Messages To America


1944, a year memorable for the sharp contrast between the rising tide of spiritual victories culminating in the Centenary celebrations of a world-embracing Faith and the swiftly ebbing fortunes of a war-ravaged, disillusioned and bankrupt society, is drawing to a close. In every continent of the globe; in the Holy Land, the Heart and Center of our Faith and Pivot of its institutions; in the land of its birth; in the adjoining territory of &Iraq; throughout the Western Hemisphere; in the British Isles, so severely subjected to the violence of a world tempest; throughout the length and breadth of India; in far-off Australasia and in the Nile Valley--all with the sole exception of the distant Republics of the West subjected in varying degrees to the imminent danger of becoming the theatre of war--the communities laboring for the promotion of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh have, throughout five tumultuous years, been providentially spared to hold aloft its banner, to preserve its integrity, to maintain the continuity of its institutions, to enrich its annals, to consolidate its structure, to further disseminate its literature and to befittingly celebrate its Centenary. Preponderant indeed has been the share of that privileged community, which has been invested by the Pen of the Center of the Covenant with a world-wide mission, in the prosecution of a task which, ever since the onset of this world upheaval and despite its mounting horrors, the builders of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh have so unflaggingly pursued. Neither the participation of the Great Republic of the West in this fierce contest, nor the sorrows, burdens and restrictions which such direct association with the agonies of a travailing age has entailed, have thus far been capable of dimming the splendor of the exploits that have immortalized the record of the services of this community since the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Indeed, coincident with the period of America's direct participation in this world struggle and in direct proportion to the turmoil and the tribulations which such a participation has engendered, the members of this community have evinced a heroism and proved themselves capable of a concerted effort that have eclipsed the notable achievements that have heralded the establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith as well as the first stage in the development of the Seven Year Plan.

What the year 1945, on whose threshhold we now stand, has in store for the members of this determined, this valiant, this watchful, this exemplary community only the future can reveal. That the trials and afflictions suffered by their country and its people must wax as this world upheaval moves towards a climax no one can any longer doubt. The challenge that will face this stalwart community will no doubt be severe. To allow the prizes so nobly won, over so vast a field, at so great a cost, at so critical an hour, to fall into jeopardy would be unworthy of a career so auspiciously initiated, so completely dedicated to the Cause of God, so rich in promise and so brilliant in almost every phase of its evolution. Every local Assembly, the ordained pivot of a divinely-ordained System, which has been established in the States and Provinces of the North American continent, as well as in the Republics of Latin America, must, through a supreme effort on the part of pioneers, visiting teachers and Regional Committees, be steadfastly maintained. Simultaneously a no less determined effort should be exerted to enable the admittedly large number of groups scattered throughout the Americas to attain Assembly status. No less urgent is the obligation to proclaim the verities enshrined in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh by every means which individuals, Assemblies and committees can devise, through the press and radio, through an unprecedented dissemination of literature, through its systematic translation into Spanish and Portuguese and above all through active association with leaders of public thought as well as direct contact with the masses of the people. Through such means as these, and through such means only can the members of the American Bahá'í Community, who have so audaciously and successfully launched the first stage of the Divine Plan, be enabled to pave the way and usher in, soon after the cessation of hostilities, the succeeding stage in the evolution of their world mission. My prayers and loving thoughts surround them continually in their devoted labors.
December 24, 1944

Messages To America
pages 76-77

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