Quickeners of Mankind:
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada.
|Table of Contents|
PART ONE: A Compilation from the Writings of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh,
'Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice
|The Nature of This Day||3|
|The Purpose of Pioneering||7|
|The Call to Arise||11|
|The Meaning of our Mandate from 'Abdu'l-Bahá||27|
|The Station of the Pioneer||37|
|The Pioneer's Qualities||43|
|The Pioneer Post||53|
|The Promises of Assistance and Victory||63|
|Prayers and Tablets||75|
|Prayers from the Tablets of the Divine Plan||89|
|PART TWO: Extracts from Talks and Letters|
|From the Hands of the Cause of God||97|
|From the Continental Board of Counselors||113|
|From the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada||115|
|Marion Jack (1866-1954)||123|
LOVINGLY DEDICATED TO THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD
This compilation brings together a number of quotations on the important subject of pioneering. The quotations have been organized under various headings for ease of reading and reference only; the ocean of divine utterance cannot and must not be limited by human classification.
Pioneers will find the compilation a constant source of encouragement and inspiration which strengthens them at difficult moments and brings joy to their hearts as they retread the promises to them of divine assistance and ultimate victory.
It is hoped that this compilation will serve to inspire and encourage others to follow in the footsteps of the vanguard of teachers who have left their homeland for the love of God and their fellow man.
"O ye apostles of Bahá'u'lláh. May my life be sacrificed for you! ... Behold the portals which Bahá'u'lláh hath opened for you! Consider how exalted and lofty is the station you are destined to attain; how unique the favors with which you have been endowed."
1. "The Day is approaching when God will render the hosts of Truth victorious, and He will purge the whole earth in such wise that within the compass of His knowledge not a single soul shall remain unless he truly believeth in God, worshippeth none other God but Him, boweth down by day and by night in His adoration, and is reckoned among such as are well assured.
"Say, God indeed is the Sovereign Truth, Who is manifestly Supreme over His servants; He is the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting."
2. "At one time I hear His Voice as He acclaimeth Him Who is the Ever-Living, the Ancient of Days, and at another time as He speaketh of the mystery of His most august Name. And when He intoneth the anthems of the greatness of God all Paradise waileth in its longing to gaze on His Beauty, and when He chanteth words of praise and glorification of God all Paradise becomes motionless like unto ice locked in the heart of a frost-bound mountain. Me thinks I visioned Him moving along a straight middle path wherein every paradise was His Own paradise, every heaven His Own heaven, while the whole earth and all that is therein appeared but as a ring upon the finger of His servants. Glorified be God, His Creator, the Lord of everlasting sovereignty. Verily He is none other but the servant of God, the Gate of the Remnant of God your Lord, the Sovereign Truth."
3. "These days are God's days, a moment of which ages and centuries can never rival."
4. "This Day a door is open wider than both heaven and earth. The eye of the mercy of Him Who is the Desire of the worlds is turned towards all men. An act, however infinitesimal, is, when viewed in the mirror of the knowledge of God, mightier than a mountain. Every drop profferred in His path is as the sea in that mirror. For this is the Day which the one true God, glorified be He, hath announced in all His Books unto His Prophets and His Messengers."
5. "How thankful must we be for having been made in this Day the recipients of so overwhelming a favor! Would that we had ten thousand lives that we might lay them down in thanksgiving for so rare a privilege, so high an attainment, so priceless a bounty!"
6. "With hearts set aglow by the fire of the love of God and spirits refreshed by the food of the heavenly spirit you must go forth as the disciples nineteen hundred years ago, quickening the hearts of men by the call of glad-tidings, the light of God in your faces, severed from everything save God. Therefore order your lives in accordance with the first principle of the divine teachings, which is love. Service to humanity is service to God. Let the love and light of the kingdom radiate through you until all who look upon you shall be illumined by its reflection. Be as stars brilliant and sparkling in the loftiness of their heavenly station. Do you appreciate the day in which you live?
"This is the century of the Blessed Perfection!
"This is the cycle of the light of His beauty!
"This is the consummate day of all the prophets!"
7. "The stage is set. The hour is propitious. The signal is sounded. Bahá'u'lláh's spiritual battalions are moving into position. The initial clash between the forces of darkness and the army of light, as unnoticed as the landing, two millenniums ago, of the apostles of Christ on the southern shores of the European continent, is being registered by the denizens of the Abha Kingdom. The Author of the Plan that has set so titanic an enterprise in motion is Himself mounted at the head of these battalions, and leads them on to capture the cities of men's hearts."
8. "Oh, how I long to announce unto every spot on the surface of the earth, and to carry to each one of its cities, the glad-tidings of this Revelation..."
9. "O SON OF BEING! Make mention of Me on My earth, that in My heaven I may remember thee, thus shall Mine eyes and thine be solaced."
10. "...spread abroad the teachings and ordinances of the loving Lord so that the world may become another world, the darkened earth may become illumined and the dead body of the people may obtain new life."
11. "The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion and with absolute detachment scattered far and wide and engaged in calling the peoples of the world to the Divine Guidance, till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth and even to their last hour proved self sacrificing in the pathway of that Beloved One of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps!"
12. "Organize ye Spiritual Assemblies; lay ye the foundation of union and concord in this world ...
I supplicate God that ye may become the army of that kingdom, in order that by the power of the Most Great Name, the friends of God may conquer this world through love, friendship and the strength of the Kingdom of peace..."
13. "Now is the time for the lovers of God to raise high the banners of unity, to intone, in the assemblages of the world, the verses of friendship and love and to demonstrate to all that the grace of God is one. Thus will the tabernacles of holiness be upraised on the summits of the earth, gathering all peoples into the protective shadow of the Word of Oneness. This great bounty will dawn over the world at the time when the lovers of God shall arise to carry out His Teachings, and to scatter far and wide the fresh, sweet scents of universal love."
14. "This flow (of pioneers), moreover, will presage and hasten the advent of the day which, as prophesied by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, will witness the entry by troops of peoples of divers nations and races into the Bahá'í world — a day which, viewed in its proper perspective, will be the prelude to that long-awaited hour when a mass conversion on the part of these same nations and races, and as a direct result of a chain of events, momentous and possibly catastrophic in nature, and which cannot as yet be even dimly visualized, will suddenly revolutionize the fortunes of the Faith, derange the equilibrium of the world, and reinforce a thousandfold the numerical strength as well as the material power and the spiritual authority of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh."
15. "Many of the gravest ills now afflicting the human race appear in acute form on the African continent. Racial, tribal and religious prejudice, disunity of nations, the scourge of political factionalism, poverty and lack of education are obvious examples. Bahá'ís have a great part to play — greater than they may realize — in the healing of these sicknesses and the abatement of their worst effects."
16. "Upon our efforts depends in very large measure the fate of humanity."
17. "As lawlessness spreads in the world, as governments rise and fall, as rival groups and feuding peoples struggle, each for its own advantage, the plight of the oppressed and the deprived wrings the heart of every true Bahá'í, tempting him to cry out in protest or to arise in wrath at the perpetrators of injustice. For this is a time of testing which calls to mind Bahá'u'lláh's words 'O concourse of the heedless! I swear by God! The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: "Taste ye what your hands have wrought!"'
"Now is the time when every follower of Bahá'u'lláh must cling fast to the Covenant of God, resist every temptation to become embroiled in the conflicts of the world, and remember that he is the holder of a precious trust, the Message of God which, alone, can banish injustice from the world and cure the ills afflicting the body and spirit of man. We are the bearers of the Word of God in this day and, however dark the immediate horizons, we must go forward rejoicing in the knowledge that the work we are privileged to perform is God's work and will bring to birth a world whose splendor will outshine our brightest visions and surpass our highest hopes."
18. "Issue forth from your cities, O peoples of the West and aid God ere the Day when the Lord of mercy shall come down unto you in the shadow of the clouds with the angels circling around Him, exalting His praise and seeking forgiveness for such as have truly believed in Our signs."
19. "The Lord hath granted leave to whosoever desireth it that he be instructed in the divers tongues of the world that he may deliver the Message of the Cause of God throughout the East and throughout the West, that he make mention of Him amidst the kindreds and peoples of the world in such wise that hearts may revive and the mouldering bone be quickened."
20. "Assist Thou Thy servants, O my God, to help Thy Cause, and give them to drink what will quicken their hearts in Thy realm, lest anything hinder them from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues, that they may quit their homes in Thy name, and summon all the multitudes unto Thee."
21. "Speed ye forth from the horizon of power, in the name of your Lord, the Unconstrained, and announce unto His servants, with wisdom and eloquence, the tidings
of this Cause, whose splendor hath been shed upon the world of being. Beware lest anything withhold you from observing the things prescribed unto you by the Pen of Glory, as it moved over His Tablet with sovereign majesty and might."
22. "Darkness hath encompassed every land, O my God, and caused most of Thy servants to tremble. I beseech Thee, by Thy Most Great Name, to raise in every city a new creation that shall turn towards Thee, and shall remember Thee amidst Thy servants, and shall unfurl by virtue of their utterances and wisdom the ensigns of Thy victory, and shall detach themselves from all created things."
23. "Center your energies in the propagation of the Faith of God. Who so is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation, whose power hath caused the foundations of the mightiest structures to quake, every mountain to be crushed into dust, and every soul to be dumbfounded. Should the greatness of this Day be revealed in its fullness, every man would forsake a myriad lives in his longing to partake, though it be for one moment, of its great glory — how much more this world and its corruptible treasures!"
24. "Travel ye to the East and to the West of the world and summon the people to the Kingdom of God. Hence the mercy of God must encompass all humanity."
25. "It is also recorded in the blessed Gospel Travel ye
throughout the world and call ye the people to the Kingdom of God. Now this is the time that you may arise and perform this most great service and become the cause of the guidance of innumerable souls. Thus through this superhuman service the rays of peace and conciliation may illumine and enlighten all the regions and the world of humanity may find peace and composure."
26. "Therefore I hope that in the future Montreal may become so stirred, that the melody of the Kingdom may travel to all parts of the world from that Dominion and the breaths of the Holy Spirit may spread from that center to the East and the West of America."
27, "Should you be aided to render such a service, rest ye assured that your heads shall be crowned with the diadem of everlasting sovereignty, and at the threshold of oneness you will become the favored and accepted servants."
28. "The third condition Teachers must continually travel to all parts of the continent, nay, rather, to all parts of the world,..."
29. "At this time and at this period we must avail ourselves of this most great opportunity. We must not sit inactive for one moment; we must sever ourselves from composure, rest, tranquility, goods, property, life and attachment to material things. We must sacrifice everything to His Highness, the Possessor of existence, so that the powers of the Kingdom may show greater penetration and the brilliant effulgence in this New Cycle may illumine
the worlds of mind and ideals."
30. "The moment ... this Divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America, and is propagated throughout the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa, and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion. Then will all the peoples of the world witness that this community is spiritually illumined and divinely guided. Then will the whole earth resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness."
31. "Out of all the mass of humankind God hath chosen the friends, and He hath favored them with His guidance and boundless grace. His purpose is this, that we, all of us, should strive with our whole hearts to offer ourselves up, guide others to His path, and train the souls of men — until these frenzied beasts change to gazelles in the meadows of oneness, and these wolves to lambs of God, and these brutish creatures to angelic hosts; till the fires of hatred are quenched, and the flame coming out of the sheltered vale of the Holy Shrine doth shed its splendors; till the foul odor of the tyrant's dung hill is blown away, and yieldeth to the pure, sweet scents that stream from the rose beds of faith and trust. On that day will the weak of intellect draw on the bounty of the divine, Universal Mind, and they whose life is but abomination will seek out these cleansing, holy breaths.
"But there needs must be souls who will manifest such bestowal, there needs must be husband men to till these fields, gardeners for these gardens, there needs must be fish to swim in this sea, stars to gleam in these heavens. These ailing ones must be tended by spiritual physicians, these who are the lost need gentle guides — so that from such
souls the bereft may receive their portion, and the deprived obtain their share, and the poor discover in such as they unmeasured wealth, and the seekers hear from them unanswerable proofs."
'Abdu'l-Bahá. Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 272
32. "He ('Abdu'l-Bahá) rested not a moment, till the fame of the Cause of God was noised abroad in the world... The beloved of God must also follow the same example. This is the secret of faithfulness, this is the requirement of servitude to the Threshold of Baha!"
33. "If my health were good at present, I would not wait one day longer. I would go not only to America but to all parts of the world to cry and call out. Had I been free during the forty years of my imprisonment in 'Akka, I would have traveled to the East, West, North and South of the world. I would not have kept still for one minute and I would have illumined the horizons with the light of the Sun of Reality. And then you would have seen that great results had been obtained."
34. "Now, this is the Divine season of seed-sowing. Every Bahá'í must become a heavenly cultivator. If, at this season, he performs the prayers of all the past and future ages, it will yield no fruit. My primal object of this long trip was to show, by deed, to the friends of God, that this is the season of teaching the Cause. Although 'Akka and Haifa are the headquarters of the Cause, and I should stay there and from those Centers administer the affairs of the Cause, yet I left everything and travel led throughout the earth to herald the coming of the Kingdom of Abha.
"Any person desiring to be surrounded by the confirmation of the Blessed Perfection, must arise and teach the
Cause. "This is the Faith!"
35. "The Abha Beauty endured the most afflictive of calamities. He bore countless agonies and ills. He enjoyed not a moment's peace, drew not an easeful breath. He wandered, homeless, over desert sands and mountain slopes; He was shut in a fortress, and a prison cell. But to Him, His pauper's mat of straw was an eternal throne of Glory, and His heavy chains a sovereign's carcanet. By day, by night, He lived under a whirring sword, and He was ready from moment to moment for death on the cross. He bore all this that He might purify the world, and deck it out with the tender mercies of the Lord God; that He might set it at rest; that conflict and aggression might be put to flight, the lance and the keen blade be exchanged for loving fellowship, malevolence and war turn into safety and gentleness and love, that battlefields of hate and wrath should become gardens of delight, and places where once the blood drenched armies clashed, be fragrant pleasure grounds; that warfare should be seen as shame, and the resort to arms, even as a loathsome sickness, be shunned by every people; that universal peace raise its pavilions on the loftiest mounts, and war be made to perish forever from the earth.
"Wherefore must the loved ones of God, laboriously with the waters of their striving, tend and nourish and foster this tree of hope. In whatsoever land they dwell, let them with a whole heart befriend and be companions to those who are either close to them, or far removed. Let them, with qualities like unto those of heaven, promote the institutions and the religion of God. Let them never lose heart, never be despondent, never feel afflicted. The more antagonism they meet, the more let them show their own good faith; the more torments and calamities they have to face, the more generously let them pass round the bounteous cup. Such is the spirit which will become the
life of the world, such is the spreading light at its heart: and he who may be and do other than this is not worthy to serve at the Holy Threshold of the Lord."
36."O ye that stand fast in the Covenant! When the hour cometh that this wronged and broken-winged bird will have taken its flight unto the celestial Concourse, when it will have hastened to the Realm of the Unseen and its mortal frame will have been either lost or hidden neat the dust, it is incumbent upon the Afnan, that are steadfast in the Covenant of God, and have branched from the Tree of Holiness; the Hands, (pillars) of the Cause of God (the glory of the Lord rest upon them) and all the friends and loved ones, one and all to bestir themselves and arise with heart and soul and in one accord, to diffuse the sweet savors of God, to teach His Cause and to promote His Faith. It behoveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime and travel throughout all regions."
37. "Ye have received a portion from the rays of Truth and are endowed with a share from the Everlasting Outpouring. Therefore, ye must not rest one minute, but thank Him for this bestowal.
"Be ye not seated and silent! Diffuse the glad-tidings of the Kingdom far and wide to the ears, promulgate the Word of God, and put into practice the advices and covenants of God; ..."
38. "Let these words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, gleaned from the Tablets of the Divine Plan, ring likewise in their ears, as they go forth, assured and unafraid, on His mission ...
'Exert yourselves; your mission is unspeakably glorious.'"
39. "'Light as the spirit,' 'pure as air,' 'blazing as fire,' 'unrestrained as the wind' — for such is Bahá'u'lláh's own admonition to His loved ones in His Tablets, and directed not to a select few but to the entire congregation of the faithful — let them scatter far and wide, proclaim the glory of God's Revelation in this Day, quicken the souls of men and ignite in their hearts the love of the One Who alone is their omnipotent and divinely appointed Redeemer."
40. "How great is the need at this moment when the promised outpourings of His grace are ready to be extended to every soul, for us all to form a broad vision of the mission of the Cause to mankind, and to do all in our power to spread it throughout the world!"
41. "Let us scatter to the uttermost corners of the earth; sacrifice our personal interests, comforts, tastes and pleasures..."
42. "From Tibet to the South Seas, Africa to far off points in Asia and Europe — there are lands waiting to be opened to the Faith. He will pray that some of you may be the ones to render this form of service."
43. "Once again I appeal to members of all communities to arise and enlist, ere the present opportunity is irretrievably lost, in the army of Bahá'u'lláh's crusaders. The hour is ripe to disencumber themselves of worldly vanities, to mount the steed of steadfastness, unfurl the banner of
renunciation, don the armor of utter consecration to God's Cause, gird themselves with the girdle of a chaste and holy life, unsheathe the sword of Bahá'u'lláh's utterance, buckle on the shield of His love, carry as sole provision implicit trust in His promise, flee their homelands, and scatter far and wide to capture the unsurrendered territories of the entire planet."
44 ."Neither the threatening world situation, nor any consideration of lack of material resources, of mental equipment, of knowledge, or of experience — desirable as they are — should deter any prospective pioneer teacher from arising. .."
