The one remaining and indeed the most challenging task confronting the American Bahá'í Community has at long last been brilliantly accomplished. The structural basis of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh has, through this superb victory, and on the very eve of the world-wide celebrations of the Centenary of His Faith, been firmly laid by the champion-builders of His World Order in every state of the Great Republic of the West and in every Province of the Dominion of Canada. In each of the Republics of Central and South America, moreover, the banner of His undefeatable Faith has been implanted by the members of that same community, while in no less than thirteen Republics of Latin America as well as in two Dependencies in the West Indies, Spiritual Assemblies have been established and are already functioning--a feat that has outstripped the goal originally fixed for the valiant members of that Community in their inter-continental sphere of Bahá'í activity. The exterior ornamentation of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the West--the culmination of a forty year old enterprise repeatedly blessed and continually nurtured by `Abdu'l-Bahá has, furthermore, through a remarkable manifestation of the spirit of Bahá'í solidarity and self-sacrifice so powerfully animating the members of that stalwart community, been successfully completed, more than a year in advance of the time set for its termination.
The triple task undertaken with such courage, confidence, zeal and determination--a task which ever since the inception of the Seven Year Plan has challenged and galvanized into action the entire body of the American believers and for the efficient prosecution of which processes of a divinely appointed Administrative Order had, during no less than sixteen years, been steadily evolving--is now finally accomplished and crowned with total victory.
The greatest collective enterprise ever launched by the Western followers of Bahá'u'lláh and indeed ever undertaken by any Bahá'í community in the course of an entire century, has been gloriously consummated. A victory of undying fame has marked the culmination of the fifty year long labors of the American Bahá'í community in the service of Bahá'u'lláh and has shed imperishable lustre on the immortal records of His Faith during the first hundred years of its existence. The exploits that have marked the progress of this prodigious, this three-fold enterprise, covering a field stretching from Alaska in the North to the extremity of Chile in the South, affecting the destinies of so great a variety of peoples and nations, involving such a tremendous expenditure of treasure and effort, calling forth so remarkable a spirit of heroism and self-sacrifice, and undertaken notwithstanding the vicious assaults and incessant machinations of the breakers of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Covenant, and despite the perils, the trials and restrictions of a desolating war of unexampled severity, augur well for the successful prosecution, and indeed assure the ultimate victory, of the remaining stages of the Plan conceived, a quarter of a century ago, by `Abdu'l-Bahá for the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in the North American continent.
To the band of pioneers, whether settlers or itinerant teachers, who have forsaken their homes, who have scattered far and wide, who have willingly sacrificed their comfort, their health and even their lives for the prosecution of this Plan; to the several committees and their auxiliary agencies that have been entrusted with special and direct responsibility for its efficient and orderly development and who have discharged their high responsibilities with exemplary vigor, courage and fidelity; to the national representatives of the community itself, who have vigilantly and tirelessly supervised, directed and coordinated the unfolding processes of this vast undertaking ever since its inception; to all those who, though not in the forefront of battle, have through their financial assistance and through the instrumentality of their deputies, contributed to the expansion and consolidation of the Plan, I myself, as well as the entire Bahá'í world, owe a debt of gratitude that no one can measure or describe. To the sacrifices they have made, to the courage they have so consistently shown, to the fidelity they have so remarkably displayed, to the resourcefulness, the discipline, the constancy and devotion they have so abundantly demonstrated, future generations viewing the magnitude of their labors in their proper perspective, will no doubt pay adequate tribute--a tribute no less ardent and well-deserved than the recognition extended by the present-day builders of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh to the Dawn-Breakers, whose shining deeds have signalized the birth of the Heroic Age of His Faith.
To the elected representatives of all the Bahá'í communities of the New
World, assembled beneath the Dome of the Mother Temple of the West, on
the occasion of the historic, first All-American Bahá'í Convention--a
at which every state and province in the North American continent
is represented, in which the representatives of every Republic of Latin America
have been invited to participate, whose delegates have been elected, for the
first time in American Bahá'í history, by all local communities already
possessing Assemblies, by all groups and isolated believers throughout the
United States and Canada, and whose proceedings will be for ever associated
with the celebration of the Centenary of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, of the
hundredth anniversary of the birth of `Abdu'l-Bahá, of the fiftieth anniversary
of the founding of the Bahá'í Faith in the Western Hemisphere,
and of the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the First
Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the West, to all the privileged attendants of such an
epoch-making Convention, I, on my own behalf, as well as in the name of all
Bahá'í Communities sharing with them, at this great turning point in the
history of our Faith, the joys and triumphs of this solemn hour, feel moved to
convey the expression of our loving admiration, our joy and our gratitude for
the brilliant conclusion of what posterity will no doubt acclaim as one of the
most stirring episodes in the history of the Formative Age of the Faith of
Bahá'u'lláh, as well as one of the most momentous enterprises undertaken
during the entire course of the first Century of the Bahá'í Era.
April 15, 1944