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Messages to America

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1947 edition
  • Pages:
  • 110
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Pages 23-26

FULFIL THE REQUIREMENTS

The readiness of your Assembly, as expressed in your recently cabled message, to transfer the National Bahá’í Secretariat to the vicinity of the Temple in Wilmette has evoked within me the deepest feelings of thankfulness and joy. Your historic decision, so wise and timely, so surprising in 24 its suddenness, so far-reaching in its consequences, is one that I cannot but heartily and unreservedly applaud. To each one of your brethren in the Faith, throughout the United States and Canada, who are witnessing, from day to day and at an ever-hastening speed, the approaching completion of their National House of Worship, the great Mother Temple of the West, your resolution to establish within its hallowed precincts and in the heart of the North American continent the Administrative Seat of their beloved Faith cannot but denote henceforward a closer association, a more constant communion, and a higher degree of coordination between the two primary agencies providentially ordained for the enrichment of their spiritual life and for the conduct and regulation of their administrative affairs. To the far-flung Bahá’í communities of East and West, most of which are being increasingly proscribed and ill-treated, and none of which can claim to have had a share of the dual blessings which a specially designed and constructed House of Worship and a fully and efficiently functioning Administrative Order invariably confer, the concentration in a single locality of what will come to be regarded as the fountain-head of the community’s spiritual life and what is already recognized as the mainspring of the administrative activities, signalizes the launching of yet another phase in the slow and imperceptible emergence, in these declining times, of the model Bahá’í community—a community divinely ordained, organically united, clear-visioned, vibrant with life, and whose very purpose is regulated by the twin directing principles of the worship of God and of service to one’s fellow-men.
The decision you have arrived at is an act that befittingly marks the commencement of your allotted term of stewardship in service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. Moreover, it significantly coincides with the inauguration of that world mission of which the settlement of Bahá’í pioneers in the virgin territories of the North American continent has been but a prelude. That such a decision may speedily and without the slightest hitch be carried into effect is the deepest longing of my heart. That those who have boldly carried so weighty a resolution may without pause or respite continue to labor and build up, as circumstances permit, around this administrative nucleus such accessories as the machinery of a fast evolving administrative order, functioning under the shadow of, and in such close proximity to, the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, must demand, is the object of my incessant and fervent prayer. That such a step, momentous as it is, may prove the starting point for acts of still greater renown and richer possibilities that will leave their distinct mark on the third year of the Seven Year Plan is a hope which I, together with all those who are eagerly following its progress, fondly and confidently cherish. 25
The American believers, while straining to accomplish befittingly this particular task, must simultaneously brace themselves for another sublime effort to discharge, ere the present year draws to a close, their manifold responsibilities allotted to them under the Seven Year Plan. The placing of yet another contract for the casting of the ornamentation of the First Story of the Temple, the permanent settlement of the six remaining Republics of Central America, and the extension of continual support both material and moral, to those weaker States, Provinces and Republics that have been recently incorporated in the body of the Faith, combine to offer, at this hour when the fate of civilization trembles in the balance, the boldest and gravest challenge that has ever faced the community of the American believers both in the propagative and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity. In the field of pioneer teaching, and particularly in connection with the opening of the Republics of Haiti, Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominica and Guatemala, the utmost encouragement should at all times be vouchsafed by the elected representatives of the community to those who, out of the abundance of their hearts, and in direct response to the call of their Faith and the dictates of their conscience, have renounced their comforts, fled their homes, and hazarded their fortunes for the sake of bringing into operation the majestic Plan of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, while special support should be extended to those who appear to be best qualified for the strenuous labors which pioneering under such exacting circumstances demands. Care should be exercised lest any hindrance, should, for any reason, be placed in the way of those who have, whether young or old, rich or poor, so spontaneously dedicated themselves to so urgent and holy a mission.
Towards this newly-appointed enterprise a more definite reorientation is needed. To its purposes a more complete dedication is demanded. In its fortunes a more widespread concern is required. For its further consolidation and speedy fulfilment a larger number and a greater variety of participants are indispensable. For its success a more abundant flow of material resources should be assured.
Let the privileged few, the ambassadors of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, bear in mind His words as they go forth on their errands of service to His Cause. “It behoveth whosoever willeth to journey for the sake of God, and whose intention is to proclaim His Word and quicken the dead, to bathe himself with the waters of detachment, and to adorn his temple with the ornaments of resignation and submission. Let trust in God be his shield, and reliance on God his provision, and the fear of God his raiment. Let patience be his helper, and praise-worthy conduct his succorer, and goodly deeds his army. Then will the concourse on high sustain him. Then will the denizens 26 of the Kingdom of Names march forth with him, and the banners of Divine guidance and inspiration be unfurled on his right hand and before him.”
Faced with such a challenge, a community that has scaled thus far such peaks of enduring achievements can neither falter nor recoil. Confident in its destiny, reliant on its God-given power, fortified by the consciousness of its past victories, galvanized into action at the sight of a slowly disrupting civilization, it will—I can have no doubt—continue to fulfil unflinchingly the immediate requirements of its task, assured that with every step it takes and with each stage it traverses, a fresh revelation of Divine light and strength will guide and propel it forward until it consummates, in the fulness of time and in the plenitude of its power, the Plan inseparably bound up with its shining destiny.

July 4, 1939