45. "The time has come for the friends...to think not how they should serve the Cause, but how the Cause should be served."
46. "I can warn them, I can urge them, but I cannot create the spirit — it is unhappiness for me and danger for the believers, that really results..." "They should pack up and go..." "The Cause triumphs in spite of the inaction of a large number of its supporters, in a mysterious way it works."
47. "...the Temple itself, that fair incarnation of the soul of an unconquerable Faith, and the first fruit of the Plan now set in motion, stands in its silent beauty, ready to reinforce the strenuous endeavors of its prosecutors. Towering in grandeur and resplendent in its majesty it calls aloud incessantly for greater, a far greater number of pioneers who, both at home and in foreign fields, will scatter to sow the Divine seeds and gather the harvest
into its gate."
48. "All must participate (in pioneering), however humble their origin, however limited their experience, however restricted their means, however deficient their education, however pressing their cares and preoccupations, however unfavorable the environment in which they live...How often...have the lowliest adherents of the Faith, unschooled and utterly inexperienced, and with no standing whatever, and in some cases devoid of intelligence, been capable of winning victories for their Cause, before which the most brilliant achievements of the learned, the wise, and the experienced have paled."
49. "What the Cause now requires is not so much a group of highly cultured and intellectual people who can adequately present its Teachings, but a number of devoted, sincere and loyal supporters who, in utter disregard of their own weaknesses and limitations, and with hearts afire with the love of God, forsake their all for the sake of spreading and establishing His Faith."
50. "The unseen legions, standing rank upon rank, and eager to pour forth from the Kingdom on high the full measure of their celestial strength on the individual participants of this incomparably glorious Crusade, are powerless unless and until each potential crusader decides for himself, and perseveres in his determination, to rush into the arena of service ready to sacrifice his all for the Cause he is called upon to champion.
"It is therefore imperative for the individual American believer, and particularly for the affluent, the independent, the comfort-loving, and those obsessed by material pursuits, to step forward, and dedicate their resources, their time, their very lives to a Cause of such transcendence that
no human eye can even dimly perceive its glory. Let them resolve, instantly and unhesitatingly, to place, each according to his circumstances, his share on the altar of Bahá'í sacrifice, lest, on a sudden, unforeseen calamities rob them of a considerable portion of the earthly things they have amassed.
"Now if ever is the time to tread the path which the dawn-breakers of a previous age have so magnificently trodden. Now is the time to carry out, in the spirit and in the letter, the fervent wish so pathetically voiced by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, who longed, as attested in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, to 'travel though on foot and in the utmost poverty' and raise 'in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans' 'the call of Ya-Baha'ul-Abha!'
". .. That the members of this community, of either sex and of every age, of whatever race or background, however limited in experience, capacity and knowledge, may arise as one man, and seize with both hands the God given opportunities now presented to them through the dispensations of an all-loving, ever-watchful, ever-sustaining Providence,...is one of the dearest wishes which a loving and longing heart holds for them ..."
51."I would particularly direct my appeal to those American believers, sore-pressed as they are by the manifold, the urgent, and ever-increasing issues that confront them at the present hour, who may find it possible, whatever be their calling or employment, whether as business men, school teachers, lawyers, doctors, writers, office workers, and the like, to establish permanently their residence in such countries as may offer them a reasonable prospect of earning the means of livelihood. They will by their action be relieving the continually increasing pressure on their Teaching Fund, which in view of its restricted dimensions must provide, when not otherwise available, the traveling and other expenses to be incurred in connection with the development of this vast
undertaking. Should they find it impossible to take advantage of so rare and sacred a privilege, let them, mindful of the words of Bahá'u'lláh, determine, each according to the means at his or her disposal, to appoint a deputy who, on that believer's behalf, will arise and carry out so noble an enterprise."
"It would, no doubt, be of exceptional importance and value, particularly in these times when the various restrictions imposed in those countries make it difficult for a considerable number of Bahá'í pioneers to establish their residence and earn their livelihood in those states, if certain ones among the believers, whose income, however slender, provides them with the means of an independent existence, would so arrange their affairs as to be able to reside indefinitely in those countries. The sacrifices involved, the courage, faith, and perseverance it demands, are no doubt very great. Their value, however, can never be properly assessed at the present time, and the limitless reward which they who demonstrate them will receive can never be adequately depicted. 'They that have forsaken their country,' is Bahá'u'lláh's own testimony, 'for the purpose of teaching Our Cause — these shall the Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power.... By My life! No act, however great, can compare with it, except such deeds as have been ordained by God, the All-Powerful, the Most Mighty. Such a service is indeed the prince of all goodly deeds, and the ornament of every goodly act.' Such a reward, it should be noted, is not to be regarded as purely an abstract blessing confined to the future life, but also as a tangible benefit which such courage, faith and perseverance can alone confer in this material world. The solid achievements, spiritual as well as administrative, which in the far-away continent of Australasia, and more recently in Bulgaria, representative believers from both Canada and the United States have accomplished, proclaim in terms unmistakable the
nature of those prizes which, even in this world, such sterling heroism is bound to win."
52. "Such a steady flow of reinforcements (pioneers) is absolutely vital and is of extreme urgency, for nothing short of the vitalizing influx of new blood that will reanimate the world Bahá'í community can safeguard the prizes which, at so great a sacrifice involving the expenditure of so much time, effort and treasure, are now being won in virgin territories by Bahá'u'lláh's valiant Knights, whose privilege is to constitute the spearhead of the onrushing battalions which, in diverse theaters and in circumstances often adverse and extremely challenging, are vying with each other for the spiritual conquest of the unsurrendered territories and islands on the surface of the globe."
53. "Wise as may be the measures which their elected representatives may devise, however practical and well conceived the plans they formulate, such measures and plans can never yield any satisfactory results unless a sufficient number of pioneers have determined to make the necessary sacrifices, and to volunteer to carry these projects into effect. To implant, once and for all, the banner of Bahá'u'lláh in the heart of these virgin territories, to erect the structural basis of His Administrative Order in their cities and villages, and to establish a firm and permanent anchorage for its institutions in the minds and hearts of their inhabitants, constitute, I firmly believe, the first and most significant step in the successive stages through which the teaching campaign, inaugurated under the Seven Year Plan, must pass."
54. "The most meritorious service which anyone could render is to bring the light of divine guidance and the
quickening power of the spirit to an entirely new area. Humanity is crying for salvation and it is only by the Bahá'ís going into the various areas of the world, that it can be brought to them. This is the reason the Guardian has encouraged all of the friends to disperse to new territories, for this is the hour for the quickening of the world."
55. "The duties of teaching and pioneering are enjoined upon all believers."
56. "What is needed now is the awakening of all believers to the immediacy of the challenge so that each may assume his share of the responsibility for taking the Teachings to all humanity."
57. "Now awakened to new wisdom, now guided to the straight path, now illumined with this mighty message, strive you day and night to guide and assist the thirsty ones in all lands to the ever-flowing fountain, the wandering ones to this fortress of certainty, the ignorant ones to this source of knowledge and the seekers to that One for whom their hearts long."
58. "Remembering that during the Five Year Plan the Persian friends far surpassed any other national community in their outpouring of pioneers and funds, we, in all those parts of the world where we are still free to promote
the Cause of God, have the responsibility to make good their temporary inability to serve. Therefore, with uplifted hearts and radiant faith, we must arise with redoubled energy to pursue our mighty task, confident that the Lord of Hosts will continue to reward our efforts with the same bountiful grace He vouchsafed to us in the Five Year Plan."
59. "In other lands, such as those in Western Europe, the faithful believers have to struggle to convey the message in the face of widespread indifference, materialistic self-satisfaction, cynicism and moral degradation. These friends, however, still have freedom to teach the Faith in their homelands, and in spite of the discouraging meagerness of outward results they continue to proclaim the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to their fellow citizens, to raise high the reputation of the Cause in the public eye, to acquaint leaders of thought and those in authority with its true tenets, and to spare no effort to seek out those receptive souls in every town and village who will respond to the divine summons and devote their lives to its service.
"In many lands, however, there is an eager receptivity for the teachings of the Faith. The challenge for the Bahá'ís is to provide these thousands of seeking souls, as swiftly as possible, with the spiritual food that they crave, to enlist them under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh, to nurture them in the way of life He has revealed, and to guide them to elect Local Spiritual Assemblies which, as they begin to function strongly, will unite the friends in firmly consolidated Bahá'í communities and become beacons of guidance and havens of refuge to mankind.
"Faced by such a combination of danger and opportunity, the Bahá'ís, confident in the ultimate triumph of God's purpose for mankind, raise their eyes to the goals of a new Seven Year Plan."
60. "Your community's splendid outflow of pioneers must continue unabated."
61. "Now, therefore, it is our sacred duty to make the utmost use of our freedom, wherever it exists, to promote the Cause of God while we may. The surest way to do this and to win the good-pleasure of Bahá'u'lláh is to pursue, with dedication and unrelenting vigor, the goals of whatever Plan is in force, for Bahá'u'lláh has stated 'To assist Me is to teach My Cause.'"
62. "Unlike the plans which Bahá'í communities in Europe and on the Asiatic continent have spontaneously inaugurated since the commencement of the present century, the Plan with which the community of the 'Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh' stands identified is divine in origin, is guided by the explicit and repeated instructions that have flowed from the pen of the Center of the Covenant Himself, is energized by the all-compelling will of its Author, claims as the theater for its operation territories spread over five continents and the islands of the seven seas, and must continue to function, ere its purpose is achieved, throughout successive epochs in the course of the Formative Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation."
63. "In the Tablets of the Divine Plan...which may be designated as the Charter of the Plan with which He was to entrust them in the evening of His life, He, in a language still more graphic and in terms more definite than those used by either the Bab or Bahá'u'lláh, revealed the high distinction and the glorious work which America, and particularly the United States and Canada, was to achieve in both the Formative and Golden Ages of the Bahá'í Dispensation."
64. "The American Bahá'í Community, the leaven destined to leaven the whole, cannot hope, at this critical juncture in the fortunes of a struggling, perilously situated,
spiritually moribund nation, to either escape the trials with which this nation is confronted, nor claim to be wholly immune from the evils that stain its character.
"At so critical a period, at so challenging an hour, the members of a community, invested by 'Abdu'l-Bahá with a primacy which can, through neglect and apathy, be allowed to lose its vital power and driving force, are immersed in a task, and are faced with responsibilities, which a World Spiritual Crusade,...has thrust upon them before the eyes of their admiring and expectant sister communities throughout the world."
65. "Reflections such as these should steel the resolve of the entire Bahá'í community, should dissipate their forebodings, and arouse them to rededicate themselves to every single provision of that Divine Charter whose outline has been delineated for them by the pen of 'Abdu'l-Bahá ...the impulse, originally generated through the movement of that pen, ... must, in the opening years of the next century, be further accelerated, and impel the American Bahá'í community to launch further stages in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan, stages that will carry it far beyond the shores of the Northern Hemisphere, into lands and among peoples where that community's noblest acts of heroism are to be performed."
66."I am eagerly awaiting the news of the progress of the activities initiated to promote the teaching work within, and beyond, the confines of the American continent. The American believers, if they wish to carry out, in the spirit and the letter, the parting wishes of their beloved Master, must intensify their teaching work a thousandfold and extend its ramifications beyond the confines of their native land and as far as the most distant outposts of their far-flung Faith. The Tablets of the Divine Plan invest your Assembly with unique and grave responsibilities,
and confer upon it privileges which your sister Assemblies might well envy and admire. The present opportunity is unutterably precious. It may not recur again. Undaunted by the perils and the uncertainties of the present hour, the American believers must press on and prosecute in its entirety the task which now confronts them. I pray for their success from the depths of my heart."
67. "To the injunction of 'Abdu'l-Bahá bequeathed in His Will to follow in the footsteps of the disciples of Jesus Christ, 'not to rest for a moment,' to 'travel throughout all regions' and to raise, 'without rest and steadfast to the end,' 'in every land, the cry of Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha,' this immortal heroine (Martha Root) yielded an obedience of which the present as well as future generations may well be proud, and which they may emulate."
68. "In the immortal Tablets which, in the long hours of His communion with His dearly-beloved friends He was moved to reveal, He unfolded to their eyes His conception of their spiritual destiny, His Plan for the mission He wished them to undertake....
"The clarion call which 'Abdu'l-Bahá had raised was the signal for an outburst of renewed activity which, alike in the motives it inspired and the forces it set in motion, America had scarcely experienced. Lending an unprecedented impetus to the work which the enterprising ambassadors of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh had initiated in distant lands, this mighty movement has continued to spread until the present day, has gathered momentum as it extended its ramifications over the surface of the globe, and will continue to accelerate its march until the last wishes of its original Promoter are completely fulfilled.
"Forsaking home, kindred, friends and position a handful of men and women, fired with a zeal and confidence which no human agency can kindle, arose to carry out the
mandate which 'Abdu'l-Bahá had issued....
"...the share which such worthy, such stout-hearted disciples have had in brightening the last days of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's earthly life He alone has truly recognized and can sufficiently estimate."
69. "Let any one inclined to either belittle the unique station conferred upon this community (North America), or to question the role it will be called upon to play in the days to come, ponder the implication of these pregnant and highly illuminating words uttered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and addressed to it at a time when the fortunes of a world groaning beneath the burden of a devastating war had reached their lowest ebb. 'The continent of America,' He so significantly wrote, 'is, in the eyes of the one true God the land wherein the splendors of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled where the righteous will abide, and the free assemble.'
"The community of the organized promoters of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the American continent — the spiritual descendants of the dawn-breakers of an heroic Age, who by their death proclaimed the birth of that Faith — must, in turn, usher in, not by their death but through living sacrifice, that promised World Order, the shell ordained to enshrine that priceless jewel the world civilization, of which the Faith itself is the sore begetter. While its sister communities are bending beneath the tempestuous winds that beat upon them from every side, this community, preserved by the immutable decrees of the omnipotent Ordainer and deriving continual sustenance from the mandate with which the Tablets of the Divine Plan have invested it, is now busily engaged in laying the foundations and in fostering the growth of those institutions which are to herald the approach of the Age destined to witness the birth and rise of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh."
70. "The Guardian was delighted to hear the friends are at last responding to the urgent needs of the Plan and going forth as pioneers. Plans are concrete things, and not mere honors, and victories — like all other achievements in life — must be purchased at the cost of persistent efforts!"
71. "They must put their entire trust in Him Who guides its destinies from His Station on high. They must dedicate themselves heart and soul to the fulfillment of all its objectives without delay, without any exception."
72. "Another thing which your community has had to pass through this year — both a blessing and a calamity — is the departure of so many active members of your National Body for the pioneer fields abroad. It should be a source of great pride that one-third of the membership of your Body set sail for such distant goals..."
73. "The significance of the Divine Plan has been elaborated by the Guardian in innumerable passages. It was, he wrote, 'the weightiest spiritual enterprise launched in recorded history'; 'the most potent agency for the development of the World Administrative System'; 'a primary factor in the birth and efflorescence of the World Order itself in both the East and the West."'
74. "As co-partner with the American Bahá'í Community in the execution of the Divine Plan, it (Canada) must evince in both the administrative and pioneer fields, a heroism that may be truly worthy of its high calling."
75. "Yet the potency infused into this community,
through the Revelation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan and the spiritual capacity engendered in its earliest members through His visit to their native land — distinctions which it fully shares with its sister community in the Great Republic of the West — empower it to discharge — if it but rise to the occasion — all the responsibilities it has undertaken and consummate the task to which it stands pledged."
76. "Nor should that community (Canada), as its local centers multiply, and the fabric of its national institutions is erected, and its maturity is demonstrated and Its independence vindicated, lose sight of, or neglect the weighty provisions of those Tablets of the Divine Plan addressed specifically to its members by 'Abdu'l-Bahá..."
77. "A new horizon, bright with intimations of thrilling developments in the unfolding life of the Cause of God, is now discernible. The approach to it is complete victory in the Nine Year Plan. For we should never forget that the beloved Guardian's Ten Year Crusade, the current Nine Year Plan, other plans to follow throughout successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, are all phases in the implementation of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, set out in fourteen of His Tablets to North America."
78. "Yet particular areas of opportunity and responsibility for Canada emerge ... the francophone lands in general."
79. "There is no time to lose. The masses, greatly tried by the calamities of the age, restless, disappointed, and eager to obtain real and complete relief in their hour of trial, hunger for the Message of the new Day, and will, if properly approached and appealed to, embrace the great verities it enshrines. Firm and unassailable unity among those who profess to be its bearers, unshakeable fidelity to the principles on which it is founded, generous and unfailing support of the institutions designed to propagate it, are the vital prerequisites of their urgent and sacred task."
80. "Fellow-believers in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh The inexorable march of recent events has carried humanity so near to the goal foreshadowed by Bahá'u'lláh that no responsible follower of His Faith, viewing on all sides the distressing evidences of the world's travail, can remain unmoved at the thought of its approaching deliverance."
81. "Dearly-beloved friends! It is not for us, at this crucial hour, to delve into the future, to speculate on the possibilities of the Plan and its orientation, to conjecture on its impact on the unfoldment of an embryonic World Order, or to dwell on the glories and triumphs which it may hold in store, or to seek to delineate the mysterious course which a God given Mission, impelled by forces
beyond our power to predict or appraise, may pursue. To try to obtain a clear view of the shape of things to come would be premature inasmuch as the glittering prizes to be won are directly dependent on the measure of success which the combined efforts that are now being exerted must yield. Ours is the duty to fix our gaze with undeviating attention on the duties and responsibilities confronting us at this present hour, to concentrate our resources, both material and spiritual, on the tasks that lie immediately ahead, to insure that no time is wasted, that no opportunity is missed, that no obligation is evaded, that no task is halfheartedly performed, that no decision is procrastinated. The task summoning us to a challenge, unprecedented in its gravity and force, is too vast and sacred, the time too short, the hour too perilous, the workers too few, the call too insistent, the resources too inadequate, for us to allow these precious and fleeting hours to slip from our grasp, and to suffer the prizes within our reach to be endangered or forfeited."
