Dearly beloved Friends:
It behooves us, standing on the threshold of so mighty an event, to pause and contemplate its magnitude and to renew in our hearts the image of that "adorable and ever-blessed Beauty," the Supreme Manifestation of God. His own Words alone can adequately reveal the glory of His Station and the significance of this Day:
"The Pen of Holiness . . . hath writ upon my snow-white brow and in characters of effulgent glory these glowing, these musk-scented words: 'Behold ye that dwell on earth, and ye denizens of heaven, bear witness, He in truth is your well-beloved. He it is Whose like the world of creation hath not seen, He Whose ravishing beauty hath delighted the eye of God, the Ordainer, the All-Powerful, the Incomparable!' " ". . . the Tongue of Grandeur is now proclaiming: 'Lo, the sacred Pledge hath been fulfilled, for He, the Promised One, is come!' " "The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the ensign of power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation." "Tell the priests to ring the bells no longer. By God, the True One! The Most Mighty Bell hath appeared in the form of Him Who is the Most Great Name, and the lingers of the will of Thy Lord, the Most Exalted, the Most High, toll it out in the heaven of Immortality, in His Name, the All-Glorious." "Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, and in My beauty but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in My self but His Self, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Mighty, the All-Praised. There hath not been in My soul but the Truth, and in Myself naught could be seen but God."
"This is the King of Days, the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best-Beloved, Him Who, through all eternity, hath been acclaimed the Desire of the world." "This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of thy Lord the Gracious, the Most Bountiful . . . this is the Day whereon the Unseen World crieth out: 'Great is thy blessedness, O earth, for thou hast been made the footstool of thy God, and been chosen as the seat of His mighty throne!' " "The Scriptures of past Dispensations celebrate the great jubilee that must needs greet this Most Great Day of God. Well is it with him that hath lived to see this Day and hath recognized its station." "In this Most Mighty Revelation all the Dispensations of the past have attained their highest, their final consummation. That which hath been made manifest in this preeminent, this most exalted Revelation, standeth unparalleled in the annals of the past, nor will future ages witness its like." ..
The Incomparable Figure of Baha’u’llah
Let us fix our gaze in adoration upon that figure, so inimitably delineated by the Guardian: "the incomparable figure of Baha'u'llah, transcendent in His majesty, serene, awe-inspiring, unapproachably glorious." He Whom, He Himself testifies, the Prophets and Messengers addressed, on the eve of His Declaration as "O Most Great Mystery, O Tabernacle of Immortality!" He, but for Whom, in His own words, "no Divine Messenger would have been invested with the robe of prophethood, nor would any of the Sacred Scriptures have been revealed." Let us call to mind, in His own words, the period of His declaration in Baghdad, the centenary of which is so close upon us: "Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridvan and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the Garden of Delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise . . ." "Rejoice, with exceeding gladness, O people of Baha! as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the entire creation the splendors of His Name, the All-Merciful."
"The mere contemplation," 'Abdu'l-Baha testified, "of the Dispensation inaugurated by the Blessed Beauty would have sufficed to overwhelm the saints of bygone ages -- saints who longed to partake for one moment of its great glory." "How thankful must we be for having been made in this Day the recipients of so overwhelming a favor! Would that we had ten thousand lives that we might lay them down in thanksgiving for so rare a privilege, so high an attainment, so priceless a bounty!" "The holy ones of past ages and centuries have, each and all, yearned with tearful eyes to live, though for one moment, in the Day of God. Their longings unsatisfied, they repaired to the Great Beyond. How great, therefore, is the bounty of the Abha Beauty Who, notwithstanding our utter unworthiness, hath through His grace and mercy breathed into us in this divinely-illumined century the spirit of life, hath gathered us beneath the standard of the Beloved of the world, and chosen to confer upon us a bounty for which the mighty ones of bygone ages had craved in vain."
