Ridván 1990

My dear Rúhíyyih Khánum,

This second letter to you, which I had never anticipated writing, is due to the fact that, since my previous letter of two years ago, I have had the opportunity to read your book titled: THE GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH. In my previous letter I reminded you of the startling and wholly unexpected allusion that Shoghi Effendi made to his passing during the occasion of Irene’s and my pilgrimage at the end of 1952 and the highly emotional response that it evoked on your part at the time. You can, therefore, understand my surprise that you did not recall this event, even upon later reflection, when you wrote the following lines which appear on page 237 of your book:

"No one dreamed that the time clock inside that heart was reaching the end of its allotted span. . . I do remember a very few things that might have been significant but certainly they meant nothing to me at the time. I could never have survived the slightest foreknowledge of the Guardian’s death and only survived it in the end because I could not abandon him and his precious work, which had killed him long before any one believed his life would end."

You must have been surprised also upon reading my letter (assuming you read it) to discover that you had so completely forgotten the very clear intimation that Shoghi Effendi had made to those of us seated at the dinner table one evening in Haifa that his passing could not be far off. Of those hearing this dire pronouncement which included, in addition to yourself, the other members of the International Bahá’í Council permanently residing in Haifa, Irene and myself, only the three of us remain alive today.

In relating the circumstances of this intimation in my previous letter you may recall that I reminded you that Shoghi Effendi made this intimation by drawing a parallel between the unbearably heavy correspondence which had overburdened the Master prior to His ascension and the correspondingly heavy correspondence with which he was then increasingly burdened and that was becoming more than he could handle. And, that it was, upon hearing these words that you jumped up from the table and in tears rushed out of the room. The comforting words that Shoghi Effendi spoke following your return to the table apparently served to allay your fears, as well as ours, that this unthinkable event was imminent and to put the memory of this ominous event out of our minds completely, and surprisingly enough, in your case, to such an extent, that it did not come to mind, even when you wrote the lines quoted above. In my last letter I mentioned that I considered it highly unlikely that Shoghi Effendi would have made a similar intimation to others, either before or after this event. Your comments reveal the fact that he had obviously not done so. The question therefore remains as to why Shoghi Effendi had chosen to make such a disturbing and shocking intimation in our presence that evening. Several possible reasons were outlined in my previous letter. Upon further reflection, an explanation not previously mentioned inevitably crosses my mind. Incredible though it may seem, Shoghi Effendi must have foreseen that one day it would fall to my lot to remind you not only of this intimation of his passing but also of the other highly significant statements he made that evening which had such a tremendous bearing on the very future of our beloved Faith and its divinely-appointed Institutions. The fact that you reacted so strongly and emotionally to Shoghi Effendi’s intimation of his early passing that night at the dinner table certainly confirmed your words quoted above that you would not have been able to survive the foreknowledge of his death. Shoghi Effendi certainly sensed this and it was for this reason that he would never have been able to confide in you the identity of the person whom he had already appointed as his successor. For, had he openly identified him either to you or to the Bahá’í world at large, it would have been tantamount to forecasting the early end of his ministry, as his chosen successor was a man more than twenty years his senior and, although already of advanced age, would outlive him (actually doing so by some 17 years). Not only would such a foreknowledge have had the effect upon you which you have mentioned but it would certainly have paralyzed the other believers, throughout the Bahá’í world as well, in their labors for the Cause.

As we think about this matter in that light, we can see that Shoghi Effendi had been faced with something of a dilemma. How could he appoint the person whom he had chosen to be his successor "in his own life-time" according to the terms of the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá and, at the same time, veil or obscure his identity, during the remaining years of his ministry, in such a way that the believers would not perceive that his ministry would be soon drawing to a close? As Shoghi Effendi resolved this dilemma so ingeniously and so much at variance with our long-held expectations as to the manner in which he would appoint his successor, and even though I discussed this in my previous letter, it bears repeating in this letter.