82. "Urge stress for entire community extreme urgency to reinforce promptly, at whatever cost, however inadequate the instruments, the number of volunteers, both settlers and itinerant teachers, whom posterity will rightly recognize as vanguard of torch-bearers of Bahá'u'lláh's resist less, world-redeeming order to despairing millions of diversified races, conflicting nationalities in darkest, most severely tested, spiritually depleted continent of globe (Europe). Prayerfully awaiting response by all ranks of community to supreme call to fuller participation in glorious enterprise.
83. "As the situation in the world, and in your part of it (South and West Africa) is steadily worsening, no time can be lost by the friends in rising to higher levels of devotion and service, and particularly of spiritual awareness. It
is our duty to redeem as many of our fellow men as we possibly can, whose hearts are enlightened, before some great catastrophe overtakes them, in which they will either be hopelessly swallowed up or come out purified and strengthened, and ready to serve. The more believers there are to stand forth as beacons in the darkness whenever that time does come, the better; hence the supreme importance of the teaching work at this time..."
84. "Teaching the masses is the greatest challenge now facing the followers of Bahá'u'lláh. No work is more important than that of carrying His Message with utmost speed to the bewildered and thirsting peoples of a spiritually parched world. Now..we are confident, that the whole Bahá'í world will, with rising enthusiasm and ever-increasing success, press forward with the teaching work, greatly increase the flow of pioneers, more widely participate in the financial support of the work of the Cause and add rapidly to the list of goals already accomplished."
85. "In the meantime we call on all believers everywhere to prayerfully consider their personal circumstances, and to arise while there is yet time, to fill the International goals of the Plan....
"This must be done at all costs. No sacrifice, no deferment of cherished plans must be refused in order to discharge this 'most important' of the many 'important' duties facing us."
86. "The remainder (of pioneers) are urged to arise as quickly as possible before the confusion and chaos which are engulfing the old order disrupt transportation and
communications and cause doors which are now open to be closed in our faces."
87. "As the turmoil of an agitated world surges about them the supporters of Bahá'u'lláh's majestically rising faith must, as the beloved Guardian so clearly indicated scale nobler heights of heroism, serenely confident that the hour of their mightiest exertions must coincide with the lowest ebb of mankind's fast declining fortunes."
88."O friends! Be not careless of the virtues with which ye have been endowed, neither be neglectful of your high destiny...Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men, the letters inscribed upon His sacred scroll."
89. "They that have forsaken their country for the purpose of teaching Our Cause — these shall the Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power. A company of Our chosen angels shall go forth with them,... By My life! No act, however great can compare with it, except such deeds as have been ordained by God,... Such a service is, indeed, the prince of all goodly deeds,..."
90. "There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God, a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race rise up and war against them. These are the ones who, before the gaze of the dwellers on earth and the denizens of heaven, shall arise and, shouting aloud, acclaim the name of the Almighty, and summon the children of men to the path of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised."
91. "I swear by Him Who is the Truth! Erelong will God adorn the beginning of the Book of Existence with the mention of His loved ones who have suffered tribulation in His path, and journeyed through the countries in His name and for His praise. Who so hath attained their presence will glory in their meeting, and all that dwell in every land will be illumined by their memory."
92. "On the outspread tablet of this world, ye are the verses of His singleness; and atop lofty palace towers, ye are the banners of the Lord."
93. "O ye homeless and wanderers in the path of God! Prosperity, contentment, and freedom, however much desired and conducive to the gladness of the human heart, can in no wise compare with the trials of homelessness and adversity in the pathway of God; for such exile and banishment are blessed by the divine favor, and are surely followed by the mercy of Providence. The joy of tranquility in one's home, and the sweetness of freedom from all cares shall pass away, whilst the blessing of homelessness shall endure forever, and its far-reaching results shall be made manifest."
94. "O ye apostles of Bahá'u'lláh! May my life be sacrificed for you!...
"Behold the portals which Bahá'u'lláh hath opened before you! Consider how exalted and lofty is the station you are destined to attain, how unique the favors with which you have been endowed."
95."There were three islands near the equator in the
Indian (Pacific) Ocean. The weather there is very hot. The number of inhabitants were 4,000,000, all of whom were isolators, worshipping the sun and stars. In the ninth century of Islam, one blessed soul went there to serve God and God alone. He was alone and lonely. They inflicted upon him severe injuries, calamities and persecution, but he never ceased in his efforts until he had converted all the inhabitants of those three islands to Islam. Now if such souls could be found, in a short time all those regions would become illumined."
96. "Bahá'u'lláh (may my life, my soul, my spirit, be offered up as a sacrifice to His lowly servants) hath, during His last days on earth, given the most emphatic promise that, through the outpourings of the grace of God and the aid and assistance vouchsafed from His Kingdom on high, souls will arise and holy beings appear who, as stars, would adorn the firmament of divine Guidance; illumine the day springs of loving kindness and bounty; manifest the signs of the unity of God; shine with the light of sanctity and purity; receive their full measure of divine inspiration; raise high the sacred torch of faith; stand firm as the rock and immovable as the mountain; and grow to become luminaries in the heavens of His Revelation, mighty channels of His grace, means for the bestowal of God's bountiful care, heralds calling forth the name of the one true God, and establishers of the world's supreme foundation.
"These shall labor ceaselessly by day and by night, shall heed neither trial nor woe, shall suffer no respite in their efforts, shall seek no repose, shall disregard all ease and comfort and, detached and unsullied, shall consecrate every fleeting moment of their life to the diffusion of the divine fragrance and the exaltation of God's holy Word. Their face will radiate heavenly gladness, and their hearts be filled with joy. Their souls will be inspired, and their foundation stand secure. They shall scatter in the world,
and travel throughout all regions. They shall raise their voice in every assembly, and adorn and revive every gathering. They shall speak in every tongue, and interpret every hidden meaning. They shall reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, and manifest unto everyone the signs of God. They shall burn brightly even as a candle in the heart of every assembly, and beam forth as a star upon every horizon. The gentle breeze wafted from the garden of their hearts shall perfume and revive the souls of men, and the revelations of their minds, even as showers, reinvigorate the peoples and nations of the world.
"I am waiting, eagerly waiting for these holy ones to appear; and yet, how long will they delay their coming?"
97. "Putting on the arm our of His love, firmly buckling on the shield of His mighty Covenant, mounted on the steed of steadfastness, holding aloft the lance of the Word of the Lord of Hosts, and with unquestioning reliance on His promises as the best provision for their journey, let them set their faces towards those fields that still remain unexplored and direct their steps to those goals that are as yet unattained, assured that He Who has led them to achieve such triumphs, and to store up such prizes in His Kingdom, will continue to assist them in enriching their spiritual birthright to a degree that no finite mind can imagine or human heart perceive."
98. "To the band of pioneers, whether settlers or itinerant teachers, who have forsaken their homes, who have scattered far and wide, who have willingly sacrificed their comfort, their health and even their lives for the prosecution of this Plan;...I myself, as well as the entire Bahá'í world, owe a debt of gratitude that no one can measure or describe. To the sacrifices they have made, to the courage they have so consistently shown, to the fidelity they have so remarkably displayed, to the resourcefulness,
the discipline, the constancy and devotion they have so abundantly demonstrated, future generations viewing the magnitude of their labors in their proper perspective, will no doubt pay adequate tribute — a tribute no less ardent and well-deserved than the recognition extended by the present-day builders of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh to the Dawn-Breakers, whose shining deeds have signalized the birth of the Heroic Age of His Faith."
99. "Bahá'u'lláh Himself testifies: 'They that have forsaken their country in the path of God and subsequently ascended unto His presence, such souls shall be blessed by the Concourse on High and their names recorded by the Pen of Glory among such as have laid down their lives as martyrs in the path of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsistent. "'
100. "It behoveth whosoever willeth to journey for the sake of God, and whose intention is to proclaim His Word and quicken the dead, to bathe himself with the waters of detachment, and to adorn his temple with the ornaments of resignation and submission. Let trust in God be his shield, and reliance on God his provision, and the fear of God his raiment. Let patience be his helper, and praiseworthy conduct his succorer, and goodly deeds his army. Then will the concourse on high sustain him. Then will the denizens of the Kingdom of Names march forth with him, and the banners of Divine guidance and inspiration be unfurled on his right hand and before him."
101. "O MY SERVANT! Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more."
102. "Who so ariseth to teach Our Cause must needs detach himself from all earthly things, and regard, at all times, the triumph of Our Faith as his supreme objective."
103. "Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break...neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it."
104. "Thus have We disclosed to thee a glimmer of the woes that have come upon us, that thou mayest be made aware of Our sufferings, and patiently endure thy sorrows."
105. "O SON OF MAN! For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials."
106. "Do thou beseech God to enable thee to remain steadfast in this path, and to aid thee to guide the peoples of the world to Him Who is the manifest and sovereign Ruler, Who hath revealed Himself in a distinct attire, Who giveth utterance to a Divine and specific Message."
107."O SON OF MAN! Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!"
108. "..the believers of God must become self-sacrificing and like unto the candles of guidance become ignited in the provinces of Canada. Should they show forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they will obtain universal divine confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a most great victory will be obtained."
109. "Effort, the utmost effort, is required."
110. "..fluent speakers, who are detached from aught
else save God, attracted with the fragrances of God, and sanctified and purified from all desires and temptations."
111. "... speaking their languages, severed, holy, sanctified and filled with the love of God..."
112. "Such souls are the rays of the Sun of Reality who will illumine all the continents. Each one is holding in his hand a trumpet, blowing the breath of life over all the regions. They are delivered from human qualities and the defects of the world of nature, are characterized with the characteristics of God, and are attracted with the fragrances of the Merciful. Like unto the apostles of Christ, who were filled with Him, these souls also have become filled with His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh; that is, the love of Bahá'u'lláh has so mastered every organ, part and limb of their bodies, as to leave no effect from the promptings of the human world."
113. "The first condition is firmness in the Covenant of God...Therefore, in the beginning one must make his steps firm in the Covenant so that the confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh may encircle from all sides, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse may become the supporters and the helpers..."
114. "The second condition: Fellowship and love amongst the believers."
115. "The teachers of the Cause must be heavenly, lordly and radiant. They must be embodied spirit, personified intellect, and arise in service with the utmost firmness,
steadfastness and self-sacrifice."
116. "As regards the teachers, they must completely divest themselves from the old garments and be invested with a new garment. According to the statement of Christ, they must attain to the station of rebirth — that is, whereas in the first instance they were born from the womb of the mother, this time they must be born from the womb of the world of nature. Just as they are now totally unaware of the experiences of the fetal world, they must also forget entirely the defects of the world of nature. They must be baptized with the water of life, the fire of the love of God and the breaths of the Holy Spirit; be satisfied with little food, but take a large portion from the heavenly table. They must disengage themselves from temptation and covetousness, and be filled with the spirit. Through the effect of their pure breath, they must change the stone into the brilliant ruby and the shell into pearl. Like unto the cloud of vernal shower, they must transform the black soil into the rose garden and orchard. They must make the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the extinguished one enkindled and set aglow, and the dead quickened."
117. "Believers must show their belief in their daily lives, so that the world might see the light shining in their faces. A bright and happy face cheers people on their way. If you are sad and pass a child who is laughing, the child seeing your face will cease to laugh, not knowing why."
118. "The hearts of the Africans are as a blank scroll of paper upon which thou canst write any phrase; but thou must have patience and a heart as firm as a mountain,
owing to the innumerable hardships that may intervene ..."
119. "The fleeting hours of man's life on earth pass swiftly by and the little that still remaineth shall come to an end, but that which endureth and lasteth for evermore is the fruit that man reapeth from his servitude at the Divine Threshold. Behold the truth of this saying, how abundant and glorious are the proofs thereof in the world of being!
"The glory of glories rest upon the people of Baha!"
120. "Whensoever holy souls, drawing on the powers of heaven, shall arise with such qualities of the spirit, and march in unison, rank on rank, every one of those souls will be even as one thousand, and the surging waves of the mighty ocean will be even as the battalions of the Concourse on high. What a blessing that will be — when all shall come together, even as once separate torrents, rivers and streams, running brooks and single drops, when collected together in one place will form a mighty sea. And to such a degree will the inherent unity of all prevail, that the traditions, rules, customs and distinctions in the fanciful life of these populations will be effaced and vanish away like isolated drops, once the great sea of oneness doth leap and surge and roll."
121. "Thus should it be among the children of men! The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of different race and color from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into
your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different colored roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them."
122. "What other community has produced pioneers combining to such a degree the essential qualities of audacity, of consecration, of tenacity, of self-renunciation, and unstinted devotion, that have prompted them to abandon their homes, and forsake their all, and scatter over the surface of the globe, and hoist in its uttermost corners the triumphant banner of Bahá'u'lláh?"
123. "But such staunchness of faith, such an unsullied love, such magnificent loyalty, such heroic constancy, such noble courage, however unprecedented and laudable in themselves, cannot alone lead us to the final and complete triumph of such a great Cause. Not until the dynamic love we cherish for Him is sufficiently reflected in its power and purity in all our dealings with our fellow-men, however remotely connected and humble in origin, can we hope to exalt in the eyes of a self-seeking world the genuineness of the all-conquering love of God. Not until we live ourselves the life of a true Bahá'í can we hope to demonstrate the creative and transforming potency of the Faith we profess. Nothing but the abundance of our actions, nothing but the purity of our lives and the integrity of our characters, can in the last resort establish our claim that the Bahá'í spirit is in this day the sole agency that can translate a long-cherished ideal into an enduring achievement."
124. "These pioneers, in their contact with the members of divers creeds, races, and nations, covering a range which offers no parallel in either the North or South continents
(of America), must neither antagonize them nor compromise with their own essential principles. They must be neither provocative nor supine, neither fanatical nor excessively liberal, in their exposition of the fundamental and distinguishing features of their Faith. They must be either wary or bold, they must act swiftly or mark time, they must use the direct or indirect method, they must be challenging or conciliatory, in strict accordance with the spiritual receptivity of the soul with whom they come in contact, whether he be a nobleman or a commoner, a northerner or southerner, a layman or a priest, a capitalist or a socialist, a statesman or a prince, an artisan or a beggar. In their presentation of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh they must neither hesitate nor falter. They must be neither contemptuous of the poor nor timid before the great. In their exposition of its verities they must neither over stress nor whittle down the truth which they champion, whether their hearer belong to royalty, or be a prince of the church, or a politician, or a tradesman, or a man in the street. To all alike, high or low, rich or poor, they must proffer, with open hands, with a radiant heart, with an eloquent tongue, with infinite patience, with uncompromising loyalty, with great wisdom, with unshakable courage, the Cup of Salvation at so critical an hour, to the confused, the hungry, the distraught and fear-stricken multitudes, in the north, in the west, in the south and in the heart, of that sorely tried continent."
125. "He feels that the spirit of Marion Jack, her evident desire to stay with the community she loves so dearly and has fostered through thick and thin, reflects glory not only on the North American Bahá'í Community, but on the entire Faith. She should be left free to remain in Bulgaria, and your Assembly should see to it that she receives a sufficient income to end her life in peace and with no more hardships to be endured. She is
a heroic soul, the finest example of the pioneer spirit which we have anywhere in the world, and the Guardian feels deeply indebted to her and loves her very dearly."
126. "The Bahá'í teacher must be all confidence. Therein lies his strength and the secret of his success. Though single-handed, and no matter how great the apathy of the people around you may be, you should have faith that the hosts of the Kingdom are on your side, and that through their help you are bound to overcome the forces of darkness that are facing the Cause of God. Persevere, be happy and confident, therefore."
127. "There is no refuge in the world today except the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. The believers must rest assured that, having the Faith, they have everything. They must place their lives in the Hand of God, and, confident of His mercy and protection, go on teaching the Cause and serving it, no matter what happens."
128. "Mature teachers are the greatest need of the Faith everywhere, and no doubt in your area, too. One wise and dedicated soul can so often give life to an inactive community, bring in new people and inspire them to greater sacrifice."
129. "There can be no protection for the Faith unless the friends are willing to submit to their administrative bodies, especially individual believers are not in a position to judge their National Body. If any wrong has
been done, we must leave it in the hands of God, knowing, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá said, that He will right it, and in the meantime not disrupt the Cause of God by constantly harping on these matters."
130. "It is hard for the friends to appreciate, when they are isolated in one of these goal territories, and see that they are making no progress in teaching others, are living in inhospitable climes for the most part, and are lonesome for Bahá'í companionship and activity, that they represent a force for good, that they are like a light-house of Bahá'u'lláh shining at a strategic point and casting its beam out into the darkness. This is why he so consistently urges these pioneers not to abandon their posts."
131. "To remain at one's post, to undergo sacrifice and hardship, loneliness and, if necessary, persecution, in order to hold aloft the torch of Bahá'u'lláh, is the true function of every pioneer."
132. "Every effort should be made to increase the number of such pioneers, to facilitate their departure, to insure their settlement in virgin territories, to keep in close and constant touch with them, and to reinforce their activities through visiting teachers, adequate financial assistance, and constant moral encouragement. The Guardian wishes to urge them and those who have preceded them, to retain their posts at all cost, to face the obstacles in their path with courage, faith and confidence in the future outcome of their work. The National Assembly, on the other hand, must do everything in its power to enable these self-sacrificing workers to continue their
pioneer services, and to discourage their return until the results of their labours are so substantial as to insure the continuity of the Bahá'í Community after their departure."
