My heart is thrilled with delight as I witness, in so many fields, and in such distant outposts, and despite such formidable difficulties, restrictions, obstacles and dangers, so many evidences of the solidarity, the valor, and the achievements of the American Bahá'í community. As the end of the First Century of the Bahá'í Era approaches, as the shadows descending upon and enveloping mankind steadily and remorselessly deepen, this community, which can almost be regarded as the solitary champion of the Faith in the Western World, is increasingly evincing and demonstrating its capacity, its worth, and ability as the torchbearer of the New, the World Civilization which is destined to supplant in the fulness of time the present one. And more particularly in the virgin and far-flung territories of Latin America, it has in recent months, abundantly given visible evidence of its merits and competence to shoulder the immense responsibilities which the carrying of the sacred Fire to all the Republics of the Western Hemisphere must necessarily entail.
Through these initial steps, which, in pursuance of the Plan conceived by `Abdu'l-Bahá, this community has taken, through the settlement in each of these sovereign states of the New World of American Bahá'í pioneers, through the formation of Bahá'í groups and the establishment of two Assemblies in Buenos Aires and Bahia, the American National Assembly, as well as its Inter-America Committee, and all subsidiary agencies, no less than the individual members of the North American Bahá'í community who have sacrificed and are still sacrificing so much in their support of this Divine and momentous Plan, have earned the unqualified admiration and the undying gratitude of sister Assemblies and fellow-workers throughout the Bahá'í World.
Their work, however, is only beginning. The dispatch of pioneers, the
provision of adequate means for their support, their settlement and initiation
of Bahá'í activities in these far-off lands, however strenuous and
meritorious, are insufficient if the Plan is to evolve harmoniously and yield
promptly its destined fruit. The extension by the Parent Assembly--the
immediate source from which this vast system with all its ramifications is now
proceeding--of the necessary support, guidance, recognition and material
assistance to enable these newly-fledged groups and Assemblies to function in
strict accordance with both the spiritual and administrative principles of the
Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, would seem as essential and urgent as the preliminary
task already achieved. To nurse these tender plants of the Vineyard of God,
to foster their growth, to direct their development, to accord them the
necessary recognition, to help resolve their problems, to familiarize them
with gentleness, patience and fidelity with the processes of the Administrative
Order and thus enable them to assume independently the conduct of
future local and national Bahá'í activities, would bring the plan to swift and
full fruition and would add fresh laurels to the crown of immortal glory
already won by a community that holds in these days of dark and dire
calamities, valiantly and almost alone, the Fort of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.
Fortified by these reflections, let them gird up their loins for still mightier
exertions and more brilliant victories.
December 3, 1940