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Switch to Forum Live View Does God help you make decisions?
5 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 8:58PM #21
southgatemember
Posts: 4

Forgive my spelling, Baha'u'llah will.

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5 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 10:04PM #22
Mercyonme
Posts: 38

I'm posting questions in Baha'i Sacred Texts if anyone wants to answer my questions there:-)


~Sarah

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5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2012 - 3:55PM #23
world citizen
Posts: 6,480

Southgatemember ~


Welcome to our forum and to Beliefnet in general.  Hope to "see" more of you here.  Smile

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love.  ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2012 - 4:00PM #24
world citizen
Posts: 6,480

Sarah ~


If you're a declared Baha'i, I'll assume that you receive The American Baha'i.  Have you considered subscribing to Brilliant Star for the children?  It's an award-winning magazine, chock full of interesting activities and articles to read for (not only) Baha'i children.  One of my grandchildren (age 12) recently had an article she had written published in it, but all of the grandchildren enjoy it cover to cover whenever it arrives.


P.S.  If your children are registered with the Faith, the NSA provides complimentary issues for children aged 7-12.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love.  ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2012 - 8:32AM #25
Mercyonme
Posts: 38

Thank you World Citizen.  Yes, actually, all of my children are registered and we receive the Brilliant Star Magazine and Baha'i magazine.  I think, for my 9 year old, she always did the puzzles and games and she loved the stories about kids with pictures, but she never did much else with it.  I really need to find quiet time for us to sit and read through the magazine together.  Thanks for the reminder...so much to do!

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5 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 4:31AM #26
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

"And that's before one considers the fact that I'm a marked man; so many critics of the LDS faith see me as a threat that the big boys keep coming out to play and I've received threats of violence."


 Dear Ironhold,


Thought you might enjoy what our writings say about persecution.


"All who stand up in the cause of God will be persecuted and misunderstood. It hath ever been so, and will ever be. Let neither enemy nor friend disturb your composure, destroy your happiness, deter your accomplishment. Rely wholly upon God. Then will persecution and slander make you the more radiant. The designs of your enemies will rebound upon them. They, not you, will suffer.


Oppression is the wind that doth fan the fire of the Love of God. Welcome persecution and bitterness. A soldier may bear arms, but until he hath faced the enemy in battle he hath not earned his place in the king's army. Let nothing defeat you. God is your helper. God is invincible. Be firm in the Heavenly Covenant. Pray for strength. It will be given to you, no matter how difficult the conditions."


 (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 155)


 Persecution is a sign of success. If, you didn't have serious traction; then, they wouldn't bother with trying to bother you.

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5 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 5:56AM #27
Ironhold
Posts: 12,363

May 30, 2012 -- 4:31AM, in_my_opinion wrote:

Persecution is a sign of success. If, you didn't have serious traction; then, they wouldn't bother with trying to bother you.




That's my point.


For all practical purposes, I was a nobody in the grand scheme of things up until a few months back when I was made a local PR rep.


And yet simply for believing what I believe, learning what I can learn, and not backing down, people have spent the past decade falling over themselves to try and stop me. It's almost hilarious.


That should say something about what any individual can do if they're willing to study their beliefs and not be afraid.

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5 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 11:40AM #28
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

May 30, 2012 -- 5:56AM, Ironhold wrote:


That should say something about what any individual can do if they're willing to study their beliefs and not be afraid.



It does.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 30, 2014 - 2:36AM #29
Angels1031
Posts: 1

May 21, 2012 -- 3:03AM, Lilwabbit wrote:

May 20, 2012 -- 10:03PM, Mercyonme wrote:

I just need to chat about this.  Obviously Baha'i and Christian culture are different.  I am curious about the Baha'i view of how/when God intervienes in a person's life.  I'm not even necessarily talking about in prayer, but just in our every day communication with Him.  For example, in Christian culture it is very common to hear people say "God is really telling me to [fill in the blank]".  I even know some people who base numerous actions on waiting for God's imput. I know a lady who works with children and is fabulous in what she does, but she'll tell me that she waits to figure out certain pieces of her work for God to tell her what to do.

I just have never experienced this type of communication with God in Baha'i communities.  How does one make sense of this?  Is it just not typical Baha'i lingo or is the idea that God speaks to us in our daily routine kind of odd? 



Dear Mercyonme,


Welcome to Bnet and the Bahá'í Boards!


Thank you for your relevant and clearly articulated question. I find myself chatting with my Maker every day, and being personally inspired and informed about His Will for my life. The power of personal inspiration by the Holy Spirit is very much an essential component of the Bahá'í Faith. Perhaps we don't talk about it so much because it is so private and precious (talking about it somehow "cheapens" it), and because talking about one's personal relationship with God sometimes carries an air of boastfulness and hypocrisy which we are so clearly advised against. This personal conversation with God and His personal guidance in our daily lives, is primarily derived from the Word of God -- either spontaneously in the midst of our daily routines, or systematically through the study of the Holy Writings. But Bahá'u'lláh is also clear that the human frame, no matter how noble and spiritual, is far too limited to withstand direct contact with the Sun of Reality (God), inasmuch as even the earth cannot withstand direct contact with the physical sun without being pulverized in an instant. But the earth can indeed feel directly the heat of the sun and receive its light from the brilliantly measured distance of its orbit. The rays of the sun is what we understand as the Holy Spirit and which are primarily relayed through the Word of God. Bahá'u'lláh gives a clearly-worded warning:


"They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal."

