The association of the First Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the West with the hallowed memories of the Purest Branch and of `Abdu'l-Bahá's mother, recently re-interred under the shadow of the Báb's holy Shrine, inaugurates a new, and at long last the final phase of an enterprise which, thirty years ago, was providentially launched on the very day the remains of the Forerunner of our Faith were laid to rest by our beloved Master in the sepulchre specifically erected for that purpose on Mount Carmel. The birth of this holy enterprise, pregnant with such rich, such infinite possibilities, synchronized with, and was consecrated through, this historic event which, as `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself has affirmed, constitutes the most signal act of the triple mission He had been prompted to perform. The site of the Temple itself was honored by the presence of Him Who, ever since this enterprise was initiated, had, through his messages and Tablets, bestowed upon it His special attention and care, and surrounded it with the marks of His unfailing solicitude. Its foundation-stone was laid by His own loving hands, on an occasion so moving that it has come to be regarded as one of the most stirring episodes of His historic visit to the North American continent. Its superstructure was raised as a direct consequence of the pent-up energies which surged from the breasts of `Abdu'l-Bahá's lovers at a time when His sudden removal from their midst had plunged them into consternation, bewilderment and sorrow. Its external ornamentation was initiated and accelerated through the energizing influences which the rising and continually consolidating institutions of a divinely established Administrative Order had released in the midst of a community that had identified its vital interests with that Temple's destiny. The measures devised to hasten its completion were incorporated in a Plan which derives its inspiration from those destiny-shaping Tablets wherein, in bold relief, stands outlined the world mission entrusted by their Author to the American Bahá'í community. And finally, the Fund, designed to receive and dispose of the resources amassed for its prosecution, was linked with the memory and bore the name of her whose ebbing life was brightened and cheered by those tidings that unmistakably revealed to her the depth of devotion and the tenacity of purpose which animate the American believers in the cause of their beloved Temple. And now, while the Bahá'í world vibrates with emotion at the news of the transfer of the precious remains of both the Purest Branch and of `Abdu'l-Bahá's mother to a spot which, watched over by the Twin Holy Shrines and in the close neighborhood of the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, is to become the focus of the administrative institutions of the Faith at its world center, the mere act of linking the destiny of so far-reaching an undertaking with so significant an event in the Formative Period of our Faith will assuredly set the seal of complete triumph upon, and enhance the spiritual potentialities of, a work so significantly started and so magnificently executed by the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in the North American continent.
The Plan which your Assembly has suggested to raise the sum of fifty thousand dollars by next April, which will enable you to place the necessary contracts for the final completion of the entire First Story of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, meets with my unqualified approval. It was specially in order to initiate and encourage the progress of such a plan that I felt impelled to pledge the sum of one thousand pounds in the memory of these two glorious souls who, apart from the Founders of our Faith and its Exemplar, tower together with the Greatest Holy Leaf, above the rank and file of the faithful.
The interval separating us from that date is admittedly short. The explosive forces which lie dormant in the international field may, ere the expiry of these fleeting months, break out in an eruption that may prove the most fateful that mankind has experienced. It is within the power of the organized body of the American believers to further demonstrate the imperturbability of their faith, the serenity of their confidence and the unyielding tenacity of their resolve.
We stand at the threshold of the decade within which the centenary of
the birth of our Faith is to be celebrated. Scarcely more than four years
stand between us and that glorious consummation. No community, no
individual, neither in the East nor in the West, however afflictive the
circumstances that now prevail, can afford to hesitate or falter. The few
years immediately ahead are endowed with potencies that we can but dimly
appreciate. Ours is the duty and privilege to utilize to the full the
opportunities which these fate-laden years offer us. The American Bahá'í
community, already responsible, over such a long period, for such heroic acts,
under such severe handicaps, cannot and will not hesitate or falter. The past
witness of their splendid triumphs. The future will be no less a witness of
their final victory.
December 30, 1939