Can I request answers from Assemblies in written form?

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Prometheus
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:34 am

Can I request answers from Assemblies in written form?

Postby Prometheus » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:34 pm

Alláh-u-Abhá!

Can I request answers from Assemblies in written or electronic form, as Universal House of Justice practising? Is there any guides for the Assemblies about it?

Or about necessity of making their decisions clear for everyone attended in? Because only written decision and very good formulating of thoughts - is important and cannot be achieved in spoken form. IMHO

Thank you!

BruceDLimber
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:34 pm
Location: Rockville, Maryland, USA

Re: Can I request answers from Assemblies in written form?

Postby BruceDLimber » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:54 am

Prometheus wrote:Can I request answers from Assemblies in written or electronic form, as Universal House of Justice practising?


I wouldn't know why not. . . .

Prometheus
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Can I request answers from Assemblies in written form?

Postby Prometheus » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:06 am

Yes, I know! :) But my or your will can be not recognized by Assembly. I asked - is anywhere any recommendations from Universal House of Justice or Shoghi Effendi about it?

I know about detailed recommendations how to make Assemblies minutes... I think something like this can be found about written form of official answers.

Can you help me?

brettz9
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Re: Can I request answers from Assemblies in written form?

Postby brettz9 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:36 pm

Prometheus wrote:Can I request answers from Assemblies in written or electronic form, as Universal House of Justice practising?


As Bruce says, why not? There are no restrictions listed in such Writings as

"Any person can refer a matter to the Assembly for consultation whether the other party wishes to or not."

(From a letter dated 17 October 1944 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, published in "Bahá'í News" 177 (November 1945), p. 2)


"The believers should learn to turn more often to their Assemblies for advice and help and at an earlier date..."

(From a letter dated 13 March 1944 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)


"It is incumbent upon everyone not to take any step without consulting the Spiritual Assembly..."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, published in "Bahá'í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932"p. 21)


...all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in ... [a] locality, individually or collectively, should be referred exclusively to the Spiritual Assembly in that locality, which shall decide upon it, unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the National Body....

(From a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, published in "Bahá'í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932", p. 23)


Prometheus wrote:Is there any guides for the Assemblies about it?

Or about necessity of making their decisions clear for everyone attended in? Because only written decision and very good formulating of thoughts - is important and cannot be achieved in spoken form. IMHO


It is possible that a National Spiritual Assembly may have prepared some guidance about it, but in general, from all of the guidance which I have seen or remember, the Guardian:

1. Instructed Assemblies to avoid rigidity in administrative practice and avoid overly formalizing administrative procedures
2. Encouraged freedom for each Assembly in determining their own practices in procedural details

So, in my opinion, individuals could simply make a recommendation to their Assembly to formulate their decisions in writing. Individuals might do this at Feast which is provided as an opportunity for such consultation; although a letter is surely fine as well, the Assembly might also get additional feedback or a sense of the community feelings on the matter if a recommendation is made at Feast.

I think the Assembly would also be free to decide whether to accept the recommendation (as I do not know of anything obligating them to do so), but quotes such as the following may or may not be interpreted as encouraging them to express their decisions more fully as you seek:

They [Baha'i elected representatives] should, within the limits of wise discretion, take the friends into their confidence, acquaint them with their plans, share with them their problems and anxieties, and seek their advice and counsel....

(From a letter dated 23 February 1924 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of America, published in "Bahá'í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932", pp. 63-64)


If you wanted clarification in writing on a specific matter, if you requested it or initiated things by writing a letter, I would think most Assemblies would respond in writing.

Best wishes,
Brett


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