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Abstract:
Summary and key points of this Message.

Ridvan 2001:
Study Guide

by Lal Fernando and Dheena Fernando

2001

From the Pen of our beloved Guardian:

" To dear friends,

At this season of the year when Bahá'ís throughout the world are celebrating the Ridvan festivities and are renewing their determination to work and live under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh".

    - Shoghi Effendi (Letter dated 30 April 1930)

" ... the Ridvan feast, which for all administrative purposes, is the beginning of the Bahá'í year".

    - Shoghi Effendi (Letter dated June 05, 1934 -Quoted in Dawn of a New Day, p. 49)


The Greatest Holy Leaf writes:

"The festival of Ridvan is come and the splendor of the light of God is shining from the invisible horizon of His mercy. The overflowing grace of the Lord of oneness is pouring down copiously from the unseen world and the glad-tidings of the kingdom are coming in from all countries. The resplendent morn that betokens the advancement of the Cause of God and heralds exaltation of His word is dawning an every region."

    Bahiyyih Khanum - Gleaned from "Bahiyyih Khanum", p.111

Study Program - Ridvan Message 2001

To the Bahá'ís of the World

Bahá'ís- The faithful followers of Bahá'u'lláh

World -"Know ye that by "the world" is meant your unawareness of Him Who is your maker ..."(GWB, p. 276)

- It also refers to the Bahaí world

Dearly loved Friends,

Friends- Traditional greeting of the beloved guardian to the Bahá'ís of the world

With great joy in our hearts and high expectations

Heart- "what can alone contain Me is the heart of him,that believeth in Me and is faithful to My Cause". -- (GWB p. 186)

Expectation - "We entreat God to graciously aid His servants. What this Wronged One doth expect from everyone is justice and fairness. Let no one be content with mere hearing; rather doth it behove everyone to ponder that which this Wronged One hath revealed."

- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets, p. 130

welcome to this Ridvan

Ridvan-" Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridvan and entered it".

(GWB,p.31)

season

21 April - 2 May each year

For more information read-

Gleanings, p. 27-35;

God Passes By, p. 153-5

King of Glory, p. 169

at a change of time, when a new state of mind is evident among us all. Abroad in our world community there is a heightened awareness of the value of

Value- To take account of; to heed; to regard as important or significant

process,

Process- Continued forward movement

the necessity of planning and the virtue of systematic action in fostering

Plan- Method or scheme of action

systematic- Method or orderly procedure; methodical in conduct, performance or habit

Action- Process of doing

Foster- To sustain and promote, cherish/cultivate/indulge

growth and in developing the human resources by which expansion can be

Growth- Stage or state in growing

Resource - Means of resort in exigency, expedient, stratagem

Human Resources- "The new Plan revolves around ...enhancing the vitality of the faith of individual believers, greatly developing the human resources of the Cause, ...". "Training of the friends and their striving, through serious individual study, to acquire knowledge of the Faith, to apply its principles and administer its affairs, are indispensable to developing the human resources necessary to the progress of the Cause".

Ridvan Message, 150B.E.

Expansion- Its past experience demonstrates that focused attention on expansion invariably brings good results. What is required at this stage of the community's development is an accelerating increase in the number of individual enrolments.

Ridvan Message, 153B.E

Sustained

Sustain- To maintain or cause to continue, to endure " ... Send down upon the, O Lord, the concourse of the angels in the heaven and earth and all that is between, to aid Thy servants, to succor and strengthen them, to enable them to achieve success, to sustain them, ....".

- The Bab, Bahá'í Prayers, p.161

"If you are to sustain rapid expansion and consolidation in the coming years, it is imperative that far greater numbers of dedicated and committed souls arise ...." .

- Ridvan Message, 153B.E

The will and determination needed to sustain large - scale expansion and consolidation can be created through a consistent and widespread institute programme aimed at exposing growing contingents of believers to the Creative Word, thus enhancing their spiritual capacities to diffuse the light of the Faith and to further the development of its institutions.

