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The Light of Divine Guidance (Volume 1)

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of Germany (Bahá’í-Verlag), 1982 edition
  • Pages:
  • 311
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Pages 126-131

Letter of 24 October 1947

24 October 1947
Dear Bahá’í Friends:
Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated Dec. 4th, 1946, Jan. 6th, March 19th, June 15th, Aug. 27th and 127 Sept. 28th, 1947, have all been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He has also received a letter, on behalf of your secretary, written by Dr. Köller-Jager, and enclosing an English translation of your minutes. This was dated March 13th.
In regard to the various matters you have raised in these letters:
He noted the report of Mrs Grossmann about her meeting with the grandchild of Subh-i-Azal. He feels that the friends should as much as possible avoid her, as it is very unlikely she has anything but prejudice against Bahá’u’lláh, in view of her background.
He deeply appreciated the message of love and loyalty you sent him on the occasion of the celebration of twenty-five years of Guardianship.
He is extremely pleased to see the way the Cause is spreading in Germany, and the steady growth in the number of the assemblies there. This would be a remarkable achievement under normal circumstances, but in view of the weakened state of the health of the Bahá’ís and the hardships they and their countrymen are undergoing, it is little short of heroic. The Bahá’ís everywhere are watching the labours of their German brothers and sisters with deep admiration.
Concerning your question about forming Spiritual Assemblies this year as soon as circumstances permit, and without waiting until April 21st, 1948: he does not think this advisable. In order to encourage the German friends, so long oppressed and prevented from serving, he made an exception last year, but this year he feels all assemblies should wait until April to hold their elections. He has recently advised the European Teaching Committee to do likewise, as some of the pioneers were eager to form 128 assemblies as soon as 9 Bahá’ís existed in a city of one of the goal countries!
He is pleased to hear you have strengthened and assisted the Nuremberg Bahá’ís, and that there are now so many there. Also he is glad to hear you are protecting them and the Cause from the misrepresentations and ambitions of Mr. … Great vigilance and wisdom is required in such matters.
Regarding the publication of books for use in Germany in Switzerland: he feels that this is out of the question at present, owing to the fact that the exchange of Persian into Swiss money, (providing it could be made at all), would be prohibitively expensive. You would lose far too much this way. He, therefore, suggests that you get in touch with Mr. David Hofman of England, who is a publisher in a small way, and very anxious to be of help in printing Bahá’í Literature. He is a member of the British N.S.A., and if you arrange some satisfactory way of having him print books or booklets for you, it will be easier and cheaper to transfer some of the money from Ṭihrán, for this purpose, to England. The Guardian has already written Mr. Hofman he favours his doing this, if you and he can agree.
Unfortunately, owing to the fall in the value of the pound, the conversion of Persian money into American dollars involves considerable loss. In view of this the Guardian is going to instruct Mr. Varqá in Ṭihrán to send to the American N.S.A. five hundred pounds for the purpose of buying Care Packages, which will be sent to you for your use in securing the National Headquarters.
There is, in the special Fund held in Ṭihrán on behalf of your assembly, about ten thousand pounds. He feels you should spend a third of this on your National Headquarters. But, as mentioned above, he advises you to try and go ahead 129 with the preliminary arrangements through using five hundred pounds in Care packages, and thus not lose too much of this money through the poor exchange at this time.
He leaves details of this matter to the discretion of your assembly, and hopes you will keep him informed of what action you have taken, and of the progress made in obtaining the National Headquarters.
He assures you all of his admiration for your steadfast labours to protect and promote every interest of our beloved Faith in Germany, and of his loving and ardent prayers for the success of your work….
[From the Guardian:]
Dearly-beloved Friends:
The spirit which the entire body of the German believers have displayed, despite the hardships and trials which they have heroically endured, and are still enduring, is a magnificent example to their fellow-workers in both the East and the West, a source of great inspiration to me, and a magnet that will powerfully attract the blessings of the Almighty. My thoughts, though I myself am immersed in an ocean of work and preoccupations, often turn in loving admiration and gratitude to those who, for more than a decade, have in the face of constant peril, held fast to the Faith of God, who have survived the greatest ordeal that has ever afflicted the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the West, and who are now forging ahead, united, resolved and consecrated, in the path leading to still greater victories.
I rejoice to learn of the preliminary steps that are being taken to enable the dearly beloved and highly promising German Bahá’í Community to own its first National Hazíratu’l-Quds in the heart of that sorely-tried country. The utmost effort should be exerted to complete the present negotiations, and to initiate the national activities in that 130 centre. I will, for my part, assist in any way possible, your assembly, in the historic enterprise which it has launched, and feel confident that the Beloved will bless your efforts, fulfil your highest expectations in this vital sphere of Bahá’í activity.
The dissemination of Bahá’í literature, is moreover, a matter of vital importance, which must be promoted by every means at your disposal. The multiplication of Bahá’í centres, the formation of new assemblies, the consolidation of newly-established groups, constitute, likewise, the primary objective of your assembly, demanding constant exertion, watchfulness and guidance on your part, as well as full support and still greater sacrifice by the rank and file of the believers.
The promotion of the interests of the Austrian believers, owing to their proximity to your country, their past association with you and their practical isolation from the Bahá’í centres in East and West, should be regarded as one of your outstanding tasks, and I trust that every obstacle will be surmounted, enabling you to enrich thereby the record of your distinguished services to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
The path you are treading is hard and stony and beset with many pitfalls. The tasks you are called upon to discharge are varied, complex, urgent and gigantic. The resources at your disposal are meagre. The hour, however, for raising the call of Bahá’u’lláh is propitious. The hearts of your countrymen, prepared by bewilderment and suffering, are ready to respond to His message. You stand at the threshold of a new and glorious era in the evolution of His Faith in that land. The opportunities of the present hour are priceless and may never recur again. Time is pressing. The eyes of your fellow-workers in both Hemispheres are fixed 131 upon you. Our beloved Master who showered, through His visit and His messages to you, so much love and encouragement and so many blessings, is watching over you from on high, ready to sustain your efforts and lead you on to victory.
That you may rise to still greater heights of heroism, that you may discharge befittingly your sacred responsibilities, that you may adorn the annals of your Faith with still greater evidences of your devotion, courage and perseverance, that you may achieve your high destiny as the torch-bearers of the light of Divine Guidance to the neighbouring countries in that continent, is the object of my fervent prayers at the holy shrines, and the dearest wish of my heart.
Your true and grateful brother,