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2 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2012 - 2:03PM #11
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,741

To honour your request, Ironhold, have put spaces in the parts but be clear that this is not the original as it appears in the book:


 


 


"O My beloved friends! You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day. You have been chosen as the repositories of His mystery. It behoves each one of you to manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power and glory. The very members of your body must bear witness to the loftiness of your purpose, the integrity of your life, the reality of your faith, and the exalted character of your devotion. For verily I say, this is the Day spoken of by God in His Book:[1] 'On that day will We set a seal upon their mouths yet shall their hands speak unto Us, and their feet shall bear witness to that which they shall have done.'


 Ponder the words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth to propagate the Cause of God. In words such as these, He bade them arise and fulfil their mission: 'Ye are even as the fire which in the darkness of the night has been kindled upon the mountain-top. Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognize and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven.


 You who are His spiritual children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness to His glory. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Such must be the degree of your detachment, that into whatever city you enter to proclaim and teach the Cause of God, you should in no wise expect either meat or reward from its people. Nay, when you depart out of that city, you should shake the dust from off your feet. As you have entered it pure and undefiled, so must you depart from that city. For verily I say, the heavenly Father is ever with you and keeps watch over you.


 If you be faithful to Him, He will assuredly deliver into your hands all the treasures of the earth, and will exalt you above all the rulers and kings of the world.' O My Letters! Verily I say, immensely exalted is this Day above the days of the Apostles of old. Nay, immeasurable is the difference! You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised Day of God. You are the partakers of the mystic chalice of His Revelation.


Gird up the loins of endeavour, and be mindful of the words of God as revealed in His Book:[2] 'Lo, the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the company of His angels arrayed before Him!' Purge your hearts of worldly desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning. Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by 'turning back,' He may 'change you for another people,' who 'shall not be your like,' and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God.


 The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him. 'The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.' You are the lowly, of whom God has thus spoken in His Book:[3] "And We desire to show favour to those who were brought low in the land, and to make them spiritual leaders among men, and to make them Our heirs.' You have been called to this station; you will attain to it, only if you arise to trample beneath your feet every earthly desire, and endeavour to become those 'honoured servants of His who speak not till He hath spoken, and who do His bidding.'


 You are the first Letters that have been generated from the Primal Point,[4] the first Springs that have welled out from the Source of this Revelation. Beseech the Lord your God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity, or embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through you. I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day. Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I, who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements.


 The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age.


 Scatter throughout the length and breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts, prepare the way for His coming. Heed not your weaknesses and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the Lord, your God, the Almighty.


 Has He not, in past days, caused Abraham, in spite of His seeming helplessness, to triumph over the forces of Nimrod?


 Has He not enabled Moses, whose staff was His only companion, to vanquish Pharaoh and his hosts?


 Has He not established the ascendancy of Jesus, poor and lowly as He was in the eyes of men, over the combined forces of the Jewish people?


 Has He not subjected the barbarous and militant tribes of Arabia to the holy and transforming discipline of Muhammad, His Prophet?


 Arise in His name, put your trust wholly in Him, and be assured of ultimate victory.'"

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2012 - 8:09AM #12
Ironhold
Posts: 11,490

Jun 30, 2012 -- 2:03PM, in_my_opinion wrote:


To honour your request, Ironhold, have put spaces in the parts but be clear that this is not the original as it appears in the book:



Thank you.


 


 


Ponder the words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth to propagate the Cause of God. In words such as these, He bade them arise and fulfil their mission: 'Ye are even as the fire which in the darkness of the night has been kindled upon the mountain-top. Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognize and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven.



One of the things we Mormons take a lot of flak over is that we generally don't wear crosses, images, or any of the other kitsch that might traditionally identify someone as being "Christian".


Thing is, there's a very good reason for that.


The general instruction from the church leadership is "Your lives should be such a good sign of what you believe that such decoration should be unnecessary for people to identify who you are."


Wouldn't it be nice if everybody could live up to that standard?


edit -


"I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship."



(As an aside, about once a year at least one of the local stores sells crosses and/or other such kitsch out of their vending machines. For as little as $0.50 you can pretend to be as pious as the next guy.)

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2012 - 12:54PM #13
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,741

Bahá'ís may wear a symbol of our Faith usually on a ring, sometimes on a pin or a pendant.  As a ring it should be worn on the ring finger of the right hand.


We are told that it is a reminder to ourselves to reflect the virtues.


It isn't a meant to be a boast or ostentation.


In most of the places where the words "adorn" or "adornment" appears in the Writings they are virtues. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2012 - 7:16PM #14
Ironhold
Posts: 11,490

Jul 1, 2012 -- 12:54PM, in_my_opinion wrote:


In most of the places where the words "adorn" or "adornment" appears in the Writings they are virtues. 




Hence my point.


Any schmuck could go down and buy all the religious bling they want.


