by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice1996-11-12
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
With regard to your email of 8 August 1996, we have been asked to say that it is true that Shoghi Effendi considered that his letter to the Bahá'ís of the West dated 8 February 1934 outlined certain fundamental verities of the Faith, and, therefore, it should be given primary importance in the systematic study of the Cause. However, as you further observe, the term is used in a variety of contexts, since it also refers generally to the basic beliefs, teachings, laws and principles of the Faith. Three such instances help illustrate the range of referents to which the Guardian was wont to apply the term. First, he wrote in a letter to the All-America International Teaching Conference which gathered in 1953 that the House of Worship is, "dedicated to the three fundamental verities animating and underlying the Bahá'í Faith -- the Unity of God, the Unity of His Prophets, the Unity of mankind". Elsewhere, he emphasized that
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.And in still another letter, the following clarification is offered on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:
By "verities of the Faith" he means the great teachings and fundamentals enshrined in our Bahá'í literature; these we can find by reading the books, studying under Bahá'í scholars at summer schools and in classes, and through the aid of study outlines.Moreover, the term fundamental verities was often used in the correspondence of the Guardian when introducing the basic aspects of the Faith in which all of the believers should be deepened and grounded, as for example:
Above all, the paramount duty of deepening the spiritual life of these newly fledged, these precious and highly esteemed co-workers, and of enlightening their minds regarding the essential verities enshrined in their Faith and its fundamental institutions, its history and genesis -- the twin Covenants of Bahá'u'lláh and of Abdu'l-Bahá, the present Administrative Order, the Future World Order, the Laws of the Most Holy Book, the inseparable Institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice, the salient events of the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Faith, and its relationship with the Dispensations that have preceded it, its attitude towards the social and political organizations by which it is surrounded -- must continue to constitute the most vital aspect of the great spiritual Crusade launched by the champions of the Faith from the shores of their native land....Above all, the utmost endeavour should be exerted by your Assembly to familiarize the newly enrolled believers with the fundamental and spiritual verities of the Faith, and with the origins, the aims and purposes, as well as the processes of a divinely appointed Administrative Order, to acquaint them more fully with the history of the Faith, to instil in them a deeper understanding of the Covenants of both Bahá'u'lláh and of Abdu'l-Bahá, to enrich their spiritual life, to rouse them to a greater effort and a closer participation in both the teaching of the Faith and the administration of its activities, and to inspire them to make the necessary sacrifices for the furtherance of its vital interests. For as the body of the avowed supporters of the Faith is enlarged, and the basis of the structure of its Administrative Order is broadened, and the fame of the rising community spreads far and wide, a parallel progress must be achieved, if the fruits already garnered are to endure, in the spiritual quickening of its members and the deepening of their inner life.
As you can see, there is no absolute list of fundamental verities and the friends should not make an issue of this matter by attempting to codify these verities. Your specific questions may be more fully explored with the Bahá'í institutions closer to the scene, including the members of the Auxiliary Boards.
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat