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communion of the passive worshiper. It cannot afford lasting satisfaction and benefit to the worshiper himself, much less to humanity 

in general, unless and until translated and transfused into that dynamic and disinterested service to the cause of humanity which it is 

the supreme privilege of the Dependencies of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár to facilitate and promote. Nor will the exertions, no matter how 

distinterested and strenuous, of those who within the precincts of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár will be engaged in administering the affairs 

of the future Bahá’i Commonwealth, fructify and prosper unless they are brought into close and daily communion with those spiritual 

agencies centering in and radiating from the central Shrine of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. 

. . . 

For it is assuredly upon the consciousness of 

the efficacy of the Revelation of Bahi’u’llãh, reinforced on one hand by spiritual communion with His Spirit, and on the other by the 

intelligent application and the faithful execution of the principles and laws He revealed, that the salvation of a world in travail must 

ultimately depend.”  

A fundamental principle has thus been given a new application in the development of the Bahá’i community—a principle established 

by Bahá’u’lláh, and not found in any prior age.  

On October 3 the Guardian thus characterized the Assembly’s action in a cabled message: “Hail historic act signahzing auspicious 

conjunction (in) heart (of) North American continent (of the) institutions (of) Uairatu’l-Quds (and) Mashriqu’lAdhkár, (the) twin foci 

(of) steadily evolving American Bahi’i community life. (The) former henceforth regarded as national Seat upon which all 

administrative channels (of) Bahá’i activity must increasingly converge. (The) latter permanently recognized (as) ordained Source 

from which rays (of) spiritual guidance will radiate. Upon (the) vigorous, constant inter-action (of the) dynamic forces which these 

complementary institutions embodying administrative machinery and incarnating (the) Soul (of the) Bahá’i community can release 

(the) effectual prosecution (of the) Seven Year Plan as well as (the) success (of) ultimate World Mission unquestionably depends. May 



community responsible (for the) establishment (of) these nascent institutions progressively contribute (to) acceleration (of) their 

growth and derive fullest benefit (from) their eventual fruition.”  

“Events of such capital institutional significance,” the Guardian informed the Bahá’is of the West in his general communication dated 

December 21, 1939, “as only future happenings, steadily and mysteriously unfolding at the world center of our Faith, can adequately 

demonstrate,” were constituted by the transfer of the “sacred remains of the brother and mother of our Lord and Master ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

to Mount Carmel and their final interment within the hallowed precincts of the Shrine of the Mb.”  

That communication, published under title of 

The Spiritual Potencies of That Consecrated Spot, 

has been one of the blessings 

and portents of the Bahá’i year. By that dramatic contrast which is one of the essential characteristics of the Cause of God in all 

epochs, we were able to perceive the hallowed and miraculous element of spiritual life in the sacrificial devotion rendered to 

Bahá’u’lláh by the Purest Branch and the Most Exalted Leaf, in such complete opposition to the element represented by those who, 

having once believed, turn back in denial and betrayal of their trust. Moreover, the Guardian parted for us the veils of mystery 

sufficient to enable us to realize that the institutions of the Faith unfold only to the degree that they are nourished by the blood of those 

who both know and adore their Author. A divine civilization draws nigh to men as men draw nigh to God.  

How mysterious to the materialist is this statement which the Guardian included in the letter: 

“. . . 

The conjunction of the resting-place of 

the Greatest Holy Leaf with those of her brother and mother incalculably reinforces the spiritual potencies of that consecrated Spot 

. . .“ 

Or these words: 

“. . 

.At this troubled stage in world history the association of these three incomparably precious souls who, next to the 

three Central Figures of our Faith, tower in rank above the vast multitude of the heroes, Letters, martyrs, hands, teachers and 

administrators of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, in such a potentially powerful spiritual and administrative Center 






is in itself an event which will release forces that are bound to hasten the emergence in a land which, geographically, spiritually and 

administratively, constitutes the heart of the entire planet, of some of the brightest gems of that World Order now shaping in the womb 

of this travaihng age.”  

It is good for us, dear friends, to pause frequently and realize that the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is a mystery, an ocean of significance and a 

sea of creative power, not a creed, not a church, not a civilization alone. Through our capacity to revere the followers who stand high 

above ourselves we may, let us hope, draw nearer to that supreme mystery than we can by employing our reason alone.  

