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1933-04-11 various

USBN #73 - May 1933 - page 5

To the National Spiritual Assembly.

The Guardian is fully familiar with the difficult circumstances facing the

Assembly, especially in providing for the financial needs of the Cause and

completing the construction of the dome. Yet he is confident in God's blessings

and assistance and the persistence and sacrifice of the friends in fulfilling

their sacred pledges. In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines the Guardian

will think of you all and ask God to assist you and reinforce your efforts.

As regards the admittance of new members into the different groups as

declared Baha'is, and the expulsion of any from the community, Shoghi Effendi

believes that the Assemblies should not act hurriedly. They should be wise and

most considerate, otherwise they can do much harm to the body of the Cause. They

should see to it that the new-comer is truly conversant with the teachings, and

when he expresses his belief in the revelation of Baha'u'llah, knows what he is

saying and what are the duties he undertakes.

On the other hand when any person is expelled, the Assembly should not act

hurriedly. There is a great spiritual responsibility attached to the act. The

Assemblies do not have only rights against the individuals, they have great duties

also. They should act like the good shepherd whom Christ mentions in His well-

known parable. We also have the example of the Master before us. The individual

Baha'is were organic parts of His spiritual being. What befell the least one of

the friends brought deep affliction and sorrow to him also. If by chance one of

them erred he counselled him and increased His love and affection, if the Master

saw that that friend is still stubbornly refusing to reform his ways, and that his

living among the other Baha'is endangered the spiritual life of the rest, then He

would expell him from the group. This should be the attitude of the Assemblies

toward the individuals. The best criterion whereby you can measure the spiritual

attainment of an Assembly, is the extent its members feel themselves responsible

for the welfare of the group. And perchance they feel forced to deprive a person

from his vote it should be only to safeguard the rest and not merely to inflict


The Guardian was very glad to learn that the work of the fourth volume of

"The Baha'i World is progressing rapidly. He hopes that it will be soon out for

circulation for undoubtedly the public is waiting for it.

Please convey the Guardian's loving greetings and best wishes to the members

of the Assembly. He hopes that throught their endeavors the spirit of the Faith

will permeate that land and solve the pressing problems of its suffering people.

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan.

P.S. As regards the Tablet of the Master to Mr. James Morton, Shoghi Effendi

would prefer to see the original Persian to decide as to its authenticity.


(In the Guardian's hand-writing.)

"Dear and precious co-workers: I greatly value the Tablets addressed to

Sarah Farmer and I thank you for having sent them to me. Will you kindly send me a

few more copies of the Study Guide to Nabil's Narrative and the reprint of the

Declaration of Trust, copies of both of which I wish to distribute among those who

are deeply interested. Your letters of March 31 and 30th, written on behalf of the

Assembly, have just reached me. Concerning the removal of believers I feel that

such a vitally important matter should be given the most serious consideration and

preferably be referred to the National Assembly for further consideration and

final decision. We should be slow to accept and reluctant to remove. I fully

approve and whole-heartedly and unreservedly uphold the principle to which you

refer that personalities should not be made centres around which the community may

revolve but that they should be subordinated under all conditions and however

great their merits to the properly constituted Assemblies. You and your co-workers

can never overestimate or overemphasize this cardinal principle of Baha'i


Your true brother,


Haifa, Palestine,

April 11, 1933.

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