Excerpts from the sacred Writings of the Baha'i Faith: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and Letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice

June 24

One of the subtle qualities of the Bahá'í Administrative Order is the balance between centralization and decentralization. This balance must be correctly maintained, but different factors enter into the equation, depending upon the institutions involved. For example, the relationship between a National or Local Spiritual Assembly and its committees is of a different nature from that between National and Local Spiritual Assemblies. The former is a relationship between a central administrative body and "its assisting organs of executive and legislative action",1 while the latter is a relationship between national and local levels of the House of Justice, each of which is a divinely ordained institution with clearly prescribed jurisdiction, duties and prerogatives. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 30 May, 1997)

June 23

The House of Justice feels that your National Assembly must do more than distribute printed information about the Faith, as valuable as this is. A beginning should be made to identify the prominent persons in your country and ways be found to meet with them personally to acquaint them with the Faith. To this end, the House of Justice again urges you to appoint a committee to investigate the possibilities. If the few prominent Bahá'ís ... are too busy to assist, then you will have to either redirect their efforts or call others to this task. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 22 August 1984 to a National Spiritual Assembly; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Teaching Prominent People)

June 22

If you find you need to visualize someone when you pray, think of the Master. Through Him you can address Bahá'u'lláh. Gradually try to think of the qualities of the Manifestation, and in that way a mental form will fade out, for after all the body is not the thing, His Spirit is there and is the essential, everlasting element. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated January 31, 1949 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and the Devotional Attitude)

June 21

Bahá'u'lláh has reduced all ritual and form to an absolute minimum in His Faith. The few forms that there are -- like those associated with the two longer obligatory daily prayers -- are only symbols of the inner attitude. There is a wisdom in them, and a great blessing, but we cannot force ourselves to understand or feel these things, that is why He gave us also the very short and simple prayer, for those who did not feel the desire to perform the acts associated with the other two. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 24 June 1949 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and the Devotional Attitude)

June 20

The Guardian has referred to national committees as expert advisers and executive assistants of a National Spiritual Assembly. This suggests that, rather than diminishing the role of its National Teaching Committee when Regional Bahá'í Councils are formed, a National Spiritual Assembly would develop further the advisory and executive aspects of its responsibilities in certain respects. The capacity of the National Teaching Committee to monitor the effectiveness of the teaching work throughout the country could be enhanced. Through its knowledge of the progress of the work, it should be able to bring to the National Assembly's attention strengths and needs in any region. There are also a number of specific matters, such as the analysis of opportunities for expansion and consolidation in rapidly changing conditions, the identification of successful approaches to teaching, and the dissemination of promising teaching methods, which would benefit from the constant attention of a vibrant and competent National Teaching Committee. Issues related to teaching among minorities and specific groups who reside in more than one region of the country present another area which would benefit from a National Teaching Committee's attention. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 30 May, 1997)

June 19

The advancement of the Cause is an evolutionary process which takes place through trial and error, through reflection on experience and through wholehearted commitment to the teaching Plans and strategies devised by the House of Justice. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 22 August 2002 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

June 18

The rational soul—the human spirit—did not descend into this body or subsist through it to begin with, that it should require some substance to depend upon after the constituent parts of the body have decomposed. On the contrary, the rational soul is the substance upon which the body depends. The rational soul is endowed from the beginning with individuality; it does not acquire it through the intermediary of the body. At most, what can be said is that the individuality and identity of the rational soul may be strengthened in this world, and that the soul may either progress and attain to the degrees of perfection or remain in the lowest abyss of ignorance and be veiled from and deprived of beholding the signs of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Centre)

June 17

… ignorance is indisputably the principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples and the perpetuation of prejudice. No nation can achieve success unless education is accorded all its citizens. Lack of resources limits the ability of many nations to fulfil this necessity, imposing a certain ordering of priorities. The decision-making agencies involved would do well to consider giving first priority to the education of women and girls, since it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society. In keeping with the requirements of the times, consideration should also be given to teaching the concept of world citizenship as part of the standard education of every child. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated October 1985, addressed to the Peoples of the World)

June 16

Encourage the children from their earliest years to master every kind of learning, and make them eager to become skilled in every art — the aim being that through the favouring grace of God, the heart of each one may become even as a mirror disclosing the secrets of the universe, penetrating the innermost reality of all things; and that each may earn world-wide fame in all branches of knowledge, science and the arts. Certainly, certainly, neglect not the education of the children. Rear them to be possessed of spiritual qualities, and be assured of the gifts and favours of the Lord. 
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá  (From a Tablet, the Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Excellence in All Things)

June 15

The Universal House of Justice ... regards Bahá'í scholarship as of great potential importance for the development and consolidation of the Bahá'í community as it emerges from obscurity...
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 3 January 1979 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to participants in an academic seminar; the Compilation of Compilations, vol. III, Scholarship)

