Saturday, June 14, 2014

Strive to two doves in the nest

Baha'i Graphic 133
By Jack Bush

Baha'i Scripture

Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 122)

June 15th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

15 June 1912 Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

`Abdu'l-Bahá had been invited to two large churches in Brooklyn and left New York at 10:00 a.m. Some of the Persian and American friends accompanied Him. At 11:00 a.m. the Unitarian Church was graced with His presence. As the carriage approached, we saw outside the church an announcement in large letters saying `The Great Persian Prophet, His Holiness `Abdu'l-Bahá, will speak at 11:00 a.m. in this church on the 15th [sic] of June.' What created in us such a sense of wonder was that the pastor of the church had placed the sign announcing the prophethood of `Abdu'l-Bahá on the door of his church! The moment the Master arrived, the pastor came out, and taking `Abdu'l-Bahá's arm with great reverence, accompanied Him to the pulpit. The Master's address was on the degrees of oneness and unity. At the close of His talk, He chanted, with His hands uplifted and in a melodious tone, a prayer in eloquent Arabic that was translated sentence by sentence. (Mahmud's Diary)

June 14th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

In the afternoon at a public meeting He explained the first verse of the Bible and spoke on the reality of the Manifestations of God and the effulgence of the Sun of Supreme Oneness. In the evening He spoke with majesty and grandeur about the days of the Blessed Beauty:
Although He was a prisoner, He pitched His tent with glory on Mount Carmel. Even outwardly His power and majesty were such that for five years the governor of `Akká wished to attain His presence but was not permitted to do so by Him; indeed, He took no notice of him.  (Mahmud's Diary)

1981 - Execution of  7 Members LSA of Hamadan

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986 p. 497)

June 13th in Baha'i History

1902 -  The Death of Thomas Breakwell

Thomas Breakwell breathed his last at seven p.m., on 13 June 1902, at No. 200, rue Faubourg Saint Denis. He was 30 years of age; he had been a Bahá'í for hardly one year. But from that moment on, he possessed all eternity to live and proclaim his Faith.

The mysterious nature of the unspoken communion between the lover and the Beloved can be seen in the way in which Yunis Khan learned of Thomas's death.

'I was accompanying the Master in the evening from the house where He received His visitors to His home by the seaside. All of a sudden He turned to me and said: 'Have you heard?' 'No, Master,' I replied, and He said: 'Breakwell has passed away. I am grieved, very grieved. I have revealed a prayer of visitation for him. It is very moving, so moving that twice I could not withhold my tears when I was writing it. You must translate it well, so that whoever reads it will weep.' I never knew who had given the Master the news of Breakwell's death. If anyone had written or cabled either in English or French, that communication would have passed through my hands. Two days later the prayer of visitation was given to me. It wrung one's heart, and I could not hold back my tears. I translated it into French, and later, with the help of Lua Getsinger, into English.[18]

(The Life of Thomas Breakwell p.43)

Grieve thou not over the ascension of my beloved Breakwell, for he hath risen unto a rose garden of splendours within the Abha Paradise, sheltered by the mercy of his mighty Lord, and he is crying at the top of his voice: 'O that my people could know how graciously my Lord hath forgiven me, and made me to be of those who have attained His Presence!'[1]
[1 cf. Qur'án 36:25 ]

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where now is thy fair face?
Where is thy fluent tongue?
Where thy clear brow?
Where thy bright comeliness?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where is thy fire, blazing with God's love?
Where is thy rapture at His holy breaths?
Where are thy praises, lifted unto Him?
Where is thy rising up to serve His Cause?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Where are thy beauteous eyes?
Thy smiling lips?
The princely cheek?
The graceful form?

