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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.
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Chapter 3

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Preparation

A major purpose of this book is to provide a means by which the messages of the Universal House of Justice can be more easily studied by the Bahá'í community. The settings for such a study might be a local deepening class or Bahá'í school, a summer school, or personal study. Rather than trying to create one course outline that might or might not fit such a wide range of settings, this appendix provides a list of activities and questions which can be adapted by a facilitator or individual for developing study classes. The activities or questions could be assigned to participants to research for presentation and discussion within a group study session.



Activities

1. Create a timeline covering the period from 1983 to 1992. Position the major events and transitions indicated in the messages of the Universal House of Justice on that timeline. If possible, use resources such as old news magazines (from a library) to add major world events to your timeline.

2. Create an outline of each letter as you read it. Individuals can compare their outlines in a group study. Collectively, an outline of all the letters and/or the compilation (in part II) could be created that would identify the major themes raised and describe the significant points of each theme.

3. What major themes of the letters, other than those included in part II, could you identify? Create a compilation of these topics from the letters provided in the book and other messages of the Universal House of Justice.


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4. Review messages published since Ridván 1992 and analyze the information presented in light of the major themes presented in part II. What themes are further developed? What new themes, if any, are raised?

5. Review the writings of the Guardian (and possibly Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá) on the major themes from the letters identified in part two of the book. Compile the references for discussion in a group session.

6. Research the writings to identify passages that describe the unfoldment of future events. Relate these passages with extracts from the letters of the Universal House of Justice in order to gain a better understanding of how the Faith and the world are evolving. (Compare, for example, the Guardian's description of stages in the unfoldment of the Faith in The Advent of Divine Justice, page 15, and Messages to the Bahá'í World, page 155, with the House of Justice's description in this book of our emergence from obscurity.)

7. Select one of the major themes identified in part II for in-depth study and discussion. Ask "What can I/we do to act on the guidance of the Universal House of Justice?" Develop a plan and put it into action.



Questions

What has been the result of the persecutions of the Bahá'ís in Iran?

What is the relationship of the persecutions of the Iranian believers to social and economic development? to the responsibilities of youth? to the proclamation of the Faith? to the


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Faith's emergence from obscurity? to our involvement in peace? to external affairs activity? to the expansion of the Faith?

What has the Universal House of Justice called upon the believers to do in response to the sacrifices of the Iranian Bahá'ís?

What is the significance and meaning of the Faith's "emergence from obscurity?"

What is the relationship between our emergence from obscurity and our involvement in the life of society?

What are some examples of the Bahá'í world community's emergence from obscurity?

What responsibilities have been thrust upon the Bahá'í world as a result of our emergence from obscurity?

Describe what is meant by the process of integration and disintegration? What is the relationship of these twin processes to the major and minor plans of God? (You may wish to refer also to the writings of the Guardian in your consideration of these questions.)

What guidance has the Universal House of Justice offered as the means for ensuring our safe passage through the violent period of disintegration currently engulfing humanity?

What is the relationship between the twin processes of integration and disintegration with the "three collateral processes" described by Shoghi Effendi? (See the Ridván 1989 message and Messages to the Bahá'í World, pp. 73-75.)

What are some of the indications described by the Universal House of Justice of the processes of integration and disintegration?


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What are some of the forces related to the disintegrative process?

Describe the organic unfoldment in the Cause of the process of social and economic development.

What is the role of the National Assemblies in social and economic development? What is the role of the grassroots?

What is the relationship between social and economic development and the teaching work?

Compare and contrast the guidance of the Universal House of Justice in social and economic development with that of its guidance on the Bahá'í community's involvement in the life of society. For example, what activities constitute social and economic development? What activities and challenges represent our involvement in the life of society? What is the relationship between the two — and what are the points of distinction?

What is the relationship between involvement in the life of society and the teaching work?

What challenges and opportunities face this generation of Bahá'í youth?

What qualities of youth enable them to play a special role in service to the Cause at this time?

What specific responsibilities has the Universal House of Justice called Bahá'í youth to fulfill at this time in history?

