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Letter of 30 October 1951
To the National Spiritual Assembly
Dear Bahá’í Friends:
Regarding the question of Mr. and Mrs. ...: the Administrative Order is not a governmental or civic body, it is to regulate and guide the internal affairs of the Bahá’í community; consequently it works according to its own procedure, best suited to its needs. A Bahá’í who does more than visit temporarily a Community is considered for our administrative purposes as a resident and can vote and serve accordingly. Students in foreign lands, most obviously not residents, are registered as local Bahá’ís, and therefore entitled to do their share of work and play their part in the local Community life. This should be pointed out to ... who seem to be confusing our internal administration with external practices which have no relation to it. As regards their personal attitudes the Guardian, remembering what a devoted worker ... has been in the past, is very sorry to see she is no longer active. He does not feel this will lead to either her happiness or that of...; for, whenever we compromise with what is noblest and best in ourselves, we are the losers invariably.
The Guardian was delighted to hear the friends are at last responding to the urgent needs of the Plan and going forth as pioneers. Plans are concrete things, and not mere honours, and victories—like all other achievements in life—must be purchased at the cost of persistent effort! He feels sure the Canadian Bahá’ís, perhaps slow to get under way, will display the counterpart of this British characteristic, and cling like bull dogs to their tasks, once they do get under way.
The response made by the Canadian friends to the Guardian’s appeal for support of the Shrine work has touched him very much. He wishes to thank all those who contributed for their loving generosity, and to assure them that their co-operation in this wonderful task has added to the spiritual beauty of an Edifice already so Holy and so beloved by all the believers the world over.
He wishes you all every success in the discharge of your arduous duties, and is praying for a marked quickening in the pace of the Five Year Plan.
With Bahá’í love,
P.S. The Guardian has received no copy of his last letter to you, sent last spring, and thinks perhaps the material was lost. Will you please send him a copy in whatever form it was circulated amongst the believers?
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
The Plan on which the attention of the Canadian Bahá’í
Little over a year separates this valiant community, still in the earliest stage of its independent existence, from the fateful hour that will mark the termination of the first collective enterprise undertaken in its history. The vastness of the field in which its infant strength is being tested is indeed staggering. The resources it can command are severely limited. The number of active participators, whether as pioneers or administrators, is admittedly small. The experience of the vast majority of its supporters is inadequate to the tremendous obligations it has assumed. The obstacles confronting it whether in Greenland, or among the Indians and the Eskimos of the extreme North, are truly formidable. Yet the potency infused into this community, through the Revelation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, and the spiritual capacity engendered in its earliest members through His visit to their native land—distinctions which it fully shares with its sister community in the Great Republic of the West—empower it to discharge—if it but rise to the occasion—all the responsibilities it has undertaken and consummate the task to which it stands pledged.
The eyes of the Bahá’í world are expectantly turned towards
this newly erected pillar, designed to sustain in conjunction
with other National Assemblies the weight of the Supreme
Legislative Body of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Sister
communities in both the East and the West, less privileged
than it and deprived of the primacy with which the twin Bahá’í
national communities labouring in the North American continent
have been invested by the unerring Pen of the Centre of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, yet able to achieve, under circumstances
no less challenging, a success wholly out of proportion
to their numbers, are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this initial
crusade embarked upon by this blessed, this envied community
This final phase of the first Plan, undertaken by a newly fledged, repeatedly blessed community, as it speeds to a close, must witness an upsurge of spirit, of courage and determination, a display of activity, a demonstration of self-sacrifice and of solidarity such as to eclipse its brightest achievements in the past. The highly meritorious tasks initiated in both Greenland and Newfoundland need not be enlarged at the present hour, but should, under no circumstances, be allowed to suffer any setback. The work started among the Eskimos and Indians should be maintained at its present level, and should not be permitted to decline. An extraordinary concentration of effort, systematic, determined and sustained, is however required throughout all the nine provinces of the Dominion, aiming at an unprecedented flow of contributions by the entire body of the believers, each according to his or her means, into the National Treasury; a marked increase in the number of pioneers; a much greater dispersion; a higher degree of austerity; a still nobler display of consecration—all of which must result in a speedy multiplication of Assemblies and groups, which constitutes the core of the Plan, and on which hinges its fortunes.
The fleeting months ahead will be truly decisive. Upon the
success of the present Plan must depend, not only the joint
tribute to be paid by the Canadian Bahá’í Community to the
memory of the Founder of the Faith on the occasion of the
centenary of the Birth of His Revelation, but also the rapid
unfoldment of subsequent stages of the Mission which the Tablets
The opportunity given to this Community is precious, unutterably precious. The fate of this first historic Plan now hangs in the balance. The present chance, if lost, cannot be retrieved. The issues on which hinge the successful prosecution of the Plan are so weighty that none can assess them at present. The needs of a sorely-stricken society, groping in its distress for God’s redemptive Message, are growing more acute with every passing hour. The Canadian Bahá’í Community, newly emerged as an independent member of the Bahá’í World Community, so richly blessed through its elevation to the rank of a chosen prosecutor of a Divine Plan, unique, in many respects, among its sister communities in both Hemispheres in the manifold blessings bestowed upon it, can neither afford to flinch for a moment or hesitate in the discharge of its sacred duty. Every effort exerted by this community, during these fate-laden months, every sacrifice willingly endured by its members, will, if they but persevere, be richly blessed by Him Who brought it into being, who nursed it through His love, Who conferred upon it so distinguished a Mission, Who made such magnificent promises regarding its future, and Who will continue to sustain it though His unfailing, His abounding grace and favour.
May this Community, ever aware of the position it occupies, and of the bright prospects unfolding before it, brace itself for one, last, supreme effort, and ensure, while there is yet time, the complete and total success of the enterprise to which it stands committed.
|1.||Jameson Bond—first pioneer to the Canadian Arctic (District of Keewatin 1950–53, District of Franklin with Mrs. Gale Bond, 1953–63). They were named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Franklin. Jameson served on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada 1967–82. [ Back To Reference]|
|2.||Palle Bischoff—Danish believer, the first pioneer to Greenland (1951–54). [ Back To Reference]|
|3.||The Tablets of the Divine Plan,
revealed by |