It was in November 1951 that the beloved Guardian disclosed to our eyes the significance of the event we shall so shortly be celebrating throughout the Baha'i world when he wrote that the first four Intercontinental Conferences scheduled to be held during the Holy Year were a "prelude to the Most Great Jubilee, which will alike commemorate the centenary of the formal assumption by the Author of the Baha'i Revelation, of His prophetic office, and mark, God willing, the worldwide establishment of the Faith forecast by the Center of the Covenant in His Tablets and prophesied by Daniel in his book, thus paving the way for the advent of the Golden Age, destined to witness the world recognition, universal proclamation and ultimate triumph of the Cause of Baha'u'llah." He said those Conferences marked "the inauguration, beyond the limits of the World Center of the Faith, of the intercontinental stage of Baha'i activity . . .", and pointed out to us in glowing words that the "earthly symbols of Baha'u'llah's unearthly sovereignty must needs, ere the decade separating the two memorable Jubilees draws to a close, be raised as far north as Franklin beyond the Arctic Circle and as far south as Falkland Islands, marking the southern extremity of the Western Hemisphere, amidst the remote, lonely, inhospitable islands and archipelagos of the South Pacific, the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the mountain fastnesses of Tibet, the jungles of Africa, the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Russia, the Indian Reservations of North America, the wastelands of Siberia and Mongolia, amongst the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska, the Negroes of Africa, the Buddhist strongholds in the heart of Asia, the Lapps of Finland, the Polynesians of the South Sea Islands and the Negritos of the archipelagos of the South Pacific Ocean."
The End of an Unprecedented Century
The celebration of the Most Great Jubilee marks the end of a century -- the greatest century this planet has ever seen, or will see, for a period of five hundred thousand years; a century in which the Promised One of all ages ascended the throne of Prophethood and shed the light of His Revelation from the Day of His Declaration upon mankind for twenty-nine years; a century which witnessed the ministry of that unique Being, the Center of the Covenant, the Mystery of God, the perfect Man, Who served the Cause of His glorious Father for no less than twenty-nine years; a century during which His beloved eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Faith, labored to establish that Cause over the face of the entire planet during the thirty-six years of his office; a century that encompassed fifty eight years of the Heroic Age of the Faith; that was laved in its opening years by the precious blood of countless martyrs; that gave birth to the Formative Age of the Cause of God; that beheld the hoisting of the banner of Baha'u'llah in over two hundred and fifty states, dependencies, chief islands and territories of the globe; a century whose inauguration - ushered in by the Declarations of the Twin Manifestations of God -- was so significant that it marked the end of a six thousand year old religious cycle.
The mysterious workings of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, presided over by His divinely inspired Guardian, have enabled the followers of the Most Great Name to approach the coming Jubilee laden with the spoils of untold victories. Already in 1957, when almost half of the Ten-Year Plan had run its course, he himself testified to the extraordinary character of those victories: "The phenomenal advances made since the inception of this globe-girdling Crusade, in the brief space of less than five years, eclipses -- if we pause to ponder the scope and significance of recent developments -- in both the number and quality, of the feats achieved by its prosecutors, any previous collective enterprise undertaken by the followers of the Faith, at any time and in any part of the world, since the close of the initial and most turbulent epoch of the Heroic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation."
Who can doubt for a moment that the hopes he expressed at that time have been abundantly fulfilled? "May this Crusade," he wrote, "on which the privileged heirs and present successors of the heroes of the Primitive Age of our Faith have so auspiciously embarked, yield . . . such a harvest as will amaze its prosecutors, astonish the world at large, and draw forth from the Source on High a measure of celestial strength adequate to insure its triumphant consummation."
Fruits of the Crusade
Every single territory of the globe named by him as a goal to be opened to the Faith, and apportioned amongst the original twelve national and regional bodies to whom the Plan was given, has been made the recipient of the light of Baha'u'llah, with the single exception of ten within the Soviet orbit, comprising a part of that group which at the inception of the Crusade Shoghi Effendi himself indicated might prove inaccessible. In addition, those numerous supplementary goals, added by him at a later date, have, with one or two exceptions, likewise been opened to the Faith. The phase of the Crusade, which he told us at that time was about to open, has witnessed the fulfillment of his express desire and been truly "immortalized . . . by an unprecedented increase in the number of the avowed supporters of the Faith." By thousands and tens of thousands they have trooped into the Cause of God; behind them already can be seen the shadowy outlines of the hundreds of thousands and millions who are approaching it, tramping nearer day by day. When we remember that the appeal of the Guardian to teach the masses was practically the last word we received from him before his passing, and see that every week brings in a new record of enrollments in Africa, the subcontinent of India, the Pacific area and Latin America, our hearts are uplifted and comforted. We do not come empty-handed to our Most Great Jubilee. We have, by the grace of Baha'u'llah, witnessed the realization of those pregnant words of Shoghi Effendi, when he wrote at the inception of the Crusade, that it was "destined . . . to diffuse the radiance of His Faith over the face of the entire planet."
