valiant pioneers, causing a new life to be manifest on all home fronts.

The Guardian sends the members of your Assembly his loving greetings....

==================================

27 December 1956

AS NATIONAL AND FEW LOCAL HAZIRAS NOT YET RETURNED LETTER THANKS INADVISABLE. [1]

[1 Proposed letter of thanks to a Head of State.]

SHOGHI <p374>

==================================

12 January 1957

Mr. Arthur Norton

Dear Baha'i Brother,

Your loving letters concerning contributions to the Shrine of the Bab Fund, and the International Fund, have been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge them on his behalf. These contributions from the Friends in England, and the Friends in the Seychelles, are greatly appreciated by the Guardian. Receipt is enclosed. Will you please, on behalf of the Guardian express his appreciation to Mr. Mrs. ... and the devoted friends in the Seychelles.

The Guardian has been deeply touched by the continuing victories being won by the friends in the Seychelles.

The Beloved Guardian also wishes the dear Friends in England to know of his deep appreciation of their consecration, and their sacrifices for the Faith. This noble spirit cannot do other than attract the blessings of the Holy Spirit, which will assure victory. He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and for the success of your many labours.

He sends you his loving Greetings....

==================================

12 January 1957

To the Baha'is who were present at the Birmingham Teaching Conference, January 5th 1957.

Dear Baha'i Friends,

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of greeting, and was very happy to hear that the Birmingham Teaching Conference had been such an outstanding success.

Undoubtedly the Faith in the British Isles is making steady and sound progress, and he hopes that during the coming months many of the Spiritual Assemblies which have been placed in jeopardy will be consolidated in time for the elections. He feels sure that the British Baha'is, who have done more pioneering per capita than any other Baha'i community in the world, will do all in their power to safeguard the precious goals they have won at the cost of so much sacrifice and valiant endeavour. <p375>

He assures you one and all of his loving prayers for your success, and that he will remember you in his visits to the Holy Shrines....

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Baha'u'llah sustain you in your highly meritorious labours, guide every step you take in the path of service to His Faith, and enable you to lend a great impetus, in the days to come, to the onward march of our beloved Cause throughout the British Isles and to the consolidation of its divinely appointed institutions,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

26 February 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly with regard to showing interior views of the Shrine of Baha'u'llah in slides.

The Guardian read in some minutes, or in a report of one of the Summer Schools, that slides were shown of the Holy Land, and among them one of the interior of the Shrine. He would like to know whether this is the interior Garden, or the Inner Shrine itself, and whose slides they are.

He feels that the Shrine of Baha'u'llah and the Bab are so sacred, it is improper for any slides to be shown of the Interiors. Thus, the slide which was shown at the Summer School should be destroyed, and if it forms a part of any sets of views of the Holy Land, this slide be removed from the set.

He sends you his loving Greetings....

==================================

27 February 1957

GREATLY DEPLORE LOSS MUCH LOVED JOHN MITCHELL STAUNCH CONSECRATED PROMOTER FAITH. REWARD HIS ADMINISTRATIVE PIONEER SERVICES GREAT ABHA KINGDOM FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING PROGRESS HIS SOUL.

SHOGHI <p376>

==================================

9 March 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your loving letter of March 4th, with regard to the Shrine of Baha'u'llah, interior view, slide; which was shown or to be shown at your Summer School.

The Guardian wishes me to see that all these slides are destroyed, and all informed that they should not be used. Therefore, can you send me the name of the person in America who sent the slide to the Baha'i in England.

This will permit me to stop the exodus of these slides at the source....

==================================

14 March 1957

APPEAL VALIANT BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY FOCUS ATTENTION URGENT NEEDS PIVOTAL CENTRES STRENUOUS IMMEDIATE CONCERTED EFFORTS IMPERATIVE SAFEGUARD OUTSTANDING PRIZES LABORIOUSLY WON FERVENTLY PRAYING SUCCESS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

==================================

16 March 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The Beloved Guardian has been greatly impressed by the number of Teaching Conferences held during the past year, especially in the virgin areas of the Ten Year Crusade.

My records are not complete concerning the Teaching Conference of the Northern Islands. Will you please cable me on receipt of this where this Conference was held, and the dates....

Dear Baha'i Friend,

Your loving letter of February 20th was duly received by the Beloved Guardian, and on March 20th, the contributions referred to therein. <p377>

The Guardian has directed me to acknowledge your letter and the contributions on his behalf. Receipt is enclosed.

Will you please write the Baha'is of ... on behalf of the Guardian, and thank them for their contribution for the construction of the International Archives Building. Their sacrifices in that difficult area, at this time, shows their depth of spiritual consciousness. The Guardian will pray for them, and for the success of their work.

The Guardian also wishes to assure the Baha'is of the British Isles, of his appreciation of their sacrifice and devotion to the Cause of God. He is praying for them, for the success of their historic work, and for the rapid expansion of the Faith. He is sure the Blessings of the Beloved Master will rest on each and every one.

Please send the Friends in Kuwait the enclosed photo, showing the present stage of construction of the Archives Building.

He sends his loving Greetings...

==================================

27 March 1957

DEEPLY MOURN PASSING DEARLY LOVED MUCH ADMIRED GREATLY GIFTED OUTSTANDING HAND CAUSE GEORGE TOWNSHEND. HIS DEATH MORROW PUBLICATION HIS CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT ROBS BRITISH FOLLOWERS BAHA'U'LLAH THEIR MOST DISTINGUISHED COLLABORATOR AND FAITH ITSELF ONE ITS STOUTEST DEFENDERS. HIS STERLING QUALITIES HIS SCHOLARSHIP HIS CHALLENGING WRITINGS HIS HIGH ECCLESIASTICAL POSITION UNRIVALLED ANY BAHA'I WESTERN WORLD ENTITLE HIM RANK WITH THOMAS BREAKWELL DR. ESSLEMONT ONE OF THREE LUMINARIES SHEDDING BRILLIANT LUSTRE ANNALS IRISH ENGLISH SCOTTISH BAHA'I COMMUNITIES. HIS FEARLESS CHAMPIONSHIP CAUSE HE LOVED SO DEARLY SERVED SO VALIANTLY CONSTITUTES SIGNIFICANT LANDMARK BRITISH BAHA'I HISTORY. SO ENVIABLE POSITION CALLS FOR NATIONAL TRIBUTE HIS MEMORY BY ASSEMBLED DELEGATES VISITORS FORTHCOMING BRITISH BAHA'I CONVENTION. ASSURE RELATIVES DEEPEST LOVING SYMPATHY GRIEVOUS LOSS. CONFIDENT HIS REWARD INESTIMABLE ABHA KINGDOM.

SHOGHI <p378>

==================================

30 March 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning a list which he desires, showing the languages into which the scriptures, or parts of them have been translated.

He has the book entitled "The Gospel in Many Tongues" issued by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Bible House, 146 Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C.4, (in 1948). This shows specimens of 770 languages in which this Society has published or circulated some portion of the Gospel.

In the preface, they state "If those versions published by other agents are included, there are now well over a thousand forms of speech represented in the Library at Bible House".

The Guardian would like to secure a list of the additional some 300 languages into which the Gospel has been translated, referred to in this quotation. Could you secure it for him, from the Bible Society, at the Bible House.

Is it fair to assume this would then be all the languages, from any source, into which the Bible or parts have been translated? Your early advice will be appreciated.

For your information, in the list of languages into which Baha'i literature has been translated, there are some 20, not included in the published book of the 770 languages into which Christian Scripture has been published, as covered by the Book.

The question is, are these 20 included in the supplementary list, which makes the 1,000 or more into which Christian Scripture has been translated. Your sending the list will enable us to make the check here.

If you could secure this list and send it promptly, it might enable the Guardian to include this interesting point in his Convention message....

==================================

12 April 1957

Dear John:

Enclosed please find the beloved Guardian's Message to the annual convention; it should be delivered to the Chairman to be read to and shared with the assembled friends.... <p379>

P.S. In order to gain time this is being mailed through a pilgrim from Rome.

P.S. No.2. Will you please acknowledge receipt of this letter by cable to the Guardian.

==================================

19 April 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother,

The Beloved Guardian has been very deeply impressed with the latest book of our dear departed co-worker, Hand of the Cause, George Townshend.

He feels that this Book should be used as the basis of a very active campaign of teaching and publicity throughout the British Isles.

Publicity regarding the book should be arranged, book reviews secured, if possible. Religious leaders should be sent copies, even the highest Ecclesiastical leaders. Many copies should be mailed to the important leaders of the Church of England, and other religious denominations of the British Isles.

This book very finely presents the relationship between Christ and Baha'u'llah, and outlines the manner in which the Baha'i Faith is setting up the Kingdom of God, which the Christians are praying for.

The Guardian feels that very beneficial results will be achieved by this active public programme, with this book, "Christ and Baha'u'llah" even if it stirs up opposition and criticism for the time being.

He will pray for your Assembly, and for the success of your many labours in the Cause of God....

==================================

30 April 1957

DEEPLY APPRECIATE CONVENTION MESSAGE REJOICE RECENT VICTORIES GREATLY VALUE SPIRIT ANIMATING ENTIRE BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY CHERISH BRIGHTEST HOPES FERVENTLY SUPPLICATING RAPID CONSOLIDATION HOME FRONT ESSENTIAL PRELUDE UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION GLORIOUS MISSION BRITISH FOLLOWERS FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH FOREIGN FIELDS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI <p380>

==================================

27 May 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write about the ... situation raised in one of your recent letters....

It is inconceivable and wholly inadmissible that any Baha'is in a community should be permitted to hold a Feast in their home and refuse admission to another believer; and your Assembly should write accordingly in very strong terms to the ... Assembly, pointing out that the Guardian is not only surprised to learn of this situation, but disapproves of it in the strongest terms.

Any Baha'i may attend a Feast, a local Baha'i, a Baha'i from out of town, certainly an isolated Baha'i from the neighbourhood.

It is the duty of the ... Assembly to take strong measures to remedy this situation, and to ensure that the Feasts are held in a place and in a manner that conforms to the Baha'i spirit....

==================================

7 June 1957 (Shetland Summer School)

SUPPLICATING ABUNDANT BLESSINGS DEEPEST LOVE.

SHOGHI

==================================

14 August 1957

DELIGHTED HISTORIC GATHERING ASSURE FERVENT PRAYERS UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION ACTIVITIES.

SHOGHI

==================================

30 August 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your communications with their enclosures and material sent under separate cover have all arrived safely, and the beloved <p381> Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf and to acknowledge receipt of your letters dated: July 24, 27 and 31, August 24, 27, and 30, September 7, 26, 27, and 28, October 5, 13 (signed by all members), and 15, November 5 (signed by Dorothy Ferraby), and 28 (three), and December 14, 18, 27, and 28, 1956, and January 8, 16, 20 (one undated), and 22nd, February 4, 6, 8, 11, 19, 21, 23, and 27, March 7, 8, 13, and 18 (two), May 6, 9, 21, (two), June 3, 11, 14, 19 and 25, July 12, 16, (two), 19, 21, 26, and August 2, and 5 signed by Ernest Gregory.

As a number of questions raised in your letters have been answered by cable or through the National Assembly Secretary, I will not go into those again here.

He was interested to see the Tablets which Dr. Moayad located in Cambridge, and appreciated having copies of them.

It has been a great pleasure to have had so many members of the British Baha'i community here last winter and spring as pilgrims.

He is immensely proud of the work which has been accomplished during the last year, of the remarkable spirit of dedication which animates the entire community, and which invariably produces, at an hour of crisis, a strong and healthy reaction on the part of the community to rush reinforcements to its weak Assemblies, when they are in danger of dissolution.

He realises that the enforcement of the general rule that an Assembly must function within civic limits has caused considerable havoc in Britain, as well as other countries. However, it enables the friends, through splitting up into smaller communities, to have before their eyes the appetising prospect of forming yet another Spiritual Assembly, all on their own, so to speak. It gives more believers the opportunity to serve on these Administrative Bodies, challenges the teaching activities of them all, and stimulates them to fresh efforts in the hope of early victory.

The news of the success of your Convention this year; the fact that the community was able to manoeuvre its finances into a position of equilibrium, a position, incidentally, which it should make every effort to maintain; the large number of friends who attended the beautiful memorial meeting held for the dear Hand of the Cause, George Townshend, also pleased and encouraged our beloved Guardian. <p382>

He was pleased to hear from Rhodesia of the incorporation of the Salisbury Assembly, which seems to be in the nature of a foundation for the future incorporation of all Spiritual Assemblies throughout the Rhodesias. This is yet another valuable service which your Assembly has been instrumental in rendering the Faith in Africa.

He thanks your Assembly for the coloured photographs of the Haziratu'l-Quds and also for the film of the Summer School which you sent him. He was very pleased also to receive copies of the Irish pamphlets, and hopes the Gaelic translation will soon be out.

As regards your question about printing in books the approval of the National Assembly, he thinks that, if in certain circumstances this seems inadvisable, there is no objection to omitting it. The approval of the National Body should be sought for all Baha'i publications, so as to protect the Faith from unofficially disseminating information which may in some respects be false or inaccurate. Once this has been done, it is not so essential for the fact to appear in the book, if it will mitigate the effects of the book and decrease its sales....

The death of the Hand of the Cause, George Townshend, is a great loss to the British community as it not only deprives them of their most distinguished member, their unique Hand, but also of a most inspiring and faithful co-worker and a distinguished Baha'i author. His latest book has been read with great interest by the Guardian, and he hopes your Assembly is ensuring its wide distribution to various religious leaders in Britain. If opposition to the Faith can be aroused through this book, it will be the greatest service that dear George Townshend has ever rendered. It was always his hope that, through his pen, sparks would fly and begin the conflagration in whose light the Faith would shine forth in all its splendour. Let us hope that this last service of his will indeed prove to be the vital spark setting off this process of opposition which will inevitably lead to a wide recognition and acceptance of the Faith.

The Guardian hopes that during the present year the home Assemblies will not only be maintained and groups prepared for assembly status next Ridvan, but that it will be possible to reinforce the work in the islands off the shores of the British Isles. The sooner a nucleus of local people is established in these goal <p383> places the sooner will the pioneers be able to move on to new fields and to lend their assistance to the teaching work either on the Home Front or in the Pacific area.

Please assure the dear pioneers that he greatly admires their steadfastness of purpose, their self-sacrifice and their exemplary spirit, and that he particularly prays for them in the Holy Shrines.

As regards the future work in the Pacific: It is entirely premature at this time for your Assembly to think about the work there. The Home Front and the work in the neighbouring islands around Great Britain, as well as those allotted under the Ten Year Plan to your Assembly in the Mediterranean, must receive the concentrated attention of your Body, its Committees and the believers. When the time comes to become active in the Pacific area, you may be sure he will let you know!

He feels that the urgent need now is to get out "Some Answered Questions", which is one of the most important books for a proper study of the Faith. When this has been printed, the next publication of the Master's Works can be considered....

As to your question about the words used in the marriage ceremony; the two versions mean practically the same thing, and either may be used.[1]

[1 The two versions are: "We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God", and

"Verily we are content with the Will of God".]

It is most regrettable that the Caravan should have gotten hold of ...; if this situation is stirred up too much it will only enable Ahmad Sohrab to make a big fuss and get more publicity. In view of this the Guardian feels your Assembly should be watchful and seek out, if possible, a suitable person and a suitable opportunity to call to her attention the facts that the Baha'i Faith, so widely spread and acknowledged, has nothing to do with the Caravan which is a purely opportunist organisation and so loosely knit together as to have almost no power of influencing people one way or another. To do the wrong thing in a situation such as this would be worse than to do nothing.

He assures you one and all of his loving prayers for your success in all you do for the Faith.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The year that has just elapsed, following upon the swift and <p384> spectacular success achieved by the firmly grounded, the progressive and alert British Baha'i community in the heart of the African Continent -- a success attested by the triumphant emergence of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa -- has witnessed a progress throughout the length and breadth of the Homefront, as well as in the northern islands in the neighbourhood of the British Isles, which, though not spectacular, nevertheless testifies to the earnestness, the devotion and the exemplary tenacity with which the members of this community are conducting, in all its aspects, the noble Mission entrusted to their care, and are grappling with the manifold problems involved in its prosecution.

This present and crucial year must be signalised in the annals of British Baha'i history by a substantial measure of internal administrative consolidation and a noticeable expansion in the all-important teaching field, which will enable the members of this community, now standing on the threshold of a new and brilliant phase in the unfoldment of their Mission in foreign fields, to reinforce and broaden the base of their future operations beyond the confines of their native land.

The splendid work achieved, in such a short space of time, in a field so distant, and amongst a race so alien in its background, outlook and customs, must, if the significance of that Mission is to be properly assessed, be regarded as only a prelude to the series of future campaigns which the privileged members of the British Baha'i community, residing and firmly rooted in the heart of a far-flung Commonwealth and Empire, will, if faithful to such a Mission, launch, in the years ahead, in the islands of the North Sea and of the Mediterranean, as well as in the remote territories situated in the Pacific area -- campaigns which, in their range and significance, must throw into shade the feats performed in the African Continent.

To be enabled to rise to this occasion, to ensure the energetic, the systematic and uninterrupted conduct of so vast and diversified an enterprise, amidst peoples and races fully as promising, and even more remotedly situated, and presenting them with a challenge more severe than any which has faced them in the past, the small band of the ardent, the high minded, the resolute followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, charged by Destiny and by virtue of the enviable position they occupy, with so glorious a responsibility for the future awakening of the great masses, living under the shadow of, or whose governments are directly associated with, the British Crown, must needs in the <p385> years immediately ahead, acquire greater coherence, increase more rapidly in numbers, definitely emerge from obscurity, plumb greater depths of consecration, enrich its store of administrative experience, become definitely self-supporting, and associate itself more closely, through the body of its elected representatives and its future Hands, with the National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies on the European mainland and in all the other continents of the globe, and particularly with the Hands already appointed in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

The sooner these prime requisites, so essential for a further unfoldment of the mighty potentialities inherent in so splendid a Mission, are fulfilled, the sooner will the call be raised for the opening of a new chapter in the history of British Baha'i achievements overseas.

The rapid multiplication of isolated centres, groups and local assemblies, particularly in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Eire; the incorporation of firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies; a greater measure of publicity; a wider dissemination of Baha'i literature; a quick and substantial rehabilitation of the vitally important national Fund; a firmer grasp of the essential verities of the Faith; a more profound study of its history and a deeper understanding of the genesis, the significance, the workings, and the present status and achievements of its embryonic World Order and of the Covenant to which it owes its birth and vitality -- these remain the rock-bottom requirements which alone can guarantee the opening and hasten the advent, of that blissful era which every British Baha'i heart so eagerly anticipates, and the glories of which can, at present, be but dimly discerned.

Now, of a certainty, is not the time for the members of this gallant band, so thinly spread over the length and breadth of its island home, and reaching out, so laboriously yet so determinedly to the inhospitable islands fringing its northern and western coasts, to dwell, however tentatively, on the nature of the tantalising task awaiting them in the not distant future, or to seek to probe into its mysterious, divinely guided operation. Theirs is the duty to plod on, however tedious the nature of the work demanding their immediate attention, however formidable the obstacles involved in its proper execution, however prolonged the effort which its success necessitates, until the signs of its ultimate consummation, heralding the launching of what is sure to be the most spectacular phase of their Mission, are clearly discerned.

A responsibility, at once colossal, sacred and highly challenging, <p386> faces not only the body of the elected representatives of this community, but each and every one of its members. As the world spiritual Crusade, to the successful prosecution of which the British followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah have, singly and collectively, so markedly contributed, approaches its mid-point, the evidences of this indispensable quickening of the tempo of Baha'i activity all over the British Isles and the islands situated in their neighbourhood and far beyond their confines, must become more manifest and rapidly multiply. The admiration and esteem in which a community, relatively small in numbers, strictly limited in resources, yet capable of such solid and enduring achievements, is held by its sister and daughter communities in every continent of the globe, far from declining must be further enhanced. The historic process originated as far back as the year which witnessed the formulation of the Six Year Plan on the occasion of the Centenary of the Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz, which gathered momentum, as a result of the inauguration of the Two Year Plan which followed the Centenary of the Bab's Martyrdom in Tabriz, which received a tremendous impetus, in consequence of the launching of the Ten Year Crusade, commemorating the centenary celebrations of the birth of Baha'u'llah's Mission in Tihran -- such a process must, as the centenary celebrations designed to commemorate the Declaration of that same Mission in Baghdad approaches, be so markedly accelerated, and yield such a harvest, as will astonish the entire Baha'i world, and give the signal for the inauguration, by those who have so spontaneously set this process in motion, more than a decade ago, of a blissful era designed to carry the chief builders of Baha'u'llah's embryonic World Order, throughout the unnumbered, the diversified and widely scattered Dependencies of the British Crown, to still greater heights of achievements in the service and for the glory of His Faith.