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast quit this earthly world and risen upward
to the Kingdom, thou hast reached unto the grace of the invisible realm,
and offered thyself at
the threshold of its Lord.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast left the lamp
that was thy body here,
the glass that was thy human form,
thy earthy elements,
thy way of life below.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast lit a flame within the lamp of the Company on high,
thou hast set foot in the Abha Paradise,
thou hast found a shelter in the shadow of the Blessed Tree,
thou hast attained His meeting in the haven of Heaven.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou art now a bird of Heaven,
thou hast quit thine earthly nest,
and soared away to a garden of holiness in the kingdom of thy Lord.
Thou hast risen to a station filled with light.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thy song is even as birdsong now,
thou pourest forth verses as to the mercy of thy Lord;
of Him Who forgiveth ever,
thou wert a thankful servant,
wherefore hast thou entered into exceeding bliss.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thy Lord hath verily singled thee out for His love,
and hath led thee into His precincts of holiness,
and made thee to enter the garden of those who are His close companions,
and hath blessed thee with beholding His beauty.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou hast won eternal life,
and the bounty that faileth never,
and a life to please thee well,
and plenteous grace.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
Thou art become a star in the supernal sky,
and a lamp amid the angels of high Heaven;
a living spirit in the most exalted Kingdom,
throned in eternity.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
I ask of God to draw thee ever closer,
hold thee everfaster;
to rejoice thy heart with nearness to His presence,
to fill thee with light and still more light,
to grant thee still more beauty,
and to bestow upon thee power and reat glory.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!
At all times do I call thee to mind.
I shall never forget thee.
I pray for thee by day, by night;
I see thee plain before me,
as if in open day.

O Breakwell, O my dear one!

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 189)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

The Master gave two talks in the afternoon to the gatherings of the friends. The first was about the differences among the Bahá'ís. `Bahá'u'lláh', He said, `declared that should Bahá'ís dispute, even if it be regarding Bahá'u'lláh Himself, both are wrong. He has enjoined all to turn to the House of Justice. But prior to its being established, all matters should be referred to the Center of the Covenant whom all are commanded to obey.'
After a brief rest, the Master went to another meeting where He spoke on the distinguishing characteristics of the world of humanity. His introductory words were as follows:
I was tired and so I slept. While I was sleeping, I was conversing with you as though speaking at the top of my voice. Then through the effect of my own voice I awoke. As I awoke, one word was upon my lips -- the word imtíyáz (`distinction'). So I will speak to you upon that subject.  (Mahmud's Diary)

June 12th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

12 June 1912 Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

After seeing a few seekers and settling the affairs of some friends, He came downstairs and delivered a public address on one of the great teachings of Bahá'u'lláh not found in previous dispensations, which is the prohibition of cursing enemies and to pray for their forgiveness.
At another meeting in the afternoon, one of `Abdu'l-Bahá's discourses was on the importance of spiritual relationship, intellectual affinity and sincere affection. `Although the nations and tribes', He said, `have material bonds between them, yet in the world of the heart and soul they are in conflict. But those souls that have close spiritual ties and affinities of the heart are always ready to sacrifice their lives for one another, though they are not outwardly related.'
He also spoke of the greatness of this dispensation. (Mahmud's Diary)

1913 - Abdul-Baha leaves Paris

On March 30 He traveled to Stuttgart, and from there proceeded, on April 9, to Budapest, visited Vienna nine days later, returned to Stuttgart on April 25, and to Paris on May first, where He remained until June 12, sailing the following day, on the S.S. Himalaya from Marseilles bound for Egypt, arriving in Port Said four days later, where after short visits to Isma'iliyyih and Abuqir, and a prolonged stay in Ramleh, He returned to Haifa, concluding His historic journeys on December 5,

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 281)

June 11th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

11 June 1912 Talk at Open Committee Meeting Home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Kinney 780 West End Avenue, New York

11 June 1912 Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

11 June 1912 Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

Before the meeting ended He was asked how to reconcile two contradictory statements in the writings: that detachment from worldly affairs is enjoined and that it is incumbent upon all to engage in a trade or profession. `Are not these commandments contradictory?' The Master replied:
In the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh it is obligatory for the individual to engage in a trade or profession. For instance, I know mat weaving and you know another trade. The service we perform is equivalent to worship if we perform it with truth and trustworthiness; it is a cause of human advancement. If the heart is not bound and attached to the world, if it is unaffected by the vicissitudes of life, unhampered by worldly wealth from serving humanity and not dejected because of poverty, then this is a human perfection. Otherwise, to profess generosity if one is poor, or justice when one is powerless to extend it, is easy enough, but this will not establish one's spiritual education and awareness.
Another asked that if, after the Master left, some of the believers considered themselves superior to others, how they could be known. The Master replied:
I have already spoken about this matter. You should, according to the saying of Christ, recognize them by their deeds. Those who relate themselves to me will be known by their deeds.   (Mahmud's Diary)

