A new version of the Bahá’í Reference Library is now available. This ‘old version’ of the Bahá’í Reference Library will be replaced at a later date.

The new version of the Bahá’i Reference Library can be accessed here »

Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
Go to printed page GO
Pages 189-192

Letter of 12 October 1946

12 October 1946
Dear Bahá’í Brother,
Your letters dated June 1st and 26th and July 20th and 25th, 190 together with their enclosures, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Regarding the various points you raised.
Unless the Russian “New Era” is hopelessly bad, the Guardian advises it nevertheless be made use of, as it will be some time before the funds of the Cause can be used for a new edition. If the mistakes are mostly in the nature of mistranslations of certain important terms it might be possible for you, in conjunction with Mrs. Lynch, to have printed or mimeographed a list of errata, and stick it in the book, in this way Russian-speaking people will not be denied some literature on the Faith, however inadequate.
The attitude of the friends towards orientals should be one of great caution, according to the Master’s own often-repeated and explicit instructions and warnings. Any believer in good standing would not leave his home community without a letter of credential, and certainly no Persians, claiming to be Bahá’ís, but lacking credentials, should be accepted until the Persian N.S.A. has clarified their status. They can, naturally, attend public meetings, but should not be permitted to come to the 19- Day Feasts; the friends may associate with them, but should be very cautious, bearing in mind that many orientals, who scorned or were even actively against the Cause while living in the East, now find it convenient to pose as believers or friends of the Faith in a Western community where they are strangers.
As regards your question about Bahá’í procedure; the present statement can certainly be amplified to include the United Nations Organisation.
He feels that your Assembly should constantly, through its communications to the friends and its committees, and in every way possible, stir the British Bahá’í community to a sense of the great urgency of their pioneer activities; and the need for more pioneers. They now have a golden opportunity to arise and fulfil their own cherished plans before it is too late. In the future we may well look back upon these present days and see that in them lay our greatest chance to build for the future and to call people to the Faith while they were still deeply impressed with the tragedy and futility of war; and before they become too engulfed in post war problems, or too bitterly disillusioned by the trend of world affairs to even seek a solution. More believers must 191 arise, and, putting their trust in Bahá’u’lláh, do their duty to the Faith they believe in and love so dearly. The youth in particular should be encouraged to enter this field of service, for the spread of the Cause is their only hope for a stable world in which to live and establish families of their own.
His loving prayers are with you all in your many services to the Cause of God, and he is greatly encouraged by the way the work is going forward in England…. 1
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers,
The evidences of intensified activity and of notable progress on the part of the English believers in recent months have rejoiced my heart and deepened my feelings of admiration and gratitude for the manner in which they are discharging, individually and collectively, their high responsibilities. I long to hear of the steady progress of their Plan, and will continue to pray for the removal of every obstacle in their path. However considerable their recent achievements, they are still in the initial stage of their great unfolding mission, and are not even capable as yet of visualising the possibilities or of estimating the consequences of their present-day labours. The consummation of their present task will mark the opening of a new era in the development of their community and will signalise the inauguration of a great epoch in the history of the Faith in their land—an epoch that must witness the universal recognition of their Cause and the proclamation of its truths, its claims and tenets, to the masses of their countrymen throughout the British Isles. The Plan they are now prosecuting will provide the machinery and establish the basic structure that will enable them to arouse the people, among all sections of the population, and aid them, systematically and gradually, to recognise Bahá’u’lláh, and support the nascent institutions of this World Order. Now it is their duty to lay an unassailable foundation for the great work that is to be undertaken in the future. There is no time to lose. Theirs is a priceless opportunity and a great privilege. They must neither vacillate nor falter. They 192 must determinedly persevere until their immediate and distant goals have been attained.
1. Although some pioneer settlement had been attempted, at the time this letter was being written only the first nine pioneers had actually become established: Ursula Newman (later Samandarí) and Kathleen Brown (later Lady Hornell) in October 1945; Walter Wilkins (see endnote) in July 1946; Alma Gregory (see endnote) in August 1946; Robert Cheek (see endnote) and Una Townshend in September 1946; David Hofman, Marion Hofman and Philip Hainsworth in October 1946.   [ Back To Reference]