May they, as they forge ahead along the high road leading to ultimate, total and complete victory, receive as their daily sustenance, a still fuller measure of the abounding grace, promised to the believers of an earlier generation by the Centre of the Covenant, the Author of the Divine Plan, Himself, on the occasion of His twice-repeated visit to their shores, and which has been unfailingly vouchsafed to themselves, in the course of over three decades, since the birth of the Formative Age of the Faith and the rise of its Administrative Order in their homeland.

Shoghi <p387>

==================================

7 September 1957

Dear Baha'i Brother,

On behalf of our beloved Guardian I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter of 17th August enclosing the minutes of the meeting of the British N.S.A. held at the Summer School on August 8th....

==================================

14 September 1957

WELCOME DETERMINATION ASSEMBLED FRIENDS SUMMER SCHOOL PRAYING FERVENTLY FRIENDS ATTAIN GOALS SCALE NOBLER HEIGHTS PATH SERVICE CAUSE BAHA'U'LLAH.

SHOGHI

==================================

2 October 1957

Dear John:

In "The Voice of Youth" for July, page ten, there is an article by David Solomon in which he quotes some very significant passages from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Guardian would like to have the exact source of these passages, and the quotations in the paragraphs in which they occur, written out in full....

==================================

11 October 1957 [1]

[1 Sent in reply to a cable expressing gratitude for the appointment of two British Hands of the Cause of God.]

CONFIDENT BRITISH COMMUNITY RICHLY DESERVES NEW HONOUR.

SHOGHI <p388><p389>

==================================

THE GUARDIAN'S

MESSAGES

To Local Spiritual Assemblies <p390>

The Assemblies are listed in alphabetical order but their letters are chronologically arranged.

Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Eccles, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading <p391>

==================================

23 April 1950

To the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Belfast

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter of April 12th, conveying such heartening news, was received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He feels your Assembly, a hard-won prize, and occupying an important position as representative of the Faith in Northern Ireland, is one of the key assemblies in the British Isles, and he is immensely proud of your achievement in at last forming it.

You may be sure he will pray for your protection and success in the Holy Shrines, and that your numbers may increase in Belfast and your ship weather every storm triumphantly!

With loving greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless sustain and guide you in your meritorious activities, remove every obstacle from your path and enable you to win still greater victories in the service of His glorious Faith.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

14 November 1947

The Baha'is of Bristol,

England

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your message of Oct. 21st reached our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

Now that you are six there (judging by your signatures), a mere three is required to enable you to reach your Goal and have your Assembly next April.

You may be sure that he will supplicate in the Holy Shrines that these three may be speedily found and the Assembly safely established in accordance with the present Plan. <p392>

He assures you that your devotion and services are very deeply appreciated.

With loving greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your high endeavours, reward you abundantly for your historic accomplishments, guide your steps, and aid you to extend continually the range of your highly valued activities.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

22 September 1948

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Bristol

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter of April 21st reached our beloved Guardian after a long delay, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

The formation of your Assembly, in the face of so many difficulties, was indeed a noble achievement, and serves to prove that our struggles as individuals, often handicapped by the sense of our own inadequacy, are reinforced by the grace of Baha'u'llah, Who enables us to achieve the seemingly impossible!

He urges you all to persevere in maintaining your Assembly, which forms one of the vital links in the Baha'i chain, which will soon gird the British Isles, never to lose heart, and to redouble your teaching labours so as to ensure a broader foundation next year for your Assembly's election and thus guarantee its permanency.

His prayers will be offered for you, one and all, for your success and guidance.

With Baha'i Love,

[From the Guardian:] Dear and valued co-workers,

I was so pleased and grateful to receive your message, and I wish to assure you all of my loving and fervent prayers for the progress of your historic work, the extension of your activities and the realisation of every hope you cherish for the promotion of our beloved Faith. May the Almighty watch over you, sustain you in your valued endeavours, <p393> and aid you to render memorable services to His Faith and its institutions.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

1 November 1947

The Baha'is of Cardiff

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your welcome letter to our beloved Guardian dated Oct. 16th, has been received, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He is well aware of the very real sacrifices you have made, and are making to establish the Cause in Wales, and he wants you to know he admires your courage and determination, and most deeply values the dedicated spirit which animates you.

The news of your first public meeting was good news indeed, and he feels sure your perseverance and the strong backing which you are receiving from the N.S.A. and the Teaching Committee, will crown your efforts with the success you so richly deserve.

His loving prayers will be offered for the speedy realisation of your hopes, and he urges you to persevere, conscious of the historical importance of what you are doing, and of how important your work is to the progress of the Plan in the British Isles.

With warmest greetings to you all,

Yours in His service,

[From the Guardian:] Dear and valued co-workers,

I wish to add a few words in person and assure every one of you of my deep admiration of the spirit you manifest, the services you render, and the determination with which you are initiating the great historic teaching enterprise in Wales.

You are, I assure you, often in my thoughts and prayers, and I will supplicate the Beloved to bless continually your high and meritorious endeavours.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi <p394>

==================================

17 October 1948

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cardiff, Wales

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter to our beloved Guardian of April 21st was received, after a long delay, and he was most happy to hear of the formation of your Assembly.

With an Assembly in Cardiff, in Edinburgh, and Dublin, the representative character of the Faith in the British Isles is fully established and the National body greatly re-inforced.

He fully realises the difficulties which have attended your work there, and which makes your victory all the more praiseworthy and precious. He urges you to now courageously persevere in your work and ensure that Cardiff has, by next April, a stable membership from which to call on for the Spiritual Assembly's maintenance.

You may be sure that he will assist you with his prayers, and pray that each and every one of you may be protected and assisted in your devoted services to the Faith.

With warm greetings,

[From the Guardian:] Dear and valued co-workers,

The formation of the first Baha'i Spiritual Assembly in Wales is an event of great historical significance. I congratulate you on this splendid achievement which, I trust, will be a prelude to still greater victories in the service of our glorious Faith. I will supplicate on your behalf, the blessings of Baha'u'llah, that your work may prosper, your plans bear abundant fruit, and your hopes realised for the propagation of the Faith and the establishment of its nascent institutions.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

15 February 1950

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cardiff

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter of January 20th has been received, and our beloved Guardian was simply delighted to get the Welsh pamphlet, he <p395> wants twenty-five copies of it sent to him for distribution amongst various Baha'i libraries here, and for our surplus stock. This booklet in their own language will do much to convince sincere Welsh truth-seekers of the respect and consideration with which we Baha'is approach all minorities, also of our devout desire to share with such a talented race the glory of Baha'u'llah's message.

He hopes there will be many new Welsh believers in the coming years, and he assures you all of his loving prayers for the success of your devoted efforts.

With Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:] Dear and valued co-workers,

I was so pleased and grateful to receive your welcome letter, and the first fruit of your services and high endeavours for the promotion of our beloved Faith.

I feel proud of the spirit that animates you, and will supplicate the Beloved to bless, and sustain and guide you, and enable you to extend continually the range of your achievements. Persevere, and rest assured.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

16 September 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cardiff

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of July 18th with enclosure has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is delighted with the way the work is progressing in Cardiff, and that there are now nine believers living there.

He particularly values the instant decision made during the Convention, and consequent action taken, by Dr. Miller in leaving an excellent medical practice in Liverpool, to settle in Cardiff, with all it entailed of sacrifice in being separated from his wife, and in being obliged to accept a junior post in a hospital at Cardiff. It is qualities such as these, which the pioneer carries <p396> to his new post, which attract a reinforcing power from on High, and enable him to create in the hearts of those who meet him a longing to have what he possesses, and ignite in these new hearts the flame of the love of Baha'u'llah.

The Guardian feels sure his non-Baha'i wife will likewise receive a blessing for her part in this sacrifice, which helped to make this move possible.

He is deeply appreciative of the Welsh translation; and is confident it will prove to be of great assistance in the promotion of the Teachings in Wales.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Baha'u'llah guide you and your fellow-members, and enable you, in the days to come, to reinforce the foundation that has been laid, and to extend the range of your highly meritorious exertions and accomplishments,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

30 January 1957

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Cardiff

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of December 29th was received, and the beloved Guardian was very happy indeed to hear that the week-end school had been a success.

He is delighted to see that the Faith is progressing in Wales, and he feels sure that the Welsh people will not only respond to the Message if given opportunity, but contribute to the Faith a distinctive share of their own, when they arise in its service.

He hopes that there will indeed be Welsh Summer Schools in the future.

Assuring you of his loving prayers,

With warmest greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide, and sustain you and your dear co-workers in your constant and highly meritorious activities, remove <p397> every obstacle from your path, and enable you to enrich the record of your deeply appreciated services to His Faith and its institutions.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

27 August 1947

To the believers who were present in Dublin at the 19 Day Feast of Kamal

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Our beloved Guardian was very happy to receive your message and to see that the Cause is now gaining a firm footing in Eire.

He is particularly happy to welcome Mrs. Coleman into the Faith as the first new Baha'i in Dublin, and he hopes that ere long you will be able to establish the first historic spiritual Assembly in that city.

The Irish are tenacious in their religious beliefs, and once convinced of the truth and significance of our glorious Faith should make ardent and devoted Baha'is.

He assures you all of his loving prayers for the success of your devoted labours.

With warmest greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

Your joint message rejoiced my heart. I cherish great hopes for the future of the work so splendidly initiated in that historic island. I will pray from the depths of my heart for the extension and consolidation of your meritorious activities to which I attach the utmost importance. Persevere in your glorious task, and rest assured that the Beloved, Who is watching over you, will bless your high endeavours and fulfil your dearest hopes.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi <p398>

==================================

16 October 1948

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Dublin, Eire

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Our beloved Guardian was very delighted to receive your communication of April 21st, written to him from your newly elected body.

He was particularly pleased to read the signatures of three members of the Townshend family, as Mr. Townshend and his wife have truly sacrificed in order to stand forward as declared and active Baha'is and assist in the formation of this historic Assembly.

The task facing you is great, but very exhilarating. Eire lies before you, your territory, of which you are the Mother Assembly, and however difficult your conquest may be, it is a challenging and wonderful service you are called upon to render.

The Irish people, with their deep religious instinct, although they may be at first difficult to convert, once convinced of the truth, will make staunch believers and will, he hopes, convey this Faith, with all its promise and healing power, to other countries in the course of time.

He assures you his prayers are with you, for your progress and your success in every field of Baha'i service.

With loving greetings,

P.S. The delay in answering your letter was due to the long time it took to reach Haifa.

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers,

The work achieved in Dublin during the last few months, culminating in the formation of the first Spiritual Assembly in Ireland, is indeed highly praiseworthy. Such a consummation is an event that will adorn the annals of the Faith, and is in itself a prelude to still greater victories in the days to come. I truly feel proud of the British and Irish believers who have collaborated so devotedly and strenuously, and won so conspicuous a victory. I will fervently supplicate on their behalf, and will await eagerly the news of the progress of their historic achievements.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi <p399>

==================================

27 January 1957

The Baha'i Group, Eccles

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of January 2nd was received, through the kindness of Mr. Gregory, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He will certainly pray in the Holy Shrines that you may succeed in attaining your objective; but, even should you fail to establish a spiritual assembly by April, you must not feel discouraged, because it is much more important to have a solid foundation in the beginning than to meet a date line -- welcome as the assembly would be!

He admires very much the spirit animating you, and hopes that a flourishing community will develop there.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide your steps, aid you to extend the scope of your activities, and win great victories in the service of His glorious Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

22 September 1948

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Edinburgh

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Our beloved Guardian was very happy indeed to receive your letter to him dated April 21st -- which has taken a long time to reach him, as you can see -- and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The formation of the first Assembly of the Faith in Scotland is a great and promising achievement. He has a profound admiration for the characteristics of the Scots; their deep religious feelings, their frank, open and friendly nature, their tenacity and abilities will enable them to greatly enrich the Faith <p400> in the British Isles, and, he hopes, later in the pioneer fields abroad.

He trusts that your Assembly, and especially those members of it who are natives of Scotland, will soon succeed in attracting many more serious minded truth-seekers to the Faith there. Now Edinburgh has become the mother Assembly of Scotland, and must, by its example, set the pace, and assist in the development of all future Scottish Baha'i Assemblies.

He assures you all he will pray for your success, for your unity, and that Baha'u'llah may guide you all in administering the affairs of His Cause in that city.

He was particularly interested to hear that one of the new believers had met Abdu'l-Baha on His visit to Edinburgh many years ago.

With loving greetings,

[From the Guardian:] Dear and valued co-workers,

Your welcome message brought deep joy to my heart and filled me with gratitude for this latest evidence of the all-conquering power of Baha'u'llah, as well as for the magnificent efforts exerted by British believers in that historic and ancient city. I will, I assure you, pray from the depths of my heart for your success, the increase of your numbers, the multiplication of your activities, and the consolidation of your achievements. Persevere in your meritorious endeavours, and rest assured that the Beloved will watch over you and crown your high endeavours with signal success.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

9 April 1949

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Edinburgh

Dear Baha'i Friends:

As our beloved Guardian is at present very pressed for time in connection with the tremendous amount of work the building of the Shrine entails at this juncture, I am answering your loving Naw-Ruz Message very briefly on his behalf.

You may be sure the work in Edinburgh is very dear to his <p401> heart and he will continue to pray for its advancement, and for each and every one of you, in the Holy Shrines.

With warmest greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, continually and abundantly, your high endeavours, aid you to add to your numbers, deepen your understanding of the essentials of His Faith, extend the range of your activities, consolidate your achievements, and win great and memorable victories for its institutions,

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

9 September 1950

To the Glasgow Baha'is

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter dated 5.7.50 has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

The progress being made in spreading the Faith in Scotland pleases him immensely, and he feels the Cause will find many exemplary and wonderful servants among the Scotch people. They may be slow to be convinced, but once they embrace a thing they do so with full conviction and great determination to serve their belief.

He will pray that your assembly may confirm many new souls, and thus gradually free the devoted pioneers, who went there to teach, for services in new and maybe distant fields.

You may be sure he deeply appreciates all you have done.

With loving greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers,

I was so pleased and grateful to receive your most welcome message, and I profoundly appreciate the noble sentiments you have expressed. I wish to assure you that I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart, that the Beloved may guide your steps, bless your high endeavours, and enable you to lend a tremendous impetus to the spread of the Faith in Scotland.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi <p402>

==================================

14 March 1954

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Leeds

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of February 20th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The Guardian was very happy to learn of your coming County Teaching Conference. He has been very happy over the large number of pioneers who have arisen in the British Isles and have gone to new territories, both in the British Isles and in foreign lands, and he considers this a fine record.

He hopes your deliberations will produce a still greater effort on the part of all the friends to implant more deeply and scatter more widely the seeds of the Faith, which are so greatly needed everywhere.

The Guardian assures you of his loving prayers for the abundant success of your endeavours.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless, guide and sustain you, and enable you to promote the vital interests of His Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

5 September 1950

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Liverpool

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter dated May 7 was received, and our beloved Guardian rejoiced over the news of the formation of your Assembly. He would have answered you sooner had he not been so overpowered with not only the work connected with the arcade of the Shrine's completion, but also anxiety caused by the long and serious illness of Mr. Maxwell, its architect.

He trusts your Assembly will enlarge its community during this year, and thus strengthen its foundations and ensure its future activities. <p403>

The victory won in the British Isles filled his heart with pride, and encourages him to believe a brilliant future lies ahead of the community there.

With warmest greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers:

Your most welcome message cheered my heart, and I wish to assure you in person of my sincere and profound admiration for the spirit that animates you in your activities, as well as of my ardent prayers for you, that the Beloved may guide and sustain you always, and enable you to win great and memorable victories for His Faith and its infant institutions.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

24 January 1952

To the believers who were present at the Feast of Sultan in London Centre, January 1952

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian was very happy to see that so many of you had gathered together and united in sending your love to him, with the first believer to come from England since the door of pilgrimage has been open.

He will remember you all in his loving prayers in the Shrines, and urges you to devote as much of your time individually as possible to the promotion of the goals of your present Plan.

With warmest Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty guide and sustain you in your high endeavours, bless and protect you always, aid you to extend the range of your valued activities, and win memorable victories in the service of His glorious Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi <p404>

==================================

25 January 1929

Manchester Spiritual Assembly

My Dear Friend,

I am directed by our Guardian to thank you for your welcome letter of January 11th.

He has been very pleased to learn of the more rapid progress of the Cause in Manchester and of a greater measure of unity among the friends. He is glad that Mr. Hall is taking this initiative and he sincerely trusts that you will all persevere in your endeavours, will keep dear the necessity for harmony and unity and thus make your group a progressive, enthusiastic and worthy Baha'i centre in England. He appreciated your efforts and that of all friends in Manchester. He wishes you please to convey to them an expression of his heartfelt love and good wishes.

With best regards,

Sincerely in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

My Dear co-worker,

I am delighted with the news you give me. The friends in Manchester occupy a warm and abiding place in my heart. The fragrant memory of my visit to them is still fresh and vivid in my mind. I will continue to supplicate at the Beloved's Shrine for each one of them the Almighty's richest blessings, that they may be guided and strengthened to render in the days to come inestimable services to the sacred Threshold.

With my best wishes to your dear relatives,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

20 July 1932

Manchester Spiritual Assembly

Dear Baha'i Sister,

Shoghi Effendi was greatly pleased to receive your kind letter of June 24th, 1932, and he has requested me to address you these <p405> few lines expressing his heartfelt appreciation of the precious and most valuable steps taken by our Manchester friends towards a greater extension and consolidation of the Cause.

The Guardian was specially glad to hear that you have established a new Baha'i Centre and he fervently hopes that as a result of this new move the interests of the Faith will be promoted and its teachings will succeed in confirming some new souls.

The precious efforts so continuously exerted by our Manchester Baha'is and particularly by our beloved Mr. Hall and Mr. Sugar will undoubtedly yield their fruits in a not very distant future. But the friends should persevere in their task and not let any obstacle, however great, hinder their onward march. In these days of sufferings and hardships, patience and hope are indispensable for the success of any idea or plan.

In closing may I assure you of our Guardian's best wishes and ask you to extend to all our Manchester Baha'is the expression of his heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

Yours in His Service,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your high and unsparing efforts, enable you to extend the scope of your activities, and consolidate the foundations of the Faith in that great city.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

28 July 1950

The Manchester Spiritual Assembly

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter has been received, dated June 6th, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He feels that the questions of ... could be answered by a better understanding of the teachings -- however, for the sake of his sincere services to the Faith, he will answer them here:

(1) Christ received the kiss of Judas, in fact He said one of His disciples would betray Him. It is not a question of these Holy <p406> Souls seeing the future, but of what, in Their wisdom, They deem it necessary to accept in the Path of sacrifice. If we are going to question the wisdom of the Prophets we can question God's Wisdom too, and the advisability of the whole system we live in.

(2) Nabil's suicide was not insanity but love. He loved Baha'u'llah too much to go on in a world that no longer held Him.

(3) The "sacrifice" of goats has nothing to do with the Faith. Baha'u'llah was surrounded by Muslim admirers and friends, and they merely followed the custom of their people on such an occasion, when many hundreds gathered to console His bereaved family.

(4) We cannot, not knowing the factors Baha'u'llah weighed in His own mind, judge of the wisdom of His withdrawal to Kurdistan. But, studying His life and teachings, we should see in it an act of wisdom, and not superficially measure Him by our standards.

(5) Love is certainly the attribute we associate par excellence with our Maker. But has He no justice and does not justice fall on the back of the evil doer as a scourge?

(6) This question seems to imply a lack of understanding of love. There is very little Divine love in the world to-day, but a great deal of intellectual reasoning, which is an entirely different thing, and springs from the mind and not the heart. The Martyrs -- most of them died because of their love for the Bab, for Baha'u'llah, and through Them for God. The veil between the inner and outer world was very thin, and to tear it, and be free to be near the Beloved, was very sweet. But it takes love, not reason to understand these things. We must also remember the Martyrs were called upon to deny their faith or die, as men of principle they preferred to die.

(7) Baha'u'llah's claims are much greater because humanity is more mature and can afford to hear them. But He draws on the same Source that was accessible to all the Prophets, it is we who can now receive more.

(8) The Guardian feels ... should study more deeply the teachings, and meditate on what he studies. We liken God to the Sun, which gives us all our life. So the Spirit of God reaches us through the Souls of the Manifestations. We must learn to <p407> commune with Their Souls, and this is what the Martyrs seemed to have done, and what brought them such ecstacy of joy that life became nothing. This is the true mysticism, and the secret, inner meaning of life which humanity has at present, drifted so far from.

