Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5th in Baha'i History

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in San Francisco

Some clergymen and professors came to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá in the morning in His second-floor room. Some of the Master's words to the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Oakland were these: `If a man is not a clergyman and is unprejudiced, it is not a cause for wonder. But if a man is a clergyman and is not prejudiced, he certainly deserves praise and glory.'

At the public meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the material progress of the world:

These countries have reached the apex of material progress. They are like bodies in the utmost health and form which are, however, devoid of spirit. A spiritless body is a dead one. Indeed, its perfection depends on the acquisition of spiritual capacity and divine civilization.

The Master remarked repeatedly:

The people of America have a great capacity for the acquisition of spiritual qualities but they are immersed in material affairs. They are like machines which move uncontrollably; they move but are devoid of spirit. They will attain perfection when the spirit of divine civilization is breathed into them and this material civilization becomes infused with spiritual refinement.

The Master went to the public park in the afternoon, which He appreciated very much, especially when He went near the lake and saw the remnants of a few marble pillars left over from the destruction caused by the great earthquake of 1906. He remarked, `The world and its condition will change to such a degree and the Bahá'í Cause will prevail to such an extent that nothing but a remnant -- like these pillars -- will remain of the previous order.'
(Mahmud’s Diary)


My heart is overflowing with joyous gratitude at the magnificent advance made in numerous spheres of Bahá'í activity. The formation of an Assembly in the few remaining areas of the North American continent, the consolidation of the foundation of the newly-established Assemblies, and the preservation of the status of the Bahá'í centers in all Republics of Latin America, imperatively demand vigilant care, concentrated attention and further self-sacrifice from the vanguard of the valiant army of Bahá'u'lláh. The beloved Faith is surging forward on all fronts. Its undefeatable, stalwart supporters, both teachers and administrators, are steeling themselves for noble tasks, braving acute dangers, sweeping away formidable obstacles, capturing new heights, founding mighty institutions, winning fresh recruits and confounding the schemes of insidious enemies. The American Bahá'í community must, and will at whatever cost, despite the pressure of events and the desolating war, maintain among its sister communities the exalted standard of stewardship incontestably set during the concluding years of the first Bahá'í Century. The confident spirit, unfaltering resolution animating its members, their tenacious valor, elevated loyalty, nobleness of spirit and mighty prowess, will, ere the expiry of the century, crown with complete victory the monumental enterprises undertaken during the course of the fifty years of its existence.
October 5, 1943 (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 66)


Theirs is the duty, at once urgent, inescapable and sacred, to scatter more widely and as far as the extremities of both the North and South American continents, to cross the ocean in ever-increasing numbers, and reinforce, rapidly and systematically, the outposts of the Faith in Western Europe, lay, on a definite and unassailable basis, the foundations of new and flourishing communities, disseminate, energetically, and on a far more extensive scale, the literature of the Faith in all the languages which the execution of the Plan, at its present stage, demands, collaborate more closely with the two National Assemblies and their subsidiary agencies already functioning in that continent, initiate, wisely and patiently, whatever measures may be required to further the purposes of the Plan, and surmount, at whatever cost, every obstacle they may encounter in their path. (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 106)

1950 – Sin covering eye

The greatest need it seems everywhere inside the Cause is to impress upon the friends the need for love among them. There is a tendency to mix up the functions of the Administration and try to apply it in individual relationships, which is abortive, because the Assembly is a nascent House of Justice and is supposed to administer, according to the Teachings, the affairs of the community. But individuals toward each other are governed by love, unity, forgiveness and a sin-covering eye. Once the friends grasp this they will get along much better, but they keep playing Spiritual Assembly to each other and expect the Assembly to behave like an individual. . .
(From a letter dated 5 October 1950 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, quoted in "Bahá'í News" 241 (March 1951), p. 2) (The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 22)

1953 – Entry by Troops

This is the ebb of the tide. The Bahá'ís know that the tide will turn and come in, after mankind has suffered, with mighty waves of faith and devotion. Then people will enter the Cause of God in troops, and the whole condition will change. The Bahá'ís see this new condition which will take place, as one on a mountaintop sees the first glimpses of the dawn, before others are aware of it; and it is toward this that the Bahá'ís must work.
(5 October 1953, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)(Promoting Entry by Troops, p. 5)

1958: First Bahá’í wedding of Malaya takes place between Tony Fernandez and Betty

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