Ridvan Message, 153B.E

and consolidation assured

The coherence of understanding about common principle or relationship

Consolidation- To make solid, to unite

Assure - To secure, to confirm

Coherence- Connection or congruity arising from some

these prerequisites of progress cannot be

Prerequisite- Something required beforehand

Progress - To move or proceed from point to point

overvalued, nor can the importance of perpetuating them through well-ordered

Perpetuate- To give an enduring character or existence

Order- Methodical arrangement

training be overestimated. And so the arrival of our community at such a moment of consciousness is an occasion of

Overestimate- Beyond the conventional value

Consciousness - Awareness, that state of being which is characterized bythought

significance for us. We are deeply grateful to the Blessed Beauty to be able to recognize

Blessed Beauty- A title of Bahá'u'lláh

Able- Having sufficient power, to endure, to vouch for

Recognize- To acknowledge formally, to admit the fact

and acclaim it at the very beginning of the global enterprise being launched during

Acclaim- To claim, to call out loudly

Global - Pertaining to the earth in its entirety

Enterprise- A project which involves activity

these festive days.

Festive days- Rejoice with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá¡, as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House, proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His name, the All-Merciful. God is Our witness. Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all they that dwell on earth and in the heavens would swoon away and die, except such as will be preserved by God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. (GWB,p. 27-35)

The power of will generated by this consciousness characterized the conference

Will- Determination, motivation, strength of character

Consciousness- Awareness, that state of being which is characterized by thought

Characterize - To mark with distinctive features

of the Continental Counselors and the members

Continental Counselors- For more information read:

See Appendix: Counselors (Page 21)

of their Auxiliary Boards who gathered last

Auxiliary Boards - "The Hands of the Cause of God, the Counselors and the members of the Auxiliary Boards fall within the definition of the "learned" given by the beloved Guardian. Thus they are all intimately interrelated and it is not incorrect to refer to the three ranks collectively as one institution." - House of Justice referring to a letter of the beloved Guardian dated 4 Nov 1931

January

in the Holy Land. The event produced

January 09, 2001

Holy Land - The oldest recorded statement with this designation is found in Zechariah 2:12 ("And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, ...")

so illuminating an experience as to signalize into a new epoch,

Illuminate - To make light, to be resplendentthe Faith's entry

Epoch - Shoghi Effendi has divided the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh into three ages. The first of these, the "Primitive," "Heroic," or "Apostolic Age" began with the Declaration of the Bab in 1844. It is divided into three epochs corresponding to the ministries of the Bab (1844-53), Bahá'u'lláh (1853-92), and `Abdu'l-Bahá (1892-1921). Shoghi Effendi states that this first age concluded with the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921 and "more particularly" with the death of Bahiyyih Khanum in 1932 (WOB 98).

The second age is called the "Formative" or "Iron Age." It also divided into epochs. The first of these lasted until 1944 (CF 5) or 1946 (MBW 19) and covers the period during which the Bahá'í administrative order was being set up by Shoghi Effendi. The second epoch, which lasted until 1963, was marked by the global spread of the Bahá'í Faith.

The third epoch, which lasted until 1986 was characterized by the emergence of the Bahá'í Faith from obscurity and the initiation of social and economic development plans. The present epoch, which is the fourth epoch of the Formative Age, is considered to have begun in 1986 and is to be marked by the national Bahá'í communities taking on the responsibility for their own development.

The fifth of its Formative Age. Such a

Fifth Epoch - Began with Ridvan 2001

Formative Age - From 1921- until the inception of the Golden Age of the Bahá'í Faith

freshness of vitality as was displayed at this historic gathering came to be understood as a manifestation of the rising quality of activity throughout the community. Pursuit during the

Pursue - A following with a view to reach, accomplish, or obtain

past year of the essentials for the advancing the process of entry by troops confirmed this observation. The path was thus paved for

Advance - To accelerate the growth or progress of

Process - Continued forward movement

Observation - Act of recognizing, and noting some fact or occurrence

the Five Year Plan, the first venture being entered upon in the Fifth Epoch.

Five Year Plan - Ridvan 2001 - Ridvan 2006

In augmenting major efforts of the previous

Augment - To enhance or magnify

Four Year Plan that brought into being more

Four Year Plan - From Ridvan 1996 - Ridvan 2000

than 300 training institutes,

Institutes - ... .... It is therefore of paramount importance that systematic attention be given to devising methods for educating large numbers of believers in the fundamental verities of the Faith and for training and assisting them to serve the Cause as their God-given talents allow. There should be no delay in establishing permanent institutes designed to provide well-organized, formally conducted programmes of training on a regular schedule. Access of the institute to physical facilities will of course be necessary, but it may not require a building of its own.

