1931-12-25 approve NYC Declaration of Trust
USBN #59 - February 1932 - page 3-4
Shoghi Effendi approves New York Declaration of Trust
The chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly .... of New York City has
received from Shoghi Effendi a letter and also a cablegram....
The first portion of the letter was written through his secretary:
"It is surely very important to give to the Local Spiritual Assemblies some
legal standing, for as the Cause progresses and its adherents increase, they will
be confronted with duties they cannot even imagine at present. Not only will they
have to make contracts for acquiring halls for their meeting place, but also they
will be obliged to create new institutions to care for their sick, pure and aged
people. We hope that before long the Baha'is will even (be able to) afford to have
schools that would provide the children the intellectual and spiritual education
as prescribed in the writings of Baha'u'llah and the Master.
"For such duties that will naturally devolve upon the Local Spiritual
Assemblies there will be an increasing need for a legal standing. They will have
to be considered as a legal person with the power of making binding contracts.
"In small centers where the friends are still few, the taking of such steps
is rather premature and may add to the complexity of Baha'i administration. Not
so, however, with New York which, I suppose, is the largest center in the United
The Guardian added the following words in his own handwriting:
"Kindly convey to the members of your distinguished Assembly and through
them to the entire Baha'i Community in New York, the expression of my heartfelt
gratification, admiration and gratitude for the historic step that has been taken
by the Baha'is of New York, the City of the Covenant, for the consolidation of
their local activities. I am entirely in agreement with the provisions of the
Declaration of Trust, endorse its principles, approve its purpose, and believe it
to be eminently practicable, useful and serviceable to the interests of the Cause.
It will serve as a pattern for every Baha'i Local Spiritual Assembly in America
and a model for every local community throughout the Baha'i world. This document,
being the first of its kind, should, I feel, be published, in its final form and
in its entirety, in "The "Baha'i World ."