Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in 1963

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Jonah
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Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in 1963

Postby Jonah » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:19 pm

I received the following question. Any ideas? She already checked Baha'i Worlds and the Messages volumes.

    Do you know if there is a published list of the individual NSA members, by country also, who elected the first Universal House of Justice in 1963, prior to the first World Congress? I tried the old fashioned research - my books - and not much luck there, or via Google. The World Book for that year has photographs of many NSAs but no identification that I'm able to find, though I might have just missed it.

Any ideas where to look for this info? Thanks!

brettz9
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby brettz9 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:11 am

The only attempt I've seen to do this has been at the individual pages linked from http://bahaikipedia.org/Portal:Contents ... Assemblies . But, taking the U.S. page, as an example, not all of the data seems to be found in the explicit references, so it may be hard to find confirming sources (and at least some National Spiritual Assembly pages do not have any data).

I see the contents of volume 14 of Baha'i World (1963-68) has a "Baha'i Directory" for National Spiritual Assemblies on p. 560, though the online PDF copies at bahaitext only seem to go up to p. 481 (and perhaps that only has postal information for the institutions).

[edit: The PDF I have goes up to page 481; is it not complete? http://bahai-library.com/uhj_bahai_world_14 . Oh I guess it's not complete; the unformatted text version goes up to 681: http://bahai-library.com/docs/bw/uhj_bahai_world_14.txt -J.W.]

I don't see anything at http://bahai-news.info/pdfs/bn05.pdf (issue 387, June 1963, or the July issue, etc.) in the relevant Baha'i News covering the period.

I wouldn't think the statistical compilations (e.g., see http://en.bahaitext.org/Year_books for some names) would cover individual members as the focus is typically on the institution as a body (as opposed to the likes of the Hands of the Cause who are appointed as individuals).

MontanaDon
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby MontanaDon » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:23 am

There were 56 involved in the election, listed on page 468-9
Check your FB msgs.
A bigger issue is figuring out who was on some of the regional and disrupted NSA's. E.g. the NSA's of Iraq, Cuba and Arabia. I do find pics from the 50's and 60's but no names. There were also quite a few Regional NSA's. Who has the records of who was on them?

Don C
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Understood properly, all man's problems are essentially spiritual in nature.

brettz9
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby brettz9 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks, Don. The listing of NSAs as of 1963 is at http://bahai-library.com/handscause_sta ... 1953-63#23 (and is the same list as that you sent--this is public record rather than something sensitive, so I see no issue making mention of it). But again, there are no individual names there.

MontanaDon
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby MontanaDon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:13 pm

Ministry of the Custodians, beginning on p406.
Also indicates which ones attended in person.

Don C
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brettz9
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby brettz9 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:35 pm

Great find! Here's the link: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_ministry_c ... pter=7#406 . It is possible though that since this was before the election that there could have been a cancellation or change in plans for someone or other...

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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby Jonah » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:27 pm

Thank you, all! This is very helpful.

After expressing her appreciation, the same person wrote with a follow-up question:

Can you point me in the right direction to research any Hands of the Cause being members of National Spiritual Assemblies in 1963. To my knowledge and way of thinking it would not have taken place. The last contingent was appointed by the Guardian in 1957. However, when I read through the aforementioned listing, there are a few NSA "members" who are clearly Hands of the Cause. For example, Agnes Alexander Hand of the Cause of God, appointed in 1957, is listed as a member of the North East Asia NSA as of March 25, 1963. Mr. Enoch Olinga, is listed as a member of the North West Africa NSA. So I guess what I'm saying is that this list may not be completely accurate.

Any ideas?

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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby brettz9 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:26 pm

A good number of the Hands of the Cause were still members of National Spiritual Assemblies at the time of the Guardian's death. For example, see "UNANIMOUS PROCLAMATION OF THE 27 HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD" at http://bahai-library.com/uhj_ministry_c ... apter=1#28 where many of the undersigned are listed as being National Spiritual Assembly members or officers.