... ..... For the success of these training institutes will depend in very large measure on the active involvement of the Continental Counsellors and the Auxiliary Board members in their operation. Particularly will it be necessary for Auxiliary Board members to have a close working relationship with institutes and, of course, with the Local Spiritual Assemblies whose communities will benefit from institute programmes. Since institutes are to be regarded as centres of learning, and since their character harmonizes with, and provides scope for the exercise of, the educational responsibilities of the Auxiliary Board members, the intimate involvement in institute operations should now become a part of the evolving functions of these officers of the Faith. Drawing on the talents and abilities of increasing numbers of believers will also be crucial to the development and execution of instituteprogrammes.

As the term "institute" has assumed various uses in the Bahá'á community, a word of clarification is needed ...... What the friends throughout the world are now being asked to do is to commit themselves, their material resources, their abilities and their time to the development of a network of training institutes on a scale never before attempted. These centres of Bahá'á learning will have as their goal one very practical outcome, namely, the raising up of large numbers of believers who are trained to foster and facilitate the process of entry by troops with efficiency and love

the Twelve Month Plan achieved its purpose

Twelve Month Plan - The two stages in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan lying immediately ahead will last one year and five years respectively. At Ridvan 2000 the Bahá'í world will be asked to embark on the first of these two stages, a twelve-month effort aimed at concentrating the forces, the capacities and the insights that have so strongly emerged. ( 2000 Ridvan Message)

It gathered significance through the notable responses of institutions and individuals to the call for a greater focus on the spiritual nurturing of children and the involvement of junior youth in Bahá'í community life

Bahaí Community Life - The education of the members of the community in the principles and essential verities underlying the Covenants of Bahá'u'lláh and of `Abdu'l-Bahá as well as the Administrative Order of the Faith -- the twin pillars sustaining the spiritual life and the institutions of every organized Bahá'í community -- must, at all costs, be vigorously pursued and systematically intensified. (From a Letter of the Guardian, to the Bahá'ís of the West, February 8, 1934)

The training of teachers of children's classes and the inclusion of junior youth in the institute process have become a regular part of Bahá'í activity in a number of countries. Despite its brevity, the Twelve Month Plan had an importance beyond objectives specifically assigned.

Junior youth -

Regular - Steady, uniform practice

Brevity - Shortness of duration

Objectives - That toward which effort is directed

The Plan was a dynamic link between a highly eventful epoch in Bahá'í history and

Dynamic - Effective action, potent, forceful

Bahá'í History - Events related to the Bahá'í Faith since the birth of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab

the immensely promising prospects of a new one, for which its achievements have so well

Immense - Immeasurable, infinite, magnificent

Achievement - Something accomplished by praiseworthy exertion

prepared the community. It has been etched

Etch - Engraved as in metal, a process

in our annals, too, for the enduring effects of the Faith's activities at the end of the twentieth century - a century that deserves to be reflected upon by any Bahá'í who wishes to understand the tumultuous forces that influenced the life of the planet and the processes of the Cause itself at a crucial time in humanity's social and spiritual evolution. As an aid to so worthy and effort, Century of Light, a review of the twentieth century, was prepared at our request and under our supervision

Annals - Historical Records

Reflect -To turn back the thoughts to contemplate

Tumultuous - Full of commotion, agitation

Crucial - Relating to final choice or decision

On many occasions during this one-year endeavor, the external affairs activities of the Faith were especially visible. Consider, for example the instances of Bahá'í representatives' having participated prominently in the millennial events that took place in May, August and September at the urging of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Endeavor - To exert strenuously

Visible - That which may be perceived

UN - visit http://www.un.org

The implications of so close and conspicuous an involvement of the Bahaí International Community with the processes of the Lesser

Implication - Involvement, close connection

Conspicuous - Attract attention, quite obvious, eminent

Involvement - To occupy, to employ

Lesser Peace - " Now that ye have refused the Most Great Peace, hold ye fast unto this, the Lesser Peace, that haply ye may in some degree better your own condition and that of your dependents". (GWB, p. 254)

Peace will require the passage of time to be properly understood. Among other highlights was the continental colloquium organized in India by the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, a new agency operating under the aegis of the Bahá'í International Community.

Colloquium - A meeting for discussion, conversation

Aegis - Shield, guidence

BIC - Visit http://www.bic-un.bahai.org

Adopting the theme of "science, religion and development", the conference featured the participation of leading non-governmental organizations of India, as well as that of institutions of such renown as UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank.