133. "Kindly renew to every established and intending pioneer in enumerated Republics and dependencies my ardent plea to resolve to refuse, despite the deepening world confusion, to abandon their posts and surrender the responsibilities solemnly assumed under the Mandate conferred by 'Abdu'l-Bahá."
134. "The pioneers who have already settled or are settling in their posts, particularly in virgin and unoccupied territories, must be reminded that their movement to their goals is far from being a short stay designed to class a particular territory or island as opened, or label it as having received one or more pioneers, even if, in some cases, new believers native to the land have been enrolled. It is basically and clearly intended to establish the Faith of God securely and firmly in the hearts of people of the area and to ensure that its divinely-ordained institutions are understood, adopted and operated by them. The perseverance of the pioneers in their posts, however great the sacrifices involved, is an act of devoted service, which, as attested by our teachings, will have an assured reward in both worlds. The admonitions of the Guardian on this subject are too numerous to cite and amply demonstrate the vital nature of this clear policy."
135. "Be not grieved if thou performest it thyself alone. Let God be all-sufficient for thee. Commune intimately with His Spirit, and be thou of the thankful. Proclaim the Cause of thy Lord unto all who are in the heavens and on earth."
136. "If thou art desirous of health, wish thou health for serving the kingdom."
137. "He is delighted to hear you are now fully recovered and again active in your important work for the Cause. However, you should not neglect your health, but consider it the means which enables you to serve. It — the body is like a horse which carries the personality and spirit, and as such should be well cared for so it can do its work! You should certainly safe-guard your nerves, and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer and meditation, but for real rest and relaxation."
138. "While the Guardian wishes the friends to take full advantage of Martha's presence and invite her to speak and teach as frequently as her energies permit, yet he
would advise that they should also take great care lest her health be seriously impaired through overwork ..."
139. "It must be made quite clear to the Bahá'ís that opening a new territory or a new town for that matter, meritorious as it is, is nevertheless only the first move. The consolidation of the Bahá'í work undertaken there is the most important thing of all."
140. "..they should, at no time, however much buffeted by circumstances, forget that the synchronization of such world-shaking crises with the progressive unfoldment and fruition of their divinely appointed task is itself the work of Providence, the design of an inscrutable Wisdom, and the purpose of an all-compelling Will, a Will that directs and controls, in its own mysterious way, both the fortunes of the Faith and the destinies of men. Such simultaneous processes of rise and fall, of integration and of disintegration, of order and chaos, with their continuous and reciprocal reactions on each other, are but aspects of a greater Plan, one and indivisible, whose Source is God whose author is Bahá'u'lláh, the theatre of whose operations is the entire planet, and whose ultimate objectives are the unity of the human race and the peace of all mankind."
141. "Nor should any of the pioneers, at this early stage in the upbuilding of Bahá'í national communities, overlook the fundamental prerequisite for any successful teaching enterprise, which is to adapt the presentation of the fundamental principles of their Faith to the cultural and religious backgrounds, the ideologies, and the temperament of the divers races and nations whom they are called
upon to enlighten and attract. The susceptibilities of these races and nations, from both the northern and southern climes, springing from either the Germanic or Latin stock, belonging to either the Catholic or Protestant communion, some democratic, others totalitarian in outlook, some socialistic, others capitalistic in their tendencies, differing widely in their customs and standards of living, should at all times be carefully considered, and under no circumstances neglected."
142. "As to those who have been able to leave their homes and country, and to serve in those regions, whether temporarily or permanently, a special duty, which must continually be borne in mind, devolves upon them. It should be one of their chief aims to keep, on the one hand, in constant touch with the National Committee specifically entrusted with the promotion of their work, and to cooperate, on the other, by every possible means and in the utmost harmony, with their fellow-believers in those countries, whatever the field in which they labor, whatever their standing, ability, or experience. Through the performance of their first duty they will derive the necessary stimulus and obtain the necessary guidance that will enable them to prosecute effectively their mission, and will also, through their regular reports to that committee, be imparting to the general body of their fellow-believers the news of the latest developments in their activities. By fulfilling their other duty, they will insure the smooth efficiency, facilitate the progress, and avert any untoward incidents that might handicap the development of their common enterprise."
143. "... He feels that a great potential strength lies in these new African believers. No doubt your Committee will be faced with problems, due to the inexperience of some of these people in administrative matters, but, through
loving guidance, and the wisdom of those who are associated with them on the spot, these minor things can be satisfactorily taken care of, and the main thing, the establishment of Assemblies and Groups, be carried out successfully.
144. "In every hour, for a period of fifty years, a new trial and calamity befell Him and fresh afflictions and cares beset Him. One of them: after having suffered intense vicissitudes, He was made homeless and a wanderer..."
145. "Whenever you feel at all discouraged you should remember how many years it took for the administration to get as well established as it is at present in North America. Problems repeat themselves, and in the earlier stages in the U.S.A. the body of the believers was very loosely knit together, many of the friends were, as they now are in Latin America, affiliated with various more or less progressive cults (from) which they had come to the Faith and from which they could not be suddenly cut off; they had to be weaned and educated; the same thing you must now do. He urges you therefore to be very patient with the believers and, through loving consultation and education, gradually insist that the old allegiances must give way to the great and all-satisfying bond they have now found with Bahá'u'lláh and His Faith."
146. "In connection with the teaching work throughout the Pacific area, he fully believes that in many cases the white society is difficult to interest in anything but its own superficial activities. The Bahá'ís must identify themselves
on the one hand, as much as they reasonably can, with the life of the white people, so as not to become ostracized, criticized and eventually ousted from their hard-won pioneer posts. On the other hand, they must bear in mind that the primary object of their living there is to teach the native population the Faith. This they must do with tact and discretion, in order not to forfeit their foot-hold in these islands which are so often so difficult of access."
147. "He hopes there will be a great deal more teaching activity during the present year, and that the Latin American Bahá'ís will increasingly feel that this is their Faith, and consequently their obligation, primarily, to spread it amongst their own people. Great as are the services rendered by pioneers, and unforgettable as are the deeds they accomplish, they cannot take the place of the indigenous element which must constitute the bedrock of the Community, carry on its own affairs, build its own institutions, support its own funds, publish its own literature, etc."
148. "No pioneer should leave his post unless there is some very urgent reason and then only after consultation with the appropriate committee or National Assembly."
149. "It always gives him great pleasure to hear of the progress of the Cause in distant lands and he prays for those who are undertaking the task with great zeal and unfailing sacrifice. The activities of such devoted souls will surely leave ever-lasting traces on the history of man. The pioneer work is always the most difficult and entails
the greatest sacrifice. Be thankful to God for having chosen you to undertake such a task."
150. "Any artificially created Assembly, consisting of settlers from abroad, can at best be considered as temporary and insecure, and should...be supplanted by broadbased, securely grounded, efficiently functioning assemblies composed primarily of the people of the countries themselves..."
151. "Every laborer in those fields, whether as traveling teacher or settler, should, I feel, make it his chief and constant concern to mix, in a friendly manner, with all sections of the population, irrespective of class, creed, nationality, or color, to familiarize himself with their ideas, tastes, and habits, to study the approach best suited to them, to concentrate, patiently and tactfully on a few who have shown marked capacity and receptivity and to endeavor, with extreme kindness, to implant such love, zeal, and devotion in their hearts as to enable them to become in turn self-sufficient and independent promoters of the Faith in their respective localities."
152. "...it (the N.S.A.), or its appropriate committee should consult with the pioneer, explain the needs, offer assistance to enable the pioneer to become established in the post where he is needed, and, in consultation with him decide where it would be best for him to settle, but the ultimate decision rests with the believer himself. You have believers coming from abroad as pioneers...and you certainly hope that they will settle in those cities which most urgently need help, but, if a self-supporting pioneer feels that he cannot go where you would like him to, you
should then consider how best you can make use of his services wherever he may be. .."
153. "Great challenges and opportunities for teaching often occur far from large well-established Bahá'í communities; this is especially true in respect of many of the tribal peoples. Pioneering and travel teaching are therefore of the greatest importance for the accomplishment of teaching plans. It is not always difficult to see what the ideal solution for any particular teaching problem may be; however, ideal solutions are seldom available, and the Assemblies which achieve the most outstanding results are those which have developed the skill of using to their best advantage whatever means they have at their command and whatever assistance can be given to them. Pioneers, for example, all have different capacities, different skills, different problems and different responsibilities. A National Assembly may see that its most urgent need is for a financially independent married couple who can live in a remote village area to conduct regular classes for the believers there; but what it actually receives are two single middle-aged ladies who need to work to support themselves and can only get jobs in one of the large towns. Instead of despairing, a resourceful Assembly will immediately see whether the presence of either or both of these ladies in such a town would enable one or more native believers to pioneer to the village area. Even if this does not work out, it will nevertheless do all it can to assist the two pioneers to settle down and will make the utmost use of whatever services they can render, services which may well, in the long run, be of inestimable benefit to that national community.
"There are several ways of pioneering, and all are entirely valid and are of great help to the teaching work. There is, first of all, the pioneer who goes to a particular
country, devotes the remainder of his life to the service of the Faith in that land and finally lays his bones to rest in its soil. Secondly, there is the pioneer who goes to a post, serves valiantly there until the native Bahá'í community is strongly established, and then moves on to new fields of service. Thirdly, there are those, for example youth between the completion of their schooling and the starting of their chosen profession, who go pioneering for a specific limited period.
"Ideally, of course, a pioneer should be, or become as soon as possible, financially independent of the Fund in his chosen post, not only to husband the financial resources of the Faith but because it is a Bahá'í principle that everyone should work and support himself and his family whenever possible, and there is no such profession as pioneer or teacher in the Bahá'í Faith as there are professional missionaries and clergymen in other religions. Nevertheless it must be recognized that in some posts where pioneers are desperately needed there is no possibility for them to get work. Either there is no work available in the area or else the pioneer is refused a work permit because he is a foreigner. In such cases it is essential for the Assemblies to provide financial assistance to support the pioneer for as long as is necessary.
"There are a number of methods of financing pioneers in areas where work is unobtainable. Believers can be found who have independent means and are willing to pioneer to the area and live on whatever income they have, however slender. There are those who, in accordance with Bahá'u'lláh's injunction, have been deputized by friends who are unable to go themselves.
"Believers may be found who are willing to go to such an area for a specific period supported by the meager budget that the Fund can afford, with the clear understanding that at the end of that period they will return from the pioneer post and become self-supporting again; in such a way an area can be serviced with a succession of pioneers. Then there are those believers who are willing to serve in a remote and inhospitable area, but whose age
or situation makes it clear from the outset that they will not be able to become self-supporting again; when the need is great and cannot be met in any other way, an Assembly would be fully justified in supporting them, but it should realize from the outset the extent of the responsibility it is incurring for an indefinite period into the future.
"Naturally these ways of financing pioneering are not mutually exclusive. A person, for example, can be partially self-supporting and assisted to only a limited degree; or a pioneer may go to an area with the intention of finding work but is unable to do so and the Assembly repeatedly extends the period of financial support until the time comes when he is no longer able to become self supporting anywhere. In such a case the Assembly needs to watch the process very carefully so that, on the one hand, it does not incur a permanent responsibility it had not intended, and on the other, does not commit the injustice of terminating the financial support extended to a pioneer at a time when he has become unemployable, and is unable to obtain any other means of support."
154. "The decline of religious and moral restraints has unleashed a fury of chaos and confusion that already bears the signs of universal anarchy. Engulfed in this maelstrom, the Bahá'í world community, pursuing with indefeasible unity and spiritual force its redemptive mission, inevitably suffers the disruption of economic, social and civil life which afflicts its fellow men throughout the planet. It must also bear particular tribulations."
155. "O peoples of the world! Whatsoever ye have offered up in the way of the One True God, ye shall indeed find preserved by God, the Preserver, intact at God's Holy Gate."
156. "Heed not your weakness and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the Lord, your God,... Arise in His name, put your trust wholly in Him, and be assured of ultimate victory."
157. "By the righteousness of God! Who so openeth his lips in this Day and maketh mention of the name of his Lord, the hosts of Divine inspiration shall descend upon him from the heaven of My name, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. On him shall also descend the Concourse on high, each bearing aloft a chalice of pure light. Thus hath it been foreordained in the realm of God's Revelation, by the behest of Him Who is the All Glorious, the Most Powerful."
158. "..whosoever ariseth to aid our Cause God will render him victorious over ten times ten thousand souls, and, should he wax in his love for Me, him will We cause to triumph over all that is in heaven and all that is
159. "Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty. Who so hath recognized Me, will arise and serve Me with such determination that the powers of heaven and earth shall be unable to defeat his purpose."
160. "... Dost thou believe thou has the power to frustrate His will, to hinder Him from executing His judgment, or to deter Him from exercising His sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the heavens or in the earth can resist His Faith? No, by Him Who is the eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever in the whole of creation can thwart His purpose...Know thou, moreover, that He it is Who hath by His own behest, created all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. How can, then, the thing that hath been created at His bidding prevail against Him?"
161. "When the victory arriveth, every man shall profess himself as believer and shall hasten to the shelter of God's Faith."
162. "If ye obey Me you will see that which We have promised you, and I will make you the friends of My Soul in the realm of My Greatness and the Companions of My Beauty in the heaven of My Might for ever."
163. "O ye loved ones of God! Is there any giver save God? He singleth out for His mercy whomsoever He willeth. Ere long will He open before you the gates of His knowledge and fill up your hearts with His love. He will cheer your souls with the gentle winds of His holiness and make bright your faces with the splendors of His lights, and exalt the memory of you amongst all peoples. Your Lord is verily the Compassionate, the Merciful.
"He will come to your aid with invisible hosts, and support you with armies of inspiration from the Concourse above; He will send unto you sweet perfumes from the highest Paradise, and waft over you the pure breathing that blow from the rose gardens of the Company on high. He will breathe into your hearts the spirit of life, cause you to enter the Ark of Salvation, and reveal unto you His clear tokens and signs. Verily is this abounding grace. Verily is this the victory that none can deny."
164. "Should one of them turn his face toward some direction and summon the people to the Kingdom of God, all the ideal forces and lordly confirmations will rush to his support and reinforcement."
165. "O ye believers of God! Be not concerned with the smallness of your numbers, neither be oppressed by the multitude of an unbelieving world. Five grains of wheat will be endued with heavenly blessing, whereas a thousand tons of tares will yield no results or effect."
166. "Arise with every power to assist the Covenant of God and serve in His vineyard. Be confident that a confirmation will be granted unto you...by God, verily the
Lord of Hosts is your support, the angels of heaven your assistance, the Holy Spirit your companion, and the Center of the Covenant your helper. Be not idle, but active and fear not."
167. "..the believers of God must become self-sacrificing and like unto the candles of guidance become ignited in the provinces of Canada. Should they show forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they will obtain universal divine confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a most great victory will be obtained."
168. "Remember not your own limitations; the help of God will come to you. Forget yourself. God's help will surely come!
"When you call on the Mercy of God waiting to reinforce you, your strength will be tenfold.
"Look at me: I am so feeble, yet I have had the strength given me to come amongst you: a poor servant of God, who has been enabled to give you this message! I shall not be with you long! One must never consider one's own feebleness, it is the strength of the Holy Spirit of Love, which gives the power to teach. The thought of our own weakness could only bring despair. We must look higher than all earthly thoughts; detach ourselves from every material idea, crave for the things of the spirit; fix our eyes on the everlasting bountiful Mercy of the Almighty, who will fill our souls with the gladness of joyful service to His command 'Love One Another'."
169. "... the all-conquering potency of the grace of God, vouchsafed through the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh will, undoubtedly, mysteriously and surprisingly, enable
whosoever arises to champion His Cause to win complete and total victory."
170. "If only the friends could realize it, the glory of our Faith is not that people with unique abilities do the work of the Cause, but that it is done by the sacrifice of loving and devoted souls who arise selflessly to undertake work they feel themselves incompetent, sometimes, to achieve. God works through them and endows them with gifts they did not dream they could ever possess."
171. "Let them dedicate themselves — young and old, men and women alike — and go forth and settle in new districts, travel, and teach in spite of lack of experience, and be assured that Bahá'u'lláh has promised to aid all those who arise in His Name. His strength will sustain them; their own weakness is unimportant."
172. "There is no time to lose. There is no room left for vacillation. Multitudes hunger for the Bread of Life. The stage is set. The firm and irrevocable Promise is given. God's own Plan has been set in motion .... The powers of heaven and earth mysteriously assist in its execution .... Let the doubter arise and himself verify the truth of such assertions. To try, to persevere, is to ensure ultimate and complete victory."
173. "The Army of the Cause, advancing at the bidding of the Lord, to conquer the hearts of men, can never be defeated, ..."
174. "The blessings of the Ancient Beauty are being showered upon the followers of the Greatest Name. Our efforts to serve Him and humanity are being crowned with victories throughout the world."
175. "I am moved, at this juncture, as I am reminded of the share which, ever since the inception of the Faith in the West, the handmaidens of Bahá'u'lláh, as distinguished from the men, have had in opening up, single-handed, so many, such diversified, and widely-scattered countries over the whole surface of the globe, not only to pay a tribute to such apostolic fervor as is truly reminiscent of those heroic men who were responsible for the birth of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, but also to stress the significance of such a preponderating share which the women of the West have had and are having in the establishment of His Faith throughout the whole world. 'Among the miracles,' 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself has testified, 'which distinguish this sacred Dispensation is this, that women have evinced a greater boldness than men when enlisted in the ranks of the Faith.' So great and splendid a testimony applies in particular to the West, and though it has received thus far abundant and convincing confirmation must, as the years roll away, be further reinforced, as the American believers usher in the most glorious phase of their teaching activities under the Seven Year Plan. The 'boldness' which, in the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, has characterized their accomplishments in the past must suffer no eclipse as they stand on the threshold of still greater and nobler accomplishments. Nay rather, it must, in the course of time and throughout the length and breadth of the vast and virgin territories of Latin America, be more convincingly demonstrated, and win for the beloved Cause victories more stirring than any it has as yet achieved."