June 10th in Baha'i History

Baha'u'llah's Seating place in the Ridvan Garden in Israel

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

When He returned home, one of the friends questioned Him about the influence of dreams, saying that it has frequently occurred that two people from widely different places would call out to each other, recognizing each other's voices in the state of sleep. The Master responded:
It is obvious that a very deep relationship exists between the spirit of man and the world of existence. It often happens that what we see in a dream comes to pass in wakefulness; indeed, even in wakefulness when the soul is unfettered, matters come to mind which later appear in visible form. This shows that between the reasoning power of man and that visible appearance there is a spiritual connection. Furthermore, the spirit of man has the power of discovering facts. When this power is realized, problems become easily resolved. Amusingly, while materialists are engaged in making discoveries concerning the strata of the earth, they are immersed in the very spiritual power whose potency and influence they deny. They also claim to forecast coming events.   (Mahmud's Diary)

1966 - Bahá'í youth will often ....have a more profound insight into a subject than their instructors

When studying at school or university Bahá'í youth will often find themselves in the unusual and slightly embarrassing position of having a more profound insight into a subject than their instructors. The Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh throw light on so many aspects of human life and knowledge that a Bahá'í must learn, earlier than most, to weigh the information that is given to him rather than to accept it blindly. A Bahá'í has the advantage of the divine Revelation for this Age, which shines like a searchlight on so many problems that baffle modern thinkers; he must therefore develop the ability to learn everything from those around him, showing proper humility before his teachers, but always relating what he hears to the Bahá'í teachings, for they will enable him to sort out the gold from the dross of human error.

(10 June 1966 to Bahá'í Youth in every Land, published in "Wellspring of Guidance: Messages 1963-1968", pp. 95-96) (Compilations, Scholarship, p. 21)

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

9 June 1912 Talk at Unitarian Church Fifteenth Street and Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

9 June 1912 Talk at Baptist Temple Broad and Berks Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today the Master revealed many important Tablets. One of them was to Monsieur Dreyfus:
O thou kind Friend,
I visited Philadelphia, for a few days, at the invitation of two ministers and at the request of the friends of God. Two large congregations gathered in the two churches and I spoke within the measure of my incapacity. But the confirmations of the Abhá Kingdom, as evident as the sun, descended and enfolded us. Although we are powerless, He is Mighty. Although we are poor, He is All-Sufficient. The importance of this blessed verse became truly manifest: `We shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favored angels.'
I hope that both you and the maidservant of Bahá will be able to render important services on this journey and will become the cause of proclaiming the Word of God. Convey my respectful greetings to the maidservant of Bahá. I pray God for confirmations and assistance for her.
May the Glory of the All-Glorious rest upon thee  (Mahmud's Diary)

June 8th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

8 June 1912 Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

There were two large public meetings held in two churches. In the morning, at the Unitarian Church, `Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on the reality of divine existence and the meaning of the words of Christ that `the Father is in the Son'. He gave the glad tidings of the Manifestation of the Greatest Name and explained some of the new teachings, concluding with a prayer chanted in Persian. The audience was so transformed that everyone wanted to be near Him, if only for a moment. But it was impossible for all.
The second meeting was held in the evening at the Baptist Temple. As the distinguished pastor had previously announced the visit of `Abdu'l-Bahá and the address He was to deliver, and had also invited dignitaries and statesmen from Washington DC and vicinity, this meeting was of great significance. The Master delivered a detailed address on the methods of natural philosophy and of divine religion and then explained the teachings of the Supreme Pen. His explanations made a great impression, attracting all to His presence, such that everyone expressed humility and sincerity. They appeared to be very happy and honored to be in His presence. The Master's heart was elated with the meetings in Philadelphia and often made mention of them. (Mahmud's Diary)

1948 - Baha'u'llah's system not thought needed to establish Peace

I might add that he does not believe any radiations of thought or healing, from any group, are going to bring peace. Prayer, no doubt, will help the world, but what it needs is to accept Bahá'u'lláh's system so as to build up the World Order on a new foundation, a divine foundation!