UNESCO - http://www.unesco.org

UNICEF - http://www.supportunicef.org

WHO - http://www.who.int

World Bank - http://www.worldbank.org

In October, the Bahaí World News Service (BWNS) was launched on the internet with the intention of reaching both Bahá'í and non-Bahaí audiences with news stories about developments throughout the Bahaí World

BWNS - http://www.bahaiworldnews.org

Bahá'í World - http://www.bahai.org

The intensive activities at the Bahaí World Center during the last year were, for the most part, made known to the friends through previous reports that included references to such achievements as the occupation by the International Teaching Center of its permanent

International Teaching Center - The International Teaching Centre will be the seat of that institution which is specifically invested with the twin functions of the protection and propagation of the Cause of God. The institution itself, referred to by the beloved Guardian in his writings, was established in June 1973, bringing to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause of God residing in the Holy Land and providing for the extension into the future of functions with which that body had been endowed. (From a letter from the House of Justice, dated 31 August 1987)

For more informationRead : Letter from the Universal House of justice, dated June 8, 1973, quoted in Lights of Guidance Item 647, p. 240

seat on Mount Carmel; the Conference of Continental Counsellors and the members of the Auxiliary Board s held in the Holy Land last January; and the completion of the Mount Carmel projects, which are now receiving finishing touches in preparation for the celebratory events in May. Last October, for the first time, pilgrims and visitors were received at the new reception center in Haifa, which became fully operational. At Bahji the embellishment of the sacred site through the development of its gardens has proceeded continually; the effort has, however, received a boost from the new project initiated last year to construct a Visitors' Center towards the northern end of the property beyond the Collins Gate. Scheduled for completion in the next few months, the structure is fully in place, and work is progressing in all areas, including finishing and landscaping. The new facilities will improve the ability of the World Center to receive increasing number of pilgrims, short-term Bahá'í visitors, and special guests

Counselors - See Appendix: Counselors (Turn to page 21)

Bahji - The Holy Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh Embellishment - Process of enhancing the beaut

Pilgrim - Please see Appendix "Pilgrimage" (Turn to page 24)

To conclude this summary of the year, we rejoice in informing you that, after the lapse of almost three decades, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Indonesia was restored at the National Convention held in Jakarta last Ridvan. A ban imposed on Bahá'í activities in August 1962 severely restricted the actions of the Indonesian Bahá'ís for all that time, but they remained steadfast and wise in

Lapse - passing, slip, drop

Decade - Ten years

National Assembly -

Steadfast - "And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee". From the Tablet of Ahmed

their long-suffering until changed circumstances in that country resulted in the lifting of the ban. May we not venture to hope, then, that a similar happy report concerning our beleaguered co-religionists in Iran, Egypt, and other countries will not be too far distant?

Beleaguered - Harassed, Besieged, struggled

Dear friends : Two decades from now the Bahaí world will celebrate the centenary of the inception of the Formative Age. We look back

Inception - beginning, foundation, start Formative Age - CROWNING FEATURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of present and succeeding epochs, the last and crowning stage in the erection of the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh--the--the election of the Universal House of Justice--will have been completed, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of His Revelation, will have been codified and its laws promulgated, the Lesser Peace will have been established, the unity of mankind will have been achieved and its maturity attained, the Plan conceived by `Abdu'l-Bahá will have been executed, the emancipation of the Faith from the fetters of religious orthodoxy will have been effected, and its independent religious status will have been universally recognized, whilst in the course of the Golden Age, destined to consummate the Dispensation itself, the banner of the Most Great Peace, promised by its Author, will have been unfurled, the World Bahá'á Commonwealth will have yet achieved since the Divine Plan itself was set in motion during the concluding years of the first Bahá'á century. Citadel of Faith, by Shoghi Effendi, pp. 6-7:

at the dawning of the Age from the vantage point of attainments that could hardly have been imagined at the outset. Up ahead are horizons that urgently summon the community to even greater achievements in the short span separating it from that centennial. Those heights can and must be scaled. The Five Year Plan, to which we call the urgent and sustained attention of the

Span -Distance, extent

Centennial - One hundred years

Scale - Conquered

Sustain - Continue, uphold

friends throughout the world, is intended to meet this challenge. It constitutes the first of a series

of campaigns that will be pursued during these

Intended - Planned, proposed

Challenge - Confront, face up to

Constitute - Comprise, represent

Campaign - Movement, operation, drive

Pursue - Follow, track

twenty years. This Plan marks the next phase in the aim to accomplish a significant

