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Messages to Canada

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Canada Publications
  • Pages:
  • 276
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Pages 145-149

Letter of 30 October 1951

30 October 1951

To the National Spiritual Assembly

Dear Bahá’í Friends:

The departure of Mr. Bond1 for the Arctic made the Guardian very happy; this, as well as the sailing of Mr. Bischoff2 for Greenland, marks the opening stage of the campaign to carry the Faith to the Eskimos, a plan set forth by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and very dear to His heart.

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,

R. Rabbani

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 Community is focused, and upon the success of which must depend its immediate destinies, is now entering a critical stage, demanding increasing vigilance on the part of all its members, utter consecration to the Plan’s objectives, and a determined inflexible resolve to carry it to a successful conclusion.

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 in conformity with the Mandate issued by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His immortal Tablets. 3 He Himself Who nourished and watched over it with such loving care from the earliest days of its inception, Who, in unmistakable language and on more than one occasion, foreshadowed its glorious future, both materially and spiritually, is from His station on high, gazing down upon the youthful efforts exerted by a community so dear to His heart, so newly launched upon a course which He Himself has charted.

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 of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá so clearly and emphatically entitle it to fulfil.

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 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1916–17, and addressed severally to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, constitute the authority for the successive Plans inaugurated by the Guardian for the spread of the Faith and the establishment of its Institutions throughout the world.  [ Back To Reference]