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1924-11- 27 to USNSA

USBN January 1925 insert

To my dear friends and fellow-workers, the members of the American National

Spiritual Assembly

c/o the Secretary, Mr. Horace Holley, New York City, U.S.A.

My Friends and Fellow-Workers:-

The letters which our able and devoted friend, Mr. Horace Holley, has

addressed in your behalf to the Greatest Holy Leaf and myself have all been

received, and, together with their enclosures, read with the closest attention. It

is indeed highly gratifying to observe that notwithstanding the strain and stress

of the critical period through which our beloved Cause is passing, the elected

representatives of the friends in America have, with unflinching faith, undaunted

courage, and conspicuous ability, perse[r]vered in their task and fulfilled their

arduous duties.

The splendid contribution you have made to the efforts of your fellow-

workers in England in connection with the Conference on the Living Religions

within the British Empire, we all heartily appreciate and regard as a fresh

evidence of the growing power and solidarity of the Cause of God. Both in the

admirable paper which you arranged to be drafted and prepared, and in the person

of your devout, trusted and talented President, who performed his duty with

absolute fidelity and high distinction, you have rendered the Cause of Baha'u'llah

a fresh and distinguished service. May the results achieved lend a fresh impetus

to the onward march of the Cause in the West.

The recent measures you have adopted in view of the necessity of promoting

fuller confidence and a greater measure of understanding and cooperation between

the body of the believers and the local and National Assemblies, will, I am

confident, be of the greatest value, and indicate clearly that you are fully aware

of the true position, the privileges and responsibilities of every Baha'i


We all long to hasten by wise and effective measures the completion of the

Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and we fervently supplicate the All-Bountiful to bless richly

our Teaching work that our numbers may be reinforced in time by men who with

sufficient means at their disposal may voluntarily and abundantly support this

vast and noble endeavor. I trust that you will encounter no further obstacles in

receiving the necessary support to meet the immediate needs of this Universal

House of Worship as decided at your recent general gathering in Chicago.

The Star of the West, the latest issues of which I have read with genuine

satisfaction, has admittedly made a notable advance towards the ideal which the

Master has set before it. Articles on broad humanitarian lines, well-conceived,

adequately treated, and powerfully presented, should have their proper place in

every issue together with such accounts of the History and the teachings of the

Cause as will portray to the Baha'i and non-Baha'i alike the unique beauty as well

as the compelling power of the Baha'i spirit. Matters political and partisan in

character should be carefully avoided as they would eventually lead to

entanglements that would be not only futile but positively harmful. As regards the

Persian Section: I feel that in view of the severe restrictions imposed on the

friends in Persia its temporary suspension would be well-advised, particularly as

it makes such a disproportionate demand on the meagre resources of the friends in


The increasing efforts displayed by my beloved brothers and sisters in

America, both individually and collectively, and the action taken by you in

constituting regional Teaching Committees are of vital importance to the spread of

the Cause in the present stage of our work. I feel that we should all collaborate

in widening its scope, intensifying its influence, assuring its continuity, and

endeavoring to subordinate every other activity to this most urgent and vital

task. It is our bounden duty to do all in our power to give the Cause from day to

day a fuller publicity, to maintain and stimulate the interest aroused, and to

concentrate at the same time our attention on a chosen few, endeavoring tactfully

and persistently to make of them earnest and unreserved supporters of the Baha'i


I am deeply conscious of the manifold and unavoidable difficulties that

confront you in your labors for the administration of the affairs of the Cause.

Vast distances; personal professional pre-occupations; insufficient number of

capable and experienced teachers, unhampered by the necessity of earning their

means of livelihood; the inadequacy of the means at your disposal, financial and

otherwise; the prevailing tendencies in the general thought, sentiment, and

manners of the people in whose midst you work - all these, though insuperable

obstacles at present, will, if we stand steadfast and faithful, be one by one

removed, and pave the way for the ultimate ascendency of the Cause and the

fruition and triumph of our labors.

