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Bahá’í Administration

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1974 edition
  • Pages:
  • 196
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Pages 27-30

Letter of December 23rd, 1922

To the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, the elected representatives of all believers throughout the continent of America.
Esteemed co-workers in the Vineyard of God:
To have been unable, owing to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, to correspond with you ever since you entered upon your manifold and arduous duties is to me a cause of deep regret and sad surprise! I am however assured and sustained by the conviction, never dimmed in my mind, that whatsoever comes to pass in the Cause of God, however disquieting in its immediate effects, is fraught with infinite Wisdom and tends ultimately to promote its interests in the world. Indeed, our experiences of the distant past, as well as of recent events, are too numerous and varied to permit of any misgiving or doubt as to the truth of this basic principle—a principle which throughout the vicissitudes of our sacred mission in this world we must never disregard or forget.
I cannot refrain from expressing in this, my first letter to you my deep gratitude and great pleasure in learning how promptly, thoroughly and admirably you have conducted the affairs of the Cause in that land. Of the sincerity of your efforts, of the determination with which you have faced your delicate and difficult task, I have never doubted for a moment, as I knew too well of the ardent spirit of service and fellowship which the sudden passing of our Beloved had infused in all his followers everywhere. But great was my surprise to know how the ever-present Hand of the Master has removed so speedily all the difficulties in our way and how the light of His Divine Guidance caused the darkness of doubts, of fears and mistrust to vanish.
The efficient manner in which you have carried out my humble suggestions has been a source of great encouragement to me and has revived confidence in my heart. I have read and re-read the 28 reports of your activities, have studied minutely all the steps you have taken to consolidate the foundations of the Movement in America, and have learned with a keen sense of satisfaction the plans you contemplate for the further rise and spread of the Cause in your great country. I very highly approve of the arrangements you have made for centralizing the work in your hands and of distributing it to the various committees, who each in its own sphere, have so efficiently and thoroughly undertaken the management of their own affairs.
What has given me still greater pleasure is to learn that the members of this Central Body which has assumed so grave a responsibility and is facing such delicate and difficult tasks, command individually and collectively not only the sympathy of their spiritual brethren and sisters but who also can confidently rely on their active and whole-hearted support in the campaign of service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. It is indeed as it should be, for if genuine and sustained cooperation and mutual confidence cease to exist between individual friends and their local and national assemblies, the all-beneficent work of the Cause must cease and nothing else can enable it to function harmoniously and effectively in future.
True, the Cause as every other movement has its own obstacles, complications and unforeseen difficulties, but unlike any other human organization it inspires a spirit of Faith and Devotion which can never fail to induce us to make sincere and renewed efforts to face these difficulties and smooth any differences that may and must arise.
I look forward with fervent hope to hear of these renewed efforts on your part and of the strong determination which you will never suffer to slacken, to maintain at any cost the unity, the effectiveness and the dignity of the Cause.
May I through you express my heartfelt gratitude to the members of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár Building Committee, Mr. Alfred E. Lunt, Mrs. Corinne True, Dr. Zia Bagdadi, Mr. Charles Mason Remey, Mr. Louis Bourgeois, Mr. Leo Perron for their incessant labors in speeding the work of this noble Edifice which when raised and completed will prove to be the most powerful factor in the promulgation of the Cause in America. 29
Will you also extend to the members of the Publishing and Reviewing Committees, Mr. William H. Randall, Mr. Mountfort Mills, Mr. Roy C. Wilhelm, Mr. Albert R. Vail, Miss Edna True, Mrs. Marjory Morten and Mr. Alfred E. Lunt, my high appreciation for the very efficient management of their departments and their devotion to a work which if consistently maintained cannot fail to impress and attract a vast number of the enlightened public. Regarding the Star of the West, I wish to congratulate in particular the members of the Publishing Committee on the quality of their work. I have perused with particular interest the last numbers of the Magazine and am glad to note an encouraging improvement in its management, its style, its general presentation and the nature and number of its articles.
To the members of the Teaching Committee, Mr. William Randall, Mrs. Agnes S. Parsons, Mr. Albert Vail, Mr. Louis G. Gregory and Mrs. Mariam Haney I offer my very best wishes and assure them of my constant prayers on their behalf, that their services to such a vital department in the affairs of the Cause, so primary and immediate in its importance, may be crowned with brilliant success.
For the members of the Children’s Educational Work Committee, Mrs. Grace Ober, Mrs. Louise Boyle, Mrs. Victoria Bedikian, Mrs. Hebe Struven, Mrs. Grace Foster, Mr. Stanwood Cobb and Mr. Allen McDaniel, I supplicate Divine Assistance, that He may graciously aid them in a work which was so near and dear to the Master’s heart and enable them to assist in the rise of future devoted and efficient servants to the Cause of God.
On behalf of all the members of these Committees, I shall pray at the Three Hallowed Shrines, that they may become purified channels of His Grace and instruments of His Divine Plan for this world. For my part, I shall not fail to offer my humble share of help and assistance to every one of them in their respective work and would welcome from each a special report on their present activities and of their plans for the future.
Awaiting from you all the joyous news of the deepening as well as the spreading of the Cause for which our beloved Master has given His time, His life, His all, and remembering your labors 30 of love and service every time I lay my head upon the Sacred Thresholds,
I am, as ever, your brother in His Service,
Haifa, Palestine,
December 23rd, 1922.
P.S. I would be pleased and gratified if you could inform all the various local spiritual assemblies of my wish and desire to receive as soon as possible from every local assembly a detailed and official report on their spiritual activities, the character and organization of their respective assemblies, accounts of their public and private gatherings, of the actual position of the Cause in their province, and of their plans and arrangements for the future. Pray convey to all of them my best wishes and the assurance of my hearty assistance in their noble work of service to mankind.