Finally, the Bahá’i year now drawing to a close has been made significant through the martyrdom of May Maxwell while engaged in 

serving the cause of Inter-America teaching at Rio de Janeiro. This event was interpreted by the Guardian in his cablegram of March 

3, 1940:  

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s beloved handmaid, distinguished disciple May Maxwell (is) gathered (into the) glory (of the) Abhá Kingdom. Her 

earthly hfe, so rich, eventful, incomparably blessed, (is) worthily ended. To (the) sacred tie her signal services had forged, (the) 

priceless honor (of a) martyr’s death (is) now added. (A) double crown deservedly won. (The) Seven Year Plan, particularly (the) 

South American campaign, derives fresh impetus (from the) example (of) her glorious sacrifice. Southern outpost (of) Faith greatly 

enriched through association (with) her historic resting place destined remain (a) poignant reminder (of the) resistless march (of the) 

triumphant army (of) Bahá’u’llah. Advise believers (of) both Americas (to) hold befitting memorial gathering.”  

The next day came this cablegram from Ruhiyyih Khánum with its incomparable fragrance of heroic sacrifice and faith:  

“Humbly grateful beloved mother answered Guardian’s call, turned southward (and) sacrificed (her) life (for the) Holy Faith. Beg 

prayers (her) dacghter may follow her footsteps.”  

In the presence of so many and so glorious evidences, testimonies and portents, can we 


not glimpse something of the Guardian’s intent as he cabled these words received January 16, 1940: “The fateful forties, pregnant 

(for) weal (and) woe (are) ushered in. (The) American believers enter them firmly rooted (in the) fertile soil (of the) administrative 

order (and) bountifully nourished (by the) vital sap (of the) animation (of) its institutions, spreading its sheltering shadow (to the) 

farthest corners (of the) Western Hemisphere. Centenary (of the) Birth (of the) Faith (is) approaching. Victories unsuspected (are) 

within reach (of) community. (The) sooner (they are) achieved, (the) sharper (the) contrast offered (with) distracting miseries 

afflicting (a) generation (which) Faith alone can (and) must eventually redeem.”  

The Third Year of the Seven Year Plan  

The newly-elected National Spiritual Assembly, meeting directly after the Convention, had before it the Guardian’s cabled advice 

received April 28, 1939: Settlement (of the) Central American republics (is) next step (in) progressive, systematic penetration (of) 

Latin America. Upsurge (of) Bahá’u’lláh’s impelling Spirit can not, will not, be stemmed (nor) impeded. Methodical advance along 

(the) line traced (by) pen (of) ‘Abdu’l-Baha irresistible. Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, 

Dominica (and) Haiti immediate objectives. Though politically unsettled, religiously intolerant, socially backward (and) climatically 

inhospitable, these unexplored territories hold forth inestimable prizes (for) audacious adventures (in the) path (of) Bahá’i service. 

Dearly-beloved Martha’s unrivalled experience, indomitable faith (and) indefatigable labors will soon reinforce (the) powers released 

(for) contemplated campaign. Task admittedly laborious, hour laden with fate, privilege incomparable, precious divinely-promised aid 

unfailing, reward predestined immeasurable. Appeal all believers, white and Negro alike, (to) arise (and) assume rightful 

responsibilities. Urge prolongation (of) sessions (of) Convention (to) enable delegates (to) exercise (their) inalienable right (to) 

dehberate (and) formulate recommendations designed (to) aid incoming National Assem 






bly resolutely (to) prosecute (this) momentous enterprise. Fervor (of) prayers inten sified. 




In the light of this message, and the opportunities afforded by the remarkable progress in Temple construction during the two previous 

years, the Assembly prepared and reported the following plan of action for the third year of the Seven Year Plan:— Now the National 

Spiritual Assembly,  

after studying the recommendations of the delegates and the reports of committees, presents to the American Bahá’i community the 

schedule of tasks deemed vitally important for the third year of the Seven Year Plan, the 96th year of the Bahá’i Era.  


