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Messages to Canada

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Canada Publications
  • Pages:
  • 276
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Pages xv-xviii

Foreword to the 1965 edition

For those believers who were members of the Faith before November 1957, this book will have a special dimension. For them, the messages will always be letters, inseparable in memory from climactic moments at conventions, conferences, and assembly meetings; for some among them, they will be even more closely interwoven with memories of the personal decisions which helped to translate the plans of the messages into the reality of a world-wide community; for a fortunate few, these letters will speak with an unforgettable voice and face and hands remembered from all too brief evenings at the dinner table in Haifa. The messages have significance, however, far beyond the circumstances in which they were issued. Perhaps the most obvious, to a Canadian, is the unique contribution which they make to the history of the Cause in this country. As a nation, Canada has not had a strong sense of mission or identity, and its history has frequently appeared to be a sequence of reactions to events occurring in other countries. For Canadian Bahá’ís, however, the messages of Shoghi Effendi and the statements of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on which they are based provide glimpses of the foundations of their community and of its mission in the world which are the very essence of history. Shoghi Effendi speaks in moving language of the promises of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; of the role of the Canadian community as “co-heir” with the American believers to the Tablets of the Divine Plan; of the “imperishable record of international service” associated with such names as May Maxwell and Sutherland Maxwell, Marion Jack, Fred Schopflocher, Louis Bourgeois, and Rúhíyyih Khánum, “my helpmate, my shield ... my tireless collaborator”; of the “initiation of [Canada’s] glorious mission, far beyond the borders of the Dominion”; of the significance of the 1949 Act of Parliament incorporating the National Spiritual Assembly, a “magnificent victory unique annals East West”; and of the special role which the community must play in the establishment of the Faith among aboriginal peoples and particularly among the Eskimos.

1.Bahá’í Administration, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, The Advent of Divine Justice, The Promised Day is Come, Messages to America  [ Back To Reference]