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Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
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Pages 198-202

Letter of 8 May 1947

8 May 1947
Dear Bahá’í Brother,
Your letters dated Jan. 19th and 23rd; Feb. 16th, 27th and 28th; March 8th and 25th; and April 4th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 1947, have all been received, together with their enclosures and the material sent under separate cover, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. 199
Regarding the various questions you have raised.
He has already informed the American N.S.A. that he feels Mr. Townshend’s services to the Faith can best be rendered by his writing about it, as he obviously has an outstanding ability in this direction, combined with knowledge and zeal, and can render a very valuable service this way; he also feels that Mr. Townshend, now that his church association seems about to be broken, could be used as part of the pioneer force in Eire. It is his own land, he knows his own people, and the need for workers there is very particularly great this year….
If Mr. Townshend has not as yet been registered as a voting believer he certainly should be immediately. Everyone knows he has been a most devoted Bahá’í for many years and his contributions should certainly be considered those of a voting Bahá’í.
He would appreciate receiving, for the files here in Haifa, a copy of the revised Articles of Association.
Regarding the prayer translated by Dr. Khán and his daughter: although he has not taken time to compare it with the original, he assumes it is a faithful translation. Unfortunately it is not a style which in our language can convey the richness and power of the original, and he would not recommend that this version of it be printed. There is no objection, however, to its circulation among the friends if they want it.
As to certain of your voting members who have long been inactive, and whose conduct you disapprove of, he suggests you make an effort to find out if they still believe in the Faith, and if they do, and wish to be members of it, then they should be helped to mend their ways. If this patient and loving method does not prove successful and they refuse to identify themselves with the Faith, they should be removed from the voting list.
Miss … should be advised, for the sake of better serving the Cause she loves so dearly, to take care of her health; also she should be made to realise that a pessimistic and critical approach (although perhaps fully justified by the situation) produces no results. We, having the power of the Faith to draw on, must always be constructive in our efforts, as this will produce results and attract Divine blessings upon them.
Concerning the membership of … in the synagogue: as this concerns his non-Bahá’í Jewish wife and means a great deal to 200 her—even involving the place of her burial—the Guardian does not feel it is right to request him to take a step which would deprive her of her own religious rights. On the other hand, he sees no reason why … should not write a letter to the appropriate authority in this synagogue, explaining that he is a practising Bahá’í but is keeping his synagogue membership for the benefit of his wife and children. Some similar action should be taken by …, or he should give up his synagogue membership.
He realises the difficult position of the London community, but the goals of the Plan, and its success, justify any temporary weakening of the work in the capital, which in the end will be greatly strengthened by the national spread of the Faith. He certainly will specially pray for this work in London.
The achievement of all goals during this crucial year has been very great, and brought him a conviction that the Cause in the British Isles is now operating on an entirely new footing, and that the community of believers there has thrown off once and for all time a certain lethargy which seemed to have retarded its progress in the past. Although so much still remains to be accomplished, the combination of the new zest for work and the determination of the friends to succeed, and the unfailing assistance of Bahá’u’lláh, promised to all who arise and put their faith in Him, will surely mow down all obstacles and carry the British believers through to victory.
He feels that the way your assembly is working, with its many and active committees, and the plans you have outlined in your report, are excellent. Any suggestions he has to make, as the work unfolds, he will communicate to you.
The Summer School, he feels, is of great importance, and he hopes gradually believers from the continent will visit it and be helped and inspired by their contact with the now active and flourishing British Bahá’í community!
You may be sure in the prayers he offers in the Holy Shrines you and your assembly’s work are often remembered….
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers,
The success that has crowned the strenuous efforts exerted by the entire British Bahá’í community in the course of this crucial year, has raised immensely its prestige in the estimation of its sister communities in East and West, and has demonstrated in a very striking manner, the vitality, resourcefulness and determination of its members, and 201 merits the praise and blessings of the concourse on high, and particularly of our beloved Master, who in the course of two successive visits showered His loving kindness on the English believers, and chose the capital city of their country as the scene of His first public appearance before a western audience. This remarkable exploit, unparelleled since the inception of the administrative order in that land, and unsurpassed by any achievement associated with the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the British Isles since the introduction of His Faith into their country, augurs well for the successful termination of the Initial Phase of the Plan, and fills me with hope that total victory will ultimately be achieved, at the appointed time, by the prosecutors of this bold, this historic and far-reaching enterprise.
The Plan itself when consummated will signalise the opening of a new epoch in British Bahá’í history, an epoch which must witness, simultaneously with the vigorous initiation of subsequent Plans designed to broaden the basis, and multiply the institutions, of a steadily evolving administrative order, the inauguration of systematic undertakings, jointly launched by the English, the Scottish, the Irish and Welsh believers, and aiming, on the one hand, at the proclamation of the Divine Message to the masses of their respective countrymen, and, on the other, at the establishment of the structural basis of a divinely appointed Administrative Order throughout the far-flung dependencies of the British Crown.
For the present, however, and as an essential preliminary to the vast and challenging tasks that await them beyond the shores of their homeland, the eyes of the prosecutors of the present Plan must be focused on the vital and urgent requirements in England, and particularly Scotland, Wales and Ireland, wherein the nuclei that have been recently formed, should, ere the expiry of the present year, be converted into full-fledged assemblies. The erection of the administrative institutions of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in these virgin territories will no doubt befittingly mark the termination of the initial phase of the Plan, and proclaim to the entire Bahá’í world the resolution, as well as the ability, of its valiant promoters to create the indispensable agencies required for an intensive propagation of the Faith at home, and the planting of its banner overseas.
Theirs is an unspeakably thrilling task, an awe-inspiring obligation, a priceless opportunity. Their recent victories inspire a confident hope that a no less outstanding success will mark their future endeavours.
Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi 202