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Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
Go to printed page GO
Pages 303-306

Letter of 5 June 1953

5 June 1953
Dear Bahá’í Friends,
Our Beloved Guardian has been greatly encouraged by reports reaching him from all parts of the Bahá’í World, of victories, already gained, and plans being laid for the prosecution of the Ten Year Crusade. He was particularly pleased to learn that some 150 people have offered to pioneer in virgin overseas areas at the American Convention.
These reports have evoked his awe-inspiring and soul-stirring cablegram of May 28th, 1 calling for the immediate settlement of all the 131 virgin areas of the Plan, just as quickly as possible. He is convinced the Friends will arise and translate their enthusiasm into Action, because the Keynote of the Crusade, must be Action, Action, Action.
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly to amplify some of the aspects of his dynamic message.
The settlement of these virgin areas is of such an emergency nature, that he feels pioneering in one of them takes precedence over every other type of Bahá’í service—whether it be in the teaching or administrative fields of the Faith. So important is it that the National Assembly may delay initiation of steps to fulfil other phases of the Plan, until all these areas are conquered for the Faith. Nothing, absolutely nothing, must be allowed to interfere with the placing of pioneers in each of the 131 goal countries. 304
There are some general observations which the Guardian shares with you, and then some specific suggestions which are enumerated below:
1. Every individual who has offered to pioneer, must be encouraged in every way by the National Assembly.
2. The National Assembly should assist each pioneer, so they may be placed in their post just as quickly as possible.
3. The handling of each application for pioneering service must be expedited, and not allowed to be bogged down for any reason, or in the hands of committees.
4. The National Assembly should make it their first order of business to follow up actively this most important task. They must make it the first order of business at each Assembly meeting to see that each application is being progressed rapidly. This does not mean the special committees should not handle the details, but it does mean the Assembly itself must review each application at each meeting and see that the pioneer gets into the field as soon as possible.
5. A large number of pioneers should not be sent to any one country. One, or even two, will be sufficient for the time being. Later on, if supplementary assistance is needed, that of course can be taken care of. The all important thing now is to get at least one pioneer in each of the 131 virgin areas.
6. The National Assembly may exercise its prerogatives and suggest to applicants where their services are most needed. This, of course, applies particularly to pioneers who might wish to settle in one area.
7. Because there have been so many applicants in America, the Guardian has written them that they may place their pioneers in any virgin area in the world. His objective now is to fill these lands yet unconquered by the Hosts of Heaven and he feels the initial impact must be made now. Thus, from whatever sources they come, they should be placed in the field at the earliest possible moment. Furthermore, as the Chief Executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, He expects the Americans to bear the brunt of the load everywhere. He has instructed the American N.S.A. to communicate with your Assembly with regard to pioneers to be settled in territories coming under your assignment, as well as territories not under your assignment, but where your Assembly can aid them in settling, particularly in 305 areas of the Commonwealth which are not under your assignment.
The specific suggestions of the Guardian are:
(a) Areas close at hand and easy of settlement should be filled first. Then the areas more difficult, and finally those which will be quite difficult.
(b) Whenever a pioneer enters a new territory, a cable should be sent at once to the Guardian, giving the name, place, and any pertinent information.
(c) A monthly report of progress is to be sent by your Assembly to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá’í Council. Special matters of report nature, for the Guardian, in connection with the plan should be sent to the Secretary-General of the Council also.
This does not mean that any administrative matters in connection with the settlement of pioneers, etc., should be handled with the Council. Such matters should continue to be handled with the Guardian direct. The Council is simply to co-ordinate reports, consolidate them, keep maps up to date, etc., for the Guardian, and your reports will enable them to do this.
(d) The Guardian feels the following areas are not difficult to settle, and he thinks you should arrange for their settlement at once; and he will appreciate cable advice of each settlement as they take place.
Channel Islands
Hebrides Islands
Shetland Islands
(e) The Guardian has cabled you, and at his direction I have written the Friends in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika of the importance of their spreading out, and if possible sending pioneers into the surrounding areas in Africa, such as Belgian Congo, Ruanda Urundi, Somaliland, and even South West Africa. He wishes you to follow up this matter closely. The Guardian attached great importance to the Ashanti Protectorate, and if any of the Friends can go there, particularly any Persians you may be assisting in getting located, he will appreciate it.
As the Guardian’s dramatic cable indicates, an illuminated 306 “Roll of Honour” on which will be inscribed the names of the “Knights of Bahá’u’lláh” who first enter these 131 virgin areas, will be placed inside the entrance door of the Inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh. From time to time, the Guardian will announce to the Bahá’í World the names of those Holy Souls who arise under the conditions outlined in his message, and settle these areas and conquer them for Bahá’u’lláh.
Now is the Hour for the Friends everywhere to demonstrate the spiritual vitality of the Faith, and of their devotion. There is no time after this moment, to settle the unconquered areas. The Guardian is sure the Friends throughout the world, and particularly the staunch Bahá’ís in the British Isles, will arise as one soul in many bodies, and surging ahead, cover the face of the Earth with the Glory of the Lord.
The Guardian will pray fervently for the Bahá’ís of the British Isles for the success of their efforts.
The Guardian will pray for the members of your Assembly, whose sacrificial efforts he greatly values….
1. Announcing “Roll of Honour” for “Knights of Bahá’u’lláh” published in “Messages to the Bahá’í World, 1950–1957”, p. 48.   [ Back To Reference]