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Old 12-08-2016, 03:07 AM   #1
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Question Involving the Guardian

Greetings! I know this is my millionth thread this week. But I have just been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I was about to go to bed when I figured I'd finally ask, because it's something I honestly don't know the answer to.

I have read many quotes from the Guardian (Er, on behalf of, mostly), and thought to myself:

How authoritative is the Guardian's word? Pardon if I am wrong but the way I understand it, Abdu'l-Baha was Baha'u'llah's divine interpreter, and essentially what he said is undeniable in terms of the faith. When he chose the Guardian to interpret after his passing, did this give him the same level of authority? Or are his sayings not as authoritative, more like guidelines than set words?

Like, for example: Let's say that the Guardian gives an interpretation/says something, and somebody did not agree with that interpretation. What happens then?

Another reason I ask this is because on things like Wikipedia for example, the Guardian is not said to be a "key figure" whilst Abdu'l-Baha is. Essentially I am asking, how authoritative is the Guardian's word? Is it equal to Abdu'l-Baha's?
 
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:00 AM   #2
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My understanding is, whatever Abdulbaha has said about Shoghi Effendi in His Will and Testament.

So, I suggest you read the Will and Testament of Abdulbaha.

I remember Abdulbaha said, whatever the Guardian says, is equal to the Will of God. You have to read the exact words of Abdulbaha though..
 
Old 12-08-2016, 07:20 AM   #3
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From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian:
Quote:
"The infallibility of the Guardian is confined to matters which
are related strictly to the Cause and interpretations of the
Teachings; he is not an infallible authority on other subjects,
such as economics, science, etc.

The Guardian’s infallibility covers interpretation of the revealed
word, and its application. Likewise, any instructions he may
issue having to do with the protection of the Faith, or its wellbeing
must be closely obeyed, as he is infallible in the
protection of the Faith. He is assured the guidance of both
Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, as the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’lBahá
clearly reveals." - Infallibility and Historical Knowledge of the Guardian
I would recommend reading the entire Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, but here is what I think is the most relevant part pertaining to the Station of the Guardian:
Quote:
"The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God." - Bahá'í Reference Library - The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Pages 3-15
My understanding is that Shoghi Effendi's interpretation of Baha'i scripture is infallible, and as such all of his writings on the Faith should also be considered infallible.

To my knowledge Shoghi Effendi did not really write much independent material, with most of the material written being explanations of, or guidance on the practical applications of the writings of the Central Figures, which is why I think that he is not considered a key figure in the same vein as `Abdu'l-Bahá and the Manifestations.

Last edited by BBAlbertFreddie; 12-08-2016 at 07:30 AM. Reason: adding quote
 
Old 12-08-2016, 09:06 AM   #4
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Someone beat me too it, but the most important quote on the subject (I believe) is this one.

Quote:
"The infallibility of the Guardian is confined to matters which
are related strictly to the Cause and interpretations of the
Teachings; he is not an infallible authority on other subjects,
such as economics, science, etc.

The Guardian’s infallibility covers interpretation of the revealed
word, and its application. Likewise, any instructions he may
issue having to do with the protection of the Faith, or its wellbeing
must be closely obeyed, as he is infallible in the
protection of the Faith. He is assured the guidance of both
Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, as the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’lBahá
clearly reveals."
I really think this is a quote that should always be remembered. The Guardian (at least I would assume) knows best the limits of his own infallibility, and so this quote should always be kept in mind when looking at something the Guardian wrote.

I've seen several times where someone says "The Guardian says this" and implying infallibility without checking what he says against the above quote. I think this is a bit of a dangerous road, as it could lead to the proliferation of misinformation.

One example I've seen floating around is a quote from the Guardian stating he did not think Confucius was a prophet. However if you check the quote, his Infallibility does not cover the topic of who is or is not a prophet (scripture interpretation is not the same as historical knowledge of prophets), and Abdu'l Baha, on the contrary, has clearly stated that Confucius was a minor prophet (which, actually, was somewhat of a stumbling block for me coming to the Faith from a Taoist background... the Taoists and Confucians have been arguing for centuries After learning Abdu'l Baha confirmed Confucius I bought and read the Annalects to try to approach Confucius' teachings from a new light).

But, unfortunately, there still exist posts online from Baha'is putting forth the idea that Confucius was not a prophet, because of a statement by the Guardian, despite Abdu'l Baha saying otherwise. It's misinformation like this that makes me think understanding and remembering the Guardian's quote on his own Infallibility is so important.

Last edited by Walrus; 12-08-2016 at 09:10 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus
bdu'l Baha, on the contrary, has clearly stated that Confucius was a minor prophet
I've read the passage you quote, and he does not say that Confucius (or Buddha) was a prophet. He explains how they created divine institutions, which is different.

(I'm just a newcomer when it comes to those matters, so I judge accordingly to what is written.)