The Guardian will pray that this dear friend may deepen his understanding and arise and become a wonderful teacher of the Faith.

He will also pray for the progress of the work in Manchester and the success of your devoted labours.

With Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your efforts, guide and sustain you in your activities, and enable you to promote effectively the best interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

19 January 1950

Northampton Baha'i Community

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Our beloved Guardian thanks you not only for the good news you conveyed to him in your letter of January 6th, but for the spirit which prompted you to share it with him.

He admires greatly the services of your community and the unity amongst you, which no doubt is largely responsible for your success.

He will join his prayers to yours for the success of the labours of your two latest pioneering members.

With Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers,

I feel truly proud of your notable services, and I wish to assure you of my profound appreciation of your labours, of my loving prayers for the progress of your meritorious activities, and the realisation of every <p408> hope you cherish in the service of our beloved Faith and of its nascent institutions.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

30 September 1949

The Baha'is of Norwich

Dear Baha'i Friends,

Your letter of August 2nd has been received and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very pleased to see that you are girding up your loins to do your utmost for the Plan in the critical months that lie ahead.

Nothing will further your ends more quickly than the greatest love, unity and co-operation amongst yourselves. These are the very soul of the order Baha'u'llah has come to establish in the world and when the people see these qualities and characteristics actively demonstrated in our midst, those who are receptive will hasten to join our ranks. Likewise when they see the lack of these virtues they will hesitate to embrace the Faith however much they may admire its teachings.

He will certainly pray that your Assembly may be maintained, your numbers increase, and your devotion be rewarded.

With Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers,

I was pleased to hear from you and receive the assurance of your love, your devotion to the interests of our beloved Faith and your determination to serve its best interests.

I will pray from the depths of my heart on your behalf, that the Almighty may bless and sustain you and enable you to win memorable victories for His Faith.

Your true brother,

Shoghi <p409>

==================================

16 September 1956

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Norwich

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of July 29th with enclosures has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was most happy to receive the July Jarrold Magazine and to see the article on the Faith; and also to learn from the copy of your News Letter of the activities of the believers in that locality.

The Guardian greatly appreciates the spirit animating the friends there in the service of the Cause. He sends you all his loving greetings, and assures you of his prayers for the success of your devoted labours.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my abiding admiration of your devoted and constant endeavours for the promotion of our beloved Faith, and of my fervent prayers for the realisation of every hope you cherish for its promotion,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

8 April 1947

The Baha'is of Nottingham

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter, dated February 16th, was received and read by our beloved Guardian with great joy, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

The news of your group having reached Assembly status was a source of deep satisfaction to him, and demonstrates what the friends can do, once they put their shoulder to the wheel!

You have every reason to feel proud of your achievement, and he hopes you will, through your correspondence and contacts with your fellow believers, encourage them to follow your example and forge ahead, in spite of every obstacle, with determination, confident that once we do our part, God is never failing in His. <p410>

He hopes your numbers will steadily increase and that many young people will be attracted to the Faith, as the part they have to play is very great and, also, their need of the Faith very great.

You may be sure his loving prayers will be offered for you, and for the success of your labours, in the Holy Shrines.

With Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts in the service of our beloved Faith, and you to deepen your knowledge of the essentials of His World Order, to increase your numbers, to extend the scope of your activities, and to fulfil every desire you cherish for its promotion and consolidation.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

30 May 1949

The Baha'is of Nottingham

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated May 4, has been received, and he deeply appreciates your message of devotion and affection.

His burden is indeed a heavy one, and after so many years of continuous responsibility he often feels very tired. But when he sees the loyalty of the friends and their steadfast perseverance in their tasks his heart is lightened and he feels greatly encouraged.

It is much easier to work when you see results being obtained under your very eyes, and, although in many ways his service to the Faith has been lonelier and more complicated than that of the beloved Master, yet he has had the great blessing of seeing the Cause spread out all over the world and greatly expand in many countries -- such as England, India, the United State, etc. -- as it never did in the days of Abdu'l-Baha, Who worked so unremittingly towards this end, and Who planted what we now reap.

He feels the British believers can and will -- indeed must -- succeed in their Plan, and his thoughts and prayers are with them very often.

With Baha'i love, <p411>

[From the Guardian:]

Dear co-workers:

Your message cheered my heart, and I wish to assure you that I greatly value your noble sentiments, and will supplicate the Beloved to bless your efforts, guide every step you take in the path of service, enable you to extend continually the range of your activities, and consolidate the work you have so splendidly inaugurated, and are so devotedly prosecuting in the service of this glorious Faith,

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

27 October 1950

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of September 14 with enclosure was received, and the beloved Guardian thanks you for it.

He was pleased to see the enterprising spirit shown by Mr. Semple, and hopes his classes will produce many new contacts.

The progress made in Oxford is heartening, and he trusts still greater progress lies ahead.

With loving Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty abundantly reward you for your patient and splendid labours, sustain and guide you at all times and under all circumstances, enable you to extend the range of your meritorious activities, and aid you to consolidate your notable and indeed historic achievements,

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

25 December 1951

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Friends:

Your letter of December 14th has been received; and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. <p412>

He was very pleased to hear of the progress being made; and that it has been possible to give the Message to some of the "undergrads". It is most important that the Faith should be conveyed with a sense of dignity at so important a university as Oxford; and better that the work should go forward slowly than that any mistakes should be made.

He assures you all that he deeply appreciates your devoted labours; and he hopes that you will fulfill your objective of increasing the number of believers there.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved, whose Cause you are serving with such fidelity, ability and devotion, reward you abundantly for your meritorious labours, guide every step you take, and enable you to lay a firm and unassailable foundation for the future institutions of His Faith in that historic and promising City.

Your true and grateful brother,

Shoghi

==================================

25 December 1952

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of December 10th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very happy to see that you have held another meeting in Manchester College, and hopes that the attracted ones who attended may become real students of the Faith, and eventually join its ranks.

The poem by Miss Masefield was much appreciated by the Guardian. Please assure Miss Masefield that he liked it very much, and will consider using it for a future volume of "Baha'i World". The only thing that he saw that seemed to need correction was that the word "Abha", was spelled "Abba" instead of "Abha".

He hopes that Miss Masefield, through the friendship and <p413> wise association of the members of your Group with her, will feel moved to declare herself an active member of the Faith. He will pray that this may come about.

The Guardian will also pray for the success of the devoted labours of the believers in Oxford.

With warm Baha'i love,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty guide and sustain you always, remove all obstacles from your path, and enable you to win great and memorable victories in the service of His Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

1 February 1954

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of January 16th with enclosure has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He thanks you very much for the expression of your sympathy, and for the newspaper clipping you enclosed.

It has indeed been a great loss to the work of the Faith, to lose such a valiant, constant and distinguished Hand as dear Dorothy Baker. It will leave a gap in the pioneer field, as well. No doubt her noble spirit will be able to assist and inspire from on high, and this must be the consolation of all her friends and admirers.

He trusts the work in Oxford is progressing steadily; and he assures you all of his loving prayers in your behalf.

With warmest Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your meritorious efforts, guide and sustain you in your activities, and enable you to win great victories in the service of His Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi <p414>

==================================

23 April 1954

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of April 9th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

Mrs. Winsten invited the Guardian if possible to view in person her portrait of Abdu'l-Baha. Needless to say, he thanked her for her kind invitation, but informed her this would be quite out of the question.

He is very pleased to hear that she has consented to forwarding a photograph through acquaintances of hers, and he will be very interested to see it. He will let you know if he considers the likeness sufficiently good to warrant any of the Baha'is purchasing it. It is a pity to own portraits of Abdu'l-Baha which do not in any way resemble Him.

Some time ago you asked him to send you a copy of the description which Miss Campbell brought to Haifa of how the artist made this drawing of Abdu'l-Baha. Unfortunately this has been mislaid, and it is not possible for the Guardian to send you a copy. However, the original you may be sure is safe in his papers.

He is very happy to hear of the progress of the Cause in Oxford, such a very important centre from every standpoint. He assures you all of his loving prayers for the progress of your activities, and for each and all of you.

With warmest Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for you all, and for the success of your efforts for the promotion of our beloved Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

7 December 1954

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of November 30th with enclosure has been <p415> received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The news of the opening of the Oxford Baha'is' first Centre rejoiced his heart. He was particularly happy to know that this project was consummated and the Centre furnished and made ready for use almost entirely through the united efforts and devotion of the believers themselves.

As you know, the Guardian attaches great importance to Oxford. Now that the friends have a Centre, which in itself will be a means of attracting seeking souls to them to learn of the Faith; and also the Baha'is have made for themselves a teaching plan, he feels confident that the work will go forward there with great strides, and that your community will grow in numbers and in strength.

He will remember you all in his loving prayers in the Holy Shrines.

With loving Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless continually your highly meritorious efforts, and enable you to win great and memorable victories in the service of His Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

28 February 1955

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of February 13th with enclosures has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is hoping that the fact that the believers now have their own Centre in Oxford will greatly stimulate the work there, and cause the more rapid expansion of the Faith in this difficult town.

The work done among the University students should be steadily pursued. Perhaps before long some among their number may determine to accept the Faith and arise whole-heartedly to serve it. <p416>

The Guardian assures you all of his loving prayers, and sends his greetings.

With warm Baha'i love,

P.S. It is not necessary to send a detailed account of the funeral of Mrs. Langdon-Davies. A short biographical account of her life should be sent by the N.S.A. for "Baha'i World".

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, and enable you to achieve memorable victories in the service of our beloved Faith,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

21 March 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Oxford

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of February 27th with enclosure has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He appreciates your thoughtfulness in sending to him the photostatic copy of Canon Cheyne's letter to John Craven, in which he declared himself a Baha'i, and is happy to have it.

He wishes you all a very happy New Year, and great success in your teaching activities during the coming year.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving, my continued and fervent prayers for your success in the service of our beloved Faith and of its nascent institutions,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

Cables to the Oxford Assembly

25 November 1949

HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS HISTORIC VICTORY ARDENT LOVING PRAYERS SURROUNDING YOUR NOBLE MISSION.

SHOGHI <p417>

==================================

22 April 1950

APPRECIATE MESSAGE LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES SUPPLICATING MANIFOLD BLESSINGS.

SHOGHI

==================================

26 October 1950

OVERJOYED NOTABLE INITIAL VICTORY INTRODUCTION FAITH UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATE CIRCLES ASSURE YOUNGEST PROMISING BELIEVER ARDENT PRAYERS CONCENTRATE CONSOLIDATION ACHIEVEMENT.

SHOGHI

==================================

21 April 1954

ASSEMBLY FRIENDS LOVINGLY REMEMBERED SHRINES.

SHOGHI

==================================

26 September 1957

The Baha'is of Portsmouth

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of August 23rd has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was happy to learn of the spirit of active service which animates the friends in that city, and of the practical way you are approaching the teaching work.

Through love and unity among the believers, and the wise and persistent efforts of all the Baha'is, great results should be forthcoming.

He will certainly pray for the progress of the Faith there, and for the enrollment of a number of newly-declared believers by next Ridvan.

With warm Baha'i greetings, <p418>

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved of our hearts, guide, bless and sustain you, remove every obstacle from your path, and graciously assist you to extend the range of your highly valued activities and consolidate your historic achievements,

Your true brother,

Shoghi

==================================

14 May 1957

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Reading

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of May 8th has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was delighted to receive the news of your activities, and feels that Reading can be cited as a truly exemplary community in every way. He hopes you will maintain this enviable position as the years go by.

He will certainly pray that your teaching efforts may be richly blessed, and that you may not only continue to make Baha'is, but to export them, as you have done in the case of Edinburgh.

With warm Baha'i greetings,

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your highly valued activities, guide every step you take, remove every obstacle from your path, and graciously assist you to win great victories in the service of His Faith in the days to come,

Your true brother,

Shoghi <p419>

==================================

EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS

TO INDIVIDUALS <p420>

Over three hundred letters to individuals residing in the British Isles have been studied and passages selected which are of permanent value.

These excerpts were taken from the letters of no more than twenty believers of whom only seven corresponded regularly with the Guardian.

They have been arranged chronologically; for details of the subject matter the reader must turn to the Index.

Almost all these passages are answers given by the Guardian to questions asked in personal letters to him. It is possible therefore to catch a glimpse of the changing problems facing the Baha'i community and these frequently reflected conditions in the country as a whole. This is particularly significant in the years immediately following the Second World War for as the Guardian, in a letter written on his behalf by his secretary, wrote of the British believers,

"... he feels the greatest sympathy for them, and considers that when their present achievements are assessed in the future, people will give them a double measure of praise for having done so much when they were least fit to do it." <p421> 28 September 1925

[From the Guardian]

...I wish you, my dearest friend, to make once again a supreme effort to come to a full understanding with the friends outside.... Extend to them your generous and helping hand, approach them with a spirit of selflessness and cordiality and the result, I am confident will be indeed marvellous. My heart rejoices at the news of the growth of harmony among the friends and I feel paralysed in my work when I hear to the contrary. I am impressing on the friends in ... the absolute necessity of cultivating understanding and friendliness and consolidating the foundation of the National Assembly. For upon these National Assemblies will the Edifice of the Universal House of Justice be raised.

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28 October 1925

Shoghi Effendi is much interested to hear of your literary work. He fully agrees with you that different people must be approached in different ways and that valuable work for the Baha'i Cause can be done within the Christian Churches by promoting the "Christianity of Christ". Abdu'l-Baha said that when people become true Christians, they will find themselves Baha'is. One or two of the best Baha'is I know were very earnest, sincere, devoted Christians and accepted the Baha'i teachings with very little difficulty and without any intervening period of religious scepticism, as an amplification and fulfilment of the teachings and prophesyings of Christ and the prophets.

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28 December 1925

He is very sorry that such undesirable things are every now and then cropping up in ... and discouraging you in your work, keeping you from devoting all your spare time in teaching the Cause and spreading its principles. He does not wish you, however, to lose heart from such things. As the Cause grows its difficulties will increase and its problems will become more numerous. The friends, especially the older ones, should therefore try and stand unmoved by them. In fact the more their difficulties <p422> will increase the more they have to take courage and try to solve them. The Master has often said that sorrows are like furrows, the deeper they go the more productive the land becomes. If this problem of ... should be settled other problems will arise. Are the friends to become discouraged or are they to follow the footsteps of the Master and consider them more as chances to show their tenacity of belief and spirit of sacrifice? In short, Shoghi Effendi wishes you to keep on teaching the principles of the Cause no matter what problems may arise.

[From the Guardian:]

...Let not anxieties and disappointments overwhelm you or oppress your generous and sensitive heart. Turn to Him in prayer and remember that I am joining you in your supplications for guidance and strength. Be patient in tribulation and never relax in your efforts to promote the Divine Teachings.

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28 March 1926

It must have been very distasteful to you to read some of the off-hand and ungrammatical translations that more out of necessity than choice won circulation and were even published. Furthermore, it was always the expressed wish and desire of Abdu'l-Baha to have proper and adequate translations that would not only convey the true spirit of the original but also possess some literary merit. And for this he emphasised the necessity of a board of translators. Such a board it has unfortunately been impossible to form as yet.

Meanwhile Shoghi Effendi, realising the urgent necessity of the translation of some of the important writings, has translated some of the passages.

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16 October 1926

We should, however, be careful, as you mention in your letter, not to make this system develop into a hard and fast creed or form. The Cause is pure and free from such things and it ought to be the task of the friends to keep it broad and progressive. Man is always apt to fall into the habit of doing a <p423> thing in a certain way, and thereby become captive to prescribed forms. It should therefore be the duty of the assemblies everywhere to see that, though certain temporary measures are taken to further the Cause, they do not crystallise into hard and fast creeds.

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6 April 1928

[From the Guardian]

I feel that regarding such interpretations (of verses from the Scriptures) no one has the right to impose his view or opinion and require his listeners to believe in his particular interpretation of the sacred and prophetic writings. I have no objection to your interpretations and inferences so long as they are represented as your own personal observations and reflections. It would be unnecessary and confusing to state authoritatively and officially a dogmatic Baha'i interpretation to be universally accepted and taught by believers. Such matters I feel should be left to the personal judgement and insight of individual teachers....

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12 December 1929

Ever since its inception (the "Baha'i World") Shoghi Effendi has cherished the hope of making it a work that would prove interesting and illuminating to the reader. Destined mainly for the non-Baha'is, he has tried to attract through its pages the attention of educated and enlightened people and especially leaders in every country, with a view to acquaint them with the broad and fundamental principles of the Faith and to win their consideration of the Movement as a growing force for good and for peace throughout the entire world. It is therefore with lively satisfaction that he has seen the publication grow yearly in importance and this feeling has been lately enhanced very much by the words of interest or appreciation which he has received from many quarters and leading men, among which was a remarkably encouraging letter from Sir Herbert Samuel. Indeed Shoghi Effendi has made it a point to send copies to as many leading men as possible and copies of last year's issue were presented to the Emperor of Japan, the Shah of Persia and Queen Marie of Rumania. <p424>

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9 February 1930

The subject you had raised with regard to the date of the publication of the writings of Baha'u'llah is interesting as it is important. If I remember correctly the same issue was raised as an open challenge in India by some spokesman of the Ahmadiyya sect. The earliest published writings of Baha'u'llah date from the nineties of the last century. Over forty years ago the Aqdas, a volume of general Tablets including Tarazat, Ishraqat, and others were published in Ishqabad (Russia) and Bombay respectively and copies of these though rare are still procurable. Simultaneously with these, if not earlier, some of the writings of Baha'u'llah were published by the Oriental Department of the Imperial Russian University at St. Petersburgh under the supervision of its director Baron Rosen (and more particulars about these could be found in the books of E. G. Browne) and these of course are not undated like some of those published in Bombay.

The main bulk of the writings of Baha'u'llah however are to be found in manuscript form written by noted scribes after the fashion of orientals. These scribes did not leave all their manuscripts undated and Jinabi Zain, a very noted Baha'i scribe, always dated his copies of the writings of Baha'u'llah at the end of the volume in what E. G. Browne calls 'colophenes' and the description of some of these colophenes could be found in the works of the Cambridge Professor.

The son of the above-mentioned scribe is still living in Haifa and does very much the same work as his father. He claims that as early as 1868 his father used to write copies of the Iqan for the Baha'is in Persia as a source of livelihood, and that after 1885 when he went to Akka to join Baha'u'llah's party his entire work and time was devoted to copying the sacred writings for sale among Baha'is. These copies are to be found all throughout the East and are almost invariably dated.

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9 June 1930

Concerning the accounts of visits to Haifa, published by the friends during the Master's life-time, Shoghi Effendi is very <p425> reluctant to attribute to them much authority. Most of these are personal impressions and are to be valued only as such. Baha'u'llah definitely states that only His actual writings are to be relied upon. Such reports may be interesting but not authoritative, no matter who the reporter may be...

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22 October 1930

...If those heroic deeds have made such an impression upon you, would not the reading of the narrative arouse the friends to greater sacrifices and stimulate them to more intensive service? It was not mere physical torture that the friends in Persia had to endure but also moral persecution for they were cursed and vilified by all the people, especially when they ceased to defend themselves ... the Master used to say sometimes that the western friends will be severely persecuted but theirs will be primarily moral....

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30 November 1930

He (the Guardian) is enclosing extracts from Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question" giving a detailed and faithful description of the state of Persia in the middle of the 19th century. He thinks that references to the extracts ... will be of great value in showing to the reader the contrast between the decadent state of the government and the people at that time and the heroism and nobility of character displayed by the early disciples of the Bab... Shoghi Effendi is also sending you ... the Master's words concerning the situation which led to the defensive action which the early disciples of the Bab were compelled to take in Mazindaran, Nayriz and Zanjan. From these words it is evident that a systematic campaign of plunder and massacre had been initiated by the central government. Baha'u'llah, Who Himself was an active figure in those days and was regarded one of the leading exponents of the Faith of the Bab, states clearly His views in the Iqan that His conception of the sovereignty of the Promised Qa'im was purely a spiritual <p426> one, and not a material or political one... His view of the sovereignty of the Qa'im confirms the various evidences given in the text of the narrative itself of the views held by those who actually participated in these events such as Hujjat, Quddus, Mulla Husayn. The very fact that these disciples were ready and willing to emerge from the fort and return to their homes after receiving the assurance that they would be no more molested is itself an evidence that they were not contemplating any action against the authorities.