(8 June 1948 to an individual believer) Letter on Behalf of Shoghi Effendi (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 242)

June 7th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

 He spoke on the importance of the steadfastness of the friends and their devotion and sincerity to the Cause and acceptance of afflictions in the path of God. He stated that the purpose of the Supreme Manifestation of Abhá in enduring the severest persecutions and afflictions, and the troubles and martyrdoms suffered by so many innocent souls, was for the purification of the souls, the detachment of the hearts, the happiness of the spirits and the spirituality of the friends.  (Mahmud's Diary)

1939 - Baha'i Principles should be incorporated into College studies

These basic principles are available in the sacred writings of the Cause, and should be carefully studied, and gradually incorporated in various college and university programmes. But the task of formulating a system of education which would be officially recognized by the Cause, and enforced as such throughout the Bahá'í world is one which [the] present-day generation of believers cannot obviously undertake, and which has to be gradually accomplished by Bahá'í scholars and educationalists of the future.

(From a letter dated 7 June, 1939 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 302)

1972 - Announcement of the Decision to Build the Seat of the Universal House of Justice
UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Messages 1963 to 1986, p.220)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June 6th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

`Abdu'l-Bahá gave a brief discourse at the table:
Nothing in the world of existence is greater than such gatherings as these because they have been called solely for the love of God. Observe with what love people from the East are seated at the same table with people from the West. Such love and unity were previously impossible. The power of Bahá'u'lláh has created an affinity in these hearts and has drawn these souls under the canopy of one Word. No family ever gathers with such love and associates with such happiness and joy. It is through the divine power and through the potency of the Word of God that we are assembled here with such gladness and delight. We are turned towards the Abhá Kingdom and like the plants of the flower garden we are swayed by the breezes of His kindness and favor. Today is a day which shall never be forgotten, for we are under the shadow of the Blessed Beauty. Our hearts are joyous with His glad tidings; we breathe the fragrant breezes of the Abhá Kingdom; our ears are delighted with the divine summons, and our spirits are alive through heavenly bounties. Such a day shall never be forgotten. (Mahmud's Diary)
1941 - the responsibility of the Youth
The responsibility of young believers is very great, as they must not only fit themselves to inherit the work of the older Bahá'ís and carry on the affairs of the Cause in general, but the world which lies ahead of them -- as promised by Bahá'u'lláh -- will be a world chastened by its sufferings, ready to listen to His Divine Message at last; and consequently a very high character will be expected of the exponents of such a religion. To deepen their knowledge, to perfect themselves in the Bahá'í standards of virtue and upright conduct, should be the paramount duty of every young Bahá'í.
Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (6 June 1941 to the Bahá'í youth of Bombay, India, published in "Dawn of a New Day" (New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, [1970]), pp. 179-80) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 380)

June 5th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

In the morning, the Master, together with some of His servants, went to Brooklyn to attend a children's event given by the Unity Club. ....Although `Abdu'l-Bahá had not planned to speak, He delivered a discourse on the perfection of creation, its present defects and the need for education capable of producing great results by removing these imperfections. He also spoke on the importance of the education of children. Although there had been many speeches, this address created a great excitement, capturing everyone's attention. When it was time for `Abdu'l-Bahá to leave, He gave permission for Him to be photographed with us. (Mahmud's Diary)

1947 - American Pioneers

They[1] must be neither provocative nor supine, neither fanatical nor excessively liberal, in their exposition of the fundamental and distinguishing features of their Faith. They must be either wary or bold, they must act swiftly or mark time, they must use the direct or indirect method, they must be challenging or conciliatory, in strict accordance with the spiritual receptivity of the soul with whom they come in contact, whether he be a nobleman or a commoner, a northerner or a southerner, a layman or a priest, a capitalist or a socialist, a statesman or a prince, an artisan or a beggar. In their presentation of the Message of the Bahá'u'lláh they must neither hesitate nor falter. They must be neither contemptuous of the poor nor timid before the great. In their exposition of
its verities they must neither over stress nor whittle down the truth which they champion, whether their hearer belong to royalty, or be a prince of the Church, or a politician, or a tradesman, or a man of the street. To all alike, high or low, rich or poor, they must proffer, with open hands, with a
radiant heart, with an eloquent tongue, with infinite patience, with uncompromising loyalty, with great wisdom, with unshakeable courage, the Cup of Salvation, at so critical an hour, to the confused, the hungry, the distraught and fear-stricken multitudes...
[1 American pioneers]

