Posted by Robert Stauffer on February 21, 2001 at 11:49:05:
In Reply to: The four and twenty elders posted by Mehran on February 12, 2001 at 14:52:43:
I wrote to the Universal House of Justice re. the matter of the 24 Elders and their reply of 23 September 1986 (through the Research Department) indicated that there are three Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha that mention the name of the Elders; two mention nineteen names, and a third twenty names.
Baha'i News, No. 171 p. 2, November 1944 contains a letter written on behalf of the Guardian which refers to this one of these Tablets, and that the remaining FIVE Elders are "unknown".
However, Taherzadeh's "Revelation of Baha'u'llah, vol. I, p. 201 indicates that 'Abdu'l-Baha designated Haji Mirza Muhammad Taqi as the twentieth Elder, which (identified by 'Abdu'l-Baha in the third Tablet He wote on the topic), and according to the reply I received from the Research Department: "...the Guardian was "cognizant" of the contents of the "well-known Tablet of the Master".
The Research Department explained this aparent discrepency of the Guardian's reply of November 1944 thusly:
"No doubt at the time the beloved Guardian wrote this letter, he did not consider it proptious to enter into such details for the friends in the West."
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