By appointing his successor – the Guardian-to-be – the President or Head of the International Bahá’í Council – "this first embryonic International Institution" – Shoghi Effendi very obviously realized that the believers would lack the discernment to perceive the relationship that existed between his nominee being appointed President of this embryonic body and his continuance in this Office as this body developed through its intermediary stages of evolution (as outlined in his 9 January 1951 Proclamation), finally reaching maturity as the fully developed Universal House of Justice, the Head of which can only be the Guardian of the Faith. In other words, the appointed embryonic head of this body would remain the irremovable head of this body as it developed through its successive stages until becoming the fully matured Universal House of Justice exercising all of its powers. We need only refer to the Master’s words concerning the development of an embryonic organism to confirm this, for He has said: "the embryo possesses from the first all perfections, such as the spirit, the mind . . . all the powers – but they are not visible and become so only by degrees." With these words of the Master in mind, we can understand why Shoghi Effendi referred to the International Bahá’í Council as an "Institution", indicating that it was not some temporary or provisional body created outside the provisions of the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá but, in fact, nothing less than the Universal House of Justice in its embryonic form. And, for this reason, Shoghi Effendi had to maintain the Council in an inactive state; otherwise he would have had to assume the Presidency himself. And this is why he appointed you the "chosen liaison" between himself and the Council and never directed its President (according to his statement) to convene the Council into a functioning body during the remaining years of his ministry but assigned tasks to individual Council members only.

If an even more convincing argument is desired to prove that it was Shoghi Effendi’s intention that the Head or President of the Council would remain as its head through successive stages of development, we need only call to mind the remarks that Shoghi Effendi made that same evening which unequivocally pointed to the one whom he had chosen as his successor. We again failed to perceive their significance due to our preconceived ideas and expectations based on false interpretations of the provisions of the Master’s Will and Testament as evidenced, for example, by the misguided and fruitless search that was undertaken following the death of Shoghi Effendi for a Will and Testament. Although this, too, was discussed in my previous letter, there is an additional point that I failed to make which is of the greatest significance as it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Mason was Shoghi Effendi’s chosen successor. You may recall from my previous letter that I mentioned the remarks that Shoghi Effendi made concerning the evolutionary stages in the evolution of the International Bahá’í Council and that when he discussed the second or next stage of its development in which it would be constituted as an International Court, he had pointed out to us that Mason would then become the Judge (i.e. the Chief Judge) of this Court. And, then, most significantly, he turned to Mason at the table and asked him if he was ready to be a judge, thus singling him out in this way from the other members of the Council seated around the table that night who obviously would then be associate judges on this Court.

Perhaps this reference to Mason as the future Chief Judge of this Court and the query he directed to him would have held more meaning to us if we had grasped the full import and implications of Shoghi Effendi’s Proclamation made almost a year earlier (9 January 1951) in which he had proclaimed his "epoch-making decision" to create the International Bahá’í Council as "the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order" and "the greatest event shedding lustre upon the Formative Age . . . ranking second only to the glorious immortal events associated with the Three Central Figures of the Faith . . ." For, if we had perceived the significance of this Proclamation and even asked ourselves why he had used the superlative terms that he did in proclaiming this event, perhaps we would have been prepared to consider the implications of the role, functions, and authority that Mason would be called upon to exercise as the Chief Judge of the International Bahá’í Court. We would have noted that under the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade this International Court – this Supreme Court in the Bahá’í world and forerunner of the Universal House of Justice – would be called upon to exercise jurisdiction over six National Bahá’í Courts (evolved themselves from National Spiritual Assemblies) established in certain Islamic countries designated by Shoghi Effendi where they would be authorized to apply the Laws of Bahá’u’lláh and such subsidiary laws as would inevitably be required in administering Bahá’í justice to believers in those countries. If we had considered the role, functions, and authority of the Chief Judge of the International Court under these circumstances, and in the light of the provisions of the Will and Testament which apply to the Guardian’s role as the "sacred head and distinguished member for life" of the Universal House of Justice, we would have realized that only the Guardian of the Faith could possibly preside as the Chief Judge of this, Court. For, as we know, the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá confers authority solely upon the Guardian, of the Faith to interpret Bahá’í Holy Writ and to adjudge the propriety of such subsidiary laws as may be contemplated by the Universal House of Justice and where necessary require their reconsideration to insure that they do not contravene the Laws of Bahá’u’lláh. This is the vital point that I wish to make. The fact that Shoghi Effendi told us specifically that Mason was to be the Chief Judge of this Supreme Court to be established in the Holy Land proves conclusively and irrefutably that Mason Remey was Shoghi Effendi’s chosen successor.