As to the projected prayer-book, I feel the need for a specially prepared

compilation of the prayers of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha designed for the

general public which would both prove of value for devotional purposes and act as

a fresh incentive to eager and inquiring minds. I am enclosing copies of prayers

which you may have not yet received and trust to send you more in future. I should

be glad to receive any particulars you might wish me to consider in this


Our untiring and devoted sister, Dr. Moody, (the handmaid of the Most High),

has had to her profound regret to discontinue for a time the invaluable and unique

services she has been rendering to the Cause in Persia. She is proceeding to

America, and will familiarize you with the deplorable state of affairs in that

unhappy country. You will get first-hand information from her regarding the

present condition and activities of our long-suffering friends in Persia, and she

will take counsel with you as to the best way to meet the needs and serve the

Cause of Education in Tihran. I hope and pray that as soon as circumstances

permit, the friends in America may enable Dr. Moody to take back with her to

Persia suitable, capable and ardent collaborators who will contribute their

distinct share towards the uplift and the advancement of their brethren and

sisters in that land.

Concerning the magazine "Reality," I feel we must make it unmistak[e]ably

plain to those in charge of it that the Baha'is would gladly and gratefully

respond to the invitation to cooperate with those that are responsible for it

immediately they are fully satisfied that nothing is or will be published by them,

whether in the magazine or elsewhere, that would, however indirectly, prejudice or

reflect upon their conception of what the Baha'i Movement is or stands for. Should

this be refused, and unfriendly and harmful matters be published against them, the

attitude of all of us should be a definite refusal to help and absolute non-

interference, as well as the absence of any form of retaliation which will instead

of achieving our end defeat our purpose. We should leave him in the hands of God.

Page 2

As to the suggestion of the Annual Convention being held next summer at

Green Acre, I believe it to be both wise and helpful, and trust that it will forge

another link between the Baha'is as a body and its founders and trustees, and will

serve to draw them closer and closer to the outward form as well as to the spirit

of the activities of the friends in America.

The financial help extended recently by the friends in America to their

fellow-workers of the Faith in Qadiyan, Punjab, has given us all intense

satisfaction and made us deeply grateful. Their contribution has immediately been

forwarded to them through the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma, and

will, I am certain, enhance the prestige and the influence of the Cause.

I feel that the conditions are now favorable for the circulation of the Will

and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha only in manuscript form and among recognized

believers in America. Every such believer should be trusted with a single copy

with the express understanding that no duplicate copies or extracts of it be made

or published anywhere.

The suggestion made by my dear and able friend, Mr. Horace Holley, as to the

compilation of an annual "Baha'i Year Book" is extremely valuable and timely. I am

much impressed by it, and feel that an immediate start should be made. I believe

it can best be now undertaken under the direction and supervision of your Assembly

until the time should come for the friends in the East and particularly Persia to

participate effectually in its development. I trust you will send me a copy of the

skeleton of the material you propose to include, and I shall here attempt to fill

up any gap and render any assistance I can to make it as comprehensive, as

attractive, and as authoritative as possible.

I am sending through my dear brother, Mr. M. Mills, various relics and

Tablets of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Baha, the only and priceless treasures of the

devoted gardener of Baha'u'llah's Shrine, Ustad Abu'l-Qasim Khurasani, who has

offered them to be preserved on his behalf in the Archives of the friends in

America. I am hoping to be able to send you in future precious additions to what

the Archives Committee has already collected, and may I in this connection express

to those who have conceived so admirable a plan my profound admiration and

heartfelt gratitude.

I wish to assure you in conclusion of my readiness and genuine desire to

help you and serve you to the utmost of my ability. I fully realize the enormous

burden that weighs on your shoulders, and am constantly mindful of the distinct

and eminent share you are contributing to the advancement of the Cause. I wish you

from the depths of my heart entire satisfaction in your glorious work. Our beloved

Master is surely watching from the Realm Beyond over His children whom He nurtured

and loved so well, and will certainly guide you in every step you take, and crown

your patient efforts with signal success.

Your brother and fellow-worker.

(signed) SHOGHI

Haifa, Palestine,

November 27, 1924.

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