The Annual Budget 

laid before the believers is $150,000.00. Of this, 


is required for International and Administrative 

Activities, including property maintenance and committee budgets other than teaching; to be devoted to teaching in North and South 

America, $40,000; and for continuance of Temple construction through the Bahiyyih Khánum Fund, the amount necessary to maintain 

the schedule is $75,000.  


Inter-America Teaching. 

These activities include the following items: Training of teachers; Spanish correspondence; bulletins in 

English and Spanish; a Reference Library; translation and publication of Bahã’i literature in Spanish; projects for settlement of new 

countries; publicity for Latin-American press. 



Teaching in North America. 

Under this general title the American believers are responsible for the maintenance of a large 

number of facilities and activities. These must be properly coordinated and made to function vigorously in concentration of effort 

upon the common aim. Among the items to be noted are:  

A. The development of administrative communities in the areas which still lack a Spiritual Assembly.  

B. World’s Fair Exhibits. These are in active operation, and are producing lists of interested persons.  

C. State Fair Exhibits. A traveling exhibit is in preparation, and schedule of Fairs is being developed to the extent of our financial 


D. Teaching literature—a field which can be greatly developed. It includes special bulletins, study outlines, the series of teaching 

literature pamphlets, the use of THE BAs-tA’I 


Vol. VII, etc.  

E. Establishment of Latin-American activities in the United States and Canada. The Latin-American communities in many of our 

cities offer a remarkable teaching opportunity, and a beginning is to be made during the current year.  

F. Special projects by the National Teaching Committee.  

G. Development of groups and isolated believers by the Regional Teaching Committees.  

H. Radio. Publicity.  


Local Assembly extension teaching. 


Recently purchased historical site where the four Bahã’i martyrs of ‘Iraq, Iran, lie buried. 










K. Summer Schools.  

L. Bahi’i amity. The function of the race amity activities of former years is to be enlarged in order to fulfill the 

Guardian’s instructions concerning all minorities.  

M. Youth activities. Child training.  

IV. Temple Construction. The annual budget contemplates the completion of the exterior decoration by 1942, and the 

success of this schedule of operations represents a vital aspect of the Seven Year Plan. For the coming years, the 

following task is assigned:  

A. Completion of gallery contract.  

B. Completion of first story models contract.  

C. Completion of first story molds contract.  

D. Completion of purchase of quartz needed for first story.  

E. Begin casting and application of external decoration to first story. This item has paramount importance, for delay in 

beginning this part of the work would interfere with the schedule adopted for the Seven Year Plan.  

Progress of Temple Work  

By August, 1939, had been completed the first great achievement in Temple construction under the Seven Year Plan—

the exterior decoration of the gallery section. This is one of the most beautiful units of the entire scheme, and its 

completion has enhanced the appearance of the House of Worship incomparably.  

Without waiting for the accumulation of all the funds required for the first story level, the Assembly provided sufficient 

funds to the Temple Trustees in August to make possible a contract calling for the exterior decoration of the nine first 

story pylons to one-third their height. This work was finished well before the date of December 31, 1939, which the 

contract called for.  

The current year has seen likewise the completion of the contracts for models and molds required for exterior 

decoration of the first story, the purchase of the quartz needed for casting the first story units, and the purchase of steel 

and wire also required.  

This means that all the preliminary work has been done leading up to the casting and application of the units on the first 

story, the final stage in this part of the Temple construction; the other work to be accom plishe 


being the construction of the external stairs which are to rest upon the sloping deck of the foundation; some metal 

work, the nine entrance doors and grill work on certain windows; and such treatment of grounds and the interior of the 

edifice as may be decided on conclusion of the Seven Year Plan.  

The National Spiritual Assembly laid before the Bahi’i community in February, 1940, a plan, approved and endorsed 

by Shoghi Elfendi, calling for the funds needed to place the contract for the casting and application of the first story 

units, $95,000, plus $30,000 the estimated cost of the stairs, less the sums already expended amounting to $19,183.22, 

or a total of $105,816.78. Of this amount the Assembly reported that $50,000 would be required by April, 1940, the 

balance being payable during 1941. The essential purpose of this plan was to make possible the completion of all the 

work called for under the Seven Year Plan by 1942, two years ahead of schedule.  