What we also, of course, failed to perceive, was that by telling us that Mason was to become the Chief Judge of this International Court, which we have already shown to be an Office synonymous with the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi was, in fact, making the dire prediction that his own demise would take place before the establishment of this Court projected to take place during the Ten Year Global Crusade (his death actually taking place almost at the midpoint of the Crusade).

Shoghi Effendi certainly realized that none of us hearing his words that evening would grasp their import or the significance of the query he had put directly to Mason. Perhaps, he had entertained the hope that we would recall this conversation following his passing, realize its import, and inform the Bahá’ís throughout the world, who, together with the Hands of the Cause, were erroneously expecting to learn of Shoghi Effendi’s successor through the instrumentality of a will and testament. They would have learned that, in fact, he had appointed his successor some six years prior to his death in accordance with the terms of the Master’s Will and had thus insured the uninterrupted and unbroken continuity of the Guardianship from the very moment of his passing. If you, particularly, had remembered this conversation, perceived its significance and then informed your fellow-Hands, the great mass of the believers throughout the world would not have abandoned the Guardianship, the ramifications of which if permitted to continue, will lead to the destruction of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. In my own case, I, too, failed to understand the import of Shoghi Effendi’s words even though I had taken notes when he was speaking. It was only many years later when Mason who, by that time, had gone through a spiritual gestation period of some 9 years since his appointment as the Guardian-to-be (i.e. President of the IBC) and some two and a half years following the passing of Shoghi Effendi, issued his Proclamation to the Bahá’í world at Ridván 1960 that it all became so clear to me as to be undeniable. With this realization, I could do nothing less than give him my wholehearted and complete support even though it meant separating myself from my family, my friends of long-standing, and many of my activities for the Cause, witnessing the illegal dissolution of the NSA of France, being deposed as a member of the European Auxiliary Board and accepting the painful ostracism that I knew was sure to follow. How else, could I prove faithful to the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, the immortal Child of that Covenant, and to the Center of the Cause?

At long last, it had now become evident, that the Master’s portentous and highly revealing prophecy to Mason Remey concerning his future role contained in a Tablet addressed to him as long ago as 1915 had been fulfilled:

"Verily I beseech God to make thee confirmed under all circumstances. Do not become despondent, neither be thou sad. ERE LONG, THY LORD SHALL MAKE THEE A SIGN OF GUIDANCE AMONG MANKIND." (Star of the West - Vol.V, No. 19, March 2, 1915).

Let us now consider the latter part of the passage quoted from your book on the first page of this letter. You have said that you were only able to survive the Guardian’s death "because I could not abandon him and his precious work . . ." This sentiment is certainly understandable in view of your great love for him and appreciation, more than any of us, due to your closeness to him, of his devoted, untiring, and magnificent labors during his 36 year ministry for the triumph of the Faith and the erection of the Institutions of the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh, as delineated in the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá. I find a great paradox in your statement, for, notwithstanding this sentiment, you have acquiesced in, if not presided over, the dismantlement of the very international institutions of the Faith whose final establishment during the concluding years of his ministry represented the crowning achievement of Shoghi Effendi’s long, arduous, and dedicated labors to erect the administrative machinery of the Faith. Were not these achievements hailed by him in a veritable deluge of momentous and historic cablegrams to the Bahá’í world (as found in the book: MESSAGES TO THE BAHÁ’Í WORLD, 1950-1957) extolling the fact that these international institutions had finally been established? For example, in his message of 30 June 1952 (some 5 months before our pilgrimage) he stated:

"At the World Center of the Faith, where, at long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected, and around whose most holy shrines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order, are, in their embryonic form, unfolding . . ."

