USBN #89 January 1935 p1
[To the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly]
"With reference to the first of the two questions raised by the San Francisco Spiritual Assembly in connection with 'The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, he wishes me to explain that although 'Abdu'l-Baha's station is not that of a Manifestation of God, nevertheless supplications may be addressed to Him. It is essential, however, that every believer should realize that while doing so he is directing his thoughts towards the Master as an intermediary between him and the Manifestation, and not as the Source of Divine Revelation and spiritual guidance. Provided this distinction is clearly established there can be no harm or objection in addressing prayers to 'Abdu'l-Baha.
As to the meaning of the quotation, 'My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me', this refers to the Manifestation Who is to come after a thousand or more years, Who like all previous Messengers of God will be subjected to persecutions, but will eventually triumph over them. For men of ill-will have been and will always continue to be in this world, unless mankind reaches a state of complete and absolute perfection—a condition which is not only improbable but actually impossible to attain. The fundamental difference, however, between this Dispensation and all previous ones is this, that in this Revelation the possibility of permanent schism between the followers of the Prophet has been prevented through the direct and explicit instructions providing for the necessary instruments designed to maintain the organic unity of the body of the faithful.
In regard to the use of ringstones and burial stones, the Guardian leaves this matter at present entirely to the discretion of the believers, and has no objection if your Assembly provides facilities for their purchase by the friends. When the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is published the necessary instructions will be given regarding this matter.
In this connection he wishes me to inform you that at his repeated directions the National Assemblies of Egypt, 'Iraq and Persia are adopting the exact text of your Assembly's Declaration of Trust and By-Laws, as well as the local By-Laws, and are taking the necessary steps for incorporating their Assemblies as duly recognized bodies empowered to administer the national and local affairs of the Faith in their respective countries. The Indian N. S. A., as well as the Bombay Spiritual Assembly, have already set the example in this respect, both in the matter of incorporation, and in the adoption of the text of the constitutions of the American Baha'i Assemblies.
Concerning the union of the two Magazines (THE BAHA'i MAGAZINE and the WORLD UNITY MAGAZINE) the Guardian hopes that the N. S. A. will proceed quickly in this matter. He fully approves the action which you contemplate, and any details in this connection he leaves entirely to your discretion.
In regard to the question submitted to your Assembly by the Baha'i group at Maui, Hawaii, concerning the passage on page 88 of the book 'Baha'i Administration,' the Guardian wishes me to inform you that the festivals of the Declaration of the Bab and the birthday of 'Abdu'l-Baha referred to in that passage as having been celebrated on the twenty-second of November, 1925, by the Baha'is of the Orient, are based on the lunar calendar. For this reason the date of the celebration is not fixed, but shifts every year. Eventually, as the Master has explicitly stated, a uniform system will have to be established by the International House of Justice.
Concerning the West Englewood Memorial, Shoghi Effendi's idea has always been that this memorial should be in the form of a monument and not of a building.
He also wishes me to express his approval of your statement in the November issue of the BAHA'i NEWS to the effect of creating within the Assemblies and individual believers a more posItIve and active attitude towards the Administration. The need for positive action seems, indeed, to be one of the most urgent needs of the Cause at present.
In closing may I convey to you and to the American community of the believers as well the Guardian's abiding appreciation and gratitude for the striking manner in which the American friends, under the leadership of your Assembly, have each and all arisen to meet the emergency which the lack of sufficient funds had created in connection with the work of the Temple. This constitutes, indeed, an added victory in the series of triumphs which the American believers have, ever since the ascension of the Master, been winning in the field of service to the Faith. Their collective, united and sustained labors in this connection are surely bound to hasten the realization of the Master's promises concerning the ultimate triumph of the Cause throughout the American continent. ~ray this sublime vision disclosed by 'Abdu'l-Baha intensify their zeal and stimulate their ardor in bringing their sacred and mighty task to a speedy consummation.
The Guardian wishes me also to extend his heart-felt condolences and loving sympathy to you and to all the bereaved members of the community of the American friends for the new loss they have sustained in the passing away of their indefatigable and pioneer fellow-believer Dr. Susan Moody. The work she had so successfully initiated in Persia, particularly in connection with the founding and development of the Tarbiat School in Tihran is an abiding monument to her memory, and constitutes a fresh and indissoluble link which will unite forever the believers in East and West in their triumphs as well as sufferings in the path of service to our beloved Faith.
Dearly beloved co-workers:
It would be impossible for me to refrain from adding these words in person as a token of my increasing admiration for the recent, the marvelous accomplishments of the American believers. Despite the perils and uncertainties with which their country is now beset, and in the face of the financial reverses they have suffered and the unfortunate controversies that have perplexed and agitated them, they have forged ahead and are fast approaching the termination of the first stage in the ornamentation of their consecrate Edifice. Undaunted by the magnitude of this colossal enterprise, undismayed by the smallness of their numbers, the scantiness of their resources and the scorn of their enemies, they have carried triumphantly the banner of Baha'u'llah and brought to a successful issue the first stage in the formative period of His Faith. At this stage of their development they can neither halt nor hesitate. Whatever the future may have in store for them, they will, I feel more than ever confident, allow nothing whatsoever to dim their vision or to deflect them from their high purpose.