(5 June 1947 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the West, published in "Citadel of Faith: Messages to America 1947-1957" (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1980), pp. 25-26)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 271)

1973 -  Establishment of the International Teaching Centre


(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 246)

June 4th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America
Someone asked whether, with all these worldly occupations and physical labors, it is possible that such a spiritual condition can be realized. `Abdu'l-Bahá replied:
Provided they behave moderately, the more people advance in the material realm, the more their capacity for attaining spirituality is augmented. The sounder the body, the greater is the resplendency and manifestation of the spirit. Truly, what impedes spirituality are the dogmas and imitations that are contrary to true science and a sound mind. (Mahmud's Diary)

1953 - The passing of Haji Muhammad-Tahir 

After the terrible Bahá'í massacre in Yazd which occurred soon after the turn of the century, 'Abdu'l-Bahá appointed Haji Muhammad-Tahir to look after the hapless, terror-stricken remnants of the martyrs' families. For several years he devoted himself to the arduous task of organizing help for the poor, comforting the bereaved, tending the sick, and rearing and educating the children. He derived ample pleasure from giving food, money and clothing to the needy and distressed. Everybody was welcome to his home and his table. The words of praise and admiration which streamed from the Pen of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in appreciation of his beneficent work stand as a glowing testimony to his sense of love and devotion to the downtrodden.

hroughout the rugged years of his life Haji Muhammad-Tahir seems to have joined in permanent wedlock with adversity. The lifelong sufferings he bore at the hands of the enemies, the insults and indignities to which he was subjected at every turn, the perilous adventures he went through, the grievous loss of three children who perished during the Bahá'í massacre in Yazd, the weight of chains and imprisonment he joyfully accepted towards the end of his life in company with the fellow-members of the Spiritual Assembly of Yazd -- these together with many other distressing events, far from dampening his spirits, served to steel his energies and to reveal the true measure of his indomitable faith.

The evening of his life was dimmed by years of declining faculties and infirmity. Sinking beneath the gathering weight of old age and ill health, he laid down the burden he carried so worthily for nearly eighty years and passed away peacefully at his home on June 4, 1953. In his will he bequeathed all his possessions to the Cause...

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 323)

1957 - Divine truth is relative

Divine Truth is relative and that is why we are enjoined to constantly refer the seeker to the Word itself -- and why any explanations we make to ease the journey of the soul of any individual must be based on the Word -- and the Word alone.

(From a letter dated 4 June 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada) (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 324)

June 3rd in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

Mr Penshoe, a cabinet member of the United States government, invited `Abdu'l-Bahá to Milford [his estate outside the city]. For a day and a night many prominent statesmen and dignitaries of the Republic were enraptured, fascinated by the Master. (Mahmud's Diary)

1952 - Teaching is.... the head cornerstone of all Bahá'í service,

". . . Teaching is of course the head cornerstone of all Bahá'í service, but successful teaching is dependent upon many factors, one of which is the development of a true Bahá'í way of living and the fulfillment of responsibilities which we have incurred."

(From a letter dated 3 June 1952 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Individual and Teaching - Raising the Divine Call, p. 31)

June 2nd in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

2 June 1912 Talk at Church of the Ascension Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street, New York

Through the pastor, Dr Grant, some in the audience requested permission to ask some questions, which was granted. Everyone who wished wrote a question on a piece of paper and submitted it through an usher. Through an interpreter, the questions were translated and the answers given to the inquirers. Oh, that the Eastern friends could have been in these churches and gatherings in the West to see with their own eyes the beauty and glory of their Master! They would have rejoiced in perceiving that which no spoken or written words can adequately describe. (Mahmud's Diary)

