The new Plan on which the American Bahá'í community has embarked, in the course of the opening years of the second Bahá'í century, is of such vastness and complexity as to require the utmost vigor, vigilance and consecration on the part of both the general body of its prosecutors and those who are called upon, as their National elected representatives, to conduct its operation, define its processes, watch over its execution, and insure its ultimate success. The obstacles confronting both its participants and organizers, particularly in the European field, are formidable, and call for the utmost courage, perseverance, fortitude and self-sacrifice.
The precarious international situation in both Hemispheres, the distress and preoccupation of the masses, in most of the countries to which pioneers will soon be proceeding, with the cares of every day life, the severe restrictions which are still imposed on visitors and travellers in foreign lands, the religious conservatism and spiritual lethargy which characterize the population in most of the lands where the new pioneers are to labor, add to the challenge of the task, and render all the more glorious the labors of the national community that has arisen to achieve what posterity will regard as the greatest collective enterprise, not only in the history of the community itself, but in the annals of the Faith with which it stands identified.
The initial success of the enterprise which has been so auspiciously launched, the enthusiasm which it has already engendered throughout Latin America, the hopes it has aroused amid the suffering and scattered believers in war-torn Europe, the feelings of admiration and envy it has excited throughout several communities in the Bahá'í world in both the East and the West, augur well for the future course of its operation, and foreshadow the splendors of the victories which its consummation must witness. The forces that have been released through the birth of the Plan must be directed into the most effective channels, the spirit that has been kindled must be continually nourished, the facilities at the disposal of its organizers must be fully utilized, each and every barrier that may obstruct its expansion must be determinedly removed, every assistance which Bahá'í communities in various lands may wish, or be able, to offer, should be whole-heartedly welcomed, every measure that will serve to reinforce the bonds uniting the newly-fledged communities in the Latin world, and to stimulate the movement, and raise the spirits, of itinerant teachers and settlers laboring in the continent of Europe, must be speedily undertaken, if the colossal task, which in the course of seven brief years must be carried out, is to be befittingly consummated.
The sterner the task, the graver the responsibilities, the wider the field of exertion, the more persistently must the privileged members of this enviable community strive, and the loftier must be the height to which they should aspire, in the course of their God-given mission, and throughout every stage in the irresistible and divinely guided evolution of their community life.
Setbacks may well surprise them; trials and disappointments may tax their patience and resourcefulness; the forces of darkness, either from within or from without, may seek to dampen their ardor, to disrupt their unity and break their spirit; pitfalls may surround the little band that must act as a vanguard to the host which must, in the years to come, spiritually raise up the sorely ravaged continent of Europe. None of these, however fierce, sinister or unyielding they may appear, must be allowed to deflect the protagonists of a God-impelled Plan, from the course which `Abdu'l-Bahá has chosen for them, and which the agencies of a firmly established, laboriously erected, Administrative Order, are now enabling them to effectively pursue.
That they may press forward with undiminished fervor, with undimmed
vision, with unfaltering steps, with indivisible unity, with unflinching
determination until the shining goal is attained is my constant prayer, my
ardent hope, and the dearest wish of my heart.
July 20, 1946