The second aspect of the phase of the Ten-Year Plan which, our beloved Guardian said, would open with the midway point of the Crusade, has likewise been fulfilled. The three great Temples he called upon the Baha'is of the world to rear during this period now stand, in all their distinction and sanctity, in the heart of Africa, Australasia and Europe, vibrating forth their spiritual power, joining as great Silent Teachers the beloved first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar raised in the heart of Asia and the Mother Temple of the West, built in the midmost heart of America. The roll call of languages in which our literature has been printed, the tribal and ethnic groups enlisted in the ranks of Baha'u'llah's followers, the assemblies, groups and isolated centers throughout the world where Baha'is are laboring to establish the Kingdom of God upon earth, far surpasses the number originally given by Shoghi Effendi in his majestic outline of the tasks to be accomplished during the unique decade separating the two great Jubilees -- the celebration of the Centenary of the Year Nine, and the celebration of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah's station in the plenitude of its splendor in Baghdad, which took place one hundred years ago.
An Occasion for Celebrations
So great an occasion calls for celebrations not only on an international scale, through the holding of the World Congress to take place in London during the Ridvan period, but nationally and locally, in every city, hamlet and village where Baha'is are to be found throughout the entire world. The fifty-six national and regional assemblies should immediately set plans in motion to befittingly commemorate this inestimably glorious event, to celebrate the praises of Baha'u'llah, to review the victories won during the Ten Year Crusade, to entertain friends and truth-seekers on special occasions, that they, too, may partake of our joy and receive that hospitality at our hands which is so highly prized in our teachings.
Mindful of their Guardian's instruction that the "avowed, the primary aim of this Spiritual Crusade is none other than the conquest of the citadels of men's hearts," they must seize this unique opportunity and "befittingly consummate" this great centenary celebration. We are fortunate in having his own explicit instructions as to the manner in which the believers should celebrate an historic occasion of this nature:
"An unprecedented, a carefully conceived, efficiently coordinated, nation-wide campaign, aiming at the proclamation of the Message of Baha'u'llah, through speeches, articles in the press, and radio broadcasts, should be promptly and vigorously prosecuted. The universality of the Faith, its aims and purposes, episodes in its dramatic history, testimonials to its transforming power, and the character and distinguishing features of its World Order should be emphasized and explained to the general public, and particularly to eminent friends and leaders sympathetic to its cause, who should be approached and invited to participate in the celebrations. Lectures, conferences, banquets, special publications should, to whatever extent is practicable and according to the resources at the disposal of the believers, proclaim the character of this joyous Festival."
This infinitely precious Faith has, through the mercy of Baha'u'llah, now enveloped, as the Guardian hoped it would do, "the whole planet with the light of its splendor." We stand at the crossways; the unfoldment of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan, under the aegis of His divinely appointed successor, has passed through successive stages in its evolution and reached the point of victory to which the minor plans concerned with its prosecution, and devised and impelled forward by the tremendous drive and vision of Shoghi Effendi himself, have brought it. Many plans, as he himself forecast, will be needed to carry forward the world-redeeming Message of the Supreme Manifestation of God until such time as His Spirit covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, but none of them will be from our beloved Guardian's own pen. This is our last chance to pay him the tribute of our love, to lay before his memory, at the end of his Crusade, tenderly, sorrowfully, proudly, victory upon victory. We have seen, in the most miraculous manner, these past five years the repeated evidences of God's sustaining grace poured out upon us. Which one of us can doubt that it lies within our power to rise to still greater heights to surge forward, in every part of the globe, and seize, in the last moments of our Guardian’s Plan, still further glowing prizes to be heaped at his feet, in his name, as a token of his sacrifice for the glory of Baha'u'llah, at that moment when the world over we render Him thanks for His Revelation and pour out paeans of praise to His celestial Might and Beauty?