Accomplish - Achieve, realize

Significant - Important, noteworthy, significant

advance in the process of entry by troops. It demands an acceleration of this vital process and, furthermore, insists upon continuity in systematic endeavor on the

Troops - Multitude, crowd

Acceleration - speeding up, rushing

Continuity - permanence, stability

Systematic - Efficient, methodical, orderly

Endeavor - To exert one's self strenuously

part of its three constituent participants

Constituent - Ingredient, element, component

Participant - Member, contributor, partaker

the individual, the institutions, and the

community

No need to elaborate on the requirements of the Plan, for these were set out in our message to the assembled Counsellors in the Holy Land and subsequently shared with all National Assemblies. Soon after their conference, the Counsellors began consulting with the National Assemblies about the execution of the Plan in their respective jurisdictions. The Plan's direction

Individual - Person

Institution - Organization, establishment, body

Community - Bahá'í population

Requirement - Obligation, prerequisite

Subsequently - Later, next, afterwards

Execution - Follow through to the end

Respective - Own, individual, particular

Jurisdiction - Authority, influence, command

is therefore known to the friends everywhere, as regional and local preparations for pursuing its major aim are under way. There is a general awareness by now that efforts will be made to effect a deeper penetration of the Faith into

Regional - provincial

Local - base

Pursue - Follow, chase

Major - Main, chief, foremost

Aim - Aspire, intend, endeavor

General - Universal, all-purpose, common

Awareness - Consciousness, alertness, responsiveness

Effort - Exertion of power

Effect - That which is produced by an agent or cause

Deeper - Extensive, broad, firm

Penetration - Diffusion, dispersion, dissemination

more and more regions within countries.

For example, where circumstances permit, local communities that exist in close proximity to each other will be mobilized

to participate in extensive programs of

Proximity - Nearness, closeness

Mobilize - Rally, organize, assemble

Participate - Play a part, contribute, get involved

Extensive - Having wide extent

Program - Agenda, plan

Approach - Move forward, come near, approach

same consecrated spirit that prompted

those who scattered abroad at earlier times

Consecrate - Sanctify, bless

Spirit - Strength, courage, fortitude

Prompt - Punctual, timely

Scatter - Disperse, spread out

Abroad - Overseas, out of the country

to open virgin territories across continents and seas. Suffice it to say that the process animating this divinely driven enterprise will

Virgin Territory - Lands that are not opened to the Faith yet

Suffice - Enough, sufficient, adequate

Animate - Living, alive, conscious

Divine - Celestial, heavenly, Godly

Enterprise - An attempt or project

eventually expand as related features are

Eventually - Finally, ultimately

Expand - To spread out, to diffuse

Related - Connected, linked, associated

Feature - Characteristic, attribute, element

gradually introduced and systematically

integrated into its operation.

Gradual - Slow, steady, regular

Introduce - Bring in, commence, establish

Systematically - Methodically, thoroughly, analytically

Integrate - Incorporate, amalgamate, combine

Operation - Process, procedure

A feature of the fifth Epoch will be the enrichment of the devotional life of the

community through the raising up of national Houses of Worship, as circumstances in

Enrichment - State of being enrich (to adorn)

Devotional - Pertaining to devotion, a resigned state of mind

House of Worship - See below: Mashriqu'l-Adhkar

Circumstances - situation, condition, status

national communities permit. The scheduling of a project of these projects will be determined by the Universal House of Justice in relation In relation to - In reference to, as regards to the advancement of the process of entry by troops within countries. This development will unfold throughout successive stages of Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan. Upon the

Schedule - A written plan of future procedure in carrying out

Determine - To set bounds or limits to

Advancement - Progression, improvement, furtherance

Successive - Following without interruption

Abdu'l-Bahá - Center of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh and the author of " The Divine Plan

Divine Plan - I feel convinced that unflinching maintenance of so exalted a standard of stewardship at the threshold of Bahá'u'lláh must release in still greater measure the outpouring of His grace so essential and befitting the consummation of a Divine Plan deriving its authority from the pen of the Center of His Covenant and propelled by agencies created through the generative influence of His Will and Testament. Shoghi Effendi, [September 14, 1948] Citadel of Faith, p.56"

completion of the Mother temple of the West, the Guardian started a program of constructing continental temples. The first among these were the Mashriqu'l-Adhkars in

Mother Temple of the West - The House of Worship in Chicago, USA

Guardian - See Appendix: The Guardianship, ( turn to page 27)

Mashriqu'l-Adhkar(in Arabic) - Lit. Dawning-place of the mention of God. " O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being, and adorn them with that which befitteth them, not with images and effigies. Then, with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled with light.