The Guardian’s approval, and his participation in the plan, was reported in a letter dated December 27, 1939:  

“The Plan which your Assembly has suggested to raise the sum of fifty thousand dollars by next April, which will 

enable you to place the necessary contracts for the final completion of the entire First Story ‘of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, 

meets with my unqualified approval. It was specially in order to initiate and encourage the progress of such a plan that I 

felt impelled to pledge the sum of one thousand pounds in the memory of these two glorious souls who, apart from the 

Founders of the Faith and its Exemplar, tower, together with the Greatest Holy Leaf, above the rank and file of the 


“The interval separating us from that date is admittedly short. The explosive forces which lie dormant in the 

international field may, ere the expiry of these fleeting months, break out in an eruption that may prove the most fateful 

that mankind has experienced. It is within the power of the organized body of the American believers to further 

demonstrate the imperturbability of their faith, the serenity of their confidence and the unyielding tenacity of their 







At the time of this writing about one-half the $50,000 has been made available, and the continuance of the construction work is 

abundantly assured.  

The Penetration of Latin America  

Nothing in the history of the Faith in America compares with the response which has been made to the Guardian’s appeal for 

settlement of pioneer teachers in Latin- American countries.  

By March, 1940, it is possible to record the following impressive list of American teachers either settled in or on their way to various 

countries in Central and South America. In addition, Spanish translations of a number of Bahá’i texts are either completed in 

manuscript or on the press for publication; and plans for additional settlements as well as the return of Mrs. Frances Benedict Stewart 

to South America for a prolonged stay are nearly completed.  

Mathew Kaszab, Nicaragua.  

Mrs. Louise Caswell, Mrs. Cora Hitt Oliver, Panama.  

Gerrard Sluter, Guatemala.  

Mrs. Amelia Ford, Mrs. Gayle Woolson, Costa Rica.  

John Eichenauer, Jr., Clarence Iverson, San Salvador.  

Antonio Roca, Honduras.  

Mr. and Mrs. John Shaw, Jamaica.  

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Marangella, Cuba.  

Margaret Lentz, Dominican Republic.  

Lenora Holsapple, Brazil.  

Wilf rid Barton, Uruguay.  

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Laws, Chile.  

Mr. and Mrs. Emeric Sala, Priscilla Rhodes, Venezuela.  

John Stearns, Ecuador.  

Thus a vast and far-reaching project has been firmly established, its aim the realization of the Guardian’s plea for Bahá’i groups in all 

countries of Central and South America by the end of the first century of the Bahá’i Era. Mrs. Stewart’s second journey to South 

America had great results in forming permanent groups in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and in Chile. The Spiritual Assembly of 

Mexico City is taking an active part in the important work of Spanish translation as well as in extending the Cause in Mexico. The 

visit made by Mrs. Thomas 


Collins to Mexico City during the past year forged firmer bonds of unity and cooperation between the Bahá’is of that 

city and their co-workers in North America. Finally, the element of spiritual sacrifice and martyrdom has been brought 

into the mighty task in the passing of Mrs. May Maxwell.  

Consolidation of Teaching Work  

in North America  

A most powerful impetus has also been given to the teaching activities maintained during the year by the National and 

Regional Teaching Committees, the local Spiritual Assemblies and individuals who have served as pioneers or 

traveling teachers.  

The record of pioneer settlements arranged during the past two years reveals the fact that all parts of the United States 

and Canada now reflect the light of the new Revelation.  

Honor Kempton, Betty Becker, Mrs. Joy Allen, Alaska.  

Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Kalantar, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Delaware.  

Helen Grilling, Nevada.  

Mr. and Mrs. D. T. McNally, Rhode Island.  

Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Bidwell, Mrs. H. Emogene Hoagg, Miss Maud Mickle, Miss Wheeler, South Carolina.  

Mrs. Marguerite Reimer Sears, Lloyd Byars, Utah.  

Neysa Grace Bissell, C. Grant, Vermont.  

Mr. and Mrs. 1-lilbert Dahl, Harold Hunt, Mr. Brandon, West Virginia.  

Mr. and Mrs. Moore, Virginia.  

Martha Fettig, Alabama.  

Rezi Sunshine, Arkansas.  

Marvin Newport, Iowa.  

Mrs. Olivia Kelsey, Kentucky.  