What should matter is whether or not their actions demonstrate their faith.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2012 - 8:11AM #15
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,741

Being virtuous, and doing good, is walking the walk.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 04, 2012 - 10:16AM #16
Kalzera
Posts: 258

I guess this is why I've asked the original question of what is a manifestation of God.  Increasingly people are trying to understand.  They are asking, who is Jesus?  If He isn't God why not?  How can Jesus and Baha'u'llah be spiritually connected?  Why does the bible seem to indicate Jesus is God (in their minds) if He is not?  As a Baha'i I'd like to have an answer I'm comfortable with and can explain.  And I'm sure the answers are in the writings that will give an ever increasing understanding to those we have the ability to discern if they are looking close enough ... -- Seefan




Written by a New Testament scholar, this book  analyzes the entire Christian Bible to present a brief description of Jesus' role in relation to God. The reason I'm linking it is because, after reading it, I think it's an amazing validation of the Bahá'í understanding of Christ, and the Manifestation, in general.


Gleanings and Some Answered Questions are usually where I find myself if I'm looking for Jesus info. And of course the Iqan is the best overview of a Manifestation.


The only real "challenge," I think, is understanding how Bahá'u'lláh is the "Glory of the Father" while also being the "Return" of the "Son." There are quite a few untranslated texts (of which you can find unofficial, provisional translations online) that help explain this, a bit.


But speaking generally, the Manifestation is the link between worlds. Without him (or her in the future), we can only blankly guess at what the Divine is. Jesus and Bahá'u'lláh  are connected because they are both the Manifestation, with the former having prophesied the Latter, and the latter affirming the existence of the former. 


'Abdu'l-Bahá seems to affirm Trinitarian language as valid in Some Answered Questions without having affirmed the formalized doctrine of the Trinity. From this, we can admit that Jesus - as any Manifestation - is what Orthodox Christianity refers to as an "icon." They are the image through which we worship God, not an idol that becomes the focus of worship. Jesus is Divine, and, expressing the attributes of God, is rightly called "God" even while he is not the physical incarnation of God. 




"Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: “Those shafts were God’s, not Thine.” And also He saith: “In truth, they who plighted fealty unto Thee, really plighted that fealty unto God.” And were any of them to voice the utterance, “I am the Messenger of God,” He, also, speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: “Muḥammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God.” Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim, “I am the Seal of the Prophets,” they, verily, utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the “Beginning” and the “End,” the “First” and the “Last,” the “Seen” and the “Hidden”—all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say, “We are the Servants of God,” this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of Being were deep immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of Divine mysteries, they claimed their utterances to be the Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself. ' -- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings XXII

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 04, 2012 - 9:24PM #17
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

The only real "challenge," I think, is understanding how Bahá'u'lláh is the "Glory of the Father" while also being the "Return" of the "Son."


Kalzera, I think this is where independent investigation and personal comprehension (without pushing that understanding on to others) has a place.  Based on the 1844 prophesies of Daniel (OT) and Revelation (NT), my understanding is that it was the Báb who represented Christ's return of the Son, the "lamb" of Revelation, while other end-time prophesies point distinctly to Bahá'u'lláh (e.g., Daniel 12:11,12; Rev.21), who was to appear in the "Glory of the Father" or Promised One of the Ages of all past religions.  John's Revelation (esp. Ch.21) clearly prophecy the appearance of TWO Manifestations - Son/Lamb and the Father.  The Bab and Jesus were both sacrificial lambs in Their times.


And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (Rev. 21:22)

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev. 21:23)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 05, 2012 - 9:52AM #18
Seefan
Posts: 3,922

Thanks Kalzera!  Interesting thoughts.  Enjoyed reading themLaughing!


WC, thanks to you for explaining the function of the Bab.  Alot of times we leave Him out and forget He played an important part in revelation!  And you've explained it so wellSmile ...


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 05, 2012 - 11:47AM #19
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

But speaking generally, the Manifestation is the link between worlds. Without him (or her in the future), we can only blankly guess at what the Divine is.


I don't think it can be assumed there have only ever been male Manifestations in the past.  Among the indigenous peoples of North America, the Lakota Sioux have an ancient tradition of a a woman Wakan (holy person) who mysteriously appeared before the tribal council, taught them the "Seven Sacred Rituals", and introduced them to the chanunpa or sacred pipe.  Her name was PtesanWi or White Buffalo Calf Woman.  She is central to the Lakota religion as its supernatural prophet.  Tradition also teaches that she promised to "return" in the future.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2012 - 11:54AM #20
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

Jul 5, 2012 -- 9:52AM, Seefan wrote:

Thanks Kalzera!  Interesting thoughts.  Enjoyed reading themLaughing!


WC, thanks to you for explaining the function of the Bab.  Alot of times we leave Him out and forget He played an important part in revelation!  And you've explained it so wellSmile ...


 


Seefan,


I should have included that I perceive both the Báb AND Bahá'u'lláh as having been return of the Christ (ie., "anointed" of God) but neither were the literal return of Jesus the mortal man.

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