USBN #236 October 1950 p2-3
Your letters , and those signed by other members of the Assembly, of September 29, 30 ; October 3, 4, 7; November 1 (three); December 15, 1949, and January 2, 11, 13; February 1, 2, 15; March 2, 3, 6 ; April 21 (two) ; May 8, (two), 24 (two), 25, 26 ; June 2, 4, 17 (three), 18 of 1950, as well as their enclosures, and material sent under separate cover, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.
He is very sorry that so much important correspondence has had to wait so long for an answer. It is only the last two weeks that he has been able to take up the question of his mail, due to the fact that the very serious illness of my father, since April 5, has kept us all in a condition of confusion and suspense for months. As it was seemingly a hopeless condition, and one most agonizing for us all to have to watch, it was impossible to concentrate for the time being on anything else. Thanks, however, to the mercy of Baha'u'llah , and the iron determination of the Guardian not to allow the builder of the Shrine to pass away at this time, Mr. Maxwell is now recovering , and our lives are getting back to normal.
During the winter, as you know, the Shrine work has 1been steadily going forward . This necessitated not only constant supervision on the part of the Guardian but also involved extensive excavations behind the original building in order to permit the arcade to fit around it. Shoghi Effendi himself, in order to economize and ensure the work was carried on in such a way as not to endanger the Shrine, spent many hours daily up in the gardens, superintending this work personally , which was very exhausting for him; and took up, with other problems, all his time last winter. On the 29th of last month the last stone of the arcade was set in. position, and the effect of the first story, now entirely finished, is truly glorious.
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The Guardian feels believers desiring to declare themselves are entitled to read the full text of the Master's Will beforehand, and indeed, they should do so.
The increasing publicity the Temple is receiving, especially in the Chicago area, is very encouraging. Now that the arcade of the Shrine is finished , the believers should seek to get as much publicity as possible for this beautiful and interesting building , as it will serve to call the Faith to the attention of many people, especially those visiting or interested in Israel.
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The Guardian regrets very much that he is not able to supply the friends with any new translations at present. The rapid expansion of the Cause, and the consequent tremendous increase in his correspondence, the building of the Shrine and all it entails, the upkeep and consolidation of the international Center, all not only keep him constantly occupied, but are sapping his strength and taking up all his time.
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The Guardian considers it immaterial whether you use the term " Persia" or "Iran".
Regarding Mr. - - -'s bequest to the Temple: your Assembly should inform his widow that, because he was not a Baha'i, we cannot use his money for our purposes, as we consider our Faith and its institutions our free gift to humanity. You can , however, and indeed should, accept it for charity and expend it in his name.
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Regarding holding the Latin America Conventions: all Baha'i conventions must meet within the Ridvan period. He suggests the Central and South American conventions be convened for April 21st, or a day or two later, in order to permit North Americans to get back in time for their own Convention, if they desire to attend it.
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He does not feel the By-Laws should be changed: what could be done is to insert a foot-note. explaining that, as the Baha'i day begins and ends at sunset, the evening of March 20th would be considered as a legal date by us .
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The purpose of the By-Laws is to clarify and strengthen the administrative legal functions of a Baha'i community. As a believer of 15 cannot vote he sees no reason for including a statement regarding the age of 15 in the By-Laws. A baby can be considered a Baha'i; 15 is merely the age of maturity for fasting, marriage, etc., and in the case of America, a declaration at that age is invited from the youth in order to protect them, at a future date, from being forced to do active military service.
In this connection he would like to point out that if the believers gather before sundown on a certain date it does not matter if the meeting continues after sunset; it may still be considered as being held on the day they gathered.
The Naw-Ruz Feast should be held on March 21 before sunset and has nothing to do with the 19 Day Feast. The 19 Day Feast is administrative in function whereas the Naw-Ruz is our New Year, a Feast of hospitality and rejoicing.
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The Esslemont book is now printed in about 60 languages, and the Guardian does not want any revision made of it at present.
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He sees no objection to Baha'is in various universities holding organized Baha'i student groups, as long as they do this on each campus according to the rules, and no general statement is made regarding such procedure by your Assembly. The tendency of the Baha'is all over the world is to constantly try to lay down new rules and regulations, and pour the Faith into molds , whereas the Guardian insists on the greatest elasticity in details and only the fundamentals, laid down by him already, should be universal and rigidly adhered to .
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The Guardian has no objection to the suggestion of the Temple architect to go to the additional expense at present of $32,136 in using cast stone for the outside walls of the Temple interior, as long as this will be included in the top figure estimated originally and accepted, or not exceed it excessively.
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The Guardian has not felt he wished to make any voice recordings for the various Conventions as yet . But he thanks you for your offer to send the necessary machine for this purpose.
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The Baha'i marriage ceremony should be carried out because we are Baha'is, regardless of whether it is legal or not. All details regarding this matter are left to the discretion of your Assembly.
In closing let me assure you that our beloved Guardian has watched with interest and approval the achievements of your body during the last year. The Temple is now assured, the European work going ahead wonderfully. It is Latin America that requires the greatest care at this time in order to launch the two new NSA's on their careers successfully.
His loving thoughts and prayers are with you, and he shares your cares and burdens in spirit. ·
The illnesses of dear Mr. Holley and Mr. Sprague have been most unfortunate, and he admires not only their own patience and devoted spirit but also the way in which their coworkers took on added burdens.
With Baha'i love,
P .S. The Convention record has been received; also the photograph of the Phoenix, all-Negro Assembly, sent by the RTC of the Central States: he was delighted to see this picture and note the progress in the Faith which it represents .
to the NSA dated July 5, 1950:
Note: The Guardian's postscript ta this letter , in his own handwriting, was published in the September issue of Baha'i News under the title "A Worthy Five-fold Offering."