176. "Is it not America who, ever mindful of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's passionate entreaty, has sent out to the ends of the earth a steadily increasing number of its most consecrated citizens — men and women the one wish of whose lives is to consolidate the foundations of Bahá'u'lláh's world embracing dominion? In the northernmost capitals of Europe, in most of its central states, throughout the Balkan Peninsula, along the shores of the African, the Asiatic and South American continents are to be found this day a small band of women pioneers who, single-handed and with scanty resources, are toiling for the advent of the Day 'Abdu'l-Bahá has foretold."
177. "At the heart of all activities, the spiritual, intellectual and community life of the believers must be developed and fostered, requiring: ... the encouragement of Baha i women to exercise to the full their privileges and responsibilities in the work of the community — may they befittingly bear witness to the memory of the Greatest Holy Leaf, the immortal heroine of the Bahá'í Dispensation, as we approach the fiftieth anniversary of her passing."
178. "...It is on young and active Bahá'ís, like you, that the Guardian centers all his hopes for the future progress and expansion of the Cause, and it is on their shoulders that he lays the responsibility for the upkeep of the spirit of selfless service among their fellow-believers. Without that spirit no work can be successfully achieved. With it triumph, though hardly won, is but inevitable. You should therefore, try all your best to carry aflame within you the torch of faith, for through it you will surely find guidance, strength and eventual success.
"... every one of them is able, in his own measure to deliver the Message.... Everyone is a potential teacher. He has only to use what God has given him and thus prove that he is faithful to his trust."
179. "He, therefore, urges you to seriously consider the type of profession or trade that might ensure you a post in a pioneer field in Africa, or the Pacific Islands, or Asia, in which you could earn your living while serving the Cause as well..."
180. "He cannot impress too strongly upon the friends the need for action: they must arise in still greater numbers to pioneer;...the young people should learn to teach and
go forth in the field in the days of their youth and receive this great blessing;..."
181. "To the Bahá'í youth of America, moreover, I feel a word should be addressed in particular, as I survey the possibilities which a campaign of such gigantic proportions has to offer to the eager and enterprising spirit that so powerfully animates them in the service of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. Though lacking in experience and faced with insufficient resources, yet the adventurous spirit which they possess, and the vigor, the alertness, and optimism they have thus far so consistently shown, qualify them to play an active part in arousing the interest, and in securing the allegiance, of their fellow youth in those countries. No greater demonstration can be given to the peoples of both continents of the youthful vitality and the vibrant power animating the life, and the institutions of the nascent Faith of Bahá'u'lláh than an intelligent, persistent, and effective participation of the Bahá'í youth, of every race, nationality, and class, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá'í activity. Through such a participation the critics and enemies of the Faith, watching with varying degrees of skepticism and resentment, the evolutionary processes of the Cause of God and its institutions, can best be convinced of the indubitable truth that such a Cause is intensely alive, is sound to its very core, and its destinies in safe keeping. I hope, and indeed pray, that such a participation may not only redound to the glory, the power and the prestige of the Faith, but may also react so powerfully on the spiritual lives, and galvanize to such an extent the energies of the youthful members of the Bahá'í community, as to empower them to display, in a fuller measure, their inherent capacities, and to unfold a further stage in their spiritual evolutions under the shadow of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.
182. "We may well emulate Bahá'í youth...who storm the gates of heaven for support in their enterprises by long sustained, precedent and continuing prayer. We are all able to call upon Bahá'u'lláh for His Divine, all-powerful aid, and He will surely help us. For He is the Hearer of prayers, the Answerer."
183. "In the two years since we last addressed the youth of the Bahá'í world many remarkable advances have been made in the fortunes of the Faith. Not the least of these is the enrollment under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh of a growing army of young men and women eager to serve His Cause. The zeal, the enthusiasm, the steadfastness, and the devotion of the youth in every land have brought great joy and assurance to our hearts.
"During the last days of August and the first days of September, when nearly two thousand believers from all over the world gathered in the Holy Land to commemorate the Centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival on these sacred shores, we had an opportunity to observe at first hand those qualities of good character, selfless service, and determined effort exemplified in the youth who served as volunteer helpers, and we wish to express our gratitude for their loving assistance and for their example.
"Many of them offered to pioneer, but one perplexing question recurred: Shall I continue my education, or should I pioneer now? Undoubtedly this same question is in the mind of every young Bahá'í wishing to dedicate his life to the advancement of the Faith. There is no stock answer which applies to all situations; the beloved Guardian gave different answers to different individuals on this question. Obviously circumstances vary with each individual case. Each individual must decide how he can best serve the Cause. In making this decision, it will be helpful to weigh the following factors:
Upon becoming a Bahá'í one's whole life is, or should become, devoted to the progress of the Cause of God, and
every talent or faculty he possesses is ultimately committed to this overriding life objective. Within this framework he must consider, among other things, whether by continuing his education now he can be a more effective pioneer later, or alternatively whether the urgent need for pioneers, while possibilities for teaching are still open outweighs an anticipated increase in effectiveness. This is not an easy decision, since oftentimes the spirit which prompts the pioneering offer is more important than one's academic attainments."
184. "Let it, therefore, never be imagined that youth must await their years of maturity before they can render invaluable services to the Cause of God."
185. "I beg of Thee, O my Best Beloved, to pardon me and those who earnestly seek to promote Thy Cause; Thou art indeed the One Who forgiveth the sins of all mankind."
186. "Say, verily any one follower of this Faith can, by the leave of God, prevail over all who dwell in heaven and earth and in whatever lieth between them; for indeed this is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the one true Faith. Therefore fear ye not, neither be ye grieved.
"Say, God hath, according to that which is revealed in the Book, taken upon Himself the task of ensuring the ascendancy of any one of the followers of the Truth, over and above one hundred other souls, and the supremacy of one hundred believers over one thousand non-believers and the domination of one thousand of the faithful over all the peoples and kindreds of the earth; inasmuch as God calleth into being whatsoever He willeth by virtue of His behest. Verily He is potent over all things.
"Say, the power of God is in the hearts of those who believe in the unity of God and bear witness that no God is there but Him, while the hearts of them that associate partners with God are impotent, devoid of life on this earth, for assuredly they are dead.
"The Day is approaching when God will render the hosts of Truth victorious, and He will purge the whole earth in such wise that within the compass of His knowledge not a single soul shall remain unless he truly believeth in God, worshippeth none other God but Him,
boweth down by day and by night in His adoration, and is reckoned among such as are well assured.
"Say, God indeed is the Sovereign Truth, Who is manifestly Supreme over His servants; He is the Help in Peril the Self-Subsisting."
187. "Glory be unto Thee, O Lord, Thou Who has brought into being all created things, through the power of Thy behest.
"O Lord! Assist those who have renounced all else but Thee, and grant them a mighty victory. Send down upon them, O Lord, the concourse of the angels in heaven and earth and all that is between, to aid Thy servants, to succor and strengthen them, to enable them to achieve success, to sustain them, to invest them with glory, to confer upon them honor and exaltation, to enrich them and to make them triumphant with a wondrous triumph.
"Thou art their Lord, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of all the worlds. Strengthen this Faith, O Lord, through the power of these servants and cause them to prevail over all the peoples of the world; for they, of a truth, are Thy servants who have detached themselves from aught else but Thee, and Thou verily art the protector of true believers.
"Grant Thou, O Lord, that their hearts may, through allegiance to this, Thine inviolable Faith, grow stronger than anything else in the heavens and on earth and in whatsoever is between them; and strengthen, O Lord, their hands with the tokens of Thy wondrous power that they may manifest Thy power before the gaze of all mankind."
188. "It is better to guide one soul than to possess all that is on earth, for as long as that guided soul is under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Unity, he and the one who
hath guided him will both be recipients of God's tender mercy, whereas possession of earthly things will cease at the time of death. The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God's method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! He causeth him whom He pleaseth to enter the shadow of His Mercy. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector, the All-Generous.
"There is no paradise more wondrous for any soul than to be exposed to God's Manifestation in His Day, to hear His verses and believe in them, to attain His presence, which is naught but the presence of God, to sail upon the sea of the heavenly Kingdom of His good-pleasure, and to partake of the choice fruits of the paradise of His divine Oneness."
189. "Lauded be Thy Name, O God. Thou art in truth our Lord; Thou art aware of whatsoever is in the heavens and on the earth. Send down then upon us a token of Thy mercy. Verily Thou art unsurpassed among them that show mercy. All praise be unto Thee, O Lord. Ordain for us from Thy presence that which will comfort the hearts of the sincere among Thy servants. Glorified art Thou, O God, Thou art the Creator of the heavens and the earth and that which lieth between them. Thou art the sovereign Lord, the Most Holy, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Magnified be Thy Name, O God, send down upon them who have believed in God and in His signs a mighty succor from Thy presence such as to enable them to prevail over the generality of mankind."
190. "O Lord! Enable all the peoples of the earth to gain admittance into the Paradise of Thy Faith, so that no created being may remain beyond the bounds of Thy good-pleasure. From time immemorial Thou host been potent to do what pleaseth Thee and transcendent above
whatsoever Thou desireth."
191. "Lauded be Thy name, O my God! Thou sees how I have been sorely vexed among Thy servants, and beholdest the things that have befallen me in Thy path. Thou knowest full well that I have not spoken a word but by Thy leave, that my lips have never been opened except at Thy bidding and in accordance with Thy pleasure, that every breath I have breathed hath been animated with Thy praise and Thy remembrance, that I have summoned all men to naught else except that whereunto Thy chosen ones have through all eternity been summoned, and that I have bidden them observe only the things that would draw them nearer unto the Day-Spring of Thy loving-kindness, and the Dawning-Place of Thy favors, and the Horizon of Thy riches, and the Manifestation of Thine inspiration and Thy revelation.
"Thou art well aware, O my God, that I have not failed in my duty towards Thy Cause. At all times and under all conditions I have wafted, in every direction, the breezes of Thine inspiration, and shed abroad the sweet smell of the raiment of Thy mercy, that haply Thy servants may discover its fragrance, and through it be enabled to turn towards Thee.
"I implore Thee, O my God, by the Lights of Thy unity and the Repositories of Thy revelation, to send down from the clouds of Thy mercy that which will cleanse the hearts of all such as have turned towards Thee. Blot out, then from their hearts all that may induce Thy servants to cavil at Thy Cause.
"Thy will hath overruled my will, O my God, and I have shown forth what hath grievously vexed me. Have mercy, then, upon me, O Thou Who of all those who show mercy art the Most Merciful!
"Assist Thou Thy servants, O my God, to help Thy Cause, and give them to drink what will quicken their hearts in Thy realm, lest anything hinder them from remembering
Thee and from extolling Thy virtues, that they may quit their homes in Thy name, and summon all the multitudes unto Thee. Guard their faces, O my God, from turning to any one save Thee, and their ears from hearkening unto the sayings of all such as have turned away from Thy beauty and repudiated Thy signs.
"Supreme art Thou over all things. There is none other God save Thee, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."
192. "Great is thy blessedness, inasmuch as thou host been journeying throughout the lands of God, and been the embodiment of joy and assurance for the people of Baha who have renounced all else but Him, and set their hearts towards this Court which hath shed its radiance upon all realms, and sprinkled them with the surging waters of this Ocean wherewith thou thyself host been sprinkled — an Ocean which hath encompassed all created things.
"Indeed thou didst grasp the significance of rendering assistance unto God and didst arise to achieve this through the power of wisdom and utterance. Say: To assist Me is to teach My Cause. This is a theme with which whole Tablets are laden. This is the changeless commandment of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future....
"Say: If it be Our pleasure We shall render the Cause victorious through the power of a single word from Our presence. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the All-Compelling. Should it be God's intention, there would appear out of the forests of celestial might the lion of indomitable strength whose roaring is like unto the peals of thunder reverberating in the mountains. However, since Our loving providence surpasseth all things, We have ordained that complete victory should be achieved through speech and utterance, that Our servants throughout the earth may thereby become the recipients of divine good. This is but a token of God's bounty vouchsafed unto them. Verily thy
Lord is the All-Sufficing, the Most Exalted."
193. "Wherefore, be thankful to God, for having strengthened thee to aid His Cause, for having made the flowers of knowledge and understanding to spring forth in the garden of twine heart. Thus hath His grace encompassed thee, and encompassed the whole of creation. Beware, lest thou allow anything whatsoever to grieve thee. Rid thyself of all attachment to the vain allusions of men, and cast behind thy back the idle and subtle disputations of them that are veiled from God. Proclaim, then, that which the Most Great Spirit will inspire thee to utter in the service of the Cause of thy Lord, that thou mayest stir up the souls of all men and incline their hearts unto this most blessed and all glorious Court."
194. "Magnified be Thy Name, O Lord of all beings and Desire of all created things! I beseech Thee, by the Word which hath caused the Burning Bush to lift up its Voice and the Rock to cry out, whereby the well-favoured have hastened to attain the court of Thy presence and the pure in heart the dayspring of the light of Thy countenance, and by the sighing of Thy true lovers in their separation from Thy chosen ones and by the lamentation of them that long to behold Thy face before the dawning splendor of the light of Thy Revelation, to graciously enable Thy servants to recognize what Thou host ordained for them by Thy bounty and Thy grace. Prescribe for them then through Thy Pen of Glory that which will direct their steps to the ocean of Thy generosity and will lead them unto the living waters of Thy heavenly reunion.
"O Lord! Look not at the things they have wrought, rather look unto the loftiness of Thy celestial bounty which hath preceded all created things, visible and invisible.
O Lord! Illumine their hearts with the effulgent light of Thy knowledge and brighten their eyes with the
shining splendor of the day-star of Thy favors.
"I entreat Thee, O Lord of Names and Creator of the heavens, by the blood spilt in Thy path, and by the heads carried aloft on spears for the sake of Thy love, and by the souls that have melted in their separation from Thy loved ones, and by the hearts broken for the exaltation of Thy Word, to grant that the dwellers of Thy realm may unite together in their allegiance to Thine incomparable Word so that they may all acknowledge Thy unity and Thy oneness. There is no God but Thee, the Omnipotent, the Most Exalted, the Knowing, the Wise."
195. "Say: Magnified be Thy Name, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Name through which the splendor of the light of wisdom shone resplendent when the heavens of divine utterance were set in motion amidst mankind, to graciously aid me by Thy heavenly confirmations and enable me to extol Thy Name amongst Thy servants.
"O Lord! Unto Thee have I turned my face, detached from all save Thee and holding fast to the hem of the robe of Thy manifold blessings. Unloose my tongue therefore to proclaim that which will captivate the minds of men and will rejoice their souls and spirits. Strengthen me then in Thy Cause in such wise that I may not be hindered by the ascendancy of the oppressors among Thy creatures nor withheld by the onslaught of the disbelievers amidst those who dwell in Thy realm. Make me as a lamp shining throughout Thy lands that those in whose hearts the light of Thy knowledge gloweth and the yearning for Thy love lingereth may be guided by its radiance.
"Verily, potent art Thou to do whatsoever Thou wiliest, and in Thy grasp Thou holdest the kingdom of creation. There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, the all-Wise."
196. "Recall thou to mind My sorrow, My cares and
anxieties, My woes and trials, the state of My captivity, the tears that I have shed, the bitterness of Mine anguish, and now My imprisonment in this far-off land. God, O Mustafa, beareth Me witness. Couldst thou be told what hath befallen the Ancient Beauty, thou wouldst flee into the wilderness, and weep with a great weeping. In thy grief, thou wouldst smite thyself on the head, and cry out as one stung by the sting of the adder. Be thou grateful to God that We have refused to divulge unto thee the secrets of those unsearchable decrees that have been sent down unto Us from the heaven of the Will of thy Lord, the Most Powerful, the Almighty.
"By the righteousness of God! Every morning I arose from My bed, I discovered the hosts of countless afflictions massed behind My door; and every night when I lay down, lo! My heart was torn with agony at what it had suffered from the fiendish cruelty of its foes. With every piece of bread the Ancient Beauty breaketh is coupled the assault of a fresh affliction, and with every drop He drinketh is mixed the bitterness of the most woeful of trials. He is preceded in every step He taketh by an army of unforeseen calamities, while in His rear follow legions of agonizing sorrows.
"Such is My plight, wert thou to ponder it in thine heart. Let not, however, thy soul grieve over that which God hath rained down upon Us. Merge thy will in His pleasure, for We have, at no time, desired anything whatsoever except His Will, and have welcomed each one of His irrevocable decrees. Let twine heart be patient, and be thou not dismayed. Follow not in the way of them that are sorely agitated."
197. "Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God! Thou beholdest what the tongue of no one except Thee can utter, and barest witness unto things which no mouth can recount. The floods of afflictions are let loose, and the
winds of Thy judgment have blown, and from the clouds rain down the darts of tests, and the heavens of Thy decree pour forth the arrows of trial.
"Thou sees, O my Lord, how Thy servants, who have believed on Thee and acknowledged Thy signs, have fallen into the clutches of Thine enemies, how the doors of ease and comfort have been shut against them, how they languish in the Fortress wherein neither pleasantness nor hope can be found. They have suffered in Thy path what no man before them hath suffered. To this bear witness they who abide around Thy throne, and the dwellers of the earth, and the Concourse on high.