June 14

We are indeed living in an age which, if we would correctly appraise it, should be regarded as one which is witnessing a dual phenomenon. The first signalizes the death pangs of an order, effete and godless, that has stubbornly refused, despite the signs and portents of a century-old Revelation, to attune its processes to the precepts and ideals which that Heaven-sent Faith proffered it. The second proclaims the birth pangs of an Order, divine and redemptive, that will inevitably supplant the former, and within Whose administrative structure an embryonic civilization, incomparable and world-embracing, is imperceptibly maturing. The one is being rolled up, and is crashing in oppression, bloodshed, and ruin. The other opens up vistas of a justice, a unity, a peace, a culture, such as no age has ever seen. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 28 Marc, 1941; ‘The Promised Day is Come’)

June 13

We find God only through the Intermediary of His Prophet. We see the Perfection of God in His Prophets. Time and space are physical things, God, the Creator is not in a 'place' as we conceive of place in physical terms. God is the Infinite Essence, the Creator. We cannot picture Him or His state; if we did, we would be His equals, not His Creatures. God is never flesh, but mirrored in the attributes of His Prophets, we see His Divine characteristics and perfections. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 9, 1947; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

June 12

We cannot know God directly, but only through His Prophets. We can pray to Him, realizing that through His Prophets we know Him, or we can address our prayer in thought to Bahá'u'lláh, not as God but as the Door to our knowing God. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 9, 1947; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

June 11

From the moment the soul leaves the body and arrives in the Heavenly World, its evolution is spiritual, and that evolution is: The approaching unto God.

In the physical creation, evolution is from one degree of perfection to another. The mineral passes with its mineral perfections to the vegetable; the vegetable, with its perfections, passes to the animal world, and so on to that of humanity. This world is full of seeming contradictions; in each of these kingdoms (mineral, vegetable and animal) life exists in its degree; though when compared to the life in a man, the earth appears to be dead, yet she, too, lives and has a life of her own. In this world things live and die, and live again in other forms of life, but in the world of the spirit it is quite otherwise.

The soul does not evolve from degree to degree as a law—it only evolves nearer to God, by the Mercy and Bounty of God. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, November 3, 1911, Paris; ‘Paris Talks’)

June 10

...Let not anxieties and disappointments overwhelm you or oppress your generous and sensitive heart. Turn to Him in prayer and remember that I am joining you in your supplications for guidance and strength. Be patient in tribulation and never relax in your efforts to promote the Divine Teachings. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 28 December 1925 to an individual believer; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny’)

June 9

His brotherly advice to you, and to all loyal and ardent young believers like you, is that you should deepen your knowledge of the history and of the tenets of the Faith, not merely by means of careful and thorough study, but also through active, whole-hearted and continued participation in all the activities, whether administrative or otherwise, of your community. The Bahá'í community life provides you with an indispensable laboratory, where you can translate into living and constructive action the principles which you imbibe from the Teachings. By becoming a real part of that living organism you can catch the real spirit which runs throughout the Bahá'í Teachings. To study the principles, and to try to live according to them, are, therefore, the two essential mediums through which you can ensure the development and progress of your inner spiritual life and of your outer existence as well. May Bahá'u'lláh enable you to attain this high station, and may He keep the torch of faith for ever burning in your heart! 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 2 November 1933 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Youth)

June 8

It is on young and active Bahá'ís, like you, that the Guardian centres all his hopes for the future progress and expansion of the Cause, and it is on their shoulders that he lays all the responsibility for the upkeep of the spirit of selfless service among their fellow-believers. Without that spirit no work can be successfully achieved. With it triumph, though hardly won, is but inevitable. You should, therefore, try all your best to carry aflame within you the torch of faith, for through it you will surely find guidance, strength and eventual success. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 1 September 1933 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Youth)

June 7

The bulk of humanity now realiseth what a great calamity war is and how war turneth man into a ferocious animal, causing prosperous cities and villages to be reduced to ruins and the foundations of the human edifice to crumble. Now, since all men have been awakened and their ears are attentive, it is time for the promulgation of universal peace -- a peace based on righteousness and justice -- that mankind may not be exposed to further dangers in the future. Now is the dawn of universal peace, and the first streaks of its light are beginning to appear. We earnestly hope that its effulgent orb may shine forth and flood the East and the West with its radiance. The establishment of universal peace is not possible save through the power of the Word of God... 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Peace)

June 6

Let us pray to God that in these days of world-encircling gloom, when the dark forces of nature, of hate, rebellion, anarchy and reaction are threatening the very stability of human society, when the most precious fruits of civilization are undergoing severe and unparalleled tests, we may all realize, more profoundly than ever, that though but a mere handful amidst the seething masses of the world, we are in this day the chosen instruments of God’s grace, that our mission is most urgent and vital to the fate of humanity, and, fortified by these sentiments, arise to achieve God’s holy purpose for mankind. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (Excerpt from a letter dated 14 November 1923 to the Baha’is throughout America, ‘Baha’i Administration’)