This is alike a time for great rejoicing and a time for deep soul-searching. Every believer has some particular service he or she can render in these last days of the Crusade; whether it be that long-delayed moment he arises and goes forth to strengthen one of the distant territories where pioneers are still urgently needed, including resettlement of one of the very few which, though previously opened, is at present lacking a resident pioneer, or to fill a home front need, or to enter into some field of active teaching work, or to aid individually in the rapidly growing enlistment of the masses in the ranks of the Faith, or to give of his substance in supporting its meager and over-burdened Funds, or to attract new souls through opening his home, however humble, to the people of his town or village and inviting them to receive the loving gift of Baha'i hospitality. No one need be deprived of the bounty of a last worthy service in the closing months of the Guardian's Crusade.
Who can doubt that the essence of true religion is love; the love of the Creator for His creature, the love of that shadowy creature for his Eternal Beloved, the love of men for all mankind? What greater moment during our lives will ever come than this moment to shower the love Baha'u'llah has brought to this world on each other and on our fellowmen, bewildered, fearful, misled, ignorant, cold in a world of hatred, tension, misunderstanding, prejudice and bigotry? He Himself testified that "a spark of the fire of Thy love is enough to set ablaze a whole world." Let us pour out from our hearts, now overflowing in gratitude to Him and thanksgiving for His appearance in our midst, a measure of love upon our fellowmen which will quicken their souls and draw them to the shores of this Most Great Ocean to drink their fill and quench the fire of their separation and longing. Each one of us can do this; this lies within the power of each of us.
An Event of Singular Historic Importance:
Election of the Universal House of Justice
Now irrevocably associated with the termination of our beloved Guardian's Crusade comes another event of singular historic importance -- the election of the Universal House of Justice. On the first day of the "Greatest Baha'i Festival," in the shadow of the Shrine of the Bab, the election will take place of that august body Shoghi Effendi said would be regarded by posterity as "the last refuge of a tottering civilization." The profound significance of this event, the sacred character of the setting in which it will take place, the nature of this unique administrative, body, cannot be overestimated: "in a land," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "already revered and held sacred alike by the adherents of three of the world's outstanding religious systems," a land which "geographically, spiritually and administratively constitutes," he stated, "the heart of the entire planet," and is likewise "the heart and nerve-center" of Baha'u'llah's "world-encompassing" Administrative Order and the "world seat" of that system -- in such a land the delegates for the election of the Universal House of Justice have been invited to foregather. In a spot overshadowed by Mt. Carmel, "the Hill of God and His Vineyard," the "Mountain of the Lord," to which "all nations will flow"; faced by the plain of 'Akka, which Muhammad called the "Banquet Hall of God" and that city "whose whiteness," He said, "is pleasing to God," that city of which Baha'u'llah wrote: "upon Our arrival we were welcomed with banners of light, whereupon the Voice of the Spirit cried out saying: 'soon will all that dwell on earth be invested under these banners' "; in the neighborhood of not only the Shrine of the Bab, which Shoghi Effendi associated with the words of Baha'u'llah in the Tablet of Carmel when He described "the Celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favored of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels," but of those three sanctified resting places which our Guardian informed us were the "spot designed to constitute the focal center of Baha'i Administrative Institutions at the Faith's World Center -- in such a peerless setting as this will the first International Baha'i Convention be convened.
That House which Shoghi Effendi called "the Supreme Legislative Body of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Baha'u'llah"; which he identified with those majestic words of the Manifestation of God Himself in His Tablet of Carmel: "ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Baha, who have been mentioned in the Book of Names"; which derives its being from no less a source than the Aqdas itself, designated by Shoghi Effendi "the Mother Book" of Baha'u'llah's Revelation and the "Repository of His Laws"; which Baha'u'llah called the "Book of God" and is, He asserted, "My mightiest testimony unto all people"; and of which 'Abdu'l-Baha in His Will and Testament states: "Unto the Most Holy Book all must turn and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this Body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the Truth and Purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate there-from is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth malice and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant" -- such a House as this, constituting, Shoghi Effendi tells us, "the last unit crowning the structure of the embryonic World Order of Baha'u'llah," will be elected next Ridvan.
