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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 ."

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