1912 - Abdul-Baha in America
Early in the morning, as the Master was having tea, preparations were underway to continue our journey. We received copies of some of the newspapers carrying accounts of `Abdu'l-Bahá's visit and His explanations of the most intricate problems of life and the influence that the Cause had had in that city. Every day the call of the Cause of God was awakening the inhabitants of Cleveland and Pittsburgh who had been asleep on the bed of negligence and this was increasingly reported.
The Master spoke today about the meaning of the prophecies and signs of the Day of the Manifestation of God:
Through their ignorance of these meanings people have always remained veiled from the manifestations of the bounties of Him Who is the Causer of Causes. Although in the divine scriptures mention is made of a heaven and an earth other than the physical heaven and earth, yet they have interpreted these signs literally and have deprived themselves of spiritual worlds and divine knowledge. (Mahmud's Diary)
1979 - Living a Chaste and Holy Life
On page 25 of The Advent of Divine Justice the beloved Guardian is describing the requirements not only of chastity, but of "a chaste and holy life" -- both the adjectives are important. One of the signs of a decadent society, a sign which is very evident in the world today, is an almost frenetic devotion to pleasure and diversion, an insatiable thirst for amusement, a fanatical devotion to games and sport, a reluctance to treat any matter seriously, and a scornful, derisory attitude towards virtue and solid worth. Abandonment of "a frivolous conduct" does not imply that a Bahá'í must be sour-faced or perpetually solemn. Humour, happiness, joy are characteristics of a true Bahá'í life. Frivolity palls and eventually leads to boredom and emptiness, but true happiness and joy and humour that are parts of a balanced life that includes serious thought, compassion and humble servitude to God are characteristics that enrich life and add to its radiance.
[Shoghi Effendi's discussion of "a chaste and holy life" appears on pp. 29-33 in the 1984 or 1990 editions.]
[See p. 30 in the 1984 or 1990 US Bahá'í Publishing Trust editions.] (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 413)
1985 - today's youth must move towards the front ranks of the professions, trades, arts and crafts
Indeed, let them [the Bahá'í youth] welcome with confidence the challenges awaiting them. Imbued with this excellence and a corresponding humility, with tenacity and a loving servitude, today's youth must move towards the front ranks of the professions, trades, arts and crafts which are necessary to the further progress of humankind -- this to ensure that the spirit of the Cause will cast its illumination on all these important areas of human endeavour. Moreover, while aiming at mastering the unifying concepts and swiftly advancing technologies of this era of communications, they can, indeed they must, also guarantee the transmittal to the future of those skills which will preserve the marvelous, indispensable achievements of the past. The transformation which is to occur in the functioning of society will certainly depend to a great extent on the effectiveness of the preparations the youth make for the world they will inherit.
(8 May 1985 from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'í Youth of the World) (Compilations, Scholarship, p. 13)