Shoghi Effendi is also sending you an account of the doctrines of Shi'ah Islam from which the Movement originally sprang. It will help you to connect the origin of the Movement with the tenets and beliefs held by the Shi'ahs of Persia. The Bab declared Himself at the beginning of His mission to be the "Bab" by which He meant to be the gate or forerunner of "Him Whom God will make manifest", that is to say Baha'u'llah, Whose advent the Shi'ahs also expected in the person of "the return of Imam Husayn". The Sunnis also believe in a similar twofold manifestation, the first they call "the Mihdi", the second "the Return of Christ". By the term Bab, the Bab meant to be the forerunner of the second manifestation rather than, as some have maintained, the gate of the Qa'im. When He declared Himself to be the Bab, the people understood by the term that He was an intermediary between the absent Qa'im and His followers, though He Himself never meant to be such a person. All He claimed to be was that He was the Qa'im Himself and in addition to this station, that of the Bab, namely the gate or forerunner of "Him Whom God will make manifest".

There are many authorised traditions from Muhammad stating clearly (as explained in the Iqan) that the promised Qa'im would bring a new Book and new Laws. In other words abrogating the law of Islam.

Shoghi Effendi feels that the Unity of the Baha'i revelation as one complete whole embracing the Faith of the Bab should be emphasised... The Faith of the Bab should not be divorced from that of Baha'u'llah. Though the teachings of the Bayan have been abrogated and superseded by the laws of Aqdas, yet due to the fact that the Bab considered Himself as the forerunner of Baha'u'llah we should regard His dispensation together with that of Baha'u'llah as forming one entity, the former being an <p427> introductory to the advent of the latter. Just as the advent of John the Baptist -- who according to various authorities was Himself the originator of laws which abrogated the teachings current among the Jews -- forms part of the Christian revelation, the advent of the Bab likewise forms an integral part of the Baha'i Faith. That is why Shoghi Effendi feels justified to call Nabil's narrative a narrative of the early days of the Baha'i revelation.

Shoghi Effendi feels that it should be explained that forbidding self defence by Baha'u'llah should not be taken too literally. To put it as bluntly as this, he fears that the question might be misunderstood. Baha'u'llah could surely have not meant that a Baha'i should not attempt to defend his life against any irresponsible assailant who might attack him for any purpose whatever, whether religious or not. Every reasonable person would feel under such circumstances justified in protecting his life....

Regarding Nabil: He was born on the 18th day of the month of Safar of the year 1247 A. H. in the village of Zarand in Persia. He was thirteen years old when the Bab declared Himself. Though still young he himself was preparing to leave for Shaykh Tabarsi and join the companions of Mulla Husayn when the news of the treachery and massacre of the besieged companions reached him. He met Baha'u'llah in Kirmanshah and Tihran before the latter's banishment to Iraq. He was a close companion of the Bab's amanuensis Mirza Ahmad. He subsequently met Baha'u'llah in Baghdad, Adrianople and Akka and was commissioned by Baha'u'llah to journey several times to Persia in order to promote the Cause and encourage the scattered and persecuted believers. He was present in Akka when Baha'u'llah passed away in 1892 and soon after was so overcome with grief that he drowned himself in the sea. His body was found along the shore and was buried in the cemetery of Akka. Abdu'l-Baha is reported to have been struck with deep sorrow at the manner of his death. He states in his narration that he met the maternal uncle of the Bab, Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali who had visited his nephew in the Castle of Chihriq and had recently returned to Tihran. He started writing his narrative in 1305 A.H. four years before the passing of Baha'u'llah. It took him about a year and half to write it. His chief informants were Mirza Ahmad the amanuensis of the Bab and Mirza Musa the brother of Baha'u'llah. <p428> Parts of his narrative were read in the presence of Baha'u'llah and approved by Him. Abdu'l-Baha also went over sections of his narrative....

Shoghi Effendi has found in the papers of Abdu'l-Baha a complete set of the Bab's Tablets to the 18 Letters of the Living, all written in His own hand-writing and bearing His seal. In addition to these there are two other Tablets both written by Himself in exquisite hand-writing, the one addressed to the 19th Letter who was Himself and the other to "Him whom God will make manifest", i.e. Baha'u'llah. This last one has three seals and is written on blue paper....

Regarding the question raised in your letter.... The Baha'is in Persia avoid political posts and positions, abstain from any interference in matters pertaining to the policy of the state, but fill the more important administrative posts that have no political character. They feel that in this manner they can best serve the interest of their country and prove by their action their integrity and attachment to Persia....

Shoghi Effendi is enclosing an extremely interesting account given by a certain Dr. Cormick, an English physician long resident in Tabriz of his meeting with the Bab. He is apparently the only Westerner who has met the Bab and recorded his impressions... Shoghi Effendi thinks of adding it to his notes.

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30 April 1931

...You could also in a quiet way speak to persons whom you think are ready for such a message and would appreciate the light when they see it. Try to form around you a group of Baha'is who are well versed in the teachings and who are ready to assist you in serving the Cause. In short try to form an assembly of pure and competent souls. Meanwhile you could write, for the Cause is in great need of first class literature and you are gifted along that line.

The Cause surely needs sacrifices, in fact it is only through sacrifice that it can progress, but such determined activity should be coupled with wisdom and caution if it is not going to be a temporary flare. Intimate talk and personal contact has proven the surest and quietest way for establishing a group.... <p429> 7 November 1931

The present social and economic problems that are facing the British people are surely occupying their whole attention, but they should also operate as a reminder and draw them closer to spiritual matters. The people have to be made conscious of the fact that without a complete change in our outlook and a total reform of the guiding principles of our life, such as the Cause advocates, our social and economic problems cannot be solved nor our conditions ameliorated. Nothing short of the full message of Baha'u'llah can end the sufferings that are befalling humanity.

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2 January 1932

It is strange how much suffering man has to put up with while on this earth. Our consolation should be however that it is part of a divine plan whose worth we cannot yet fathom....

...Shoghi Effendi wishes ... to encourage those who are talented to give expression to the wonderful spirit that animates them. We need poets and writers for the Cause.... Some of the poems are written by very youthful persons yet they ring so true and give expression to such thoughts that one should halt and admire. In Persia the Cause has given birth to poets that even non-Baha'is consider them as great. We hope before long we will have similar persons arise in the West.

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10 January 1932

In Persia the Cause gave birth to many poets of national

standing. Let us hope that the west will follow suit and produce

similar talents.

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23 February 1932

The exact date in which the Hidden Words was written you can find on the opening page of Mrs. J. E. Stannard's translation published in Cairo. She gives a line in the Master's own handwriting giving the date as 1274 A.H. (1857-8 A.D.). It is <p430> generally believed that the Hidden Words was dictated by Baha'u'llah to His secretary as He strolled on the banks of the river in Baghdad -- in sections rather than all at one time.

As to the date of the Iqan, I think it can be calculated from the actual text and I have it in my papers as 1278 A.H., i.e. 1861 A.D. You will find that in the text itself. It was written in answer to questions put by a distinguished Babi.

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16 May 1932

Even though outwardly the number of the friends has not been increasing so rapidly, yet the spirit has not remained idle. The leaven of spirituality has been working, and when the time will come it will manifest itself in a sudden awakening. All that we need is a little more courage, perseverance and patience. There are many important men that are attentively watching the progress of the Faith but are reluctant to come forward and extend a helping hand. In time they will, and then we shall see the Cause of God spread by leaps and bounds....

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10 August 1932

Your touching words of condolence and sympathy in connection with the sudden removal of the Greatest Holy Leaf from our midst have greatly comforted (the Guardian's) aching heart and relieved the burden of sorrow that lies so heavily upon him.

In this great calamity which has seized the entire body of the followers of the Faith in both East and West our Guardian's loss is the greatest and the most cruel. His sole comfort, at this terrible hour, is to see the friends united and working together for the realisation of our departed Khanum's dearest wishes.

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15 March 1933

He deeply appreciates your sincere, well-expressed reference to the Tribute he has written to the dearly beloved Greatest Holy Leaf. <p431>

You cannot imagine to what an extent our dear Guardian has, in this loss, been deprived for ever of the sustaining influence and kindness that this Most Exalted Leaf used to shower daily upon him. In this beautiful Tribute we can trace the life of this beautiful soul, witness with anguish all the sufferings and deprivations that she has endured. Now we should, all of us, try in turn to follow her saintly path and direct all our energy to serve the Cause which has been so dear to her.

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6 May 1933

What the Faith needs, even more than teachers, is books that expound the true significance of its principles in the light of modern thought and social problems.

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29 May 1933

He was deeply touched by the strong attachment of the friends to one who, besides being the beloved daughter of Baha'u'llah, exemplified perhaps more than any one the true spirit that animates His Teachings. His (the Guardian's) sincere hope is that your love for our departed Greatest Holy Leaf will attain such depth and intensity as to enable you to follow in her footsteps and to carry out with increasing devotion and vigour all that she cherished so much during the entire course of her earthly life. The memory of her saintly life will undoubtedly sustain and feed your energies and will provide you with that spiritual potency of which we are all in such a great need.

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17 October 1933

How much the Faith is in need of able and devoted souls like you who are ready to suffer every possible deprivation for its sake. If every believer was ready to contribute his share, however humble and small, and through any means, whether intellectual <p432> or material, the Faith would have undoubtedly made a tremendous progress in the world....

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12 November 1933

You use the expression "till time ends". This is misleading, for there is no end to time. The Guardian suggests that you should either use the term used in the Iqan "till the end that has no end", or express it in such a manner that would give the idea that time has no end....

Jehovah is a title of God, whereas Baha'u'llah is the title of the Manifestation of God.

... you count the period of the Christian Dispensation as having lasted for 1844 years. As in the Baha'i teachings Muhammad is considered as an independent prophet of God, you have to consider His Dispensation as having begun in 622 A.D. The Christian Dispensation must, therefore, end in 622 A.D. and from that date till 1844 is the era of Muhammad. 1260 is the calculation based on the lunar system. In other words, it is the Hegira year or A.H. You should either specify this fact, or base your calculation on the solar year, in which case it will be less than 1260, as there is a difference of one year in every 33 years.

... you should point out that, only so far as it is recorded in the Gospel, Jesus gave two material ordinances only. Our knowledge of Jesus' life and teachings is rather fragmentary and so it would be more correct if you specify that these ordinances are only those recorded in the Gospel, and they may not be the only ones. There may be other teachings and ordinances too, of which no record is left.

...Muhammadanism is not only the last of the world religions, but a fuller Revelation than any one preceding it. The Qur'an is not only more authoritative than any previous religious gospel, but it contains also much more; ordinances, teachings and precepts, which taken together constitute a fuller Revelation of God's purpose and law to mankind than Christianity, Judaism or any other previous Dispensation. This view is in complete accord with the Baha'i philosophy of progressive revelation, and should be thoroughly accepted and taught by every loyal ... Baha'i. <p433>

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1 December 1933

One more European is reported to have seen Baha'u'llah from a distance, but Professor Browne was the only Westerner who actually met Him.

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4 June 1934

You should, nevertheless, persevere in your efforts until your immediate objective has been fully attained. God cannot, indeed, withdraw from so devoted and so capable a Baha'i like you all the guidance and assistance you need for the effective discharge of your responsibilities and obligations to the Cause. Be, therefore, confident in Baha'u'llah's help. His Spirit will lead you, and will feed your soul with that spiritual sustenance whereby you will be able to overcome the obstacles which seem to so hopelessly beset your path.

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10 November 1934

When you quote the Bab, or anyone of His disciples you should make it clear that the words attributed to them are by no means their exact words. They constitute the substance of their message, and thus are not as definite as the quoted words of Baha'u'llah or the Master. So, the Guardian suggests that you should either omit the quotation marks, or to specify that the passages quoted are not the exact words used by the Bab and His disciples. In the future edition of Nabil's Narrative a similar explanation will have to be inserted in the "Dawn Breakers".

You state that the Christian Dispensation "was six hundred and twenty-two years old at the time of the Hegira". The Guardian suggests that the words "at the time of the Hegira" be omitted as they may give the impression that the Revelation of Christ extended beyond the date of the Hegira.

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8 February 1935

Religious conservatism, particularly in England, constitutes indeed a serious obstacle which the friends have to meet when <p434> spreading the Message, and not until such an obstacle has been completely removed can the Cause effectively spread and establish itself in the West. This religious conservatism is in many respects far more dangerous and more difficult to wipe out than the religious apathy which is so rapidly invading all classes of society.

In view of that, it is, at least for the present, more advantageous to teach the Message in an indirect way, so as to gradually attract and confirm those who have the spiritual capacity of appreciating the Cause in its fullness.

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29 May 1935

As to your question concerning the meaning of physical suffering and its relation to mental and spiritual healing. Physical pain is a necessary accompaniment of all human existence, and as such is unavoidable. As long as there will be life on earth, there will be also suffering, in various forms and degrees. But suffering, although an inescapable reality, can nevertheless be utilised as a means for the attainment of happiness. This is the interpretation given to it by all the prophets and saints who, in the midst of severe tests and trials, felt happy and joyous and experienced what is best and holiest in life. Suffering is both a reminder and a guide. It stimulates us better to adapt ourselves to our environmental conditions, and thus leads the way to self improvement. In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom. But it is not always easy to find the secret of that wisdom. It is sometimes only when all our suffering has passed that we become aware of its usefulness. What man considers to be evil turns often to be a cause of infinite blessings. And this is due to his desire to know more than he can. God's wisdom is, indeed, inscrutable to us all, and it is no use pushing too far trying to discover that which shall always remain a mystery to our mind.

In connection with your question relative to the Baha'i solution of sex problems. On the question of sex the Baha'is are, in most of their fundamental views, in full agreement with the upholders of traditional morality. Baha'u'llah, like all the other Prophets and Messengers of God, preaches abstinence, and <p435> condemns, in vehement language, all forms of sexual laxity, unbridled licence and lust. The Baha'i standard of sex morality is thus very high, but it is by no means unreasonably rigid. While free love is condemned, yet marriage is considered as a holy act which every human being should be encouraged, though not forced, to perform. Sex instinct, like all other human instincts, is not necessarily evil. It is a power which, if properly directed, can bring joy and satisfaction to the individual. If misused or abused it brings, of course, incalculable harm not only to the individual but also to the society in which he lives. While the Baha'is condemn asceticism and all extreme forms of self-mortification they at the same time view with disfavour the current theories of sex ethics which cannot but bring ruin to human society. In the Baha'i Cause marriage has been encouraged, but made somewhat difficult, conditioned as it is upon the consent of the four parents. Divorce, on the other hand, has been made relatively easy, and the sociologists are just beginning to realise the importance of this law....

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6 April 1936

He (the Guardian) is of the opinion, however, that while the secondary aspects of Baha'i Administration should be left out, a comprehensive statement as to its origin and significance in the Baha'i Dispensation is of vital importance in any work of the Cause, especially if it is written by a believer. The main thing is to properly present the subject so that the reader may be able to grasp it.

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21 November 1936

With reference to the absolute pacifists, or conscientious objectors to war; their attitude, judged from the Baha'i standpoint, is quite anti-social and due to its exaltation of the individual conscience leads inevitably to disorder and chaos in society. Extreme pacifists are thus very close to the anarchists, in the sense that both these groups lay an undue emphasis on the rights and merits of the individual. The Baha'i conception of <p436> social life is essentially based on the principle of the subordination of the individual will to that of society. It neither suppresses the individual nor does it exalt him to the point of making him an anti-social creature, a menace to society. As in everything it follows the 'golden mean'. The only way that society can function is for the minority to follow the will of the majority.

The other main objection to the conscientious objectors is that their method of establishing peace is too negative. Non-co-operation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction. Their refusal to bear arms can never establish peace. There should be first a spiritual revitalisation which nothing, except the Cause of God, can effectively bring to every man's heart.

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3 February 1937

Do not feel discouraged if your labours do not always yield an abundant fruitage. For a quick and rapidly-won success is not always the best and the most lasting. The harder you strive to attain your goal, the greater will be the confirmations of Baha'u'llah, and the more certain you can feel to attain success. Be cheerful, therefore, and exert yourself with full faith and confidence. For Baha'u'llah has promised His Divine assistance to every one who arises with a pure and detached heart to spread His Holy Word, even though he may be bereft of every human knowledge and capacity, and notwithstanding the forces of darkness and of opposition which may be arrayed against him. The goal is clear, the path safe and certain, and the assurances of Baha'u'llah as to the eventual success of our efforts quite emphatic. Let us keep firm, and whole-heartedly carry on the great work which He has entrusted into our hands.

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31 March 1938

With reference to your question as to whether individuals can help each other by accepting to suffer for each other's sake. Surely such sacrifice for our fellow humans can have helpful <p437> results. This law of sacrifice operates in our own lives, as well as in the lives of the Divine Manifestations.

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18 April 1940

In these stormy days his thoughts are often with you and our dear English believers, and his prayers continue to be offered on your behalf, that you may all be protected and remain safe, so that when this great ordeal of war which is threatening to engulf the whole world will have passed, you may all be able to continue serving our beloved Cause, and this time through more effective means and on a larger scale than ever before.

The immediate future, as clearly predicted by the Master, must necessarily be very dark for the Cause as well as for the whole world, but the promises He has repeatedly given us of a glorious future for the Faith and for mankind as a whole are of such character as should assuredly sustain and strengthen us amidst the trials and tribulations of the days ahead.

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2 June 1941

There can be no doubt that after the present suffering of humanity many souls, who at present show only a mild interest in the Faith, will turn to it as the sole road which can lead them out of the valley of blindness and misery to the "green pastures" promised by their Lord....

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1 August 1941

Wherever the Cause is being spread, as it grows in strength, people increasingly will take sides both for and against it. Therefore he (the Guardian) is not surprised to learn that you are finding yourself in the position, sometimes being upheld and sometimes being attacked! It is a great bounty from God that you have had a training in this world which so admirably suits you for a champion of His Faith and an exponent of His doctrines.... <p438>

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19 October 1941

The English Baha'is are being tested in both faith and character very severely, and the Guardian is deeply gratified to see the manner in which they are responding, a manner that proclaims to all who witness it that these souls are true Baha'is.

The Master longed so to see the believers perfect their faith in living. Now is the supreme hour of test applied, not only to the whole world, but to the Baha'is too; how they act, to the degree they adhere to the spirit and the letter of their Faith, will point the way to watching humanity and demonstrate the worth of being a follower of Baha'u'llah ... the good news you convey of the spirit and devotion of the English friends greatly pleases Shoghi Effendi.

His hope and prayer is that during these times of danger, stress, and misery, the Baha'is will seek out amidst their fellow-countrymen those jewel-like souls that belong to Baha'u'llah and bring them the blessing and comfort of His Faith.

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30 October 1941

He (the Guardian) feels that the great point is to confirm people of true capacity and ability -- from whatever social stratum they may be, because the Cause needs now, and will ever increasingly need, souls of great ability who can bring it before the public at large, administer its ever-growing affairs, and contribute to its advancement in every field.

As the Guardian's thoughts are very often with the English friends, and he feels deeply conscious of both their trials and the wonderful Baha'i spirit in which they are meeting them, he feels they have almost a special right to call on him, and he welcomes their letters and any news of them he receives. So you must feel free to turn to him whenever you feel the necessity of doing so....

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14 March 1942

He also approves of the idea of advertising the name "Baha'i" as widely as possible, as we can never tell at what future date the <p439> remembrance of that word may aid some soul to seek and find the Faith.

At present people are too engulfed in hopes, events, desires, and various partizanships, to realise that there is no way out for humanity except to accept the Divine Plan for this Day, and put its healing principles and laws into practice. But gradually their eyes will be opened, and it is for this time that the friends must labour to bring the knowledge of the Cause before as wide a public as possible.

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September 1942

He (the Guardian) fully realises how much strain you are subjected to, but he also feels that in so far as is compatible with your health you should persevere in all your Baha'i activities, as your services could ill be spared in any field at this time.

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25 September 1942

There is an answer in the teachings for everything; unfortunately the majority of the Baha'is, however intensely devoted and sincere they may be, lack for the most part the necessary scholarship and wisdom to reply to and refute the claims and attacks of people with some education and standing....

It is hard to foresee at present the way in which humanity is going to become spiritualised. At present it seems, the increased sufferings yet to be borne, combined with a far wider diffusion of the Divine Message, will bring about

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unbelievable changes in the days to come....

5 May 1943

Unless and until the believers really come to realise they are one spiritual family, knit together by a bond more lasting than mere physical ties can ever be, they will not be able to create that warm community atmosphere which alone can attract the hearts of humanity, frozen for lack of real love and feeling. <p440> May 1943

If, however, you find your health affected by keeping the Fast the Guardian would advise you to consult a physician, and if he tells you you are unable to fast then of course, you should abstain from doing so.

