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Baha'is of the United States and the Baha'is of Canada

posted Apr 5, 2016, 10:17 AM by Charles Thilking   [ updated Apr 5, 2016, 10:18 AM ]

26 March 2016

To the chosen recipients of Abdu'l-Baha's Tablets of the Divine Plan, the Baha'is of the United States and the Baha'is of Canada

Dearly loved Friends,

                We cannot allow this historic moment to pass without adding—to our message to the
believers worldwide—a word to those whom the Author of the Divine Plan singled out for
a sacred responsibility and whose triumphs and travails shaped much of the past century in
accordance with His high expectations.

                Soon after the ascension of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha determined that one of the
principal objectives of His ministry would be to establish a community in North America under
the banner of His Father's Cause. He dispatched teachers, illumined pilgrims, embarked upon
an unparalleled visit in His declining years, laid the cornerstone of your House of Worship,
carved in fourteen Tablets addressed to you a divine mission, and "out of the abundance of His
heart chose to bestow on His favored disciples, to the very last day of His life, the tokens of
His unfailing solicitude." Later, at a time when the believers in the Cradle of the Faith were
hamstrung by persecution, when the light of the Faith in Europe was eclipsed by the growing
spectre of another war, when the most vibrant center in central Asia was dismantled, and even
the world center of the Faith itself was disrupted by a conflagration in the Holy Land, the
"one chief remaining citadel," the "mighty arm" that still raised aloft "the standard of an
unconquerable Faith," was, Shoghi Effendi observed, "none other than the blessed community
of the followers of the Most Great Name in the North American continent." He placed you—
the Plan's chief executors and its co-executors—among the vanguard of Baha'u'llah's resistless

                It is impossible here to recount the range of your illustrious achievements during the past
century. You have already accomplished that which is worthy of the gratitude and admiration
of the entire Baha'i world, but your mission is far from complete. After a century o f resolute
action, you should, more than ever before, be able to discern the straight path traced by
heavenly inspiration across the many stages of the Divine Plan since its systematic execution
began in 1937, and thus grasp the full implications of the latest stage about to open. The tasks
confronting you are not identical with those of an earlier age. With the international spread
of the Faith largely concluded, demands on you are now most pressing on the homefront. The
process of entry by troops that emerged so tenuously in the Ten Year Crusade, and was fostered
in the decades that followed, is now being extended through a sound process of community
building in center after center in all those countries and territories that Abdu'l-Baha marked
out so long ago. Your sister communities, so many of which you helped to establish, are now
mature, and you stand with them ready to take on the sterner challenges that lie ahead. The
movement of your clusters to the farthest frontiers of learning will usher in the time anticipated
by Shoghi Effendi at the start of your collective exertions, when the communities you build will
directly combat and eventually eradicate the forces of corruption, of moral laxity, and of
ingrained prejudice eating away at the vitals of society.

                This is a time for jubilation. Take pride in the sacrifices and victories of so many devoted
souls who arose in response to 'Abdu'l-Baha's call. With the same spirit of renunciation shown
by your predecessors, cast away the idle fancies and distractions of a world that has lost its way
that you may consecrate yourselves in the next five years to the priceless opportunities and
inescapable obligations of the latest stage of a spiritual enterprise on which the fate of humanity
ultimately depends

Charles Thilking,
Apr 5, 2016, 10:17 AM