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Wider Horizon:
Selected Messages of the Universal House of Justice 1983-1992

by Universal House of Justice

compiled on behalf of Paul Lample.
Riviera Beach, FL: 1992-09
Palabra Publications
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Contents

Preface                                                       vii  
    
Part I: Selected Messages                                       1   
  
   Ridván 140 B.E. (Ridván 1983)                                3
   October 20, 1983: Social and Economic Development            6
   January 2, 1984: Opportunities and the Fund                 11
   January 3, 1984: International Year of Youth                14
   Ridván 1984                                                 17
   Ridván 1984: To the United States                           23
   January 3, 1985: Opportunities and the Fund                 29
   January 23, 1985: International Year of Peace               31
   Ridván 1985                                                 34
   May 8, 1985: To Bahá'í Youth                                37
   January 2, 1986: The Fourth Epoch                           39
   Ridván 1986                                                 42
   Ridván 1987                                                 45
   August 31, 1987: Completing the Arc                         50
   Ridván 1988                                                 54
   Ridván 1989                                                 60
   August 27, 1989: The Feast                                  66
   February 8, 1990: The Two Year Plan                         70
   Ridván 1990                                                 73
   May 24, 1990: Initiation of Work on the Arc                 83
   Ridván 1991                                                 84
   November 18, 1991: Opportunities and the Fund               92
   Ridván 1992                                                 95
   
Part II: Major Themes                                         111   
  
   Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran                         113
   Emergence from Obscurity                                   119
   The Processes of Integration and Disintegration            127
   Social and Economic Development                            138
   Involvement in the Life of Society                         145
   Participation of Youth                                     153
   Opportunities for Progress and the Fund                    161
   Huququ'llah                                                170
   Fourth Epoch of the Formative Age                          175
   The Six Year Plan                                          181
   Maturation of the Institutions                             188
   Maturation and Urgency of the Teaching Work                196
   New Opportunities for Expansion                            208
   Challenges of the American Bahá'í Community                215
   The Arc on Mount Carmel                                    221
   The Holy Year                                              226
   The Person and Mission of Bahá'u'lláh                      233
   
Appendix: Suggestions for Organized Study                     243   
   
   Preparation                                                245
   Activities                                                 245
   Questions                                                  246
   
Index                                                         253
Click on any of the numbers to jump to a specific page below:

Introductory Pages: Top ii iii iv v vi

Preface: vii viii ix x

Part I: Part I Top 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110

Part II: Part II Top 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242

Appendix: Appendix Top 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252
page iii
Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
    — Bahá'u'lláh
A wider horizon is opening before us, illumined by a growing and universal manifestation of the inherent potentialities of the Cause for ordering human affairs. In this light can be discerned not only our immediate tasks but, more dimly, new pursuits and undertakings upon which we must shortly become engaged.
    — The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 1983

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page vii


Preface


Each year the Bahá'í world receives a wonderful gift at Ridván. That gift is a message from the Universal House of Justice, the Supreme Body of Bahá'u'lláh's new World Order, the "source of all good" that is "freed from all error."

Upon receiving this gift we admire its beauty and hungrily take our portion from the spiritual sustenance it contains. We find within the letter pearls of wisdom and guidance that we can apply to the challenges and opportunities facing us in our various arenas of service. The guidance of the Universal House of Justice offers us encouragement in our successes, advice for improving our weaknesses, and directives for undertaking what lies ahead. We study the letter for such advice, and strive the best we can to implement its guidance.

There is another level from which we might view any letter we receive from the Universal House of Justice. Rather than seeing the letter as an isolated message, we can consider it a part of a continuous flow of guidance that comes from the Supreme Body. In this light, a letter provides an orientation to the Bahá'í world of its challenges and opportunities in relation to the accomplishments of the past and with a vision of the future. Major themes raised in a previous letter are explored anew, examined in more detail, and eventually summarized and concluded. The reader begins to see the sweep of history in which the Faith overcomes obstacles and achieves new levels in its organic growth. The seed planted by the Universal House of Justice in one message is carefully watered by guidance in subsequent messages until it finally bears fruit. The world community is able to see how its efforts to follow the instructions of the House of Justice provide the victories of future years — often in ways that could not be envisioned at the start.