In 1964, however, the Universal House of Justice did declare that the Hands of the Cause were ineligible for election or appointment to administrative institutions:

"The exalted rank and specific functions of the Hands of the Cause of God make it inappropriate for them to be elected or appointed to administrative institutions, or to be elected as delegates to national conventions. Furthermore, it is their desire and the desire of the House of Justice that they be free to devote their entire energies to the vitally important duties conferred upon them in the Holy Writings...."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World, November 1964: Wellspring of Guidance, p. 42)


...as became the case later for Counsellors:

"The members of these Boards of Counsellors will serve for a term, or terms, the length of which will be determined and announced at a later date, and while serving in this capacity will not be eligible for membership on national or local administrative bodies...."

(The Universal House of Justice: Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 141-142)


Perhaps the reasoning for the Guardian still allowing their membership on administrative institutions was due to the still embryonic nature of National Spiritual Assemblies (which were to become the pillars of the Universal House of Justice) at the time when it was not yet possible for them to fulfill the wish of the House that "they be free to devote their entire energies to the vitally important duties conferred upon them in the Holy Writings".

Auxiliary Board members, who are, as with the Hands, also part of the institution of the learned, and who are above the rank (albeit not the authority) of Local Spiritual Assemblies, were also explicitly allowed to serve on a Local Spiritual Assembly if the membership had dropped to nine (i.e., the resources of the Faith were not yet great enough to allow them to take up their protection or propagation duties exclusively):

"As you have stated in your letter, if the membership in a Bahá'í community drops to nine, including the Auxiliary Board member resident there, the Auxiliary Board member may serve temporarily as a member of the Assembly to preserve its Assembly status."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, March 25, 1966, cited in the compilation, Auxiliary Board Members, in Lights of Guidance, no. 29)

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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby brettz9 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:57 pm

One other point as far as Hands on National Spiritual Assemblies: earlier there was this message on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

...he does not feel in this stage in the development of the Faith and the Institution of the Hands, that the Hands should request to not be elected on National Bodies, or resign from them. However, there is no reason why they cannot ask their fellow-members, if they are elected, to leave them free of the heavier administrative offices, so that they can do more in their function as Hands.

(Lights of Divine Guidance, vol. 2, p. 127)

BritishBahai
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby BritishBahai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:15 pm

Hi everyone... :computer: I was in the middle of some good old bedtime reading when I came across something, and I thought of this discussion on the forums...

Title of book: A Basic Bahai Chronology
Editors: Glenn Cameron with Wendi Momen
ISBN:0-85398-402-2
Publishers: Oxford, UK: George Ronald
( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Basic-Bahai-Chr ... chronology )

___________________________
Pg 360

21 Apr 1963
The Universal House of Justice is elected for the first time. [BW14:427; MC424]
  • The election is held at 9:30 in the morning at the home of 'Abdu'l-Baha, 7 Haparsim Street, Haifa. [BW14;427; MC425]
  • Ballots are received from all 56 national spiritual assemblies. [BW14:427]
  • 288 members of 51 national spiritual assemblies are present at the election. [BW14:427]
  • For a list of the electors see MC406-13.
  • For details of the election see BW14:425-9 and MC 20-1.
___________________________

ABBREVIATIONS:

BW
Bahai World. Prepared under the supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada with the approval of Shoghi Effendi or prepared by the Universal House of Justice. Figures appearing after 'BW' refer to volume numbers, thus BW8:25 refers to Bahai World, volume 8, page 25. From 1992-3, Bahai World is dated year by year rather than by volume number. Thus BW92-3:6 refers to Bahai World, 1992-3, page 6].

MC
The Ministry of the Custodians, 15-1963: An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause. Haifa: Bahai World Centre, 1992.
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

Jonah
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby Jonah » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:33 pm

Thanks!

I have Cameron's whole Chronology waiting to go online, permissions secured. Coming soon! :-)

BritishBahai
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Re: Which NSA members elected the first House of Justice in

Postby BritishBahai » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:00 pm

Jonah wrote:Thanks!

I have Cameron's whole Chronology waiting to go online, permissions secured. Coming soon! :-)

Great! I love that book. :2thumbs:
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"


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