(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, CLX, p. 336)


So in addition to the theological problem which I explained in the above, there's also a serious practical dilemma which often causes anxiety for a sincere and God-loving Christian who believes that some of the voices within represent some direct divine revelation. Namely, such faith usually suffers from an underlying confusion and uncertainty about the true Will of God for oneself. One can never be absolutely sure whether the Inner Voice is one’s own whim, imagination, wishful thinking, selfish desire or God Himself speaking. The Inner Voice may tell you rather confusing and silly things on different occasions.


The Bahá'ís believe that the Bible is, by and large, the Word of God, even if not fully authentic in its historical preservation of the exact original words of God. However, we also believe that the guidance it offers, just like the Qur'án, is not sufficient for mankind in our present day and age. Progressive revelation is a central Bahá'í tenet. It is, therefore, understandable to us how people who rely solely on ancient books of God's revelation (albeit containing many eternal truths) wish and indeed hanker after further guidance from God to their daily lives. Since the acceptance of a full new prophetic revelation from God is not an option, such believers often resort to mysticism and belief in personal divine guidance by listening to the "still voice" within. While the still voice often speaks truth derived from our deepest insights gleaned from the Word of God, it still leaves us confused.


Hence, I daresay with some confidence that you will not find most deepened Bahá'ís similarly privately "worried" and "confused" about the Will of God to each one of us personally, nor do you find that they have a compelling need to either tell themselves or, worse yet, to show others "how very personally God loves me and guides me." Why? Since we feel that the Word of God revealed through the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh is itself so perfectly all-encompassing, extensive and comperehensive, that it really provides us very personal answers as to what we should do today, tomorrow and every day of our lives under any given life circumstance. The daily reading of the words of Bahá'u'lláh, the daily reminders of the various duties to serve mankind He so clearly inculcated, and the wise counsels of the Bahá'í institutions He Himself reared, each and all help us to find very specific guidance as to what we should do today, tomorrow and all the days of our lives. There's simply no need to start listening to inner voices for the purpose of further guidance. The purpose of reflection and spiritual meditation lies elsewhere for the Bahá'ís, namely in the need to ever deepen our understanding of His already revealed Will and His already revealed truths.


I often find Christians as well as some Bahá'ís talking about "feeling" a connection with God. Personally I make a clear distinction between "emotional" and "spiritual" connection.


Having grown up in a Persian Bahá'í pioneer family, I was exposed since childhood to stories about the great martyrs and heroes of the faith and the suffering and adamance of Bahá'u'lláh. I was also taught to recite and to reflect on His Writings (obviously mere recitation is not enough). Even the accounts of my own family-members who had met with Bahá'u'lláh had passed on and were collected by Bahá'í historians. My great grand-uncle Ustad Ali-Akbar was hacked to death with a pick-axe and thrown into a public well for not recanting, and my great-grandfather Muhammad Sa'adati wrote down some rather remarkable first-hand observations from his meeting with Bahá'u'lláh. Since a kid, me and my sister used to peep through a keyhole while my grandmother was praying. We would hear the chanting from the outside and see her tears (happy tears) flowing and her face beaming with radiance. The fervour, the purity and the devotion of her prayer left a great imprint and bequeathed a great model of prayer which easily withstands comparison to the other great religious traditions.


In short, a certain fire was awakened at young age that simply hasn't died. It has rather grown fiercer. Every time I read the words of Bahá'u'lláh I realize how the same fire is fuelled further. My personal connection to Bahá'u'lláh is through His word. It is a silent fire. A silent conviction of the truth, power, wisdom and love of God conveyed in Bahá'u'lláh's words. The same sensation occurs while praying Bahá'u'lláh's prayers with attention and without distraction, and while seeing the beauty of God in nature and in other people. Sometimes this fire produces a powerful and moving outward "feeling". Other times the fire doesn't "feel" like anything. Yet it's always there. Haunting, lingering, teasing, reminding, disciplining, inspiring. I just don't believe God is a feeling. Bahá'u'lláh was very clear on God being beyond all feeling and all things that we humans define as "connection". Yet, while saying that He assures that God is closer to us than our jugular vein. Even Bahá'u'lláh's Person is "other-worldly" in a rather similar way. To be directly "feelable", Bahá'u'lláh Himself would have to be something less than what He claims. Those (including my own ancestors) who met Him in person, however, reported extremely powerful experiences that transformed them for life and infused them with unbreakable faith. For more easily accessible personal connection, however, Bahá'u'lláh gave us His son 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The sort of person-to-person "love affair", if you will, that most long-standing Bahá'ís have as an element of their Faith, is usually with the person of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The connection is somewhat similar to what many Christians feel with the person of Jesus. A personal connection with 'Abdu'l-Bahá is a great, consoling and soothing addition to the faith of God, but I do not believe it is *necessary* for true conviction, or for the fire of faith to burn in our hearts, or for personal guidance to be received in our lives.


Bahá'u'lláh revealed that God is "closer unto all creatures than they are unto themselves". Therefore, if and when one hears voices from within, Bahá'u'lláh assures that God Himself is even closer to us than that, and that such voices therefore must be either the workings of the living Word of God, or personal fancy. The certainty comes only from referring back to Holy Writings which cover all aspects of life, and willingness to put aside one's "feelings" if the Holy Writings disagree with them.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit


Your passage was overall wonderful and beautifully written . . . It summed up a lot of what is so hard to sometimes explain by us Bahai's . . .

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