"These, O my God, are Thy servants who, for love of Thy beauty, have forsaken their homes, and been so stirred up by the gentle winds of their desire for Thee that they have sundered every tie in Thy path. Such of Thy servants as dwell in Thy land and have transgressed against Thee have assailed them, and banished them from Thy cities, and made them captives, and delivered them into the hands of workers of iniquity among Thy people and the perverse amidst the wicked doers in Thy realm. And finally, they were made to abide in this place with which no other places, however loathsome, in all Thy dominion, can compare. They were seized with such trials that the clouds weep over them and the thunder groaneth by reason of the manifold tribulations that have afflicted them in their love for Thee and for the sake of Thy pleasure.
"Thou knowest full well, O my God, that there is no one on Thine earth who can claim to be related to Thee except these, some of whom have suffered martyrdom for Thy sake, while the rest have been permitted to survive. Though for such as are like unto us, O my God, it beseemeth not to claim to be related to Thee, inasmuch as our misdeeds and our waywardness have hindered us from reaching the depths of the ocean of Thy oneness, and from immersing ourselves beneath the waters of Thy transcendent mercy, yet our tongues, O my God, bear witness, and our hearts testify, and our limbs confess that Thy mercy hath enveloped all created things and Thy compassion
surpassed all that are in heaven and all that are on earth.
"I beseech Thee, by Thy Most Great Name, through which all created things were rent asunder and the whole creation was shaken, to send down from the clouds of Thy mercy that which will purge them from every ordeal and from whatever is hateful to Thee. Raise them up, then, to such heights that no amount of tribulation will keep them back from Thy wondrous remembrance, nor any trouble hinder them from turning toward the court of Thy transcendent oneness.
"By Thy might, O Well-Beloved of Baha and His heart's Desire! I myself cry out, under all conditions, unto Thee saying 'Would I had, ere this day, drawn nigh unto Thee!' When I hear, however, the sighs of such of Thy people as are wholly devoted to Thee, and those of Thy servants as enjoy near access to Thy court, who have taken no other friend than Thee, and sought no refuge except Thee, and have chosen for themselves, in Thy path, what no man hath chosen in the days of the Manifestations of Thy transcendent unity and the Day-Springs of Thy most holy sovereignty, then my heart is saddened and my soul is vexed, and I cry to Thee, imploring Thee to protect them, by Thy power that hath encompassed the entire creation both visible and invisible, from whatsoever may be abhorrent to Thee. This is not for their own sakes, but that Thy name may, through them, abide amongst Thy servants, and Thy remembrance may continue to endure in Thy dominions.
"Thou knowest, O my God, that all Thy servants have turned back from Thee and risen up against Thee. Thou knowest that Thou hast no one to obey Thee except them and such as have believed in Thy Revelation, through which the foundations of the entire universe have been shaken, and the souls of all men have trembled, and all that lay asleep were quickened. Thou art, O my God, the God of bounty, Whose grace is immense.
"Send down, then, upon them that which will assure their hearts, and quiet their souls, and renew their spirits,
and refresh their bodies. Thou art, verily, their Lord and the Lord of the worlds. "Praised be God, the Lord of all creation!"
198. "O thou who wanderest in the divine path!
"In the path of God thou didst leave behind thy familiar country and travel led to those distant regions, so that thou mayest spread the Teachings of God and give the people the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God. Be assured that confirmations will reach thee and thou wilt become assisted in accomplishing a great service to the world of humanity. Thousand tidings may reach thee!"
199. "O God, My God! Aid Thou Thy trusted servants to have loving and tender hearts. Help them to spread, amongst all the nations of the earth, the light of guidance that cometh from the Company on high. Verily Thou art the Strong, the Powerful, the Mighty, the All-Subduing, the Ever-Giving. Verily Thou art the Generous, the Gentle, the Tender, the Most Bountiful."
200. "O God, my God! This is thy radiant servant, Thy spiritual thrill, who hath drawn nigh unto Thee and approached Thy presence. He hath turned his face unto Thine, acknowledging Thy oneness, confessing Thy singleness, and he hath called out in Thy name among the nations, and led the people to the streaming waters of Thy mercy, O Thou Most generous Lord! To those who asked he hath given to drink from the cup of guidance that brimmeth over with the wine of Thy measureless grace.
"O Lord, assist him under all conditions, cause him to learn Thy well-guarded mysteries, and shower down upon him Thy hidden pearls. Make of him a banner rippling
from castle summits in the winds of Thy heavenly aid make of him a wellspring of crystal waters.
"O my forgiving Lord! Light up the hearts with the rays of a lamp that sheddeth abroad its beams, disclosing to those among Thy people whom Thou host bounteously favored, the realities of all things.
"Verily, Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful, the Protector, the Strong, the Beneficent! Verily, Thou art the Lord of all mercies!"
201."O my Lord, my Defender, my Help in peril! Lowly do I entreat Thee, ailing do I come unto Thee to be healed, humbly do I cry out to Thee with my tongue, my soul, my spirit
"O God, my God! The gloom of night hath shrouded every region, and all the earth is shut away behind thick clouds. The peoples of the world are sunk in the black depths of vain illusions, while their tyrants wallow in cruelty and hate. I see nothing but the glare of searing fires that blaze upward from the nethermost abyss, I hear nothing save the thunderous roar that belloweth out from thousands upon thousands of fiery weapons of assault while every land is crying aloud in its secret tongue 'My riches avail me nothing, and my sovereignty hath perished! '
"O my Lord, the lamps of guidance have gone out. The flames of passion are mounting high, and malevolence is ever gaining on the world. Malice and hate have overspread the face of the whole earth, and I find no souls except Thine own oppressed small band who are raising up this cry:
"Make haste to love! Make haste to trust! Make haste to give! To guidance come!
"Come ye for harmony! To behold the Star of Day! Come here for kindliness, for ease! Come here for amity and peace!
"Come and cast down your weapons of wrath, till unity
is won! Come and in the Lord's true path each one help each one.
"Verily with exceeding joy, with heart and soul, do these oppressed of Thine offer themselves up for all mankind in every land. Thou sees them, O my Lord, weeping over the tears Thy people shed, mourning the grief of Thy children, condoling with humankind, suffering because of the calamities that beset all the denizens of the earth.
"O my Lord, wing them with victory that they may soar upward to salvation, strengthen their loins in service to Thy people, and their backs in servitude to Thy Threshold of Holiness.
"Verily Thou art the Generous, verily Thou art the Merciful! There is none other God save Thee, the Clement, the Pitiful, the Ancient of Days!"
202."O God, my God! Thou sees me plunged in an ocean of anguish, held fast to the fires of tyranny, and weeping in the darkness of the night. Sleepless I toss and turn upon my bed, mine eyes straining to behold the morning light of faithfulness and trust. I agonize even as a fish, its inward parts afire as it leapeth about in terror upon the sand, yet I ever look for Thy bestowal to appear from every side.
"O God, my God! Make thou the believers in other lands to partake of Thine abounding grace, deliver Thou, by Thine unfailing help and bounty, whoso among Thy loved ones in the farther most climes sigheth over the bitter cruelty of his foe. O Lord, they are the captives of Thy love, the prisoners taken by Thy troops. They are the birds that fly in the heavens of Thy guidance, the whales that swim in the ocean of Thy bestowal, the stars that sparkle on the horizon of Thy gifts. They are the defenders of the fortress of Thy law. They are the banners of Thy remembrance amongst men. They are the deep wells of Thy divine compassion, the fountains of Thy favors, the well-springs of Thy grace.
"Keep them ever in safety beneath Thine all-protecting eye. Assist them to exalt Thy Word; make Thou their hearts to be constant in Thy love; strengthen Thou their backs that they may serve Thee well; in servitude, strengthen Thou their powers.
"Spread Thou through them Thy sweet savors far and wide; expound through them Thy Holy Writ; make known through them Thine Utterance; fulfill through them Thy Words; through them pour out Thy mercy.
"Thou art verily the Mighty, the Powerful. Thou art verily the Clement, the Compassionate."
203. "Thou knowest, O God, and art my Witness that I have no desire in my heart save to attain Thy good pleasure, to be confirmed in servitude unto Thee, to consecrate myself in Thy service, to labour in Thy great vineyard and to sacrifice my all in Thy path. Thou art the All-Knowing and the All-Seeing. I have no wish save to turn my steps, in my love for Thee, towards the mountains and the deserts to loudly proclaim the advent of Thy kingdom, and to raise Thy call amidst all men. O God! Open Thou the way for this helpless one, grant Thou the remedy to this ailing one and bestow Thy healing upon this afflicted one. With burning heart and tearful eyes I supplicate Thee at Thy threshold.
O God! Protect me from tests. Thou knowest full well that I have turned away from all things and freed myself of all thoughts. I have no occupation save mention of Thee and no aspiration save serving Thee."
204. "O Thou Incomparable God! O Thou Lord of the Kingdom! These souls are Thy heavenly army. Assist them and, with the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse, make them victorious, so that each one of them may become like unto a regiment and conquer these countries through the love of God and the illumination of divine teachings.
"O God! Be Thou their supporter and their helper, and in the wilderness, the mountain, the valley, the forests, the prairies and the seas, be Thou their confidant — so that they may cry out through the power of the Kingdom and the breath of the Holy Spirit.
"Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Omnipotent, and Thou art the Wise, the Hearing and the Seeing."
205. "Whoever sets out on a teaching journey to any place, let him recite this prayer day and night during his travels in foreign lands.
"O God, my God! Thou sees me enraptured and attracted toward Thy glorious kingdom, enkindled with the fire of Thy love amongst mankind, a herald of Thy kingdom in these vast and spacious lands, severed from aught else save Thee, relying on Thee, abandoning rest and comfort, remote from my native home, a wanderer in these regions, a stranger fallen upon the ground, humble
before Thine exalted Threshold, submissive toward the heaven of Thine omnipotent glory, supplicating Thee in the dead of night and at the break of dawn, entreating and invoking Thee at morn and at eventide to graciously aid me to serve Thy Cause, to spread abroad Thy Teachings and to exalt Thy Word throughout the East and the West.
"O Lord! Strengthen my back, enable me to serve Thee with the utmost endeavor, and leave me not to myself, lonely and helpless in these regions.
"O Lord! Grant me communion with Thee in my loneliness and be my companion in these foreign lands.
"Verily, Thou art the Confirmer of whomsoever Thou wiliest in that which Thou desires, and, verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Omnipotent."
206. "O God, my God! Thou sees how black darkness is enshrouding all regions, how all countries are burning with the flame of dissension, and the fire of war and carnage is blazing throughout the East and the West. Blood is flowing, corpses bestrew the ground, and severed heads are fallen on the dust of the battlefield.
"O Lord! Have pity on these ignorant ones and look upon them with the eye of forgiveness and pardon. Extinguish this fire, so that these dense clouds which obscure the horizon may be scattered, the Sun of Reality shine forth with the rays of conciliation, this intense gloom be dispelled and the resplendent light of peace shed its radiance upon all countries.
"O Lord! Draw up the people from the abyss of the ocean of hatred and enmity and deliver them from this impenetrable darkness. Unite their hearts and brighten their eyes with the light of peace and reconciliation. Deliver them from the depths of war and bloodshed and free them from the darkness of error. Remove the veil from their eyes and enlighten their hearts with the light
of guidance. Treat them with Thy tender mercy and compassion, and deal not with them according to Thy justice and wrath which cause the limbs of the mighty to quake.
"O Lord! Wars have persisted. Distress and anxiety have waxed great and every flourishing region is laid waste.
"O Lord! Hearts are heavy and souls are in anguish. Have mercy on these poor souls and do not leave them to the excesses of their own desires.
"O Lord! Make manifest in Thy lands humble and submissive souls, their faces illumined with the rays of guidance, severed from the world, extolling Thy Name, uttering Thy praise, and diffusing the fragrance of Thy holiness amongst mankind.
"O Lord! Strengthen their backs, gird up their loins, and enrapture their hearts with the most mighty signs of Thy love.
"O Lord! Verily, they are weak, and Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty; they are impotent, and Thou art the Helper and the Merciful.
"O Lord! The ocean of rebellion is surging, and these tempests will not be stilled save through Thy boundless grace which hath embraced all regions.
"O Lord! Verily, the people are in the abyss of passion, and naught can save them but Thine infinite bounties.
"O Lord! Dispel the darkness of these corrupt desires, and illumine the hearts with the lamp of Thy love through which all countries will erelong be enlightened. Confirm, moreover, Thy loved ones, those who, leaving their homelands, their families and their children, have, for the love of Thy Beauty, traveled to foreign countries to diffuse Thy fragrances and promulgate Thy Teachings. Be Thou their companion in their loneliness, their helper in a strange land, the remover of their sorrows, their comforter in calamity. Be Thou a refreshing draught for their thirst, a healing medicine for their ills and a balm for the burning ardor of their hearts.
"Verily, Thou art the Most Generous, the Lord of grace abounding, and, verily, Thou art the Compassionate and
207. "The following supplication is to be read by the teachers and friends daily
"O Thou kind Lord! Praise be unto Thee that Thou hast shown us the highway of guidance, opened the doors of the kingdom and manifested Thyself through the Sun of Reality. To the blind Thou hast given sight; to the deaf Thou hast granted hearing; Thou hast resuscitated the dead; Thou host enriched the poor; Thou host shown the way to those who have gone astray; Thou hast led those with parched lips to the fountain of guidance; Thou hast suffered the thirsty fish to reach the ocean of reality; and Thou hast invited the wandering birds to the rose-garden of grace.
"O Thou Almighty! We are Thy servants and Thy poor ones; we are remote and yearn for Thy presence, are athirst for the water of Thy fountain, are ill, longing for Thy healing. We are walking in Thy path and have no aim or hope save the diffusion of Thy fragrance, so that all souls may raise the cry of 'O God, guide us to the straight path.' May their eyes be opened to behold the light, and may they be freed from the darkness of ignorance. May they gather around the lamp of Thy guidance. May every portionless one receive a share. May the deprived become the confidants of Thy mysteries.
"O Almighty! Look upon us with the glance of mercifulness. Grant us heavenly confirmation. Bestow upon us the breath of the Holy Spirit, so that we may be assisted in Thy service and, like unto brilliant stars, shine in these regions with the light of Thy guidance.
"Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Wise and the Seeing."
208. "Every soul who travels through the cities, villages
and hamlets of these states and is engaged in the diffusion of the fragrances of God, should peruse this commune every morning:
"O my God! O my God! Thou sees me in my lowliness and weakness, occupied with the greatest undertaking, determined to raise Thy word among the masses and to spread Thy teachings among Thy peoples. How can I succeed unless Thou assist me with the breath of the Holy Spirit, help me to triumph by the hosts of Thy glorious kingdom, and shower upon me Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns? O my Lord! Assist me with Thy triumphant and effective might, so that my tongue may utter Thy praises and attributes among all people and my soul overflow with the wine of Thy love and knowledge.
"Thou art the Omnipotent and the Doer of whatsoever thou willest"
209. "Let the spreaders of the fragrance of God recite this prayer every morning:
"O Lord, my God! Praise and thanksgiving be unto Thee for Thou host guided me to the highway of the kingdom, suffered me to walk in this straight and far-stretching path, illumined my eye by beholding the splendors of Thy light, inclined my ear to the melodies of the birds of holiness from the kingdom of mysteries and attracted my heart with Thy love among the righteous.
"O Lord! Confirm me with the Holy Spirit, so that I may call in Thy Name amongst the nations, and give the glad tidings of the manifestation of Thy kingdom amongst mankind.
'O Lord! I am weak, strengthen me with Thy power and potency. My tongue falters, suffer me to utter Thy commemoration and praise. I am lowly, honor me through admitting me into Thy kingdom. I am remote, cause me to approach the threshold of Thy mercifulness. O Lord!
Make me a brilliant lamp, a shining star and a blessed tree adorned with fruit, its branches overshadowing all these regions. Verily, Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful and the Unconstrained."
210. "The following commune is to be read by them every day:
"O God! O God! This is a broken-winged bird and his flight is very slow — assist him so that he may fly toward the apex of prosperity and salvation, wing his way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space, raise his melody in Thy Supreme Name in all the regions, exhilarate the ears with this call, and brighten the eyes by beholding the signs of guidance.
"O Lord! I am single, alone and lowly. For me there is no support save Thee, no helper except Thee and no sustainer beside Thee. Confirm me in Thy service, assist me with the cohorts of Thy angels, make me victorious in the promotion of Thy Word and suffer me to speak out Thy wisdom amongst Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art the helper of the weak and the defender of the little ones, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Unconstrained."
211. "Praise be to Thee, O my God! These are Thy servants who are attracted by the fragrances of Thy mercifulness, are enkindled by the fire burning in the tree of Thy singleness, and whose eyes are brightened by beholding the splendors of the light shining in the Sinai of Thy oneness.
"O Lord! Loose their tongues to make mention of Thee amongst Thy people, suffer them to speak forth Thy praise through Thy grace and loving-kindness, assist them with the cohorts of Thine angels, strengthen their loins in Thy service, and make them the signs of Thy guidance amongst Thy creatures.
"Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Merciful."
212. "The spreaders of the fragrances of God should recite this prayer every morning:
"O God, my God! Thou beholdest this weak one begging for celestial strength, this poor one craving Thy heavenly treasures, this thirsty one longing for the fountain of eternal life, this afflicted one yearning for Thy promised healing through Thy boundless mercy which Thou host destined for Thy chosen servants in Thy kingdom on high.
"O Lord! I have no helper save Thee, no shelter besides Thee, and no sustainer except Thee. Assist me with Thine angels to diffuse Thy holy fragrances and to spread abroad Thy teachings amongst the choicest of Thy people.