Were not these "highest institutions" and "supreme organs" that had at long last been erected in their embryonic form none other than the Universal House of Justice (i.e. the International Bahá’í Council) and the institution of the Hands of the Cause? Small wonder, then, that Shoghi Effendi could joyfully announce to the Bahá’í world that the "embryonic World Commonwealth of Bahá’u’lláh" had been established in all of its perfection and glory and he could as his ministry drew to its conclusion derive the greatest satisfaction and joy in the knowledge that he had faithfully discharged, with the erection of these institutions, and in the planning and inauguration of the Ten Year Global Crusade, every mandate bequeathed to us by the Master.

Flushed as the Bahá’í world was with the auspicious and momentous victories for the Faith on every front during these concluding years of Shoghi Effendi’s ministry who could have imagined that within the space of but a few years following his passing the historic achievements wrought by him in finally erecting the "supreme organs" of the Administrative Order at the World Center of the Faith would be reduced to naught by those believers whom he had so recently elevated to the station of Chief Stewards of that Order? Who would have thought that these Hands of the Cause would, when tested, display such a woeful ignorance and poor understanding of the most important provisions of the Master’s Will and Testament, and so quickly, with a single notable exception, lose faith in, the immortality, immutability, and inviolability of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s divine Charter of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh or would be so perfidious as to perpetrate the following ignominious acts?:

  • Abandon the living Guardianship of the Faith and declare it ended for all time.

  • Establish, without any authority whatsoever, a body composed of their own number completely outside the provisions of the Will and Testament of the Master upon which they conferred authority to direct the affairs of the Faith pending their announced establishment of a spurious Universal House of Justice (i.e. sans Guardian) of their own making in 1963.

  • Depose the Head of the embryonic Universal House of Justice – the International Bahá’í Council – created by Shoghi Effendi in 1951 and cancel the plans for the future development of the Council through successive stages as outlined by Shoghi Effendi.

  • Establish in 1963 their headless so-called Universal House of Justice pretending, notwithstanding, that this body deprived of "its sacred head and the distinguished member for life" was endowed not only with the same authority and infallibility as the one delineated in the Master’s Will and Testament but was invested with prerogatives which belong only to the living Guardian of the Faith.

  • Destroy the Institution of the Hands of the Cause and leave those hands appointed by Shoghi Effendi leaderless until they died out (as the Hands work under the direction, as their very name implies, of the Head of the Faith – the Guardian).

  • Foster the fallacious conception amongst the believers that Shoghi Effendi was the one and only Guardian of the Faith and, therefore, the fourth Central Figure of the Faith (as you have, in fact, also done in your book). Such a conception is completely contrary to everything that Shoghi Effendi wrote about the Guardianship and the provisions of the Master’s Will and Testament which clearly reveal that the Guardian does not take his station with him to the other world but the Guardianship is a function of this world, for only an unbroken line of living Guardians can possibly safeguard the Faith from schism as the sole Interpreters of Bahá’í Holy Writ and safeguard the Laws of Bahá’u’lláh from corruption as the indispensable and sacred Heads of the Universal House of Justice down through the centuries of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.

  • By declaring the living Guardianship ended, automatically render invalid those clauses in National Bahá’í Constitutions which confer supreme authority on the Guardian as the Head of the Faith; such constitutions being based on the Declaration of Trust of the NSA of the United States and Canada which was approved by Shoghi Effendi as the model for all constitutions prepared by National Bahá’í Administrative bodies throughout the world.

I find it incomprehensible that one who loved Shoghi Effendi so deeply, and so cherished and appreciated his magnificent achievements, should not only have acquiesced, if not taken the lead, in dismantling the institutions he had so laboriously and painstakingly erected during his ministry but, in the process, however unwittingly, also invalidated and discredited the greater part of his matchless writings on such subjects as the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá and the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Can any greater disservice to Shoghi Effendi be imagined than this? Are future generations of Bahá’ís expected to give the credence that is due to Shoghi Effendi’s writings on other subjects when, if, for example, they are asked to ignore what he has written about the sacredness, immortality, and inviolability of the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá? Will the chapter titled: "The Rise and Establishment of the Administrative Order": be deleted from his book: GOD PASSES BY or the chapter titled: "The Administrative Order:" be deleted from The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh because they no longer have validity? Are they expected to believe that the following words of Shoghi Effendi extolling the Divine Charter penned by the infallible Pen of the Master no longer have meaning?:

"His greatest legacy to posterity."