Bahá'u'lláh, Kitabí-Iqan, p.31

Kampala, Sydney and Frankfurt, which were built in response to Ten Year Plan goals. The Universal House of Justice continued along these lines with the building of Temples in Panama City, Apia, and New Delhi. But this continental stage has yet to be completed: one more edifice remains to be built. It is with

Response - To correspond, to act

Universal House of Justice - Supreme governing Body of the Bahá'í Faith

profound thankfulness and joy that we announce at this auspicious moment the decision to proceed with this last project. During the Five Year Plan, erection of the Mother Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, will commence and thus fulfill a wish clearly expressed by Shoghi Effendi. Meanwhile, the time is propitious that further steps be taken at the World Center to develop the functions of the institutions occupying the new edifices on the Arc

Auspicious - Betokening happiness

Erection - Construction of a building

Commence - To mark a beginning, to originate

Express - Clear, explicit statement

Propitious - Favorable, opportune

Occupy - To take possession of

Arc - On this same Mount Carmel 'Abdu'l-Bahá, with infinite pains, raised the Mausoleum of the Bab on the spot chosen by His Father, and laid to rest within its heart the sacred remains of the Prophet Herald of the Faith, establishing a Spiritual Centre of immeasurable significance. In accordance with the same divine command, Shoghi Effendi embellished the Shrine with an exquisite shell and then, under its protecting wing, began the construction of the Administrative Centre of the Faith, to comprise five buildings in a harmonious style of architecture, standing on a far-flung Arc centering on the Monuments of the Greatest Holy Leaf, her Mother and Brother. (From a Letter of the House of Justice to the Bahaí World, dated 31 August 1987)

The International Teaching Center having

International Teaching Center - The International Teaching Centre will be the seat of that institution which is specifically invested with the twin functions of the protection and propagation of the Cause of God. The institution itself, referred to by the beloved Guardian in his writings, was established in June 1973, ringing to fruition the work of the Hands of the Cause of God residing in the Holy Land and providing for the extension into the future of functions with which that body had been endowed. . (From a Letter of the House of Justice to the Bahaí World, dated 31 August 1987

advanced significantly in its work, attention will be given particularly to organizing the work of the Center for the Study of the Text.

Significant - Deserving to be considered, momentous

Particular - Relating to a part or a portion of anything

Center for the Study of the Text - This building will be the seat of an institution of Bahá'í scholars, the efflorescence of the present Research Department of the World Centre, which will assist the Universal House of Justice in consulting the Sacred Writings, and will prepare translations of and commentaries on the authoritative texts of the Faith. (From a Letter of the House of Justice to the Bahaí World, dated 31 August 1987)

Enriching the translations into English from the Holy Texts will be a special object of this attention. The purpose of the institution is to assist the Universal House of justice in consulting the Sacred Writings and to prepare counsel, translations and commentaries on the authoritative texts of the Faith. Moreover, in the Holy Land, a continued effort will be devoted towards the devising of measures to make possible a further increase in the number of pilgrims and visitors to the Bahaí World Center.

Enrich - To adorn

Attention - Direction or application

Consult - To deliberate on, to take to discuss

Commentary - An account of transactions, an exposition

Authoritative - Proceeding from due authority, commanding

In our Ridvan message five years ago, we

In 1996 - The highlight of such appreciations will, God willing, be the holding at the World Centre of a major event to mark the completion of the buildings on the Arc and the opening of the Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb to the public.(From the Ridvan Message)

announced the holding of a major event at the World Center to mark the completion of the projects on Mount Carmel and the opening of the Terraces of the Shrine of the

Terraces - The Terraces of the Shrine of the Bab. In His plans for the development of Mount Carmel, 'Abdu'l-Bahá envisaged nineteen monumental terraces from the foot of the mountain to its crest, nine leading to the terrace on which the Shrine of the Bab itself stands, and nine above it. These plans were often referred to by Shoghi Effendi, and he completed in preliminary form the nine terraces constituting the approach to the Shrine from the central avenue of the former German Templar Colony. (From a Letter of the House of Justice to the Bahaí World, dated 31 August 1987)