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26 May 1943

He (the Guardian) feels that Baha'i children like you have a lot of wonderful work to do for others in the future. But you don't even have to wait until you grow up, you can help your dear Mother teach the Cause to others right now, and also tell your playmates about it. The Guardian is going to pray that you may grow up to be a shining light in the Cause of Baha'u'llah.

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6 August 1943

The Master reflects the qualities of the Manifestations as if He were a mirror. He reflects not only those of Baha'u'llah but also of Christ as He is the exemplar of the spirit of the Prophet....

...These matters are left to the discretion of the N.S.A. The principle the Guardian has stated ... the addition of further regulations and rulings to those already laid down in the bye-laws he strongly discourages; he feels it is better, as far as possible, to settle problems as they arise rather than create too much red tape and hem in the spirit of the Cause into a rigid form.

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17 October 1944

There is a difference between character and faith; it is often very hard to accept this fact and put up with it, but the fact remains that a person may believe in and love the Cause -- even to being ready to die for it -- and yet not have a good personal character, or possess traits at variance with the teachings. We should try to change, to let the Power of God help recreate us and make us true Baha'is in deed as well as in belief. But sometimes the process is slow, sometimes it never happens because the individual does not try hard enough. But these things <p441> cause us suffering and are a test to us in our fellow-believers, most especially if we love them and have been their teacher!

The Guardian would advise you to leave your friend to himself, to associate with him, his wife and sister-in-law with love and forbearance in every way possible, but not to agonise over the past or let it cloud your Baha'i life. You have given him the greatest gift in the world: the Faith. Now he must be responsible for his own soul. Your prayers and example can no doubt reach and help him.

It is true the Baha'is should try and live a normal healthy life. But we cannot for a moment overlook the abnormal state of the world. If there had not been believers ready to give their health, comfort, pleasure -- everything, for the Cause in these dark days, the work would not have gone on. What are these sacrifices compared to keeping a beacon of the Light of Baha'u'llah burning in dark London all these war years?

The Guardian is very glad to hear you are so active, both in teaching and administrative work, and he will pray that Baha'u'llah may bless and guide you and enable you to serve the Cause in an ever increasing measure. He will also pray for your personal happiness....

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27 November 1944

The work in England has, indeed, progressed slowly from the standpoint of enlarging the Faith's membership and establishing new centres and assemblies. On the other hand, however, the British Baha'is have consolidated the administration and thus prepared the way for intensified teaching activities when conditions make life easier for the people in that country. They have also built up a very helpful institution in the Publishing Trust, one calculated to impress the public and aid greatly in their own and other countries' teaching programmes. The Faith there needs more active, devoted, young believers like yourself.

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27 January 1945

He was very happy to hear of the marked progress the Cause has made in ... and that you have not only a number of new <p442> believers but also are actively conducting fireside classes and hold public meetings. All these are evidences of progress, and you should feel happy and encouraged about them.

The believers, as we all know, should endeavour to set such an example in their personal lives and conduct that others will feel impelled to embrace a Faith which reforms human character. However, unfortunately, not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realise is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Baha'u'llah to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will-power in mastering ourselves.

He will certainly pray for the work of the beloved Cause there and especially that new souls may be attracted and embrace the Faith. He will also pray that the believers may, for the sake of God, draw close to each other and not permit each other's short-comings to be a source of disunity and consequently a means of depriving thirsty souls of this life-giving Message! The world is full of evil and dark forces and the friends must not permit these forces to get hold of them by thinking and feeling negatively towards each other....

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Undated

His (the Guardian's) burden is truly so heavy -- no doubt in the future people will see his life in its proper perspective and be able to appreciate what he has done, to all intents and purposes entirely alone, for the Cause.

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10 May 1945

Many of the most valuable, enkindled and erudite teachers the Cause has possessed were formerly members of the clergy, Islamic or Christian. <p443>

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7 July 1945

What England needs is a higher percentage of people able to meet and attract the public on a large scale, and he hopes you will, in the course of giving the Message to every soul that yearns for it, make a special effort to confirm people who in their turn will be able to arise and broadcast the teachings.

The efforts of the friends are, of course, needed to accomplish the objectives of the Six Year Teaching Plan, and they should be encouraged to do their part, even though they may imagine themselves incapable of discharging such duties!

The Tablet of Visitation is a compilation of words of Baha'u'llah, revealed at different times for those who were far from Him, made by Nabil, at the Master's instruction, after the Ascension of Baha'u'llah....

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3 March 1946

A city like London needs a really impressive, central and suitable room which will, on its own merits, create a favourable impression, and he hopes the friends will bear this in mind, and at the earliest possible date get quarters that are not in a basement.

As to attracting the youth; there must be a great number of serious-minded people coming back to civilian life. Of course youth attracts youth, and if once an active nucleus of young Baha'is could be formed, and conduct their own meetings no doubt they would soon get others interested.

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4 March 1946

He (the Guardian) was very sorry to hear that ... has left the Cause, and suggests that you point out to her, and to any other of the friends who are confused and upset over this matter, that the Manifestation of God only gives us teachings and instructions designed for our good and protection, and that if each person reserves the right to obey his own conscience, the logical conclusion is we don't need any spiritual authority to guide and protect us, the authority of our own consciences is sufficient! <p444>

What Abdu'l-Baha always pointed out in this matter is that these psychic powers were not to be used in this world, and that, indeed, it was dangerous to cultivate them here. They should be left dormant, and not exploited, even when we do so with the sincere belief we are helping others. We do not understand their nature and have no way of being sure of what is true and what is false in such matters.

If children are inclined to be psychic they should not be blamed for it too harshly, they should not be encouraged to strengthen their powers in this direction.

People who do not feel they can obey or accept the Teachings on a subject cannot be considered Baha'is, voting or otherwise. If a time comes when they feel ready to surrender their opinions to One we believe divinely guided, they should be joyously welcomed back into the Faith.

P.S. These friends you mention are being upset over this question should realise that if they reserve the right to disregard the Teachings on one subject, they must give the same right to other Baha'is, and obviously there can be no unity or strength in a Faith composed of individuals who only believe in part and not all of it. We must never prefer our wills to the Will of God.

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19 March 1946

The Baha'is should refrain from signing petitions designed to bring pressure on the Government which may have any political character whatsoever. There are so many other people who can carry on progressive types of activity, but only the Baha'is can do the work of Baha'u'llah....

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21 May 1946

Keeping the Fast is enjoined upon all Baha'is, regardless of nationality; it has a very salutary effect both physically and spiritually, and the friends should realise Baha'u'llah never would have instituted it if it were detrimental to the health. The Master referred to the Fast in talks to pilgrims, and some Tablets, but most material on this subject is not yet translated. <p445> 20 November 1946

The Master unceasingly emphasised the importance of unity among the friends, and, if anything, it is of even greater importance in this present chaotic state of the world than it was in His days. The people are longing for an example -- proof that harmony and love can actually exist in a community -- and it is one of the primary duties of the Baha'is to demonstrate these great principles in their relations with each other.

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15 February 1947

Philosophy, as you will study it and later teach it, is certainly not one of the sciences that begins and ends in words. Fruitless excursions into metaphysical hair-splitting is meant, not a sound branch of learning like philosophy.

We have no historical proof of the truth of the Master's statement regarding the Greek philosophers visiting the Holy Land, etc. but such proof may come to light through research in the future.

As regards your own studies: he would advise you not to devote too much of your time to the abstract side of philosophy, but rather to approach it from a more historical angle. As to correlating philosophy with the Baha'i teachings; this is a tremendous work which scholars in the future can undertake. We must remember that not only are all the teachings not yet translated into English, but they are not even all collected yet. Many important Tablets may still come to light which are at present owned privately.

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18 February 1947

He (the Guardian) wishes he more often got such glad news in one letter! It seems that at last the Cause in England is really getting into its stride, and that the British community of believers are beginning to show forth the fruits of the many blessings showered on them -- for England was one of the first <p446> countries of the West to hear the Divine Message, and was blessed by two visits from the Centre of the Covenant! Surely the older Baha'is must be astonished to see new centres springing up in a matter of months after years of an almost static condition! It shows that wherever and whenever the friends arise to serve, the mysterious power latent in this Divine Cause rushes in to bless and reinforce their labours far beyond their fondest hopes.

He is very happy to hear you are established as a pioneer, with a business of your own, and you may be sure he will pray for your material as well as spiritual success in this goal town....

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27 September 1947

There is no objection to children who are as yet unable to memorise a whole prayer learning certain sentences only.

He (the Guardian) does not feel that the friends should make a practice of saying grace or of teaching it to children. This is not part of the Baha'i Faith, but a Christian practice, and as the Cause embraces members of all religions we should be careful not to introduce into it the customs of our previous beliefs. Baha'u'llah has given us the obligatory prayers, also prayers before sleeping, for travellers, etc., we should not introduce a new set of prayers He has not specified, when He has given us already so many for so many occasions....

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27 September 1947

He (the Guardian) does not feel you should permit your speech impediment to give you a sense of inferiority. Moses stammered! And what you are and what you believe as a Baha'i give you a tremendous advantage over others. This does not mean that you should not make every effort to overcome it, and go to doctors for advice and assistance. He also assures you he will pray that you may overcome this difficulty entirely, also that wherever you are the way will open for you to teach and serve the Faith. <p447>

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13 October 1947

Regarding your own condition: he (the Guardian) strongly urges you not to dwell on yourself. Each one of us, if we look into our failures, is sure to feel unworthy and despondent, and this feeling only frustrates our constructive efforts and wastes time. The thing for us to focus on is the glory of the Cause and the Power of Baha'u'llah which can make of a mere drop a surging sea! You certainly have no right to feel negative; you have embraced this glorious Faith and arisen with devotion to serve it, and your labours are greatly appreciated by both the Guardian and your fellow-Baha'is. With something as positive as the Faith and all it teaches behind you, you should be a veritable lion of confidence, and he will pray that you may become so.

There is, unfortunately, no way that one can force his own good upon a man. The element of free will is there and all we believers -- and even the Manifestation of God Himself -- can do is to offer the truth to mankind. If the people of the world persist, as they seem to be doing, in their blind materialism, they must bear the consequences in a prolongation of their present condition, and even a worsening of it. Our duty as Baha'is is to build up such a love and unity within our own ranks that the people will be attracted by this example to the Cause. We also must teach all we can and strengthen the Baha'i community in the Administration. But more we cannot do to avert the great sufferings which seemingly still lie ahead of the world in its present evil state.

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14 October 1947

Summer School is, indeed, a wonderful experience, for at the present time it is the only institution that affords the Baha'is of England an opportunity of all living together, for however short a time, as a community, and this and the spirit it engenders, has a very inspiring affect.

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19 October 1947

He (the Guardian) does not feel that it is desirable to lay down any conditions for giving to the Baha'i Fund. This is an entirely <p448> personal matter, and each believer must act according to his own judgment and the needs of the Faith. In times of crisis, whether in the affairs of the Cause or in one's own family, people naturally behave differently from under normal circumstances. But decisions in these matters must rest with each individual Baha'i.

Generally speaking the secretary of an assembly must be careful to convey exactly what the majority decision or advice of the body was. There can surely be no objection to his putting it in proper terms and clarifying the matter according to the decision or instruction of the assembly. But he should of course not introduce his personal views unless endorsed by the assembly.

The nature of assembly minutes is a matter for the body itself to decide. Naturally all important subjects brought up and notes must be recorded, but how detailed the record must be is for the members themselves to decide.

Abdu'l-Baha said we must sacrifice the important for the most important. The most important thing now for the English Baha'is is to accomplish their Plan. The sacrifice of other activities, cultural or otherwise, is not of very much importance compared to their goal. They can always return, when they have more time, to such pursuits. To serve any great Cause or purpose requires sacrifice....

Baha'u'llah is not the intermediary between other Manifestations and God. Each has His own relation to the Primal Source. But in the sense that Baha'u'llah is the greatest Manifestation to yet appear, the One who consummates the Revelation of Moses, He was the One Moses conversed with in the Burning Bush. In other words, Baha'u'llah identifies the glory of the God-Head on that occasion with Himself. No distinction can be made amongst the Prophets in the sense that They all proceed from one Source, and are of one essence. But Their stations and functions in this world are different.

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4 March 1948

It is not surprising, in view of the gloom overhanging the entire world, and in conjunction with their run-down, exhausted state due to war conditions and present circumstances of life in England, that the British Baha'is should sometimes reflect the <p449> state of their countrymen! It is a pity, and they should certainly try, as believers, to be cheerful and radiant; but he (the Guardian) feels the greatest sympathy for them, and considers that when their present achievements are assessed in future, people will give them a double measure of praise for having done so much when they were least fit to do it. The spirit of determination, and their perseverance, are truly outstanding.

Just because some people have lost their vision of the Cause, or never had a proper grasp of its implications before entering it, and leave the fold, should not cause undue discouragement. There are bound to be such cases, and although every moral support should be given them, if they still wish to withdraw, they fall off -- as you said -- like withered leaves from the Tree of the Faith, and do it no real harm.

He likes to be provided with facts by the friends, when they ask his advice, for although his decisions are guided by God, he is not, like the Prophet, omniscient at will, in spite of the fact that he often senses a situation or condition without having any detailed knowledge of it....

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26 March 1948

One of the greatest problems in the Cause is the relation of the believers to each other; for their immaturity (shared with the rest of humanity) and imperfections retard the work, create complications, and discourage each other. And yet we must put up with these things and try and combat them through love, patience and forgiveness individually, and proper administrative action collectively.

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8 April 1948

We Baha'is firmly believe that it is possible, if we have the right spirit, to make our stumbling blocks stepping-stones to progress. You have already, through at last facing yourself and acknowledging that you have both failed and erred in managing your life so far, set your feet on the right path. But now this new and spiritual condition in you is going to be proved -- and the <p450> proving, the testing, will surely consist of the way you determine to take your punishment.

Life is based on laws: physical, man-made, and spiritual. As you have broken the laws of the society in which you live, you will have to stand up like a man and take your punishment. The spirit in which you do this is the most important thing, and constitutes a great opportunity for you. He (the Guardian) advises you to turn your face towards the future, to realise that when you are set free you have loving and helpful friends to go to, an upright job awaiting you, and you can also become active in serving our glorious Faith. So really everything lies before you. But at present, until your sentence is up, you must live within yourself in a way not to spoil the new future awaiting you. You must not become bitter -- for after all you are only reaping what you planted. Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, through no crime of their own, spent the better part of their lives in exile and imprisoned, but they never became embittered although they were the victims of injustice. You, on the other hand, are the victim of injustice which you have inflicted on yourself -- therefore you certainly have no right to be bitter towards the world.

He urges you to grasp firmly the teachings of our Faith, the love of your family and many Baha'i friends, to put the past behind entirely, realising that it can do you no more harm; on the contrary, through changing you and making you spiritually aware, this very past can be a means of enriching your life in the future! He will certainly ardently pray for your happiness, your victory over yourself, and that you may become an exemplary and active Baha'i.

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9 June 1948

"Reciting" the Greatest Name means to repeat it over and over, silently or out loud....

The chairman of the local assembly is, if present, the logical and appropriate person to take charge of the consultation period between the assembly and the community members at the Nineteen Day Feast. <p451>

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23 June 1948

He (the Guardian) encouraged him to face manfully the future, accept the legitimate sanction of society as punishment for his admittedly anti-social conduct, and realise that his very suffering, humiliation and punishment can -- if he will let it -- be the means of freeing him from many of his past weaknesses and mistakes, and making him a worthy member of society. He should look to the future, for there is in his power, with Baha'u'llah's help, to shape into a worthy and constructive way of life....

The English Baha'is did gloriously succeed after all! Hitching one's wagon to a star, however impractical it may seem, does bring results, for man, with God to help him, does possess strengths far beyond the mere materialist's ken!

As regards your question about p. 41, Kitab-i-Iqan; to say that, after 622 A.D., Christendom was Islam in disguise is a little misleading. The Sun of Truth, after the advent of Muhammad, no longer shone from the Christian horizon. Islam was, from then until the Bab's advent, the Path of Truth.

We should never insist on teaching those who are not really ready for the Cause. If a man is not hungry, you cannot make him eat. Among the Theosophists there are, no doubt, many receptive souls, but those who are satisfied should be just associated with in a friendly way, but let alone. Once a seeker comes to accept the concept of progressive religion, and accepts Baha'u'llah as the Manifestation for this day, the reincarnation concept will fade away in the light of truth; we should try and avoid controversial issues in the beginning if possible.

Mirza Abu'l-Fadl was a very excellent and erudite Baha'i teacher. Although he did err sometimes, yet in identifying Abraham with Zoroaster, he is not confusing the Prophet Abraham with the Prophet Zoroaster, as the name of Zoroaster was supposed to have been "Abram".

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20 September 1948

He (the Guardian) is very happy indeed to see the change in your attitude and to hear that you are now not only a recognised member of our Faith, but a prospective Baha'i pioneer! <p452>

It is quite natural for anyone, observing the present state of the world, to feel very depressed and apprehensive of the future. Any intelligent person must be wondering what you are wondering. It is indeed hard to see what lies ahead of us in the near future -- but we, as Baha'is, unlike most people, have absolute assurance that the distant future is serene and bright. We do not know if there will be another Great War; what we do know is this: that unless people become spiritually awakened in time, great suffering, maybe in the form of war, will come upon them, for humanity must be unified, must be redeemed. If men refuse absolutely to take the easier road of faith, of seeking out God's Manifestation for this age and accepting Him, then they will bring upon themselves a fresh crisis in human affairs and very great affliction. What we, as Baha'is, must do is our duty; we cannot do other people's duty for them, alas, but we can fulfil our own sacred responsibilities by serving our fellow-men, living a Baha'i life, teaching the Faith, and strengthening its budding world order.

He urges you, just as you have surmounted the crisis in your own life, through faith and courage, to now go out and serve the Cause with that same faith and courage. We must leave to God the final reckoning with His creatures today -- but meantime we must give them His Message.

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17 October 1948

The Cause in England seems, in spite of financial handicaps, to be going forward in Seven League boots. He (the Guardian) is truly proud of the British believers, and this is more than he could say in the past, when the work for years seemed to be stagnating! Those days are now passed forever, he feels sure.

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23 December 1948

He (the Guardian) is very glad to see you are now living the life of an active Baha'i and keeping in close touch with dear ... who is a fine friend to have, with his devotion to the Cause and his optimism. <p453>

The Guardian urges you not to be discouraged by any setbacks you may have. Life is a process of trials and testings, and these are -- contrary to what we are prone to thinking -- good for us, and give us stamina, and teach us to rely on God. Knowing He will help us, we can help ourselves more.

He does not know how, in the present very chaotic state of the world, you could find just the kind of job you want of driving abroad. Positions are difficult to obtain and travel so complicated. Unless you can migrate out to Africa or Australia, in some regular government scheme, he would urge you to persevere in Great Britain and do the best you can. He urges you, in the next job you have, to pray whenever you feel the conditions at work are too much for you. You will find you are helped and strengthened and once you get established in some position you may work yourself up, or go on with good references to a better employment later on....

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8 January 1949

The only people who are truly free of the "dross of self" are the Prophets, for to be free of one's ego is a hall-mark of perfection. We humans are never going to become perfect, for perfection belongs to a realm we are not destined to enter. However, we must constantly mount higher, seek to be more perfect.

The ego is the animal in us, the heritage of the flesh which is full of selfish desires. By obeying the laws of God, seeking to live the life laid down in our teachings, and prayer and struggle, we can subdue our egos. We call people "saints" who have achieved the highest degree of mastery over their egos.

There is no contradiction between Gleanings p. 66 and p. 262. In one place He says the mirror will never be free from dross, in the other place He says it will be "so cleared as to be able" etc. It is a relative thing; perfection will never be reached, but great and ever greater, progress can be made.

The word "Guardian" in the Seven Valleys has no connection with the Baha'i Guardianship.

The Qur'an should be to some extent studied by the Baha'is but they certainly need not seek to acquire a mastery over it, <p454> which would take years, unless they really want to. All Divine Revelation seems to have been thrown out in flashes. The Prophets never composed treatises. That is why in the Qur'an and our own Writings different subjects are so often included in one Tablet. It pulsates, so to speak. That is why it is "Revelation".

Life is a constant struggle, not only against forces around us, but above all against our own ego. We can never afford to rest on our own oars, for if we do, we soon see ourselves carried down stream again. Many of those who drift away from the Cause do so for the reason that they had ceased to go on developing. They became complacent or indifferent, and consequently ceased to draw the spiritual strength and vitality from the Cause which they should have. Sometimes, of course, people fail because of a test they just do not meet, and often our severest tests come from each other. Certainly the believer should try to avert such things, and if they happen, remedy them through love. Generally speaking nine-tenths of the friends' troubles are because they don't do the Baha'i thing, in relation to each other, to the administrative bodies or in their personal lives.