"O my Lord! Suffer me to be detached from aught else save Thee, to hold fast to the hem of Thy bounty, to be wholly devoted to Thy Faith, to remain fast and firm in Thy love and to observe what Thou host prescribed in Thy Book.
"Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Omnipotent."
213. "Let whosoever travels to different parts to teach, peruse over mountain, desert, land and sea this supplication:
"O God! O God! Thou sees my weakness, lowliness and humility before Thy creatures; nevertheless, I have trusted in Thee and have arisen in the promotion of Thy teachings among Thy strong servants, relying on Thy power and might.
"O Lord! I am a broken-winged bird and desire to soar in Thy limitless space. How is it possible for me to do this save through Thy providence and grace, Thy confirmation and assistance.
"O Lord! Have pity on my weakness and strengthen me
with Thy power. O Lord! Have pity on my impotence and assist me with Thy might and majesty.
"O Lord! Should the breath of the Holy Spirit confirm the weakest of creatures, he would attain all to which he aspireth and would possess anything he desireth. Indeed, Thou host assisted Thy servants in the past and, though they were the weakest of Thy creatures, the lowliest of Thy servants and the most insignificant of those who lived upon the earth, through Thy sanction and potency they took precedence over the most glorious of Thy people and the most noble of mankind. Whereas formerly they were as moths, they became as royal falcons, and whereas before they were as brooks, they became as seas, through Thy bestowal and Thy mercy. They became, through Thy most great favor, stars shining on the horizon of guidance, birds singing in the rose-gardens of immortality, lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom, and whales swimming in the oceans of life.
"Verily, Thou art the Clement, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Most Merciful of the merciful.
The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, delineated the responsibilities of the Hands of the Cause of God:
"One of the paramount duties of the Hands and their Auxiliary Boards is to impress upon the pioneers the sacred nature of their undertaking, and to urge them to remain at their posts in spite of every difficulty and hardship, and to preserve at any cost the prizes so laboriously won. The same applies to those who have arisen to strengthen weak centers or to establish new ones... the early Bahá'ís gave their lives, often their children's as well as their own, to establish our Faith."
The Hands, faithful to their God-given trust, have, one and all, carried out this duty in word and deed. Here are a few quotations from their words of inspiration and encouragement:
From the Hands of the Cause of God
214. "Aside from this there are two points to always be borne in mind; first, everyone who pioneers, or arises anywhere to teach the Cause of God, should do it for the sake of God, offering this service to God alone and expecting rewards from Him and no one else; if he has any other expectations he will invariably be hurt and disappointed. Second, he should teach people that now they have
accepted the Message of Bahá'u'lláh their relationship is a direct one to Him; He has become their Bahá'u'lláh, their own Messenger from God, and their connection with Him is not through the pioneer, or some foreign teaching committee in another place; they are on their own, though the pioneer will always be there to love, to help and to advise as needed, the relationship they have now established with the Cause of God is an independent one. It is really all remarkably like a family the child grows up, begins to assert lots freedom and the loving parents see it getting hurt and making mistakes which, if only it would listen, would not happen! But the child will not always listen and the parents cannot live its life for it. The Bahá'í pioneer who is a spiritual parent must just resign himself to the same thing.'
215. "I am trying to say that I believe at least 80 per cent of everything that seems wrong in the beginning will sort itself out within say a year, if the pioneer will be patient, loving, understanding and will persevere. How often has each one of us regretted a hasty or thoughtless action when later more facts came to light or we got to know the other person and their problems and felt sympathy for them instead of condemnation? The people of the world today, whether Bahá'ís or non-Bahá'ís — no matter how desperately they need everything in the Bahá'í administration — are not going to benefit by being banged on the head by rules and regulations; they need love and encouragement. They need the spirit 'Abdu'l-Bahá showered upon all men, the reason He is our Exemplar. A good question for every one of us to ask our own selves is Would the Master behave like this?"'
216 "There are two other factors in where to pioneer
which I think should never be ignored and these are whether a person has a particular asset, or a predilection that would either contribute greatly to his services in a place or, on the contrary, mitigate against his success as a pioneer there. For instance the need for French-speaking pioneers and traveling teachers is very great; we have far fewer French-speaking people available than English speaking ones; therefore, if there are no other overriding considerations it seems logical to send French speakers to those places where it is spoken in preference to one where English prevails; how much more should this be a consideration if a person knows a relatively restricted but important language, such as Quechua, spoken widely in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and neighboring countries; or Chinese, which, though very wide-spread through the world, is a language which almost nobody willing to pioneer can speak. That is the special asset factor; the predilection, I believe, should not be ignored, any more than the asset. Some people are eager to serve the Cause of God and ready to go wherever they are needed; other people have a strong urge either towards or away from a race or a continent or a country; I think this must be taken into consideration by the individual himself and by those responsible for sending him out because the love for, the yearning of the heart of a person towards say, the Pacific islanders as opposed to the Africans, or vice versa, can mean the difference between the pioneer's remaining there and being a great success or never quite feeling in tune. I am referring to really deep feelings of attraction, or of antipathy, and not to caprice, which may sweep over a pioneer and make him or her feel the other end of the world would have been better, so let's now go there!"
217. "So in the end, as I travel the long dirt road, I see again that given their (the natives) circumstances I would live as they do. Then, believing that many economic advancements
and social changes are the will of God for this Day, I realize, once more, that it is because of this belief that Bahá'u'lláh's teachings offer the sole remedy to the problems facing the world. I am traveling on this dusty road, in the suffocating heat, to assist in creating the Kingdom of God on earth by the only way it can be done — through mankind's acceptance in their entirety of the teachings of God for this Day, not a piecemeal remedy through this or that nation's plans and schemes, which so often conflict with those of other nations, but a universal remedy for all men."
218. "If, I, at the age of 64 can undertake such a trip then surely the younger generation of believers can do as much."
219. "Then came the day ... we decided it would be better, because of conditions in Europe and Germany, that Adelbert could do more in Europe as a Hand than he could do in the Holy Land... I remember meeting him in Germany and he told me he had an aneurysm over his heart and he said it could burst any second. And that was the condition of his health from that time (1937) until just the other day when he passed away.
"The services that man rendered. I went to Athens last year, particularly to see him. I think he was going on 90... as frail as a feather, and as clear as a bell ... I was astonished at the clarity of his mind, it touched me so much because all he said was, 'I have failed. I have come here, to Greece to teach the Bahá'ís and deepen the Bahá'ís...and I feel I that I am failing them. I am not able to do what I want to do. I am not able to deepen the community of Greece in the Faith.'...I pointed out to him what everybody but
Adelbert would have seen quite clearly, which was the fact that at his age and in his state of health, Adelbert had gone to Athens. That he had gone at his age to pioneer and serve the Cause in another country. I said, 'Adelbert, your presence here, the fact that you are here, that you are alive, here, in this condition, so full of love for the Cause, for the Guardian, for the Greek Bahá'ís and that you have set this shining example, this is more than any words you can say.'..then, of course, he crowned this whole affair by dying there. I think that we don't understand the importance of not only of pioneering, but of persevering. One of Shoghi Effendi's last messages to the Bahá'í World was that he hoped that the pioneers would remain at their posts, and as we Hands travel around to different countries we run across pioneers who are still at their posts. Well, to me they are just towering giants....
"The thing that is so important is that Musa Banani died in Africa. He went back to his pioneer post and laid his bones down. This is the thing that is so wonderful. When he was so ill in Tehran, his wife and children remember, he wept and he said, 'Get me back to Africa, quickly. I don't want to die in Teheran. I want to go back and die at my pioneer post. I want to go back where the Guardian sent me, I want to go back to Africa. And, of course, he did die there. His grave is a place of tremendous importance to the African believers and now, next to that grave, has been added the only African Hand of the Cause, Enoch Olinga. It's these kinds of services, this quality of service that is so wonderful....
"I had never had any chance to talk to Rahmat. I called him and I said, 'Do come, please, and sit beside me. Tell me something about...'. So he told me about the people. He was the government doctor there and he used to walk through the jungle, very deep jungle, and visit his patients in villages all over this rocky island. He said that the people were naked and they were very heavily tattooed. It was an art in that part of the world. I said, 'Well, what did you do? Did you tell them to put on clothes?' He said, 'No, why should I? I didn't go there to tell them to put on clothes.
I went there to tell them about Bahá'u'lláh.' Well, that, of course, completely won over my heart. From that day my love for Muhajir was absolutely unextinguishable .... Muhajir went on and on and on serving...until he just literally dropped dead...."
220. "Pioneering is the greatest bounty that can come to one — one steps into a new arena of service... — one stands on the threshold of this arena and knows that there is only one weapon that will permit victory. There is only one weapon that we have that will absolutely guarantee victory, and that weapon is complete reliance on Bahá'u'lláh. One prays every step of the way. One feels within one's self a new connection with God, a sense of nearness is born because one soon becomes aware of answers — the path being marked for one; the needs of self that seemed so important at home, that took up so much time and energy fall away or find a new level. One knows, eventually, that one is never alone, one feels a new dimension, one walks the mystical way with practical feet. There are tests — one cannot step into the arena and have focused on one the spiritual spotlight of service without exposing weakness. This, too, is part of the bounty. One begins to know himself. So I would say to anyone — grab the chance before it's too late. Embrace this bounty. Have no fear. Step into the arena. Above all things, pray that one will succeed, will not falter halfway across the arena. What a great bounty to have been born now, in the early days, when pioneering is possible... when you offer to pioneer you don't need to know where you're going, you don't need to care where you're going. Because you're going out you will be guided by Bahá'u'lláh. We are blessed that God will assist all those who will arise to serve Him. We know that we are accompanied by a band of chosen angels who
will open the doors and prepare the way for us...."
221. "..the only hope, the only light in the world is the light of Bahá'u'lláh...the pioneers have been telling us for years that masses are waiting to receive the news of the love of God and the coming of Bahá'u'lláh. We have it, and the only way that they're going to get it is for us to go and give it to them ...."
222. "Every teaching victory in the Faith can be traced back in the beginning, to a pioneer...and, it was Bahá'u'lláh, remember, who raised the call to pioneering, not the National Spiritual Assembly, or the Hands of the Faith, or our Supreme Universal House of Justice, or the beloved Guardian, or even the Master, but Bahá'u'lláh. That's whose call we answer when we arise to pioneer...nothing can enrich a human life and give it meaning and satisfaction as the act of arising to pioneer ...It is a blessing, a bounty, given to those of us, in this day, through the mercy and kindness of Bahá'u'lláh...."
223. FAREWELL pussy-footers!
224. "..by pioneering we can accomplish something that will last for all eternity."
225. "Pioneering is the equivalent of martyrdom and suffering. They will reap the same fruits as the early believers for their sacrifices."
226. "The Guardian was depressed and grieved when he learned of some difficulty that had befallen a pioneer. I am telling you this so that you will know that the Guardian's heart is with you every moment, every second, and that he is coming to your aid and assistance."
227. "..but all the bitterness of life in His path will be changed into sweet memories which we will proudly recount to the future generations."
228. "Our thanks and gratitude to the pioneers, the national assemblies, and the friends who made all these victories possible. I am sure that the pioneers who stand at their posts know the greatness of today...let us not leave all these opportunities which Bahá'u'lláh has left for us. Let us value and know the greatness of our teaching....
"About a year ago I started a world tour. Before going I was very much afraid of taking this responsibility, but one of the friends said, 'Go to Latin America and just
love them'...there was one question which was repeatedly asked me. I want to repeat it here and the answer that I gave. In many places the friends — having heard of the news of India, of Africa, of Indonesia, of all parts of the world — were really getting discouraged and saying, 'What is wrong with us? We have been living here five years and there are only ten Bahá'ís. Is our method wrong? Aren't we as spiritual as those people of India? Is there anything wrong with us?'
"I want to assure everybody that there is nothing wrong with the pioneers, nothing wrong with the method of their teaching, but there is this little misunderstanding. They think that India got all these results only this year — or Africa, or Indonesia. No, beloved friends, this is the work of at least ninety years of struggle. Bahá'u'lláh Himself sent Jamal Effendi, who went to all the provinces of India and spoke about the Cause, and returned to Bahá'u'lláh apparently empty-handed. Bahá'u'lláh told him to go back, sow the seed — 'This is your function'. The next time Jamal Effendi went to India he went to all the provinces, went to Burma, to Singapore, to Java, to the Philippines, and to some of the islands of the Pacific; and this teacher of the Cause, the most capable, died without having seen a single result of his activity.
"Now, after Jamal Effendi died, the beloved Master sent many teachers to India, the beloved Guardian sent many teachers to India. The results of the suffering of all these people did not appear all of a sudden. It was a gradual movement in the soil of the hearts of the people. But please listen to the words of the Master when there were only about fifteen or twenty believers in the whole of India, and very weak believers. He wrote to them 'Mass conversion will definitely take place in India; from one end of the country to the other, it will become the meeting place of this divine pearl. The Indian friends will arise to serve in such a way that they will be an example of service to all neighboring countries. India will arise in such a way that the Indian friends will make Thailand a paradise and will revive Japan.'
"These are the things that kept the believers going on with their work. And then, after eighty or ninety years, all of a sudden all the seeds started to sprout. The same thing is true of Africa. The African work is not the result of this year's work or last year's work. Again, Bahá'u'lláh Himself sent His first teacher, Haju, to Africa....
"The results of the sacrifices of all these people are manifested now. Therefore, those who have been for five or ten years in some place should never complain. These results are of eighty years' work — yes, ninety years, and suffering. Work day and night in such time and the harvest will be ready. Bahá'u'lláh has definitely said clearly to the friends: 'Your function is to sow the seeds. God will either let them grow or will bury them.'
"It is yours to stand at your post and sow the seed. The greatest requirement for this progress is patience. Patience is the thing which is described in the Qur'an as having rewards unlimited...please have patience, God will work through you, even if it is not in your lifetime — the lifetime of generations after you. All services will be rewarded. Be sure! Rest assured and stay in your places of pioneering. Serve and be steadfast in the path of God at the post given you during the time of the beloved Guardian.... If it was easy, anybody could do it. Therefore you who are brave, accept this post; show your bravery to the end of your life. Let us not think of our unworthiness in the path of service, beloved friends."
229. "All Bahá'ís desire to see the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh cover the planet, but expansion does not come by itself. We have to act; we have to get up; we have to go. Since the beginning of the Plans, the Guardian has always asked us to get up and go....I believe..the pioneers have a very special place, a very, very appreciated rank, because it is them that carry the divine torch for the plans. The expansion does not come with people who are settled in one
place. It is for this reason that Bahá'ís are asked to go all over the world. The whole world needs the Bahá'í Faith. Have you counted how many people there are on the earth at present? — 4 billion. Have you deducted the number of Bahá'ís? So how many people have not yet heard of the message of Bahá'u'lláh?..To go pioneering we need two things. First, is our resolution to get up and go as pioneers and this comes from our love towards the Cause...and the other element is invisible, it is the confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh."
230. "...whatever has been done through the work of the pioneers — opening the localities, making local assemblies, bringing up the conventions, making National Spiritual Assemblies, putting down the foundations — was only for one great goal and that was the spiritual conquest of the heart of man, and that still remains. We have not yet gone to the end of the journey. We must continue...
"They asked the Guardian, 'Which is (most) important?' And the beloved Guardian said, 'First, pioneering in virgin areas. Second, pioneering in consolidation areas. Third, pioneering in home front areas, and fourth, teach wherever you reside.' So the aim of our life is pioneering and teaching, but if you want to know which one is first, and which one you should forget, and leave the important for the most important, it is just pioneering as far as possible. The farther, the better. The sooner, the better...this is really the time of harvest of the souls of the people. Because through all the efforts — we can call it a hundred years of efforts; through The Dawnbreakers, through the martyrs, through the pioneers and administrators — now the world is ready to come to the Faith. The people are ready and receptive, and it all depends on the Bahá'ís and pioneers who have to go and harvest the Faith.
"We must know this one very essential point, the beloved Guardian says every pioneer who is going out of
his community for pioneering is not only inspiring and useful to his future post but is also going to be a source of help and inspiration in his own community. The bounty of God will come to every community that is sending a pioneer.
"I think that pioneering, by itself, is deepening you.... Nothing will happen if you are static and remaining behind, so do it (deepening and pioneering) together. There is a story of two girls who are going to school and one said to the other, 'We are late, let us sit and pray not to be late.' and the other said, 'Let us run and say the prayer when we are running.....
"On the question of education, we are always thinking — 'education is only in this country or that country'. There are thousands of 'best' universities around the world... Japan ... Latin America ... Argentina ... Mexico ... Italy
... The youth must go and study in other areas...and these students...must study the books — what are the possibilities in other countries to study?...This student movement must be encouraged...we want the youth to get up and go. Get up and go bravely. Go to the universities, go to the villages, go to the great teaching areas and do something great and greater. For every movement of a single, young pioneer, oceans of events will happen.
"If you are planning everything in your life, why do you not plan pioneering?..we must plan, as soon as possible, everybody, as soon as possible. Even, we must prepare the children...the parents must open a pioneering account for their children...be sure that they have to go pioneering, they must study somewhere else. You know it is impossible someone dies where he was born. That is finished! The idea is gone forever. You must move, but move in the way God wants, in the positive direction, in the right direction..the post of pioneering must be for everybody, and it is possible. The work is so great, the need is so great that every single person in ANY position can go pioneering and must go pioneering...
"Movement has been a part of every religion. For example, the Muslims are supposed to go to Mecca....
