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5 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2010 - 11:07AM #41
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The attitude of prayer attracts confirmation; if we supplicate those things God desires, either on our own behalf or on behalf of others, our prayer will be confirmed.  Praying for heavenly qualities helps us to acquire them, and our prayers for others aid their spiritual progress.  Even if we pray for things God does not desire, our prayer is not wasted; the breeze of heavenly confirmation is wafted upon us, helping us to want the right things instead of those we prayed for.  The answer to our prayer may not be to give us what we asked for, but it will certainly be 'that which profiteth' us, with which we should be content.


~ John Ferraby, Hand of the Cause, "All Things Made New," p. 134

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2010 - 1:10PM #42
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The Bahá'í Faith teaches man was always potentially man, even when passing through lower stages of evolution. Because he has more powers, and subtler powers than the animal, when he turns towards evil he becomes more vicious than an animal because of these very powers.


~ Shoghi Effendi, in a letter to an individual believer October 4, 1950
"Lights of Guidance," p. 403

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 14, 2010 - 11:27AM #43
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World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet -- in the words of one great thinker, "the planetization of mankind".  Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity's stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible.


~ The Universal House of Justice, "The Promise of World Peace" (October 1985)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2010 - 11:53AM #44
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I asked 'Abdu'l-Bahá one day: "Why should I believe in Bahá'u'lláh?"


He looked long and searchingly as it seemed into my very soul. The silence deepened. He did not answer. In that silence I had time to consider why I had asked the question, and dimly I began to see that only I myself could supply the reason. After all, why should I believe in anyone or anything except as a means, an incentive, a dynamic for the securing of a fuller, deeper, more perfect life? Does the cabinet-maker' s apprentice ask himself why he should believe in the master wood-worker? He wants to know how to make these raw materials into things of beauty and usefulness. He must believe in anyone who can show him how to do that, providing he first has faith in his own capacity. I had the stuff of life. Was Bahá'u'lláh the Master Workman? If He were I knew that I would follow, even though through blood and tears. But how could I know?


I wondered why 'Abdu'l-Bahá kept silence so long.  Yet was it silence? That stillness held more than words. At last He spoke. He said that the work of a Christian minister is most important. When you preach, or pray, or teach your people your heart must be filled with love for them and love for God. And you must be sincere, very sincere.



~ Howard Colby Ives, "Portals to Freedom," p. 42
[Ives was a Unitarian minister before becoming a Baha'i in 1912]

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 11:33AM #45
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Bahá'u'lláh also unequivocally proclaimed the equality of the sexes -- at a time when the women's movement was only beginning its fight for suffrage in the West and such ideas were unheard of in the Middle East -- thus becoming the first Founder of a world religion to explicitly uphold strict equality for women and men.  Indeed, girls should receive priority in education if by some circumstance a family (or a society) cannot afford to educate its children equally. "Until the reality of equality between men and women is fully established and attained, the highest social development of mankind is not possible," the Bahá'í scriptures state.


"He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body."  ~ Bahá'u'lláh


Baha'i International Community, 1992, "The Baha'is" Magazine

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2010 - 12:50PM #46
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Globalization itself is an intrinsic feature of the evolution of human society. It has brought into existence a socio-economic culture that, at the practical level, constitutes the world in which the aspirations of the human race will be pursued in the century now opening. No objective observer, if he is fair-minded in his judgement, will deny that both of the two contradictory reactions it is arousing are, in large measure, well justified. The unification of human society, forged by the fires of the twentieth century, is a reality that with every passing day opens breathtaking new possibilities. A reality also being forced on serious minds everywhere, is the claim of justice to be the one means capable of harnessing these great potentialities to the advancement of civilization. It no longer requires the gift of prophecy to realize that the fate of humanity in the century now opening will be determined by the relationship established between these two fundamental forces of the historical process, the inseparable principles of unity and justice.


The Universal House of Justice, "Century of Light" (2001 edition), p.134

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2010 - 12:18PM #47
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The ideal of human life is described again and again and in multitudes of ways in the Writings.  These aspects of the Teachings are discussed in Teaching Institutes and Summer Schools and elaborated in many books. Then, in general, it is left to the individual believer, as a responsibility between himself and God, to follow these Teachings.


It is not the business either of the believers or of the Spiritual Assemblies to pry into the lives of individual friends to ascertain the degree to which they are living up to the standards of the Cause. Only if misbehavior becomes blatant and flagrant does it become a matter for action, and then it is a matter for action by the Assembly and not by individuals. Even then the Assembly must be loving and patient, and exhort the believer to follow the Path of the Cause, but, if he persists in openly and flagrantly flouting Bahá'í law, the Assembly has no alternative to ultimately depriving him of his voting rights.


The Universal House of Justice, "Messages 1963 to 1986," p. 500

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2010 - 12:54PM #48
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The following account is from notes by a Unitarian clergyman in Washington, DC, who was investigating the Faith in 1912.  The Baha'i teachings were challenging to him, as they also prove to be for many seekers today.



... One day 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the interpreter and I were alone in one of the smaller reception rooms on the ground floor. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had been speaking of some Christian doctrine and His interpretation of the words of Christ was so different from the accepted one that I could not restrain an expression of remonstrance.  I remember speaking with some heat:


"How is it possible to be so sure?" I asked. "No one can say with certainty what Jesus meant after all these centuries of misinterpretation and strife."  He intimated that it was quite possible.  It is indicative of my spiritual turmoil and my blindness to His station, that instead of His serenity and tone of authority impressing me as warranted, it drove me to actual impatience.


"That I cannot believe." I exclaimed.  I shall never forget the glance of outraged dignity the interpreter cast upon me. It was as though he would say:  "Who are you to contradict or even to question 'Abdu'l-Bahá!"  But not so did 'Abdu'l-Bahá look at me. How I thank God that it was not!  He looked at me a long moment before He spoke.  His calm, beautiful eyes searched my soul with such love and understanding that all my momentary heat evaporated. He smiled as winningly as a lover smiles upon his beloved, and the arms of His spirit seemed to embrace me as He said softly that I should try my way and He would try His.


It was as though a cool hand had been laid upon a fevered brow; as though a cup of nectar had been held to parched lips; as though a key had unlocked my hard-bolted, crusted and rusted heart. The tears started and my voice trembled, "I'm sorry," I murmured.


~ Howard Colby Ives, "Portals to Freedom," p. 3

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2010 - 1:13PM #49
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... in the sight of God there is no past, present or future. All three are the same. We may appreciate this if we examine the relationship between the sun and our planet. For those who live on earth there is a concept of time in relation to the sun. But if one could live in the sun there would be no passage of time as experienced on earth. The Manifestation of God and His knowledge of the future may be likened to an experienced farmer who can see, in his mind's eye, inside a tiny seed a large tree laden with fruit. He knows that once it is sown in the soil, the seed will germinate and a tree will begin to grow in its place.


~Adib Taherzadeh, "The Revelation of Baha'u'llah," v 4, p. 169

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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4 years ago  ::  May 02, 2010 - 8:40AM #50
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The state of the world today surely affords ample evidence that, with rare exceptions, people of all religions need to be reawakened to the real meaning of their religion; and that reawakening is an important part of the work of Bahá'u'lláh. He comes to make Christians better Christians, to make Muslims real Muslims, to make all men true to the spirit that inspired their Prophets. He also fulfills the promise made by all these Prophets, of a more glorious Manifestation which was to appear in the "Fullness of Time" to crown and consummate Their labors....


~ Dr. J.E. Esslemont, "Baha'u'llah and the New Era," p. 255

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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