Bab to the public. The moment is upon us, and we exult in the anticipation of welcoming friends from virtually all countries to programmes that will extend over a five-day period, 21-25 May. We are also happy to say that steps are being taken to connect the Bahaí world to the proceedings through live transmission on the World Wide Web and by satellite, about which information is being provided. As the World Center focuses on the preparations, excitement is building up among the public in Haifa, where municipal authoritieshave undertaken to publish a book entitled Bahaí Shrine and Gardens on Mount Carmel Haifa, Israel: A Visual Journey to coincide with the event. Moreover, the Israel Postal Authority is pursuing its decision to release at the same time a commemorative stamp

Coincide - To occur at the same period of time

Commemorative - To call to remembrance or serve as a memorial

featuring the Terraces. The significance of

Significance - That which has meaning, quality of being important

the occasion lies principally in the pause it will allow for a review of the remarkable distance the Cause has covered in its development during the twentieth century. It will be time, too, for considering the future implications of the phenomenal

Principally - In the highest degree, mainly

Remarkable - Worthy of notice

Implication - The act of being involved

Phenomenal - That which is known through observation

accomplishments symbolized by the rise of the monumental structures on God's Holy mountain - a rise that opens the spiritual and administrative centers of our Faith to the gaze

Accomplishment - Entire performance, to achieve

Monumental - That which serves as monuments

Holy Mountain - Mount Carmel

Gaze - To look with eagerness, in admiration of the world.

As our community rejoices in these thrilling considerations, let every member bear in mind Consideration - Process of looking at attentively that there is no time for resting on laurels.

Rejoice - Be joyous because of ...

Thrill - A tremulous excitement

Rest - Repose or refreshment of body due to sleep

Laurels - Laurel foliage was used by the ancient Greeks to crown the victors in the Pythian games and also as a mark of distinction for certain occasions.

Humanity's current plight is too desperate to allow for even a moments hesitation in sharing the Bread of Life, which has come down from

Desperate - Without hope, in despair

Hesitation - To pause, to be in uncertainty

Bread of Life - Christ referred to Himself as "the bread of life," promising that "he that cometh to me shall never hunger" (John 6:35). Other references to spiritual food in the New Testament include Luke 24:13-31, 39-44, and Mark 14:22

This is the bread of which it is said: "Lord, send down upon us Thy bread from heaven." This bread shall never be withheld from them that deserve it, nor can it ever be exhausted. Bahá'u'lláh,( Kitab-i-Iqan, p.23)

This bread signifies the heavenly food and divine perfections. So, "If any man eateth of this bread" means if any man acquires heavenly bounty, receives the divine light, or partakes of Christ's perfections, he thereby gains everlasting life.

Abdu'l-Bahá, (Some Answered Questions Part Two -- Some Christian Subjects

There is no time to lose. There is no room left for vacillation. Multitudes hunger for the Bread of Life. The stage is set. (Shoghi Effendi, January 28, 1939)

Let them, at this momentous stage of their historic labours, eliminate, once and for all, every trace of inharmony from their midst, purge their hearts from every lingering suspicion, prejudice and animosity, acquire a clearer vision of the greatness of their Faith and the significance of their mission, give heed to the urgent and tragic needs of the vast multitudes of their disillusioned and sore-tried countrymen, now hungering for the Bread of Life, and arise, as one man, to discharge their sacred and inescapable responsibilities. The hour is propitious, the situation critical, the Cause infinitely precious, the prize within reach and inexpressibly glorious. (Shoghi Effendi, 8 May 1948)

Humanity is beaten almost to its knees, bewildered and shepherdless, hungry for the bread of life. This is our day of service; we have that heavenly food to offer. (Ridvan Message 1982)

the heaven in our time. Let there be no delay,

Let there be no delay - Let there be no delay, then, in the vigour of your response. Universal House of Justice, ( 3 January 1984)

then, in advancing the process that has every promise of success in ushering to the banquet table of the Lord of Hosts the souls of all that

Lord of Hosts - "God, faithful to His promise," had, "to some of the Prophets" "revealed and given the good news that the `Lord of Hosts should be manifested in the Holy Land.'" God Passes By, p. 181-185

hunger after truth.

May He Who keeps watch over the destiny of his divine System guide and direct and confirm every effort you make towards the realization of the urgent tasks set before you

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