A Turning Point in the Faith
At such a turning point in the history of our Faith we are indeed blessed through having received, from both the Center of the Covenant and His appointed Guardian, many indications as to both the function and method of election of this glorious institution. "To the Trustees of the House of Justice," Shoghi Effendi wrote, "He (Baha'u'llah) assigns the duty of legislating on matters not expressly provided in His Writings and promises that God will 'inspire them with whatsoever He willeth.' " In His Will and Testament 'Abdu'l-Baha states: "And now, concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error, it must be elected by universal suffrage, that is, by the believers. Its members must be manifestations of the fear of God and daysprings of knowledge and understanding, must be steadfast in God's faith and the well-wishers of all mankind. By this House is meant the Universal House of Justice, that is, in all countries a secondary House of Justice must be instituted, and these secondary Houses of Justice must elect the members of the universal one. Unto this body all things must be referred. It enacteth all ordinances and regulations that are not to be found in the explicit Holy Test." "It is incumbent upon these members (of the House of Justice)," 'Abdu'l-Baha writes, "to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself."
The independence of this supreme body from its electorate is clearly set forth by the Guardian himself in his analysis of the provisions of 'Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament: "the powers and prerogatives of the Universal House of Justice possessing the exclusive right to legislate on matters not explicitly revealed in the Most Holy Book; the ordinance exempting its members from any responsibility to those whom they represent, and from the obligation to conform to their views, convictions or sentiments; the specific provisions requiring the free and democratic election by the mass of the faithful of the body that constitutes the sole legislative organ in the world-wide Baha'i Community -- these are the features which combine to set apart the Order identified with the Revelation of Baha'u'llah from any existing system of human government." The members of that body "are to follow," Shoghi Effendi says, "in a prayerful attitude, the dictates and promptings of their conscience. They may, indeed they must, acquaint themselves with the conditions prevailing among the community, must weigh dispassionately in their minds the merits of any case presented for their consideration, but must reserve for themselves the right of an unfettered decision. 'God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth,' is Baha'u'llah's incontrovertible assurance. They, and not the body of those who either directly or indirectly elect them, have thus been made the recipients of the divine guidance which is at once the lifeblood and ultimate safeguard of this Revelation." The Guardian has made abundantly clear that the enactments of the Universal House of Justice are "authoritative and binding" and that its "exclusive right and prerogative is to pronounce upon and deliver the final judgment on such laws and ordinances as Baha'u'llah has not expressly revealed"; and that it is "the body designated to supplement and apply His (Baha'u'llah's) legislative ordinances."
Spiritual Assemblies Will Become Houses of Justice
Laboriously, painstakingly, over a period of thirty-six years, the Guardian implemented the instructions revealed in the Holy Text of Baha'u'llah's Writings and elaborated by 'Abdu'l-Baha. Over the face of the globe he insured that those local spiritual assemblies, which he characterized as "the chief sinews of Baha'i society, as well as the ultimate foundation of its administrative structure," should be elected on a firm foundation; he said they were presently "designated as 'Spiritual Assemblies' -- an appellation that must in the course of time be replaced by their permanent and more descriptive title of 'Houses of Justice' . . ."; he informed us the national assemblies, which the Master Himself had designated as "secondary Houses of Justice," would constitute "the electoral bodies in the formation of the International House of Justice"; he assured us that 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself had "established beyond any doubt the identity of the present Baha'i Spiritual Assemblies with the Houses of Justice referred to by Baha'u'llah." and explained that "it has been found advisable to bestow upon the elected representatives of Baha'i communities throughout the world the temporary appellation of Spiritual Assemblies, a term which, as the position and aims of the Faith are better understood and recognized, will gradually be superseded by the permanent and more appropriate designation of House of Justice"; he stated that: "Upon the National Houses of Justice of the East and the West devolves the task, in conformity with the explicit provisions of the Will (of 'Abdu'l-Baha), of electing directly the members of the International House of Justice."