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The central purpose of this book is to help the reader acquire this sense of continuity when reading and studying the messages of the Universal House of Justice. It is also hoped that the reader will acquire a specific understanding of the significance of the past decade in the evolution of the Faith and of the major challenges that the Faith is facing today in order to be able to more effectively serve its needs. For it is clear in the messages that follow that the Cause of God, pursuing its inherent nature of organic growth and development, is quite a different entity than it was in 1983. It has radically changed in its stature in the eyes of the world; it has grown dramatically; it has brought to a close tasks of expansion pursued since 1954; and it has had to grapple with new demands for maturity in the operation of its institutions, in its involvement in the life of society, and in its fundamental processes of expansion and consolidation.

This book might be considered a cross between a standard book of messages, a compilation, and a study guide. Part I offers 23 messages, including all of the Ridván messages from 1983-1992 and selected letters that explore in more detail some of the themes raised in the Ridván messages. This section does not replace the need for the production, in the future, of a more exhaustive compilation of letters to cover this time period, for many important messages are not included because of the specific nature of this book. Among the most obvious are the 1985 statement on peace and the December 29, 1988 letter to the American Bahá'ís, written to assist them, as individuals and institutions, to achieve a greater understanding of individual rights and freedom of expression in the Bahá'í community. Part II of this book provides a compilation based on major themes raised in the letters in Part I. It thus replicates thematically the content of the messages, although a number of extracts of other letters written


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by the Universal House of Justice or on its behalf have been used to further develop the themes. Finally, an appendix is included with questions and activities that could be used for individual or group study of the letters.

In its Ridván 1983 message the Universal House of Justice noted that "a wider horizon is opening before us" in which "can be discerned not only our immediate tasks but, more dimly, new pursuits and undertakings upon which we must shortly become engaged." Thus the stage was set for the dramatic changes that altered the condition of the world and the Bahá'í community in the short span of nine years. The start of such changes, however, might more accurately be traced to a point just a few months earlier, which together with the sacrifices of the believers in Iran, surely upset the spiritual equilibrium of the entire creation. On February 1, 1983 the Universal House of Justice announced to the Bahá'í world that the Supreme Body had occupied its newly-constructed seat on Mt. Carmel. "This auspicious event," the House of Justice informed us, "signalizes another phase" in the process of the fulfillment of "sailing God's Ark" on the "mountain of the Lord" as anticipated by Bahá'u'lláh in the Tablet of Carmel.

The Supreme Body continued: "LET ALL REJOICE. LET PRAISES ANCIENT BEAUTY RESOUND. MAY UNRELENTING EFFORTS FRIENDS EVERYWHERE HASTEN ADVENT THAT DAY WHEN WONDROUS POTENTIALITIES ENSHRINED IN TABLET CARMEL WILL BE FULLY REVEALED AND WHEN FROM GOD'S HOLY MOUNTAIN, AS ENVISAGED BY BELOVED GUARDIAN, WILL STREAM FORTH RIVERS OF LAWS AND ORDINANCES WITH ALL-CONQUERING POWER AND MAJESTY." Just four years later the Universal House of Justice noted that "already we see the effect of the spiritual energies which the


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completion of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice has released, and the new impulse this has given to the advancement of the Faith." This book offers a record of those changes, and a prelude to the future "transformations" that "will be effected as a result of the completion of each successive stage of this great enterprise."

By the time you read this book, new messages that extend the vision of the Universal House of Justice will have appeared. It is hoped that, as a result of the study of this book, such messages will be viewed with a new eye and a new understanding.
    Paul Lample
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