In Buddhism, in Hinduism, in Judaism they also have movement. Now, in the Bahá'í Faith is added (to movement) teaching. Bahá'u'lláh Himself gave us an example. When He was going to move from 'Iraq He declared His Faith. The greatest moment of His Life was when He was moving — He proclaimed His Faith to the world. How great! And 'Abdu'l-Bahá was an example. He had so much to do in the Holy Land...he left everything behind and went teaching. So this teaching movement..is something eternal. You must go and go and go...be assured that Bahá'u'lláh is with you and will take your hand and you will reach the goal and you will do a greater service for the Faith. Now the world is waiting for us....Allah-u-Abha."
231. "Learning the language of the country as rapidly as possible cannot be over-emphasized, both for your own happiness as well as for your maximum service to the Faith. For without the language you simply will not be able to communicate with or teach the majority of the people, to serve on Assemblies and committees, or even to enjoy many of the pleasures of daily living."
232. "You may be sure that we are very conscious of your heavy financial obligations and the truly sacrificial efforts of the Canadian Community in this regard but we also want you to be conscious of how very precious the Canadian pioneers are in Africa, as they have shown themselves to have a spiritual and physical stamina and perseverance which causes them to be a very necessary element in the pioneer field in this Continent."
233. "Over the past several meetings, the National Assembly has been moved increasingly by the desire to write again individually to each one of Canada's pioneers, and share its thinking with you on some of the issues that emerge as we work on the Five Year Plan. It is apparent that each Plan represents not merely a set of new tasks, but a challenge to the Community to understand the implications of this new stage, but particularly so far the Institutions of the Cause and those who are serving as the Community's advance guard in the vital pioneer goals. So it is that we now want to share with you some of the thinking which has come increasingly to the forefront of our minds this year.
"With each new Plan the role of the individual believer becomes more and more entwined with the functioning of Assemblies and the evolution of Bahá'í community life. In this Five Year Plan the role of the individual is as central as it ever was, yet it clearly now has facets that were never so explicitly stated, facets that carry very challenging implications.
"This is true in a very special way of pioneers. Whenever our pioneering efforts, or those of others before us, bear the fruit of a new declaration, it is always a source of great joy to us. It is a part of that process described by the Universal House of Justice in its Ridvan 1965 Message:
'The majestic process launched by our beloved Guardian in 1953 ... is gathering momentum, and posterity may well gaze with awe upon the development, by so small a fraction of the human race and in a
world entangled in opposition, enmity and disruption, of the very pattern and sinews of world order. This divinely propelled and long-promised development must continue its historic course until its final consummation in the glories and splendors of the world order of Bahá'u'lláh, the Kingdom of God on Earth.'
"Implicit in what the Master and the Guardian have said about this life process of the Cause is a rhythm of life best summed up in the Guardian's introduction to God Passes By:
'Indeed, the history of the first hundred years of (the Faith's) evolution resolves itself into a series of internal and external crises, of varying severity, devastating in their immediate effects, but each mysteriously releasing a corresponding measure of divine power, lending thereby a fresh impulse to its unfoldment, this further unfoldment engendering in its turn a still greater calamity, followed by a still more liberal effusion of celestial grace enabling its upholders to accelerate still further its march and win in its service still more compelling victories.'
"Our happiness as believers depends to a very large extent on our understanding of this life process and our capacity to regulate our own life to its rhythm
'We ... must, by constant study of the life-giving Word, and by dedicated service, deepen in spiritual understanding and show to the world a mature, responsible, fundamentally assured and happy way of life, far removed from the passions, prejudices, and distractions of present-day society.'
"The importance of understanding is referred to several times by the House of Justice. The fact that the House has linked it (as in the above quote) to our ability to demonstrate "a fundamentally assured and happy way of life" explains why such emphasis is given to understanding.
Now, more than ever before, real understanding is supremely important because, in the Five Year Plan, "Development of the distinctive character of the Bahá'í life" moves out of the general background of Bahá'í concern into the forefront of our consciousness as the third of the three major objectives of the Plan.
"To be required to be happy and assured, while busily serving the Cause, can raise in us more than a little anxiety. The Faith brings each one of us crises as well as victories.
Our own lives and even the lives of the central Figures of the Faith have been fraught with agony as well as blessing, with failure and frustration and grief, as frequently as with progress. This is the nature of life.
"In the Epilogue to The Dawnbreakers, The Guardian gives us a brief but heartrending account of the succession of defeats which greeted the plans and hopes of the beloved Bab. Again, in God Passes By, he tells us of the anxieties of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, called upon to undertake a succession of colossal tasks throughout the entire period of His Ministry. Most recently, The Priceless Pearl has drawn aside the curtain on the life of the Guardian, and revealed to us the anxieties and agonies of the solitary and heroic figure who charted our course in service to the Cause for centuries to come.
"Yet who can doubt that all the central Figures demonstrated to the whole of mankind an assured and happy way of life? Here is where their example seems particularly precious. To rise above the disappointments, obstacles, and pain which we experience in serving the Cause is difficult enough, but to be called on, in doing so, to be happy and confident is perhaps the keenest spiritual test any of us can meet. The lives of the Founders of our Faith clearly show that to be fundamentally assured does not mean that we live without anxieties, nor does being happy mean that there are not periods of deep grief when, like the Guardian, we wrap ourselves in a blanket, pray and supplicate, and give ourselves time for healing in preparation for the next great effort.
"Some of the keenest pain and grief we experience arises out of our relationship with the Bahá'í community itself. This is true in a very special way for pioneers. In large measure, the community in which the pioneer lives represents the fruit of his own efforts and those of his fellow pioneers. In all cases it represents a very high degree of personal investment. And yet, how often does a pioneer find this cherished object of his service, his love and his sacrifice, in a condition quite different from his own conception of a Bahá'í community. The House of Justice has said of this particular spiritual test
'Visiting pioneers or teachers may find, in some places, newly-enrolled believers not so enthusiastic about their religion as expected, or not adjusting to standards of Bahá'í life, or they may find them thinking of material benefits they may hope to derive from their new membership. We should always remember that the process of nursing the believer into full spiritual maturity is slow, and needs loving education and patience.'
"Like any other believer, a pioneer comes to such encounters acutely aware of Bahá'u'lláh's statements regarding the very purpose of His Revelation. 'Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God's universal Manifestation would be apparent.'
"What do we do at those times when it seems to us that everywhere we look this is not happening?
"It may help us if we study and meditate upon that
period in the life of Bahá'u'lláh when it seemed as if the entire Babi community was in a state of utter disintegration, when Bahá'u'lláh Himself retreated into the mountains, "contemplating no return." It may help to remember that, in His exile in the mountains, he continued to teach the Cause, while at the same time pouring out the Writings and Prayers which told of the agony He felt. In the Kitab-i-Iqan (pp. 250-251) He explains why, nevertheless, His exile was an intensely happy period of His life:
'By Him Who hath My being between His hands! Notwithstanding these showers of afflictions and unceasing calamities, Our soul was wrapped in blissful joy, and Our whole being evinced an ineffable gladness. For in Our solitude We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment of any soul. Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein.'
"It was from this exile, and out of this period of profound meditation, that Bahá'u'lláh returned to Baghdad, and through the power of God was able, in seven years, to transform that degenerate community into a band of souls who won the love and respect of the entire city. But the work was the work of God. Basic to all that we believe and do is the profound truth that ultimately the Cause of God is in the hands of God alone. Ultimately, it is not even in the hands of Bahá'u'lláh. As He Himself tells us:
'Think ye O people, that I hold within My grasp the control of God's ultimate Will and Purpose? Far be it from me to advance such a claim. To this I testify before God, the Almighty, the Exalted, the All Knowing, the All-Wise. Had the ultimate destiny for God's Faith been in Mine Hands, I would have never consented, even though for one moment, to manifest Myself unto you nor would I have allowed one word to fall from My lips. Of this God Himself is, verily, a witness."
"Speaking in the same vein though on a different subject, the Universal House of Justice has emphasized the importance of our avoiding any tendency to take responsibility for the Cause into our own hands:
'Service to the Cause of God requires absolute fidelity and integrity and unwavering faith in Him. No good but only evil can come from taking the responsibility for the future of God's Cause into our own hands and trying to force it into ways that we wish it to go regardless of the clear texts and our own limitations. It is His Cause. He has promised that its light will not fail. Our part is to cling tenaciously to the revealed word and to the institutions that He has created to preserve His Covenant.'
"When others fall short of the standards of a Bahá'í way of life, we can demonstrate the Bahá'í pattern of life and love and encourage them to do the same, while taking refuge in the knowledge that this process takes time. Though these shortcomings may slow the progress of the Faith they will not ultimately defeat it. But when we find ourselves falling short we must add to this response the high resolve to "gain victory over (our) own selves" as speedily as possible, as a mercy to ourselves and to our fellow men, so that others may be attracted to the Faith without hindrance.
'The difference between spiritual philosophers and others is shown by their lives. The spiritual teacher shows his belief in his own teaching by himself being what he recommends to others... the life and morals of a spiritual man are, in themselves, an education to those who know him.'
"We are asked to demonstrate a way of life; not to produce that way of life in our community. To teach, to demonstrate, to urge, to love, to encourage; — but not to
force, be responsible for, nor be defeated by the present condition of our community. It is difficult — it is very difficult. But it is the stuff of which reliance on God is made. 'Be not grieved if thou performest it alone.'
"We are not then called upon to be so successful and so happy that we never suffer. Our willingness to suffer is part of our demonstration of love for all mankind. Along with it, however, we must also be able to develop the spiritual muse not to dwell on our suffering but to turn our attention away to the great and many sources of our joy. For it is in God that we place our confidence, it is the life processes which the Faith has set in motion which we trust, knowing that it takes time and includes many setbacks.
'Relying upon God alone we can promote His Cause and establish His Kingdom on earth. Only thus can we prove our love for Those Who brought this new Day into being. Only thus can we prove the truth of Their Divine Mission and demonstrate how valid was Their sacrifice.'
"Your work is the source of the greatest pride to us all. Although most of you are geographically far away, in spirit there is no group of Canadian believers to whom the National Spiritual Assembly feels closer. It was under the influence of this spirit that we were moved to write to you and share our thinking on a development in the Cause which has the greatest significance for all Bahá'ís, but which is of crucial importance in the lives and service of pioneers."
234. "MOURN LOSS IMMORTAL HEROINE MARION JACK GREATLY LOVED AND DEEPLY ADMIRED BY 'ABDU'L-BAHA SHINING EXAMPLE PIONEERS PRESENT FUTURE GENERATIONS EAST AND WEST SURPASSED CONSTANCY DEDICATION SELF ABNEGATIONS FEARLESSNESS BY NONE EXCEPT INCOMPARABLE MARTHA ROOT. HER UNREMITTING HIGHLY MERITORIOUS ACTIVITIES COURSE ALMOST HALF CENTURY BOTH NORTH AMERICA SOUTHEAST EUROPE ATTAINING CLIMAX DARKEST MOST DANGEROUS PHASE SECOND WORLD WAR SHED IMPERISHABLE LUSTRE CONTEMPORARY BAHA'I HISTORY. TRIUMPHANT SOUL NOW GATHERED DISTINGUISHED BAND COWORKERS ABHA KINGDOM MARTHA ROOT LUA GETSINGER MAY MAXWELL HYDE DUNN SUSAN MOODY KEITH RANSOM KEHLER ELLA BAILEY DOROTHY BAKER WHOSE REMAINS LYING SUCH WIDELY SCATTERED AREAS GLOBE AS HONOLULU CAIRO BUENOS AIRES SYDNEY TEHRAN ISFAHAN TRIPOLI DEPTHS MEDITERRANEAN SEA ATTEST MAGNIFICENCE PIONEER SERVICES RENDERED NORTH AMERICAN BAHA'I COMMUNITY APOSTOLIC FORMATIVE AGES BAHA'I DISPENSATION."
235. "...It was a Canadian woman (Marion Jack), one of the noblest in the ranks of Bahá'í pioneers, who alone and single-handed, forsook her home, settled among an alien people, braved with the leonine spirit the risks and dangers of the world conflict that raged around her, and who now, at an advanced age and suffering from infirmities, is still holding the Fort and is setting an example, worthy of emulation by all her fellow pioneers of the East and the West."
Excerpts from Letters from the Guardian to Marion Jack:
236. "Your sojourn in Sofia seems to have been on the whole quite successful and Shoghi Effendi trusts that if you persevere on your work many new souls will be awakened.
You should not, however, measure the value of your teaching services by the number of those who actually embrace the Cause. For conversion is not an easy process. It often takes a long, a very long time. What is essential for you to do is to present the Message in a comprehensive and adequate manner and let time do the rest...."
237. "... your delightful and highly encouraging letter was a ray of light amidst the anxieties and cares of my arduous work. I was cheered, strengthened and relieved. I believe that the translation of the 'Paris Talks' is an excellent idea. Our Beloved, who watches over your devoted labours from on high is highly pleased with your perseverance, your efficiency, your high endeavors. Persevere and never, never feel disheartened. The Almighty is guiding you In your great world for so great and sacred a Cause..."
238. "... your splendid services, rendered with such faith, such humility, such perseverance and devotion, have at last been crowned with success. You have achieved a task that will ever live in, nay adorn and enrich, the annals of God's immortal Faith. What is now necessary is to consolidate the work already achieved. I have already cabled you urging a prolongation of your stay which I consider as vital and essential...."
239 "...I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the efforts you have exerted in the course of your splendid and historic visit to Adrianople 'The Land of Mystery'. Despite the increasing difficulties which beset you, notwithstanding ill-health and cares and anxieties which such pioneer work in strange surroundings entails you have nobly persevered, loyally labored, and splendidly achieved a work of which future generations will be justly proud...."
240. "... Your patient and strenuous labours in the service of so great a Cause and in circumstances that are truly most difficult and trying have endeared you to us all and deserve to rank as high as the great achievements that have signalized the establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. You should be intensely happy, and profoundly grateful for having rendered such distinguished and never-to-be-forgotten services to the Sacred Threshold...."
241. "...Shoghi Effendi trusts that through your efforts the meetings are being regularly held, and that the number of the attendants is on the increase. He too hopes that you
have been able to renew the assembly elections this year. It is indeed so essential that the friends should enforce, as much as their means and the conditions around them permit, these basic principles and methods of the Administration, so that they may acquire the necessary experience for the conduct of Bahá'í affairs in their community, and thus cease to be in need of any further help from outside...."
Excerpts from letters written by Marion Jack to friends:
242. "...it is wonderful how a stranger who does not consider herself either a teacher or a speaker, could meet and give the message to well over a hundred."
243. "Did I tell you that all my things I had in P. were stolen from the train? It seems wonderful what one can do without..."
244. "..however, I should worry, for though I had to live on spinach and potatoes half the week, there is chicken on tap the other days, although very dear. Milk is very, very scarce and butter horribly dear, real tea and coffee non-existent...."
245. "... Your dear mother's coat sent in October is not yet seen or heard of. My old rabbit skin has sadly lost its feathers and really looks forlorn in big spots. Nevertheless it keeps one warm and that is the chief thing. I could not get it restored in summer for lack of funds, and my cloth
coat is that of a real hobo — mended until it fairly groans in self-defense. The two pockets are sending up their dying gasps. As I usually carry two bags, I hustle and cover the worst spots on the pelt if anyone is coming who seems to matter...."
246. "..what I am missing at home! The babyhood of your darlings — the pleasure of knowing dear ...! Thank God I am able to help some people spiritually — and of late a few dear youths. This is my compensation, and if I can only help people to renew their faith in God I shall be more than grateful. Indifference to our Creator is the world's great crime, and there is no worse, for this life is but a preparatory school whereas the great beyond is eternal — so my responsibility is great as a pioneer...."
247. "I had a letter this week from Haifa, and as I am told to persevere and keep on working I can turn a deaf ear to certain friends who think I should go back where I came from, just because I have turned 80. I tell them that I never suffer in anticipation of what may come. It is the most foolish of all worries — nor do I feel in any way sure that I may not reach 85 or even more. As I feel sure that the Guardian senses to a great extent the future, because his heart is pure, I know he would not keep on urging me to be useful here if things would go hard with me..."
248. "...I also met a jolly witty man, but too late. Alas he was younger. However, I have done pretty well alone for I had my paintings, and adopted humanity
instead of a family, so all is well."
249. "..the Minister's wife could not realize my desire to stick to my post or my love for these dear people and my longing to help them, also to long for peace on earth and peace in the heart, and the joy of harmony. She...even offered to have me leave with them. Of course they could not realize our scattered condition, or the fact that so many Bahá'ís had gone away... and somehow one must stand pat and almost begin to rebuild when permission is given to once more hold meetings...."
250. "... If only I knew more Bulgarian or they French, I could have quantities of garden and park friends. Alas, at my advanced age there is no chance of augmenting any language activities... and yet, we get on nicely with a little this and a little that and the other thing...."
251. "..Dover twenty years — and I came not expecting to stay but a few months with only suitcases as baggage ..."
Marion Jack left this world in March, 1954. The Guardian's Secretary later wrote to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada on behalf of the Guardian:
"He hopes that it has been possible to make the arrangements to have Miss Jack's grave built. This is a task which is indeed a precious trust for your Assembly. When the friends realize that her grave will become in the future a place of visitation, they will
appreciate the bounty bestowed upon the Canadian Community through being able to claim one of the most distinguished of all pioneers as a member of their community."
IMMORTAL HEROINE...GREATLY LOVED AND DEEPLY ADMIRED BY ABDU'L-BAHA. A SHINING EXAMPLE TO PIONEERS ... HER UNREMITTING, HIGHLY MERITORIOUS ACTIVITIES SHED IMPERISHABLE SPLENDOUR ON CONTEMPORARY BAHA'I HISTORY