'Abdu'l-Baha, in one of His Tablets, expounding upon the words of Baha'u'llah Himself, has made it clear that only men are eligible for election to the Universal House of Justice: "The House of Justice, however, according to the positive commandments of the doctrine of God, has been specialized to the men for a (specific) reason or exercise of wisdom on the part of God, and this reason will presently appear, even as the sun at midday." When specifically asked why women were not to be elected to this supreme body, Shoghi Effendi, through his secretary, gave the following explanation:
"Regarding your question: the Master said the wisdom of having no women on the International House of Justice would become manifest in the future. We have no other indication than this . . . when the International House of Justice is elected, there will be only men on it, as this is the law of the Aqdas."
A New Phase in the Formative Age of the Faith
With the closing of the first epoch in the unfoldment of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan we are now entering a new phase in the Formative Age of the Faith of Baha'u'llah. Who can doubt that with the election of this supreme legislative body tremendous forces will be released? Already, as early as 1951, Shoghi Effendi told us the 1953 celebrations would signalize the "inauguration of the long-anticipated intercontinental stage in the administrative evolution of the Faith." He pointed out to us that the Crusade and its unfoldment would be "acclaimed by posterity as the counterpart to the consolidation of the Faith at its World Center through the recent formation of the International Baha'i Council in the Holy Land." We now stand on the threshold of what, no devout Baha'i can question, is an event of incalculable spiritual significance. We are entering what Shoghi Effendi termed the "tenth part" of that majestic process which was "set in motion at the dawn of the Adamic Cycle," the part which must witness "the penetration of that Light, in the course of numerous Crusades and of successive epochs of both the Formative and Golden Ages of the Faith, into all the remaining territories of the globe through the erection of the entire machinery of Baha'u'llah's Administrative Order in all territories, both East and West, the stage at which the Light of God's triumphant Faith shining in all its power and glory will have suffused and enveloped the entire planet."
We have been assured by our Guardian that the history of this Faith "if read aright, may be said to resolve itself into a series of pulsations, of alternating crises and triumphs, leading it ever nearer to its divinely appointed destiny." The victorious termination of his Crusade, followed immediately by the erection of that institution which he informs us is "the guardian and exponent of that Divine Justice which can alone insure the security of, and establish the reign of law and order in, a strangely disordered world . . ." cannot but set in motion, once again, this process of crisis and triumph. With awe, with joy, with courage, with renewed dedication, we are ready to take the next step, comforted and encouraged by his assurance that in spite of the fact that "the tribulations attending the progressive unfoldment of the Faith of Baha'u'llah have indeed been such as to exceed in gravity those from which the religions of the past have suffered, ... these tribulations have failed utterly to impair its unity, or to create, even temporarily, a breach in the ranks of its adherents. It has not only survived these ordeals, but has emerged, purified and inviolate, endowed with greater capacity to face and surmount any crisis which its resistless march may engender in the future."
"As the administrative processes expand," he explained, "as their operation steadily improves, as their necessity is more fully and strikingly demonstrated, and their beneficent influence correspondingly grows more apparent and evident, so will the blessings, the strength and guidance bestowed by Him Who animates and directs these processes be more abundantly vouchsafed to those who have been called upon to utilize them, in this age, for the execution of God's purpose and for the ultimate redemption of a sore-stricken travailing humanity. Many will be the setbacks, the shocks and the disturbances which the commotions of a convulsive age must produce; yet no force, however violent and world-wide in its range and catastrophic in its immediate consequences, can either halt these processes or deflect their appointed course. How great, then, the privilege, and how staggering the responsibility, of those who are destined to guard over them and to bring them eventually to full fruition. Nothing short of utter, of continuous consecration to His Will and Purpose can enable them to fulfill their high destiny."
Our invincible Faith "has gone," he wrote, "from strength to strength, has preserved its unity and integrity, has diffused its light over five continents, reared the institutions of its Administrative Order and spread its ramifications to the four corners of the earth, and launched its systematic campaigns in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. For such benefits, for such an arresting and majestic vindication of the undefeatable powers inherent in our precious Faith, we can but bow our heads in humility, awe and thanksgiving, renew our pledge of fealty to it, and, each covenanting in his own heart, resolve to prove faithful to that pledge, and persevere to the very end, until our earthly share of servitude to so transcendent and priceless a Cause has been totally and completely fulfilled."
October 31, 1962
(Insert December 1962 Baha’i News)