"The brightest emanation of His mind."

"His supreme act."

"The Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá which together with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas constitutes the chief depository wherein are enshrined those priceless elements of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Bahá’í Faith."

"This Divine Masterpiece, which the hand of the Master-builder of the world has designed for the unification and triumph of the world-wide Faith of Bahá’u’lláh."

"The Child of the Covenant – the Heir of both the Originator and the Interpreter of the Law of God."

"The Charter of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh."

"They [Aqdas and Will and Testament] are not only complementary but . . . mutually confirm one another, and are inseparable parts of one complete unit."

Certainly the time is not now far off when you will meet Shoghi Effendi in the other world. Your joy at meeting him again will certainly be beclouded by the knowledge that you will gain then that ironically you had permitted the great love that you had held for him to become the very veil that led to the abandonment of the Guardianship as a continuing Institution of the Bahá’í Administrative Order and your consequent rejection of his chosen successor. I don’t know how you will be able to explain to him or justify those actions of yours, or your acquiescence in the acts of others, which have resulted in such disastrous consequences for the future of our beloved Faith and the continued existence of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. How will you account for your loss of faith in the most important provisions of `Abdu’l-Bahá’s divine Charter whose sacredness, immortality, and immutability he has equated with Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book? If you do not perceive the enormity of this violation of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh before your passing and make amends, you most certainly will in the other world and then it will be too late to do so. You will, in that case, have to live with the awful knowledge of this tragic betrayal throughout eternity. It, therefore, is my ardent hope that you will for your own salvation and for the sake of the Cause reflect upon and reconsider carefully, in the light of what I have written above, the stand you have taken against the continuity of the Guardianship, find the humility and courage to admit your error and rally to the aid of those who have labored these many years for the victory of the Covenant and the continued life of the divinely-conceived "Child of the Covenant".

Your dear parents, too, must be greatly saddened that one who had been closer to Shoghi Effendi than anyone else as his loving consort, and had served him so faithfully, devotedly, and selflessly during his glorious ministry, has, following his passing, allowed her great love for him to become the very veil that has obscured her understanding and recognition of his intent and purpose with respect to the continuity of the Guardianship and, therefore, has led so tragically to her repudiation of the major provisions of the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá and violation of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh. Certainly, they must ardently hope and pray that you will perceive the great error that you have made and forthwith forsake your continued support of, if not, in fact, your leadership of, those misled believers who are bent on tearing out the heart, cutting off the head and severing the hands of the divinely-conceived perfect "Child of the Covenant" and who are attempting to foist upon the Bahá’í world in the place of that perfect "Child" a deformed, dismembered caricature which they have the audacity to pretend is the likeness of the Administrative Order bequeathed to us by the infallible Pen of `Abdu’l-Bahá.

I have given much thought to your dear mother, since last writing, calling to mind the last time I saw her. I was greatly privileged to be amongst the group of New York believers who visited her aboard ship on the day that her ship was preparing to set sail for South America; who had the opportunity to exchange a few parting words prior to her departure and to wave a final and sad farewell to her as her ship pulled away from dockside en route to Buenos Aires where she was destined to perform her final memorable act of service to the Cause she had served so faithfully and devotedly and there add to her unforgettable record of service the shining crown of martyrdom. Looking back in retrospect, I feel that the spiritual bond that had been forged between us during the days she spent in New York before her departure, led to my going to France many years later, the scene of some of her earliest victories for the Cause which had earned her the title: "Mother of Paris." When I had felt the urge to pioneer in Europe in response to the second Seven Year Teaching Plan, France had never entered my mind. The circumstances that finally resulted in my being stationed first in Paris and later in Orleans were to me nothing short of miraculous. I can only conclude that it was in no small measure due to your mother’s intercession on my behalf in the other world that enabled me to fulfill this desire and to settle in France, where I spent some of the most productive and happiest days of my life in serving the Faith for a period of 18 years. As you know, I was able to lend my assistance to the formation of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of France and was privileged to become its Chairman. Significantly, and to the eternal credit of this Assembly, it was the only one in the Bahá’í world which, upon receipt of the Proclamation of the second Guardian of the Faith during Ridván 1960, refused to be swayed by the edict issued by the Hands of the Cause in Haifa to reject out of hand his claim to the Guardianship. (The Hands having no authority to direct the NSA to do anything.) Instead, the Assembly studied this Proclamation, restudied the Will and Testament and applicable references from the writings, prayed over the matter and after due consultation voted and passed a resolution recognizing Mason Remey as the second Guardian of the Faith, finding the claims and evidence presented in his Proclamation well founded, sound, and completely valid.