No doubt to the degree we Baha'is the world over strive to spread the Cause and live up to its teachings, there will be some mitigation of the suffering of the peoples of the world. But it seems apparent that the great failure to respond to Baha'u'llah's instructions, appeals and warnings issued in the 19th century, has now sent the world along a path, or released forces, which must culminate in a still more violent upheaval and agony. The thing is out of hand, so to speak, and it is too late to avert catastrophic trials.

You should never be too depressed about your dissatisfaction concerning not finding a job you like, a place in the world that fits you. If you analyse it this general sense of mis-fit is one of the curses of your generation, one of the products of the world's disequilibrium and chaos. It is not confined to your life, it is pretty general.

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20 March 1949

He (the Guardian) fully realises that some decisions are very hard to take in life, and he urges you in this case to do two <p455> things: in the first place, are you quite sure two years voice-training will really carry you where you hope it will? In other words, he presumes that your teacher's opinion has been backed up by the opinion of other professionals? It would be a great pity to, in any way, sacrifice your service to the Cause for a career which in the end might not prove a substantial one. And in the second place he advises you to remain in ... and continue your studies (once you are quite assured about the outcome), providing the Plan does not reach such a critical point that it is imperative for you to go as a pioneer in order to really help save the situation. If this need arises in such urgency, he certainly feels you should temporarily give up your singing lessons, for, of course, no sacrifice is too great for the Cause. What we put into serving it we know serves a useful and worthy purpose, whereas the outcome of our struggles in life is never assured completely, and is certainly insignificant compared to the Faith's importance.

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22 July 1949

The work on the Shrine -- now beginning to rise visibly at the corners -- and the spread of the Faith which brings many communications from new places, and many problems too, keeps us all busy as never before, especially the Guardian. But to see the course going ahead so fast fills our hearts with gratitude and the work involved seems a small contribution to make to such a Holy Cause.

As regards to the question you asked me to put to the Guardian about the Aqdas and the House of Justice elections: as most of the laws of the Aqdas cannot at present be enforced anywhere he has not deemed it necessary or wise to translate and promulgate them. You can orally translate them for any of the believers anxious to know exactly what they are. The National Assemblies (or Houses of Justice) will elect directly the International House of Justice, but just what form this election will take must be decided in the future when the proper time comes. Neither the Master nor the Guardian have made any pronouncements about punishments stipulated in the Aqdas. <p456>

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25 July 1949

There are no quotations from the Qur'an to support the Master's statement that European thinkers acknowledge the influence of Islam in shaping the thought of Europe. In the "Gleanings", page 95 (third printing Jan. 1943) Baha'u'llah says: -- "Of old it has been revealed: Love of one's country is an element of the Faith of God!" Here Baha'u'llah is quoting not the Qur'an but an Islamic tradition, and it is this statement which the Guardian has used as the basis of his argument in the "Promised Day" that nationhood grew out of the direct influence of Muhammad's teachings, and was one of the great contributions to mankind's evolution of Islam. The building up of nations came after Muhammad, and was a step forward in the direction of a unified world which the teachings of Baha'u'llah has provided for.

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22 October 1949

We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient!, but also with our own poor selves, remembering that even the Prophets of God sometimes got tired and cried out in despair!

The end of the Plan is in view, and a long last push will, he sincerely hopes and believes, bring success and a breathing space.

Regarding your questions: it is not the City State, but the National State which Muhammad's teachings fostered. Christ had nothing to do with the City State concept in any direct manner.

The 100 years respite is only the phrase used by the Guardian to convey the idea that for a 100 years or so the Cause had not been recognised. It draws no parallel between this century and the last one, nor does it imply a repetition of events.

The Hidden Words have no sequence. They are jewel-like thoughts sent out of the mind of the Manifestation of God to admonish and counsel men. Unfortunately Baha'u'llah was never asked, and never, as far as we know, stated, what the force was mentioned by Him in the "Epistle". There is nothing in the "Mysterious Forces of Civilization" implying that these great conquerors were not blood thirsty. <p457>

A healthy social life and Baha'i work can go hand in hand, but not always in times of crisis, such as these days the Cause is passing through -- and the world -- when great sacrifice can alone meet the demands of the situation.

He urges you to persevere and add up your accomplishments, rather than to dwell on the dark side of things. Everyone's life has both a dark and bright side. The Master said: turn your back to the darkness and your face to Me.

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18 February 1950

He (the Guardian) feels that if you consider it too much of a strain to keep the Fast you should not do so. Baha'u'llah has exempted people who are travellers at the time; if you could keep it the days you are not travelling, and thus partake of its bounty, it would be advisable, but it is not essential.

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28 March 1950

The beloved Guardian, having been in touch with you by cable, and being more over-worked this year than ever, delayed answering. You know, from what you saw here, how inefficient -- to under-state the matter -- his servants are. The work at the Shrine has vastly increased and of necessity, for as the first part of the building will soon be finished, the grounds around it have been entirely remodelled to fit it better and show it off. All this he has been forced to superintend and plan personally. The attacks and status of the enemies you know about. So that in all he is very tired.

==================================

4 October 1950

We must never take one sentence in the Teachings and isolate it from the rest: it does not mean we must not love, but we must reach a spiritual plane where God comes first and great human passions are unable to turn us away from Him. All the time we see people who either through the force of hate or the passionate <p458> attachment they have to another person, sacrifice principle or bar themselves from the Path of God.

We know absence of light is darkness, but no one would assert darkness was not a fact. It exists even though it is only the absence of something else. So evil exists too, and we cannot close our eyes to it, even though it is a negative existence. We must seek to supplant it by good, and if we see an evil person is not influenceable by us, then we should shun his company for it is unhealthy.

We must love God, and in this state a general love for all men becomes possible. We cannot love each human being for himself, but our feeling towards humanity should be motivated by our love for the Father who created all men.

The Baha'i Faith teaches man was always potentially man, even when passing through lower stages of evolution. Because he has more powers, and subtler powers than the animal, when he turns towards evil he becomes more vicious than an animal because of these very powers.

Many Theosophists accept Baha'u'llah as a Prophet, but we have no special relation to theosophy. It would seem that the Master had some special reason for not mentioning Baha'u'llah specifically in His talk to the Theosophists in Budapest. What it was we do not know, but we can assume His great tact and wisdom impelled Him not to on that occasion.

==================================

20 October 1950

He (the Guardian) feels that in as far as possible the African pioneers should seek to get a job which will take them to one of the countries chosen and ensure employment for them there. It does not seem wise or necessary for a Baha'i to stress the fact he or she is going to teach. A person's religion is their own business, and they can talk about it privately as much as they like without neglecting their employer's work.

Also, he feels no rules can be laid down about how to teach. Usually one teaches those receptive souls one finds. The same should apply to the beginning of the work in Africa. Any direct teaching work with the more primitive tribes would have to be done after finding out the best and most tactful way of doing it. <p459> The first step is to get to Africa, and, in view of the cost involved, and the state of the Fund, the pioneers should make every effort to get sent out there or at least get employment after arriving, thus relieving the Baha'i Fund as much as possible. If this fails, then of course all the expense will have to be paid by the Fund.

==================================

11 January 1951

You have voiced the same suffering, the sign of the same mystery, as has been voiced by almost all those who have been called upon to serve God. Even the Prophets of God, we know, suffered agony when the Spirit of God descended on Them and commanded Them to arise and preach. Look at Moses saying, "I am a stutterer!". Look at Muhammad rolled in His rug in agony! The Guardian himself suffered terribly when he learned he was the one who had been made the Guardian.

So you see your sense of inadequacy, your realisation of your own unworthiness is not unique at all. Many, from the Highest to the humblest have had it. Now the wisdom of it is this: it is such seemingly weak instruments that demonstrate that God is the Power achieving the victories and not men. If you were a wealthy, prominent, strong individual who knew all about Africa and looked upon going out there as fun, any service you render, and victories you have, would be laid to your personality, not to the Cause of God! But because the reverse is true, your services will be a witness to the Power of Baha'u'llah and Truth of His Faith.

Rest assured, dear sister, you will ever-increasingly be sustained, and you will find joy and strength given to you, and God will reward you. You will pass through these dark hours triumphant. The first Baha'i going on such an historic mission could not but suffer -- but the compensation will be great....

==================================

10 February 1951

Whenever you see tremendous personal problems in your private lives, such as those the parents of ... have been called <p460> upon to face, you must remember that these afflictions are part of human life; and, according to our teachings one of their wisdoms is to teach us the impermanence of this world and the permanence of the spiritual bonds that we establish with God, His Prophet, and those who are alive in the faith of God. You must always remember that the Manifestations of God, Themselves, were not immune to suffering of the most human nature; and that from the hands of their relatives, they drank the bitterest potions, Baha'u'llah even being proffered poison by His half-brother, Mirza Yahya. Beside their afflictions, our afflictions, however terrible for us, must seem small in comparison.

Regarding your personal affairs, the Guardian will pray that your cherished hopes may be fulfilled; and that the way may open, if you both desire it, for you to serve together the Faith you are so deeply attached to. Never lose heart, and always remember that the power in this Cause is of a nature not understood or accessible to those who have not our faith in Baha'u'llah.

==================================

30 August 1951

The progress being made in Africa is truly miraculous, as if a special benediction from on High is being extended to this work... He (the Guardian) feels sure that the work in Uganda will now go forward rapidly. The news from Dar is wonderful too... The racial question all over Africa is very acute, but, while being wise and tactful, believers must realise that their standard is far from that of the white colonials. They have not gone there to uphold the white man's supremacy, but to give the Cause of God to, primarily, the black man whose home is Africa.

==================================

11 November 1951

Many times the young Baha'is these days seem to be living the lives of soldiers, and in a way the pioneers are the soldiers of Baha'u'llah, going out to plant the banner of His dominion in far corners of the earth! <p461>

==================================

5 October 1952

What the Master meant in the words you quoted is simply that joy gives one more freedom to create; if the Prophets, the Master Himself, and the Guardian, had less problems and worries, They could give forth a great deal more creatively to the Cause. When He said that "grow to be as a fruitful tree" he meant that, by lifting burdens from the Guardian and trying as much as possible to do our share of the work of the Faith, we would help Shoghi Effendi to develop his full powers as Guardian and, through the Covenant, the Cause would spread its shadow over all men. This we have seen happen in the last 30 years, but that does not mean we must not try to our utmost to help him by our lives and our services.

Teaching is an individual matter; one has to sense when it is right to go further in revealing the Source of our Message; no rules exist, really, for such things.

==================================

3 March 1955

As we almost never attain any spiritual goal without seeing the next goal we must attain still beyond our reach, he urges you, who have come so far already on the path of spirituality, not to fret about the distance you still have to cover! It is an indefinite journey, and, no doubt in the next world the soul is privileged to draw closer to God than is possible when bound on this physical plane.

==================================

6 March 1955

As regards the questions you have asked, as Baha'u'llah says categorically that God commanded Abraham to offer up Isma'il, as far as we are concerned, it is Isma'il who was the intended sacrifice.

In view of the great antiquity of Genesis, it is quite possible that at some period the names were changed, and the error was propagated. <p462>

Whatever happened, we Baha'is must follow the words in our own Scriptures as being the most authentic.

In the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, the Youth means Baha'u'llah, Himself.

==================================

12 January 1957

In the Baha'i Teachings it is made quite clear that when one is ill, one should seek the best available medical advice. This naturally leaves a person free to choose what they consider good in medical opinion. If you and ... feel that she is improving under the care of your own doctor, and ... is willing to wait and be patient and see if she goes on making progress, there can surely be no objection to her doing this. There are a great many as you know mental diseases and troubles at present, and the one thing Baha'is must not do is take a defeatist attitude toward them. The power in the Faith is such that it can sustain us on a much higher level in spite of whatever our ailments might be than other people who are denied it. This however does not mean that we should ignore medical opinion and treatment. On the contrary, we should do our best to procure the opinion of specialists and competent doctors.

==================================

15 August 1957

You should not allow the remarks made by the Baha'is to hurt or depress you, but should forget the personalities, and arise to do all you can, yourself, to teach the Faith.

Baha'u'llah enjoins work on all. No one need ever be ashamed of his job. <p463>

"THEIR DAILY SUSTENANCE"

In his last message to the British Baha'i community as a whole the Guardian wrote:

May they, as they forge ahead along the high road leading to ultimate, total and complete victory, receive as their daily sustenance, a still fuller measure of the abounding grace, promised to the believers of an earlier generation by the Centre of the Covenant, the Author of the Divine Plan, Himself, on the occasion of His twice-repeated visit to their shores, and which has been unfailingly vouchsafed to themselves, in the course of over three decades, since the birth of the Formative Age of the Faith and the rise of its Administrative Order in their homeland.

Shoghi <p464><p465>

==================================

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES <p466>

BIOGRAPHIES

These biographies appear strictly in the order the names first appear in the text of the book. Where a fuller report is published elsewhere, a summary only is given together with a reference to the other material.

NAME PAGE NAME PAGE

Dr. John E. Esslemont 9 John L. Marshall 210

Edward T. Hall 9 Mrs. M. Olga K. Mills 210

Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper 9 Alfred and Lucy Sugar 210

George P. Simpson 9 Charles N. Dunning 211

Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg 11 Miss Claire Gung 211

Dia'u'llah Asgharzadih 24 Mrs. Lizzie F. Hainsworth 211

Lady Blomfield 30 Miss Margaret Sullivan 211

Rev. George Townshend 55 Cyril and Margaret

Mrs. Isobel Slade 61 Jenkerson 217

Mrs. Louise Ginman 63 Richard H. Backwell 218

Miss Florence Pinchon 72 Miss Ada Williams 222

Mrs. Claudia Coles 88 Mrs. Constance Langdon-Davies 224

Sister Grace Challis 88 George K. Marshall 228

David Hofman 108 Mrs. Marguerite Preston 231

Mrs. Lilian Stevens 116 Bernard Leach, CH, OBE 239

Miss Evelyn Baxter 117 Samuel Scott 240

Hasan M. Balyuzi 122 John Ferraby 250

Frank Hurst 126 Mrs. Florence "Mother"

Mrs. Mary Basil-Hall 127 George 256

Albert and Jeff Joseph 146 Musa Banani 257

Dr. R. St. Barbe Baker 163 Ali Nakhjavani 257

Miss Jessica Young 172 Hassan and Isobel Sabri 266

Lady Kathleen Hornell 172 Arthur Norton 267

Mrs. Ursula Samandari 172 Eric Manton 273

Mrs. Marion Hofman 179 Dr. Abbas and Shomais

Miss Una Townshend 181 Afnan 278

Joseph Lee 181 Edmund Cardell 281

Mrs. Dorothy Ferraby 184 Dr. John G. Mitchell 307

Philip Hainsworth 187 Miss Irene Bennett 321

Walter Wilkins 191 Miss Dorothy Wigington 362

Mrs. Alma C. Gregory 191 Ernest W. Gregory 381

Robert Cheek 191 Dr. Ernest S. Miller 395

Mrs. Joan Giddings 194 Ian Semple 411

Hugh and Violet McKinley 194 Miss Jean Campbell 414

Dr. Lutfullah Hakim 195 John Craven 416

Fred Stahler 202

Mrs. Prudence George 202 <p467>

DR. JOHN E. ESSLEMONT

Hand of the Cause of God page 9

Born in 1874 and accepted the Faith in early 1915, Dr. Esslemont was elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God after his passing on 22 November 1925 and linked by the Guardian with George Townshend and Thomas Breakwell, on the passing of George Townshend, as "One of three luminaries shedding brilliant lustre annals Irish, English, Scottish Baha'i communities". He was "Vice-President" of the first National Assembly from October 1923 until November 1924. For fuller details of his life and works read "Dr. J. E. Esslemont" by Dr. Moojan Momen. (Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1975-B130.)

EDWARD THEODORE HALL page 9

First heard of the Faith in 1910 in the Salford, Lancashire area and with his wife Rebecca, her brother John Charles and his wife Hester Ann Craven, made contact with Sarah Ann Ridgway, one of the earliest British Baha'is, and later established the second Baha'i Group in the British Isles. In 1912 Mr. Hall and Mr. Craven went to Liverpool and met Abdu'l-Baha at the boat. Five Tablets from the Master were received. In 1922 the first Spiritual Assembly was formed in Manchester with E. T. Hall as Secretary. He also "represented" Manchester on the first National Spiritual Council in 1922, and was a member of the National Assembly until 1928. He was entrusted by Shoghi Effendi with part of his early diaries and later maintained a close correspondence with the Guardian for many years. His book, "The Baha'i Dawn; Manchester" paints a vivid picture of the early days of the Faith in Lancashire. Through Mr. Hall's correspondence with the Editor of the 'John O'Groats Journal' (Mr. R. J. G. Millar) frequent reviews and letters were published for nineteen years until the Editor's retirement. He passed away on 5 December 1962 aged 82.

MRS. THORNBURGH-CROPPER page 9

One of the first Baha'is of the West and possibly the first Baha'i resident in England. Her early Baha'i life is described in "The Chosen Highway" and in "The Baha'i World", Vol. VIII, pp. 649-51. She was a member of the National Spiritual <p468> Assembly for its first two years and it was in her house in Westminster that the first meeting of the "All-England Baha'i Council" was held on 6 June 1922. She passed away on 15 March 1938.

GEORGE PALGRAVE SIMPSON page 9

Was associated with the Administration of the Faith in the British Isles from its earliest days. Elected as Chairman of the first "Spiritual Council" and President of the "National Spiritual Assembly" in 1923. He also served as the Assistant Secretary and the Treasurer for some years. All the early letters from the Guardian were addressed to him and the file copies of his letters to the Holy Land, some to the Guardian and others to the various secretaries, as well as the Minutes in his handwriting, give us our closest insight into the conditions obtaining in the 1920's. At one stage he felt obliged to resign from the National Assembly but was still called upon to remain as its Treasurer and attend the meetings! He served the Cause with great distinction until his death on 31 August 1934. (See letter 30 September 1934.)

MISS ETHEL JENNER ROSENBERG page 11

"One of the pioneers of the Baha'i Cause in the Western World". Having first embraced the Faith in 1899 she soon afterwards went to Akka, subsequently visiting many times both Akka and Haifa for months at a time, learning from and assisting the Master in translating and transcribing the Teachings. Beloved by all the members of the Holy Family, her passing in November 1930 at the age of 72 evoked a cabled tribute from Shoghi Effendi, who knew her well in England and welcomed her in Haifa after the passing of Abdu'l-Baha. She was the one entrusted to bring the robe of Baha'u'llah to England, and was a member of the National Assembly from 1923-1927. ("Baha'i World", Vol. IV, p. 263.)

DIA'U'LLAH ASGHARZADIH,

Knight of Baha'u'llah Page 24

Born in 1880 into a Baha'i family which emigrated to Ishqabad when he was fifteen years old, Dia'u'llah was throughout his life an active Baha'i. His first pilgrimage was in 1903, his second was <p469> seventeen years later, after which he settled in London, and his third was at the time of the passing of the Master when Shoghi Effendi gave him the task of making copies of the Master's Will from the original. He was a member of the National Assembly for various periods between 1925 and 1941 and settled in Jersey as a Knight of Baha'u'llah in 1953 at the age of 73. He passed away in Jersey in April 1956. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XIII, p. 881.)

SARA, LADY BLOMFIELD (SITARIH KHANUM) Page 30

For fuller details of her devoted services to the Cause it is necessary to refer to "The Chosen Highway" and "The Baha'i World", Vol. VIII, pp. 651-6. Born in Ireland of a fearless Protestant mother and a strong Roman Catholic father, she understood from an early age the tragedy of religious intolerance which led her to search for Truth until she found the Baha'i Revelation. She was held in high esteem in the London society of the late "nineties" but she herself was always looking for the Promised One. She was a great friend and admirer of Basil Wilberforce, Archdeacon of Westminster. Not only did she place her home in Cadogan Gardens at the disposal of the Master during His London visits but she accompanied Him to Paris. While He was in America she went to Mount Pelerin, in Switzerland, to edit the rough notes of "Paris Talks", had them sent to Him for correction and had the book published in time for His second visit when He signed and gave away many copies. She accompanied Shoghi Effendi when he returned to Haifa after the passing of the Master and wrote the letter which was later published as "The Passing of Abdu'l-Baha". She was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly for eight of its first eleven years. She passed away on the last day of 1939 and a remarkably fine obituary in the magazine "The World's Children" of March 1940 was headed "Lady Blomfield -- Apostle of World Unity".