June 1st in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

Among them was a socialist. `Abdu'l-Bahá said in part:
Tell the socialists that sharing of property and land in this mortal world is the source of strife and warfare but sharing and inheritance in the Kingdom is the cause of love and unity. If you put your efforts into understanding the precepts of the Kingdom instead of into acquiring worldly shares and rights, you will gain perpetual joy and happiness. The Kingdom of God is vast. He will give you whatever you desire and there will be no place for strife and conflict. Is this not preferable and more pleasing? (Mahmud's Diary)
He told me to come to Him Saturday morning, 1 June, at seven-thirty.
I went in a panic. He was waiting for me in the entrance hall, a small space in the English basement where the light -- not much of it -- comes from the south. In fact I found myself faced with every kind of handicap. I always paint standing, but now I was obliged to sit, jammed so close to the window (because of the lack of distance between the Master and me) that I couldn't even lean back. No light. No room. And I had brought a canvas for a life-size head.
The Master was seated in a dark corner, His black 'aba melting into the background; and again I saw Him as the Face of God, and quailed. How could I paint the Face of God?
"I want you," He said, "to paint My Servitude to God."
"Oh my Lord," I cried, "only the Holy Spirit could paint Your Servitude to God. No human hand could do it. Pray for me, or I am lost. I implore You, inspire me."
"I will pray," He answered, "and as you are doing this only for the sake of God, you will be inspired."
And then an amazing thing happened. All fear fell away from me and it was as though Someone Else saw through my eyes, worked through my hand.
All the points, all the planes in that matchless Face were so clear to me that my hand couldn't put them down quickly enough, couldn't keep pace with the clarity of my vision. I painted in ecstasy, free as I had never been before.
At the end of the half hour the foundation of the head was perfect. (The Diary of Juliet Thompson p.91)

May 31st in Baha'i History

1872 -The Birth of Thomas Breakwell - 

Thomas Breakwell is generally recognised as the first English Bahá'í. He became a Bahá'í in Paris, and later met 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master was very fond of this young man and seemed very moved when Breakwell passed away at an early age

Thomas Breakwell was born on 31 May 1872

(Misc Baha'i, Lakshiman-Lepain - The Life of Thomas Breakwell, p. 12)

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

31 May 1912 Talk at Town Hall Fanwood, New Jersey

As the village of Fanwood is a summer resort and its fields and countryside very green and refreshing, it was very much enjoyed by the Master. But when they pleaded with Him to prolong His stay for a few days, because of the excessive heat and soot in New York, He said: `We have no time for amusement and fresh air. We must engage ourselves in service to the Threshold of Oneness.'  (Mahmud's Diary)

1934 - Teaching - There is no one method

In teaching the Cause, much depends on the personality of the teacher and on the method he chooses for presenting the message. Different personalities and different classes and types of individuals need different methods of approach. And it is the sign of an able teacher to know how to best adapt his methods to various types of people whom he happens to meet. There is no one method one can follow all through. But there should be as many ways of approach as there are types of individual seekers. Flexibility and variety of method is, therefore, an essential prerequisite for the success of every teaching activity.

(From a letter dated 31 May 1934 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)  (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 308)

May 30th in Baha'i History

1912 - Abdul-Baha in America

30 May 1912 Talk at Theosophical Lodge Broadway and Seventy-ninth Street, New York

During this time the Master occupied Himself by writing Tablets in response to questions from both the Eastern and the Western friends. Today He gave an account of the lives of Varqá and Rúhu'lláh. He showed His great kindness to the sons of this martyr in the path of God, Mírzá Azíz'u'lláh Khán and Mírzá Valíyu'lláh Khán. The Master then told the friends about some of the precepts of the Cause. During these discourses, He said often:
I am the interpreter of the Writings of the Blessed Beauty, as explicitly designated by the Supreme Pen. All must obey. All matters pertaining to the Faith must be referred to the authorized interpreter. In the future all must turn to the divine House of Justice. (Mahmud's Diary)

1956 - Never must they let a day pass without teaching some soul,
". . . Never must they let a day pass without teaching some soul, trusting to Bahá'u'lláh that the seed will grow. The friends should seek pure souls, gain their confidence, and then teach that person carefully until he becomes a Bahá'í, and then nurture him until he becomes a firm and active supporter of the Faith.
. . Everyone must remember that it is the 'Holy Spirit that quickens' and therefore the teacher must become like a reed through with the Holy Spirit may reach the seeking soul.
(From a letter dated 30 May 1956 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Hands of the Cause in the United States) (Compilations, The Individual and Teaching - Raising the Divine Call, p. 35)