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Babo, Mrs. Dorothy Logelin, Pearl Berk, Louisiana.  

Mrs. Marguerite Bruegger, North Dakota.  

Mrs. Dwight Edson, Mrs. Kathryn Frank- land, Fred Kluss, Mr. Brandon, Texas.  

Nayan Hartfield, Missouri, Mrs. Lorol Jackson, Montana.  

Mrs. Beulah Proctor, Mr. and Mrs. G. Wade, Nova Scotia.  

Rowland Estall, Manitoba.  

Doris Skinner, Alberta.  

Mrs. Kathryn Moscrop, Saskatchewan. 






The activities of these consecrated teachers, the development of study groups, and the preparation of new groups for the formation of a 

Spiritual Assembly, are reported in detail in the accompanying annual report of the National Teaching and the Regional Teaching 

Committees. What emerges is the vital fact that the entire Bahã’i community has become penetrated with a new quahty of vigor and a 

new determination to lay strong foundations for the new order ere the old crashes to the ground.  

The many activities which, under various Committees, make up the teaching work in its entirety, can only be grasped if we follow the 

Reports from all Committees. A word might be added here about the Bahá’i Exhibits maintained at the Expositions conducted at San 

Francisco, New York and Toronto. In the beauty of the exhibits, the vast amount of hterature taken by visitors, the duration of the 

effort and the contribution made by the many believers who gave their time to be in attendance day by day, these World Fairs, and the 

Canadian National Exposition, mark a new and higher standard of participation in teaching activity in connection with public 

enterprises. The experience gained by the Bahá’is themselves is perhaps no less important for the future than the interest aroused by 

the several hundred thousand printed summaries of the Faith given to inquirers.  

By March 1, 1940, authorization for formation of a local Spiritual Assembly on April 21 had been voted by the National Assemby to 

groups in the following cities:  

Waukegan and Madison, Wisconsin; Santa Rosa, Big Bear Lake, Beverly Hills and Burbank, California; West Haven, Connecticut; 

Omaha, Nebraska; and Atlanta, Georgia. Apphcations had been received, not yet acted on, from Santa Barbara, California, and 

Brookline, Massachusetts. These eleven new Assemblies will increase the number of local Assemblies in North America to 96. 

Eighty- eight Assemblies were elected on April 21, 1939, since when the removal of members to other cities and other reasons have 

dissolved the Assemblies of Moncton, New Brunswick, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Toledo, Ohio. From early in April, 1939 to March 

10, 1940, a total of three hundred 


and sixty-eight enrollments were reported by the local Assemblies, some of these representing transfers of membership from one 

community to another. The report from Los Angeles was 


from New York 36, from Chicago 22 and from Toronto 19. These 

figures do not list those who enrolled as isolated believers or members of groups.  

Coinmunicatioiis from the Guardian  

The guidance and strength which the American Bahá’is have received from Shoghi Effendi have enabled them to understand the true 

character of these passing days, anticipate the trend of world affairs, and concentrate upon the most important spiritual task.  

Space permits the recording of only some of the passages which during the year have been published in BAHA’i NEWS in their 

entirety for the believers.  

“The initial phase of the teaching work operating under the Seven Year Plan has at long last been concluded. They who pushed it 

forward have withstood the test gloriously. By their acts, whether as teachers or administrators, they have written a glorious page in 

the struggle for the laying of a continent- wide foundation for the administrative Order of their Faith. At this advanced stage in the 

fulfillment of the purpose to which they have set their hand there can be no turning back, no halting, no respite. To launch the bark of 

the Faith, to implant its banner, is not enough. Support, ample, organixed and unremitting, should be lent, designed to direct the course 

of that work and to lay an unassailable foundation for the fort destined to stand guard over that banner.  

“The National Spiritual Assembly, the National Teaching Committee, the Regional and local teaching committees, no less than the 

itinerant teachers, should utilize every possible means calculated to fan the zeal, enrich the resources and insure the solidity and 

permanency of the work, of those who, actuated by so laudable and shining a spirit of self-sacrifice, have arisen to face the hazards 

and perils of so holy and historic an adventure. Indeed every believer, however humble and inexperiencd, should sense the obligation 

to play his or her part in a mission that involves so very deeply the des- 




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