GEORGE TOWNSHEND

Hand of the Cause of God Page 55

First corresponded with Abdu'l-Baha about 1918. The Master wrote to him "It is my hope that thy church will come under the heavenly Jerusalem". For very many years he tried to bring to the clergy of the Church of Ireland and particularly the senior <p470> ones, the realisation of Baha'u'llah as Christ returned in the Glory of the Father. In spite of his important books, "The Heart of the Gospel" and "The Promise of All Ages", no one in the church responded and in 1947 the Guardian called upon him to resign from the church. He complied immediately and moved with his wife and two children to a small bungalow in Dundrum near Dublin. He was one of the founder members of the first Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Dublin and in 1951 was elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause. For many years he gave distinguished services to the Guardian, not least of which was the writing of the introduction to "God Passes By" and his presentation on behalf of the Guardian of his paper "Baha'u'llah's Ground Plan for World Fellowship" to the inaugural meeting of the World Congress of Faiths in 1936. The pamphlet he wrote to all Christians under the title "The Old Churches and the New World Faith" was sent out to 10,000 so-called "responsible people" in the British Isles on the occasion of his resignation from the church, and his last book "Christ and Baha'u'llah" was described by the Guardian as "his crowning achievement". He participated in the Inter-Continental Conference, Stockholm, Sweden in July 1953 and passed away in March 1957 at the age of 81. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XIII, p. 841.)

MRS. ISOBEL SLADE page 61

It has not been possible to trace exactly when Mrs. Slade became a Baha'i but she did tell the story of how she heard of the Faith from a visiting American believer and wished to go on pilgrimage to see the Master. Before her plans were made she heard of His passing and she went in the early 1920s. In the year 1926 there is a record of her being a "substitute" member of the National Assembly elected to "represent" the London community. From the following year the delegates elected the National Assembly from the national electorate and Mrs. Slade served as a member for fourteen of the following nineteen years. She was, in different years, Chairman, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary. She was a "last ditch" pioneer to Edinburgh to form the first Assembly there in 1948. To the end of her long life she would delight her visitors with fascinating stories of her experiences in the early days of the Faith in the British Isles and she passed away in September 1972 at the age of <p471> 98. The Universal House of Justice cabled: "PASSING ISOBEL SLADE SEVERS ONE FEW REMAINING LINKS EARLY CAUSE BRITISH ISLES DEPRIVES COMMUNITY OUTSTANDING BELIEVER STOP HER UNFLAGGING SUPPORT CAUSE GOD MORE THAN HALF CENTURY COMPRISING MEMBERSHIP NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY PIONEER VISITING TEACHER SIX YEAR PLAN CONSTANT DEVOTION DUTY HIGH MORAL STATURE RENDER HER SHINING EXAMPLE FUTURE GENERATIONS STOP EXPRESS RELATIVES FRIENDS LOVING SYMPATHY ASSURE PRAYERS SACRED THRESHOLD AMPLE REWARD PROGRESS SOUL ABHA KINGDOM."

MRS. LOUISE GINMAN page 63

Also referred to later as "Louise Charlot". Became a Baha'i in Burlingame, California about 1910, and came to England late in 1919. She served on the London Spiritual Assembly for a period; pioneered to Oxford, and then to Bristol where she died in February 1963 at the age of 92.

MISS FLORENCE E. PINCHON page 72

Little is known about Miss Pinchon's early life but she was mentioned as being active in the Faith with Dr. Esslemont and Major Tudor Pole during the First World War (See "Baha'i World" Vol. XIV, pp. 370-2). "Floy" had a most lucid pen and in addition to contributing to Baha'i and non-Baha'i magazines, wrote "The Coming of the Glory", and "Life after Death". She travelled as a Baha'i teacher before the Second World War but suffered from indifferent health for many years before her death in Bournemouth in March 1966.

MISS CLAUDIA STUART COLES page 88

Having accepted the Baha'i teachings in Washington, D.C. was one of its most loyal and enthusiastic adherents. Moved to London, England in 1920 and was for eleven years a member of the community, serving for a period as secretary of the National Assembly. She died in London on 25 May 1931. ("Baha'i World", Vol. IV, pp. 263-4.)

SISTER GRACE CHALLIS page 88

Sister Challis was a Quaker when she heard of the Faith from Dr. Esslemont and she accepted it at the gathering of the <p472> Bournemouth Baha'is called to hear of the passing of the Master. Always an active teacher of the Faith, she also served on the National Assembly for fifteen of its first eighteen years, mainly as its Chairman. She passed away in Bournemouth in October 1948.

DAVID HOFMAN page 108

A member of the Universal House of Justice since its formation in 1963, he became a Baha'i in the Maxwell home in Montreal in 1933, when he began corresponding with the Guardian. Returning to England in 1936, he was elected to the British National Spiritual Assembly and was the Secretary during some of its most crucial years. He was the first Manager of its Publishing Trust and played a vital role on the National Teaching and Africa Committees of the Six and Two Year Plans. He served almost continuously on the National Assembly until his election to the Universal House of Justice. David and Marion Hofman pioneered during the Six Year Plan in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford and during the Ten Year Crusade in Cardiff and Watford. Throughout his years of devoted service to the British community he was always in demand as a most accomplished speaker and convincing teacher.

MRS. LILIAN STEVENS page 116

Was a founder member of the first Torquay Spiritual Assembly in 1938; was for many years its secretary and in spite of prolonged illness remained a great servant of the Faith. She passed away on 1 January 1958.

MISS EVELYN BAXTER, Knight of Baha'u'llah page 117

Born around 1883 of missionary parents, accepted the Faith in 1923 and served with absolute devotion throughout the remainder of her life. She was for many years a member of the London Spiritual Assembly and served for six years on the National Assembly. Throughout her Baha'i life she corresponded frequently with the Guardian and responded to his overseas pioneer call when she became a Knight of Baha'u'llah for the Channel Isles in September 1953. She had already pioneered in the Six Year Plan to Birmingham, Nottingham, Hove, Oxford <p473> and Cardiff. She died on 21 August 1969 and the Universal House of Justice cabled: "DEEPLY GRIEVED PASSING KNIGHT OF BAHA'U'LLAH EVELYN BAXTER. AMONG FIRST PIONEERS SIX YEAR PLAN HER LONG FAITHFUL SERVICE BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY PROVIDES EXAMPLE DEVOTION FORTITUDE".

("Baha'i World", Vol. XV, pp. 456-7)

HASAN M. BALYUZI,

Hand of the Cause of God page 122

He was first elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles in 1933 and served continuously until 1960, when he retired in order to devote his whole time to the work of the Hands of the Cause. He served at the World Centre, and travelled to South America and throughout Canada in 1961. Mr. Balyuzi was Secretary of the first Summer School Committee in 1936, on the National Teaching Committee in 1940 and Chairman of the National Assembly almost every year from 1942 until his retirement. He was elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause in 1957, and has made invaluable contributions to the literature of the Faith with his trilogy, "Baha'u'llah", "Abdu'l-Baha" and "The Bab"; his "Edward Granville Browne and the Baha'i Faith", his pamphlet on "Baha'i Administration", and "Muhammad and the Course of Islam". (See page 490)

FRANK HURST page 126

An early worker in the Trade Union Movement in Britain, Frank was an outspoken sympathiser of the Faith for over twenty years before actually accepting it in Bradford in 1939. He died in Leeds in 1949.

MRS. MARY BASIL-HALL (PARVINE) page 127

Daughter of Lady Blomfield, she was active in the Faith from her youth, particularly during the visit to Britain of the Master Whom she served with such devotion, and Who bestowed upon her the name "Parvine" on His first visit in 1911. She served for five years on the National Spiritual Assembly and for a short time on the National Teaching Committee of the Six Year Plan. At her passing the National Assembly cabled the Guardian, "PARVINE GLORIED IN SUCCESS PLAN PASSED TO ABHA KINGDOM MORNING 28TH" (April 1950). <p474>

ALBERT AND JEFF JOSEPH page 146

Associated with the Faith from the very beginnings of the Administration in the British Isles, the Joseph brothers gave long and outstanding service to the Cause. Jacob (later "Jeff") was Chairman and Albert (then Ibrahim) a member of the first "Spiritual Council" of the Baha'is of Manchester. Jacob was a member of the first "All-England Baha'i Council" in 1922 and of the first National Spiritual Assembly in 1923. Both were mentioned in and received some Tablets from the Master and both were warmly regarded by the Guardian for their services to the Faith. Jeff died in August 1969 in Manchester and Albert in August 1978.

RICHARD ST. BARBE BAKER, O.B.E., LL.D.,

FOR.D.I.P. (CAMBRIDGE) page 163

On his return from Kenya in 1924 where he had served as Assistant Conservator of Forests since 1920, R. St. Barbe Baker was asked to speak on the faiths of the Kikuyu under the title: "Some African Beliefs" at the 'Conference of Living Religions within the Empire', and was approached afterwards by Claudia Stewart-Coles who exclaimed "You are a Baha'i". He subsequently accepted the Faith and has introduced it to many thousands of people in all walks of life in many lands, for more than half a century. The Guardian became the first Life Member of the Men of the Trees in Palestine in 1929. Later, for twelve consecutive years, he sent an official message to St. Barbe's World Forestry Charter Gatherings attended by Ambassadors from up to sixty-two countries each year. St. Barbe took an active part on the Committee celebrating the Centenary of the Declaration of the Bab in 1944. After his first Sahara University Expedition carrying out an ecological survey of 9,000 miles in 1953, and in response to the Guardian's desire, St. Barbe attended the First African Conference in Kampala. In 1975 St. Barbe was called upon to advise on tree planting of the site of the Tihran House of Worship in consultation with Quinlan Terry, architect. Afterwards, in collaboration with architect Hossein Amanat, he recorded his observations for the Universal House of Justice for the landscaping of their site on Mt. Carmel and for tree-scaping at Bahji. St. Barbe attended the Intercontinental Conference Nairobi, in October 1976 and still (1979) at almost 90 is <p475> introducing or teaching the Faith in many lands and would be content to "lay down his bones in service to the Faith" in his beloved Africa.

MISS JESSICA YOUNG page 172

Historically was the first British pioneer to arise when she went for a short time to Bristol.

KATHLEEN BROWN (LADY HORNELL) page 172

Was elected to the National Assembly in 1936 and served until 1945. She pioneered to Nottingham in 1946 where she later married Sir William Hornell. Her next pioneer post was in Belfast in 1952, then to Venice (1960-1965) and later to Sardinia (1965-1968). She returned to London to live at the home of her son-in-law, Hand of the Cause, H. M. Balyuzi. She passed away in September 1977 and the Universal House of Justice cabled: "PASSING LADY HORNELL ROBS BRITISH COMMUNITY ONE OF FEW REMAINING LINKS EARLY DAYS FAITH. HER UNWAVERING FAITH CONSTANT DEDICATED SERVICES PIONEER TEACHING ADMINISTRATIVE FIELDS OVER SO MANY YEARS ASSURE HER HIGH STATION ANNALS CAUSE PROVIDE SHINING EXAMPLE PRESENT FUTURE GENERATIONS. ADVISE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL MEETING. ASSURE ARDENT PRAYERS SACRED THRESHOLD PROGRESS HER LOVING SOUL ABHA KINGDOM."

URSULA SAMANDARI (nee NEWMAN), Knight of Baha'u'llah page 172

First served on the British National Assembly in 1945 and pioneered to St. Ives in the same year. Ursula became pioneer member of the first Dublin Assembly in 1948 and pioneered again, a year later, to Belfast. In Belfast she became member of the first Local Assembly and worked with pioneer Dr. Mehdi Samandari, whom she married. They subsequently pioneered to Nairobi in 1953 and later to Somalia, where she was a Knight of Baha'u'llah and became a member of the first Spiritual Assembly of Mogadiscio, on which she served from 1954 until 1971. In addition to these experiences, she served on the National Assembly for North East Africa (1961-1970) and on the National Assembly of Cameroon since 1972, where she still serves (1979). <p476>

MRS MARION HOFMAN page 179

Came to Britain in 1945 to be married to David Hofman, after having served the Faith in America with great distinction as a teacher, writer and administrator. With her husband she pioneered during the Six Year Plan in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford, and during the Ten Year Crusade in Cardiff and Watford. She served on the National Spiritual Assembly and National Teaching Committee and as an Auxiliary Board member. Since David's election to the Universal House of Justice, Marion was solely responsible for the family publishing business of George Ronald.

MISS UNA TOWNSHEND Knight of Baha'u'llah page 181

Was the first of Hand of the Cause George Townshend's family to embrace the Faith which her father had espoused many years previously. She was an active Baha'i youth and on 16 September 1946 became the first pioneer in Ireland where she opened the 'pivotal centre' of Dublin and was on its first Spiritual Assembly in 1948. She pioneered to Malta and was the first Knight of Baha'u'llah in that island in October 1953.

JOSEPH LEE page 181

Accepted the Faith in Manchester in 1932 and was active on committees and in the teaching work for over thirty years. He served on the National Spiritual Assembly from 1933 to 1940 and pioneered to Brighton, Torquay and Exeter, sacrificing material prosperity over many years in the interests of teaching and pioneering. He passed away in May 1966 at the age of 55 years.

MRS DOROTHY FERRABY (nee Cansdale) page 184

Became a Baha'i and was active in the London Youth group in the early 1930's. She was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly in 1941 and served continuously as either Secretary, Treasurer or Recording Secretary for the next twenty years. She retired when her husband, Hand of the Cause John Ferraby, left to serve at the World Centre. That the small and scattered <p477> British Baha'i community was held together in the 1940's is generally recognised to have been due to the dedicated work of Dorothy as Secretary of the National Assembly working indefatigably in war-torn London. She became an Auxiliary Board Member in 1954 and was appointed to the European Board of Counsellors in 1968.

PHILIP HAINSWORTH page 187

Accepted the Faith in Bradford in 1938, and at the outbreak of War was the first British believer to register as a Baha'i in the Armed Forces. He had to appeal in Court when seeking exemption from being involved in the taking of life and, being released from combatant service, was drafted into the Royal Army Medical Corps. Prior to his release from military service in 1946, he spent five weeks in Haifa and in the same year pioneered to Nottingham. He was appointed Chairman of the National Youth Committee and Secretary of the National Teaching Committee and was elected to the National Assembly in 1947. He subsequently pioneered to Oxford and Blackburn. In June 1951 he was one of the party of five pioneers who first went to Dar-es-Salaam and then on to Kampala, Uganda, where he became Secretary of the first local Spiritual Assembly in 1952 and of the Regional National Assembly in Central and East Africa in 1956. He returned to pioneer in the Leeds area in 1966, was elected to the National Assembly in 1967 and is still (1979) a member.

WALTER WILKINS page 191

Born in 1883 Walter embraced the Faith when he was about 40 years old. He was a keen Esperantist through which he learned of the Faith. He served for many years on the London Spiritual Assembly and was on the National Assembly for a year in 1934. Responding to the pioneer call of the Six Year Plan he moved to Birmingham in 1946, to Blackburn in 1947, to Norwich in 1948, and in 1961 at the age of 78 he pioneered to Canterbury. At the age of 82 he took a small flat in an old people's home where for the first time in his life he was able to entertain the friends and hold Feasts and even an assembly meeting. He passed away after an accident on 19 March 1973. <p478>

MRS ALMA CYNTHIA GREGORY page 191

Although she remembers her mother, Louise Ginman, going from town to town in the United States trying to find the Master, but reaching the place shortly after He had left, and speaks with feeling of personal involvement as a Baha'i youth, of many early meetings in London at the homes of Lady Blomfield, Claudia Coles, Ethel Rosenberg, "Mother" George and many others of that day, she did not formally register as a Baha'i in the British Isles until 1942. She pioneered to Northampton in August 1946 and helped to form its first Assembly, leaving for Liverpool in 1949 for the same purpose. She subsequently pioneered to Bristol, Exeter and Stornoway; was the Secretary of the National Youth Committee when it launched its "Baha'i Youth Bulletin" from 1946 to 1948; was Secretary of the Assembly Development Committee for some years and was a member of the National Assembly for seven years between 1948 and 1956.

ROBERT CHEEK page 191

Became a Baha'i in London on Naw-Ruz 1945, pioneered to Bournemouth in September 1946, to Bristol in 1947 to help form the first Assembly there, and to Norwich in 1948 where he has lived since except for a short special pioneer project in Blackburn in 1950-1.

MRS JOAN GIDDINGS (nee BROWNE) page 194

Accepted the Faith in Bradford in 1938. She pioneered first to Cardiff and later to York and Canterbury, and was active on Assemblies and on National Committees throughout her Baha'i life. She passed away in Canterbury in 1978. (See also note about developments in Bradford under "Cyril and Margaret Jenkerson".)

HUGH AND VIOLET MCKINLEY page 194

Hugh McKinley and his mother, Violet McKinley, pioneered from Torquay to Cardiff in 1947, serving on the first local Spiritual Assembly when formed there in 1948. Together they pioneered to Nicosia, Cyprus in 1953, moving to Famagusta in 1958. Violet passed away there in August 1959. In 1966 Hugh pioneered to Syros in the Cyclades Islands (Greece) and returned <p479> to the United Kingdom in October 1977. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XVI, p. 512.)

DR. LUTFU'LLAH HAKIM page 195

Was born into a family of distinguished Jewish medical doctors in 1888. His grandfather was the first Jew to embrace the Cause and Baha'u'llah revealed a Tablet in his honour. Lutfu'llah came to study physiotherapy in England in 1910 and he was in constant attendance on the Master during His visit in 1911. He went to serve in the Holy Land and returned to England in 1920 when he accompanied Shoghi Effendi. He later served with distinction in Persia and returned, at the request of the Guardian, to Britain in October 1948, where he taught and travelled extensively until called to Haifa by the Guardian on 14 November 1950. He was appointed to the first International Baha'i Council. He was elected to the first Universal House of Justice in 1963 but because of failing health and advanced age regretfully his resignation was accepted in October 1967 though he consented to serve until the 1968 election. He passed away in August 1968 and the House cabled the Baha'i world: "GRIEVE ANNOUNCE PASSING LUTFU'LLAH HAKIM DEDICATED SERVANT CAUSE GOD. SPECIAL MISSIONS ENTRUSTED HIM, FULL CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM BY MASTER AND GUARDIAN, HIS CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH EARLY DISTINGUISHED BELIEVERS EAST WEST INCLUDING HIS COLLABORATION ESSLEMONT, HIS SERVICES PERSIA BRITISH ISLES HOLY LAND, HIS MEMBERSHIP APPOINTED AND ELECTED INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL, HIS ELECTION UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED IMMORTAL ANNALS FAITH

BAHA'U'LLAH." ("Baha'i World", Vol. XV, pp. 430-4.)

FRED STAHLER page 202

Arose to pioneer shortly after accepting the Faith in Manchester in 1947. He pioneered first to Cardiff, then to Bristol, moved for varying periods to seven other cities and finally settled in Derby in 1965.

MRS. PRUDENCE GEORGE page 202

Born in England in 1896 she moved to Canada in 1928 where she accepted the Faith in 1941. She first pioneered from St. Lambert to Moncton and then from Canada to England with <p480> her young daughter in 1946 to settle in Blackburn, Lancs. From there to Norwich and Bournemouth in the Six Year Plan and then to Edinburgh and Portsmouth. In 1959 she pioneered to Luxembourg and then in the Nine Year Plan, to Guernsey, to Chelmsford, Essex and again overseas to the Canary Islands. In 1969 she returned to England to pioneer in Hereford and St. Austell and then back again to the Canaries where she was on the first Spiritual Assembly of Arucas. For over thirty years she served the Cause with utter consecration; carrying out at least sixteen pioneer projects in three continents. She passed away in Birmingham, England on 12 July 1974. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XVI, p. 534.)

JOHN LUDLOW MARSHALL page 210

"Johnny" was a Scot, born in 1876, went to work as a tinsmith at the age of eleven and later, after marriage, settled in Birmingham to pursue his trade. He was confirmed in the Faith by the Master, Whom he met in 1911 and 1913, when he was, for many years, the only Baha'i in Birmingham. Johnny kept excellent records of visits and lectures by some of the early visitors to Birmingham, including Martha Root, Dr. Esslemont, Mountford Mills and Helen Bishop. At the age of 71 he retired from work and pioneered to Edinburgh where he died as a result of an accident in January 1948, only three months before the first Spiritual Assembly was formed there.