What is the relationship of the role of youth in service to the Cause and the theme of emergence from obscurity? of social and economic development? of teaching? of involvement in the life of society?


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Basically, the Universal House of Justice made three appeals involving funds from 1983 to 1992 — one in January 1984, one in August 1987, and one in November 1991. Describe the pattern of the community's response to the appeals. What was the context of the appeal made by the House of Justice? What did the House of Justice ask for? How did the community respond? How did the House of Justice then react?

What priorities did the Universal House of Justice set for the use of Funds in 1984? How had those priorities changed by 1991?

What is Huqúqu'lláh? What is the relationship between Huqúqu'lláh and the Bahá'í Fund?

What is the attitude of the Bahá'í teachings toward material means? What is the relationship between material and spiritual affairs?

What are some of the distinctive features of the law of Huqúqu'lláh?

What is meant by the Fourth Epoch of the Formative Age? What other Ages have been defined by the Guardian — and what do they represent? What are some of the accomplishments that will make the Formative Age?

What developments led to the inception of the Fourth Epoch? What are the characteristics and objectives of this epoch?

What were the major objectives of the Six Year Plan? What were the significant international goals of the Plan?

What was the major theme of the Six Year Plan, according to the Universal House of Justice? How were Bahá'ís directed to address this theme?


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What were some of the accomplishments of the Plan noted by the Universal House of Justice?

How did the Universal House of Justice measure victory in the Plan?

Describe the maturation of the following institutions in light of the messages of the Universal House of Justice: the institution of the learned, the national assemblies, the local assemblies, and the Feast.

Describe the characteristics of the maturity that the institutions are being encouraged to attain.

What is meant by a "unity of diversity of actions?" Why is it important and what is its relationship to the maturity of Bahá'í institutions?

How is adherence to principle related to the maturation of Bahá'í institutions?

What is meant by collaboration between the two arms of the administration? What are the complimentary functions of each arm?

What appeals have the Universal House of Justice addressed to the individual teacher in the years 1983-1992?

How does the Universal House of Justice describe the nature of teaching? How can individuals achieve greater levels of success in teaching?

What is the relationship between teaching and transformation?

Describe the characteristics of the more mature approach to teaching called for by the Universal House of Justice in its messages since 1983.


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What are the stages described by the Guardian that will lead to mass conversion? What is the role of the Bahá'í community in achieving this goal?

In 1987, the Universal House of Justice indicated that the "stage is set for universal, rapid and massive growth of the Cause of God." In 1988, it noted a "new paradigm" of opportunity for further growth. What was the result of the House of Justice's subsequent appeals to meet this challenge? What is our current status? What are the challenges that lie ahead?

What has been the role of the International Teaching Centre in the current stage of execution of the teaching work?

In what ways did the operation of God's Major Plan act to create possibilities for new developments in the teaching field? What steps were taken to seize these opportunities? What were the results of these efforts?

What are some of the specific challenges facing the American Bahá'í community that were mentioned by the Universal House of Justice? What advice or directions has the Supreme Body given to meet these challenges?

Describe the historical process of the development of the Arc on Mount Carmel as the World Centre of the Faith. What projects are involved with the completion of the Arc? What has been accomplished on these current plans to date?

What is the relationship between the development of the Arc and the teaching work? the Arc and the maturation of the institutions of the Faith? the Arc and our involvement with peace? the Arc and the release of spiritual power?

What — according to the writings of the Guardian — is the significance of the development of the Arc on Mount Carmel?


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What is the purpose of the Holy Year? What two major events mark the Holy Year? What is the purpose of these events?

What is meant by the "spiritual celebration" which is to mark the Holy Year?

How are the themes of reflection, reconsecration, and action addressed by the Universal House of Justice in relation to the Holy Year?

What are the significant aspects of the Person and Mission of Bahá'u'lláh that we are to focus on and convey to humanity during the Holy Year? How are we to prepare ourselves to accomplish these tasks? What actions are we to undertake to achieve them?
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