In concluding this letter, I would like to take up a matter that has nothing to do with the principal issue discussed in this letter but one that has to do with a wonderful graphic handiwork done by Shoghi Effendi which may have been all but forgotten and perhaps never viewed by the new generation of Bahá’ís. As it graphically represented in such an unique and magnificent way Shoghi Effendi’s implementation of the mandate bequeathed to us in The Tablets of the Divine Plan penned by the Master, I feel certain that you will agree that this handiwork should be displayed in a proper place where future Bahá’í generations may view, admire, and appreciate it. I am referring to the map of the world on which Shoghi Effendi had superimposed in graphic form the goals of the "Ten Year International Bahá’í Teaching and Consolidation Plan" more commonly referred to us as the Ten Year Global Crusade. Shortly after Irene’s and my arrival in Haifa on pilgrimage, Shoghi Effendi placed in my hands, for study, the original of this wonderful map which had not then been published. I was deeply moved by this act and felt honored to be entrusted with this precious map during the period of our pilgrimage. Upon my return to France, in due course, I received a copy of the booklet that had been published containing the various lists of the goals of the Crusade and, as an appendix, a folded-up map reproduced from the one that Shoghi Effendi had presented to me for study in Haifa. I wanted to pay tribute to this marvelous handiwork and it occurred to me that the best way to do this would be to reproduce it as faithfully as I could on a large map that could be hung on the wall. Accordingly, a large canvas map of the world was secured in Paris measuring some 8 feet by 12 feet which was then suspended on the wall of one of the rooms of our house for purposes of reproduction. After working on this map for several months during my spare time, a fairly good reproduction was completed in time for it to be taken to the Intercontinental Conference being held in Frankfurt in July 1958 where it was hung on the wall in the foyer of the hall where the conference was being held. Sometime later, I saw this map hanging on the wall of the Hazíratu’l-Quds in Frankfurt where it may still be to this day. For this map to have maximum exposure in the future it would seem most appropriate to hang this map, or one like it, on the wall of a building at the World Center; otherwise the map that is folded away and contained as an appendix to the booklet will never be seen and appreciated by any but a few scholars in the years to come.

There could be no more fitting conclusion to this letter than to quote a passage from GOD PASSES BY (p.25-26) which affirms so magnificently what I have so inadequately been trying to say about the divinely-conceived, divinely ordained and divinely appointed Order of Bahá’u’lláh, as delineated in the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá:

"It should be noted, in this connection, that in the third Vahíd of this Book [the Bayán] there occurs a passage which, alike in its explicit reference to the name of the Promised One, and in its anticipation of the Order which, in a later age, was to be identified with His Revelation, deserves to rank as one of the most significant statements recorded in any of the Báb’s writings. "Well is it with him," is His prophetic announcement, "who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá’u’lláh, and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For He will assuredly be manifest. God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it in the Bayán." It is with that self-same Order that the Founder of the promised Revelation, twenty years later – incorporating that same term in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas – identified the System envisaged in that Book, affirming that 'this most great Order' had deranged the world’s equilibrium, and revolutionized mankind’s ordered life. It is the features of that self-same Order which at a later stage in the evolution of the Faith, the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant and the appointed Interpreter of His teachings, delineated through the provisions of His Will and Testament. It is the structural basis of that self-same Order which, in the Formative Age of that same Faith, the stewards of that same Covenant, the elected representatives of the world-wide Bahá’í Community, are now laboriously and unitedly establishing. It is the superstructure of the self-same Order, attaining its full stature through the emergence of the Bahá’í World Commonwealth – the Kingdom of God on earth – which the Golden Age of that same Dispensation must, in the fullness of time, ultimately witness."

Faithfully in the service of the Covenant,

Joel Bray Marangella