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USBN #118 August 1938 p1-2

“The Guardian has read very carefully the letters your Assembly has received from the Spiritual Assemblies of Urbana and Chicago reporting the criticisms that have been advanced by Rev. John Elder, a missionary from Irán. While he is certain that such attacks from Church missionaries are destined to increase in number and force in the future, he feels that for the present they do not constitute a challenge so grave and widespread as to justify any strong action by your Assembly. Later on, when the very progress of the Cause on the one hand, and the corresponding decline in ecclesiastical organizations on the other, will inevitably incite Christian ecclesiactical leaders to vehemently oppose and undermine the Faith, the believers will then have a real chance to defend and vindicate the Cause. Under present conditions it would be inadvisable for the American Community to give such issues too much prominence.

“It would, however, be very helpful for the friends to know that the question which the above-mentioned missionary has raised in connection with the marriage of Bahá’u’lláh and the provisions in the ‘Aqdas’ regarding the institution of marriage have been explained by ‘ Abdu'1-Bahá in a Tablet which the Guardian hopes to have translated and published in conjunction

with the ‘Aqdas’. Moreover, as regards Bahá’u’lláh’s marriage, it should be noted that His three marriages were all contracted before He revealed His Book of Laws, and even before His declaration in Baghdad, at a time when Bahá'i marriage laws had not yet been made known, and the Revelation not yet disclosed."

“As regards those Persian or Oriental non-believers who become genuinely interested in the Cause in America, they can be admitted to study classes, but every care should be taken by the Assemblies to fully test their sincerity and the genuineness of their desire to join the Community before they are given the necessary facilities that will enable them eventually to be regarded as voting members of the Faith."

— May 25, 1938.

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