MARY OLGA KATHERINE MILLS,

Knight of Baha'u'llah page 210

Born in Germany in 1882 with a German father and English mother she grew up with an insatiable love for travel. In the United States she married an Englishman. It is not certain when she accepted the Faith but she was on pilgrimage in 1930 and stayed for a month as companion to Effie Baker. She was later a great help to the friends in Berlin and Leipzig and gave much support to Adam Benke who pioneered to Sofia. After suffering many privations during the war in Germany she wrote to the Guardian in 1947 and he encouraged her suggestion to pioneer to England. She arrived in early 1948 and settled in her first pioneer post in Nottingham. Within nine months she was again on the move in response to pioneer calls. Belfast, Edinburgh, St. <p481> Ives, Brighton, and Bournemouth, making six moves in just over two years by a lady in her late sixties. In 1953 she responded immediately and was enrolled as a Knight of Baha'u'llah for Malta where, after numerous vicissitudes and a small but painful accident which affected her for many months, she was able, some twenty years later, to witness the formation of the first Spiritual Assembly in Malta. She passed away, after twenty-seven years of dedicated pioneering which covered four territories, in May 1974, when the Universal House of Justice cabled: "PASSING NOBLE SOUL OLGA MILLS GRIEVOUS LOSS BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY. HER LONG STEADFAST DEVOTION BAHA'U'LLAH SHEDS LUSTRE ANNALS FAITH THAT COMMUNITY. ISLAND MALTA HISTORICALLY FAMOUS CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN ISLAMIC ERAS RECIPIENT NEW SPIRITUAL POTENTIALITIES THROUGH HEROIC SERVICE KNIGHT BAHA'U'LLAH DEDICATED BAND PIONEERS. EXPRESS FRIENDS RELATIVES LOVING SYMPATHY ASSURE ARDENT PRAYERS PROGRESS SOUL." ("Baha'i World", Vol. XVI, p. 531.)

ALFRED AND EDITH LUCY SUGAR page 210

After hearing of the Faith from her brother, E. T. Hall, Lucy Sugar accepted the Faith on 28 November 1921, but Alfred remained agnostic until about 1925. He became well known for his depth of knowledge of the Faith and for his cogent argument. He was a teacher of the highest order and was largely responsible for the development of the Faith around Lancashire and over the Pennines into Bradford and Leeds. Lucy was a member of the National Assembly in 1929 and Alfred was a member during eight of the following thirteen years.

Alfred died in December 1961 at the age of 92 (or 93) and was followed in March 1966 by Lucy aged 90.

CHARLES WILLIAM DUNNING, Knight of Baha'u'llah page 211

Born in or near Leeds, March 1885. Met and embraced the Faith in 1948 and within a fortnight offered to pioneer to Belfast. After serious illness and a period of recuperation in Cardiff, he served in Sheffield until 1953. "Charlie" answered the Guardian's call to settle in unopened territories in the Ten Year Crusade and he arrived in Kirkwall, Orkney in September 1953, opening the way, "essentially ... alone" for the founding of Kirkwall Spiritual <p482> Assembly. After four years, broken by ill health and persecution, he was, for his own safety, sent back to Cardiff. After a bad fall in 1967 from which he never fully recovered, he passed away quietly in his sleep on Christmas Day, 1967 in Cardiff. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XIV, pp. 305-8.)

MISS CLAIRE GUNG page 211

Born in Germany, became a Baha'i in Torquay and later joined the small Baha'i group in Cheltenham in 1940. She moved to Manchester and later pioneered to Northampton in November 1946 to become member of the first Spiritual Assembly there. In 1948 she again pioneered to help form the first Spiritual Assembly in the "Pivotal Centre" of Cardiff. In 1950, during the "Year of Respite", Claire became the first pioneer actually to move from the British community to settle in Africa. Hailed by the Guardian as the "Mother of Africa" she worked for some years in Tanganyika and then moved to Uganda where she established a multi-racial kindergarten; she is still at her pioneer post at the time of writing (1979).

MRS. LIZZIE FOWLER HAINSWORTH page 211

Became a Baha'i in Bradford in 1946 after replying to her younger son Philip that she had not become a Baha'i during his absence in the Armed Forces because "Nobody had asked me to". She pioneered to Nottingham in 1946, to Oxford in 1949 and, at the age of 72, was the first believer in the British Isles to offer to pioneer in the Two Year Plan to Africa. (Convention 1950.) She died in Bradford in September 1951 before she could join her son Philip in Uganda. The Guardian wrote of her through his secretary, "She has truly shown an exemplary Baha'i spirit in every way.... He wishes more of the Baha'is would arise to such heights of devotion and sacrifice."

MISS MARGARET SULLIVAN (later MRS. MARGARET

NELSON) page 211

Pioneered to Dublin and was on the first Local Assembly there in 1948. She was Caretaker of the National Hazi'ratu'l-Quds, London from December 1970 to August 1976, and then became a founder member of the Tameside Assembly, Lancashire. <p483> CYRIL AND MARGARET JENKERSON page 217

Became Baha'is in Bradford in 1940 and pioneered to Oxford to be members of the first Assembly there in 1949. (It is of interest to note that in 1938 there were only three Spiritual Assemblies in the British Isles -- in London, Manchester and Bournemouth, and a total of about eighty registered Baha'is, yet in Bradford there were, during the course of about two years, so many new registrations that the first Assembly was elected there in 1939 and by 1949 that Community had sent out ten pioneers from its first twenty-five believers.) The Jenkersons pioneered to Cyprus in 1978 and are still there (1979).

RICHARD H. BACKWELL page 218

Became a Baha'i in Ceylon in 1944 where he was an officer in the Royal Air Force. Returning to Britain in 1946, he pioneered in Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leeds; was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly from 1947 until January 1955 when he pioneered to British Guiana, now Guyana. He was for a time part-time manager of the Baha'i Publishing Trust and Editor of the Baha'i Journal. After his return from Guiana, he settled with his family in Northern Ireland in 1963 and again served on the National Assembly until 1968 when he was appointed an Auxiliary Board Member. His valuable contributions to Baha'i literature include the compilations with which he was associated -- "Pattern of Baha'i Life", "Principles of Baha'i Administration", "The Covenant of Baha'u'llah", "Guidance for Today and Tomorrow", "A Faith for Everyman", and his unique approach to the Christians, "The Christianity of Jesus". He passed away on 4 October 1972 at the age of 58 when the Universal House of Justice included in their cable: "GRIEF PASSING EARLY AGE RICHARD BACKWELL GREATLY ASSUAGED TERMINATION HIS SUFFERING CONTEMPLATION DISTINGUISHED RECORD SERVICE SOUTH AMERICA BRITISH ISLES SPIRITUAL RADIANCE EVENING EARTHLY LIFE..." ("Baha'i World", Vol. XV, pp. 525-27.)

MISS ADA WILLIAMS page 222

Pioneered to Motherwell in 1948 and then to Blackpool in 1965. She has travelled widely to teach the Faith at home and overseas, visiting Malta, South Africa and Canada where her great spirit was most inspiring; she is still travelling (1979). <p484> MRS CONSTANCE LANGDON-DAVIES page 224

Was one of the early believers in Torquay where she associated with Mark Tobey, Bernard Leach and other artists and writers at Dartington Hall. She accepted the Faith in December 1936 and served on the National Assembly for fifteen of the years from 1938 until her unexpected death in Oxford in December 1954. She had pioneered to help form the first Assembly there 1949.

GEORGE K. MARSHALL page 228

Became a Baha'i in 1949 although he had lived most of his life with his father, one of the early British believers, in Birmingham. (See "John L. Marshall".) George pioneered for a short while to Belfast and then in 1950 to Glasgow where he lived for seven years, except for a short pioneering project to maintain the Assembly in Edinburgh. He died at an early age on 30 March 1958.

MRS MARGUERITE PRESTON (nee Wellby) page 231

Became a Baha'i in 1936, was a member of the National Assembly for three and a half years during the period 1939 to 1945. She married Terence Preston, a Kenya tea grower, in August 1945 and settled in Kenya where she was the only Baha'i until the pioneers began to settle under the Two Year Plan. Her husband died unexpectedly in July 1951 leaving her with three young children and she and her eldest child were killed in an aeroplane crash when she was returning to Kenya after a short holiday in England, in February 1952.

BERNARD LEACH, C.H., C.B.E. page 239

It was through Mark Tobey that world famous potter and author Bernard Leach became a Baha'i in the early 1930's. He has through his works, his books, his press, radio and television interviews introduced the Faith with love, dedication and dignity to people in many spheres of society in Britain, Japan and America. He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen and made a Companion of Honour. Even at ninety years of age, though blind, he was serving the Cause with distinction through his writings and interviews. In March 1977, he opened, with much favourable publicity, an exhibition of his works at the <p485> Victoria and Albert Museum London. In 1919, when Bernard was about to leave Japan, the late Soetsu Yangi, the well-known Japanese art critic and philosopher and Bernard's friend for over fifty years, paid tribute: "When he leaves us we shall have lost the one man who knows Japan on its spiritual side... I consider his position in Japan, and also his mission in his own country to be pregnant with the deepest meaning. He is trying to knit the East and West together by art, and it seems likely that he will be remembered as the first to accomplish as an artist, what for so long mankind has been dreaming of bringing about...." He passed away in May 1979 and to the National Assembly the Universal House of Justice cabled: "KINDLY EXTEND LOVING SYMPATHY RELATIVES FRIENDS PASSING DISTINGUISHED VETERAN UPHOLDER FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH BERNARD LEACH. HONOURS CONFERRED UPON HIM RECOGNITION HIS WORLD-WIDE FAME CRAFTSMAN POTTER PROMOTER CONCORD EAST AND WEST ADD LUSTRE ANNALS BRITISH BAHA'I HISTORY AND HIS EAGER WILLINGNESS USE HIS RENOWN FOR SERVICE FAITH EARN ETERNAL GRATITUDE FELLOW BELIEVERS. ASSURE ARDENT PRAYERS PROGRESS HIS SOUL."

SAMUEL SCOTT page 240

Became a Baha'i when he was 76 years old and pioneered to Norwich at the age of 84. He passed away on 31 December 1951, at the age of 86.

JOHN FERRABY,

Hand of the Cause of God. page 250

Accepted the Faith in 1941 and was elected to the National Assembly almost immediately. He was Secretary from 1946 until December 1960 when he took up duties at the World Centre. He was also for a number of years manager of the Baha'i Publishing Trust. On his passing in September 1973 the Universal House of Justice called for memorial meetings "ALL COMMUNITIES BAHA'I WORLD" and referred to his "VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION BAHA'I LITERATURE THROUGH HIS BOOK 'ALL THINGS MADE NEW'". ("Baha'i World", Vol. XVI, p. 511.)

MRS FLORENCE "MOTHER" GEORGE page 256

Always proud of the designation "Mother" given to her by Abdu'l-Baha when she was one of the early pilgrims to the Holy <p486> Land, it was Mother George who introduced the Faith to Dr. John Esslemont. For very many years she conducted Sunday afternoon meetings in her Chelsea home in London and she passed away on 4 November 1950 at the age of 91. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XII, p. 697.)

MUSA BANANI,

Hand of the Cause of God. page 257

Pioneered with his wife Samihih to Uganda in 1951 and was elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause in February 1952. The beloved Guardian also described him as the "spiritual conqueror of Africa". In spite of failing health he visited most African territories, served for some five years as the sole Hand of the African Continent, and finally, after many years of constant suffering, passed away at his pioneering post in Kampala, Uganda, on 4 September 1971. The Universal House of Justice cabled: "PROFOUNDLY MOURN PASSING DEARLY LOVED HAND CAUSE MUSA BANANI RECALL WITH DEEP AFFECTION HIS SELFLESS UNASSUMING PROLONGED SERVICES CRADLE FAITH HIS EXEMPLARY PIONEERING UGANDA CULMINATING HIS APPOINTMENT AS HAND CAUSE AFRICA AND PRAISE BELOVED GUARDIAN AS SPIRITUAL CONQUEROR THAT CONTINENT. INTERMENT HIS REMAINS AFRICAN SOIL UNDER SHADOW MOTHER TEMPLE ENHANCES SPIRITUAL LUSTRE THAT BLESSED SPOT. FERVENTLY PRAYING SHRINES PROGRESS HIS NOBLE SOUL. MAY AFRICA NOW ROBBED STAUNCH VENERABLE PROMOTER DEFENDER FAITH FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE CHEER HIS HEART ABHA KINGDOM. CONVEY FAMILY MOST TENDER SYMPATHIES ADVISE HOLD MEMORIAL MEETINGS ALL COMMUNITIES BAHA'I WORLD BEFITTING GATHERINGS MOTHER TEMPLES". ("Baha'i World", Vol. XV, pp. 421-3.)

ALI NAKHJAVANI page 257

Left Persia in early 1951, after service for the Faith in youth and teaching activities and as a member of the National Assembly, to join his wife, Violette and her parents, Musa and Samihih Banani, in the British Isles, preparatory to their pioneering to Africa. His teaching activities in Africa took him to remote African villages, and, later, as assistant to Mr. Banani when he was appointed Hand of the Cause, to many countries on the African continent. Elected Chairman of the first Regional National Assembly of Central and East Africa, then as member of the first elected <p487> International Council and finally as member of the Universal House of Justice in 1963.

HASSAN AND ISOBEL SABRI page 266

Hassan, a young Egyptian Baha'i studying in England in 1945 met Isobel Locke, an American pioneer to England, and they both served with distinction in the Six Year Plan, Hassan on the National Youth and National Teaching Committees and the Nottingham, Birmingham, Belfast, Liverpool, Cardiff and Bristol Spiritual Assemblies, and Isobel on the Assemblies in Edinburgh, Blackpool, Sheffield and Bristol, as well as on the National Teaching Committee. They married in 1951 and pioneered to Tanganyika and Uganda, where Hassan was on the first National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa. Isobel became a Counsellor and Hassan Secretary of the Continental Pioneer Committee for Africa. They subsequently pioneered to Kenya where they still serve (1979).

ARTHUR NORTON page 267

Was the Treasurer of the special fund for the Shrine of the Bab when he received some letters and receipts. He and his wife Marion were founder members of the Bradford Baha'i community as well as being the first pioneers to Sheffield during the Six Year Plan. He served on the National Assembly for seven and a half years during the period 1938-1946, when he was obliged to retire due to ill-health in December 1946.

ERIC MANTON page 273

Became a Baha'i in Northampton in 1946 where he was a member of the first Spiritual Assembly. He later pioneered to Edinburgh where he was also on the first Scottish Assembly and to the virgin territory of Northern Rhodesia in 1951. He was Chairman of the first National Spiritual Assembly of South Central Africa in 1964 and of the National Assembly of Zambia for nine years from its formation in 1967. He has remained at his post and became a Zambian citizen in 1973.

DR. ABBAS AND SHOMAIS AFNAN, page 278

Abbas Afnan was a student in Paris and came to England as a pioneer to Africa for the Two Year Plan. Shomais Ala'i was the <p488> second Persian Baha'i student to come to Northampton to train as a nurse and arrived in 1948. They married at Summer School, Cottingham, Yorkshire in 1951 and pioneered soon afterwards -- Shomais to Ethiopia and Abbas to Persia. Abbas joined Shomais in Africa in 1953. They returned to England in 1958 and opened the town of Burnley where an Assembly was formed in 1961. In 1975 Abbas pioneered to Newfoundland and Shomais joined him in July 1976. Abbas was a member of the National Assembly from 1964 until his pioneer move, and Shomais was active in United Nations' affairs. Shomais toured Persia in 1971 at the request of the Universal House of Justice, was one of the representatives of the Baha'i International Community at the International Women's Year Convention in Mexico in 1975 and travelled extensively in the British Isles in 1978-1979.

EDMUND (TED) CARDELL, Knight of Baha'u'llah page 281

Became a Baha'i in Canada in 1948 and returned to his father's farm in England some time later. He pioneered to Kenya in October 1951 where he was a founder member of the first local Assembly in Nairobi. He became Knight of Baha'u'llah for South West Africa in 1953 and returned to England in 1963. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1973 and is still a member (1979).

DR. JOHN GEORGE MITCHELL,

Knight of Baha'u'llah page 307

Became a Baha'i in 1950, was member of the National Assembly from 1952 to 1954 from which he pioneered as a Knight of Baha'u'llah for Malta. He had pioneered for a short while in Blackpool. He passed away on 19 February 1957 at the age of 50. ("Baha'i World", Vol. XIII, p. 901.)

MISS IRENE BENNETT page 321

Became a Baha'i in Kenya in 1953 and has been in pioneering posts since that time. She has served in Portugal, Switzerland, Scotland, Kenya, Uganda (where she was an Auxiliary Board Member), Nigeria, and is presently (1980) in the Central African Republic. <p489>

MISS DOROTHY WIGINGTON page 362

Became a Baha'i at Summer School, Exeter in July 1954 and has been a staunch member of the Oxford Assembly from January 1955.

ERNEST WILLIAM GREGORY page 381

Responded to an experimental postal card advertisement in Sheffield and accepted the Faith there in March 1951. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1954 when John Mitchell pioneered to Malta. He served until 1963 when he became an Auxiliary Board Member. He left in April 1974 to serve at the World Centre and passed away there in April 1978. The Universal House of Justice cabled: "ANNOUNCE PASSING TO ABHA KINGDOM MORNING OF FIRST DAY RIDVAN DISTINGUISHED SERVANT BAHA'U'LLAH ERNEST GREGORY. HIS OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION GROWTH BRITISH BAHA'I COMMUNITY AS MEMBER MANY YEARS NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY AND LATER MEMBER AUXILIARY BOARD ENSURE HIM HIGH PLACE THAT COMMUNITY'S ANNALS. HIS STIRLING QUALITIES ENDEARED HIM TO ALL AT WORLD CENTRE FAITH WHERE HIS LOSS KEENLY FELT. ADVISE BRITISH COMMUNITY JOIN PRAYERS THANKSGIVING HIS LIFE PROGRESS HIS SOUL."

DR. ERNEST SPENCER MILLER page 395

Became a Baha'i in September 1951 in Liverpool and at great sacrifice left his medical practice to pioneer to Cardiff in 1955. For some years prior to his death in October 1976, he lived partly in Liverpool and partly in Anglesey, North Wales. The Universal House of Justice cabled: "GRIEVED LOSS DEVOTED BELIEVER ERNEST MILLER WHO RENDERED DISTINGUISHED SERVICES BRITISH HOME FRONT ENDEARED HIMSELF FELLOW BELIEVERS. EXTEND SYMPATHY FRIENDS ASSURE ARDENT PRAYERS SACRED THRESHOLD PROGRESS HIS SOUL ABHA KINGDOM."

IAN SEMPLE page 411

Heard of the Faith at the first public meeting organised by the Oxford Spiritual Assembly in 1949 and accepted it shortly afterwards. He was elected to the National Assembly in January 1955 and was a member until Ridvan 1961, serving as Secretary from January 1960 to January 1961. In 1956 he pioneered to Edinburgh for two and a half years, and was appointed to the <p490> Auxiliary Board for the Propagation of the Faith in November 1957. He was elected to the International Baha'i Council at Ridvan 1961, and to the Universal House of Justice in 1963.

MISS JEAN M. CAMPBELL page 414

Jean Campbell accepted the Faith in Oxford in 1949 in time to be on the first Spiritual Assembly there. She served as the Assembly secretary for some years, pioneered to Aberdeen in 1959 and then to Malta in February 1964 where she is still at her pioneer post (1979).

JOHN CHARLES CRAVEN page 416

Was associated closely with E. T. Hall and Rebecca Hall from the earliest days of the Faith in Manchester, and remained a dedicated worker until his death, aged 80 in 1958. "Uncle John" kept up a wide correspondence with many of the early believers, and it was in a letter to him that Dr. T. K. Cheyne D.D. made his "Declaration" of belief in Baha'u'llah. He received three Tablets from the Master and was on the National Assembly for six of the first eight years. His teaching of the Faith was mostly in the Altrincham area and among his workmates.

ADDENDUM FOR H. M. BALYUZI page 473

His crowning work, "Baha'u'llah -- the King of Glory" was still at the binders when he passed away at his home in London on 12 February 1980. The Universal House of Justice cabled the Baha'i world, "WITH BROKEN HEARTS ANNOUNCE PASSING DEARLY LOVED HAND CAUSE HASAN BALYUZI. ENTIRE BAHA'I WORLD ROBBED ONE OF ITS MOST POWERFUL DEFENDERS MOST RESOURCEFUL HISTORIANS. HIS ILLUSTRIOUS LINEAGE HIS DEVOTED LABOURS DIVINE VINEYARD HIS OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORKS COMBINED IN IMMORTALISING HIS HONOURED NAME IN ANNALS BELOVED FAITH. CALL ON FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HOLD MEMORIAL GATHERINGS. PRAYING SHRINES HIS EXEMPLARY ACHIEVEMENTS STEADFASTNESS PATIENCE HUMILITY HIS OUTSTANDING SCHOLARLY PURSUITS WILL INSPIRE MANY DEVOTED WORKERS AMONG RISING GENERATIONS FOLLOW HIS GLORIOUS FOOTSTEPS."