Sorry for the digression.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
One example I've seen floating around is a quote from the Guardian stating he did not think Confucius was a prophet. However if you check the quote, his Infallibility does not cover the topic of who is or is not a prophet (scripture interpretation is not the same as historical knowledge of prophets), and Abdu'l Baha, on the contrary, has clearly stated that Confucius was a minor prophet (which, actually, was somewhat of a stumbling block for me coming to the Faith from a Taoist background... the Taoists and Confucians have been arguing for centuries After learning Abdu'l Baha confirmed Confucius I bought and read the Annalects to try to approach Confucius' teachings from a new light).

But, unfortunately, there still exist posts online from Baha'is putting forth the idea that Confucius was not a prophet, because of a statement by the Guardian, despite Abdu'l Baha saying otherwise. It's misinformation like this that makes me think understanding and remembering the Guardian's quote on his own Infallibility is so important.
From memory Shoghi Effendi stated that Confucius was not a Manifestation of God, but as you point out the Faith also recognizes minor prophets (such as Quddus and Aaron the brother of Moses) and it is possible that Confucius was a minor prophet (the distinction between Manifestation and minor prophet being that a Manifestation receives Revelation directly from God, whereas a minor prophet is inspired by a Manifestation).

I am inclined to believe that Shoghi Effendi was 'qualified' to authoritatively state that Confucius was not a Manifestation, as presumably his infallibility when interpreting Baha'i scripture would extend to interpreting the standing of other writings in relation to the Faith. However he did not actually make any statements on whether or not Confucius was or wasn't a minor prophet and as you mentioned`Abdu'l-Bahá's statements indeed indicate that Confucius does have some spiritual standing, this quote from Some Answered Questions is relevant:
Quote:
Buddha also established a new religion, and Confucius renewed morals and ancient virtues, but their institutions have been entirely destroyed. - Bahá'í Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 164-166
This quote is (in my humble opinion) consistent with Confucius not being a Manifestation of God, as a Manifestation reveals a new Holy Book and establishes a new Religion. The statement that Confucius renewed ancient morals and virtues is, to me, also consistent with the possibility that he was a minor prophet, as we are told that the minor Prophets reflect the light of a Manifestation of God in the same way as the Manifestations reflect the light of God, from Some Answered Questions:
Quote:
The other Prophets are followers and promoters, for they are branches and not independent; they receive the bounty of the independent Prophets, and they profit by the light of the Guidance of the universal Prophets. They are like the moon, which is not luminous and radiant in itself, but receives its light from the sun.
I have only a very cursory knowledge of Far Eastern religions, so take my opinion with a large grain of salt, but I think that there was a Manifestation of God in the Far East (of course, we are assured man has never been without God's Guidance so there must have been) but that this Manifestation was not Confucius, with Confucius being a Lesser Prophet inspired by this Manifestation, or simply a great philosopher/teacher of the Manifestations teachings.

If I am not mistaken Confucius never actually claims to have received divine Revelation in his writings, so I do not think that the Guardian's statements are actually contradictory of Confucianism itself (although as I mentioned I know little about the topic, and would appreciate corrections).

EDIT: Apologies! I misread your post and missed the part where you mentioned Confucius being a minor prophet, as such some of what I wrote is redundant.

Last edited by BBAlbertFreddie; 12-08-2016 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBAlbertFreddie View Post
- snip -
Overall, Shoghi's (or his secretary's) precise quote on the subject is "Confucius was not a Prophet. It is quite correct to say he is the founder of a moral system and a great reformer" though it is unclear if by that he means any kind of prophet or specifically a Manifestation by that quote.

Abdu'l Baha on the other hand when asked to elaborate on the stations of Major and Minor Prophets gives Confucius as an example of fulfilling the roll of a Minor Prophet (which makes sense, since if you read Confucius' work, he constantly states that he is merely repeating the wisdom that the "ancients" knew, IE he is restoring not revealing).

Abdu'l Baha is specifically asked which station Confucius fits, and then gives the same description of Confucius' station that he used one question earlier when describing the roll of a Minor Prophet. So either Abdu'l Baha is confirming the status of Confucius as Minor Prophet, or he is being VERY misleading (and I have never known another quote from the man that was purposefully misleading in that way so I think it must be the former)

All that being said, because of confusion around the subject, I still see a lot of posts online from Baha'is stating that Confucius was no prophet of any kind because of their reading of Shoghi's quote without considering the limits of his infallibility on the subject.

Last edited by Walrus; 12-08-2016 at 01:23 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoaForce View Post
I've read the passage you quote, and he does not say that Confucius (or Buddha) was a prophet. He explains how they created divine institutions, which is different.

(I'm just a newcomer when it comes to those matters, so I judge accordingly to what is written.)

Sorry for the digression.
Indeed the very literal words don't outright state it, but the full context must be considered.

First Abdu'l Baha, before asked about Confucius, is asked about the different stations of the prophets. He describes and elaborates on each station, the Major and Minor.

The next question asked to Abdu'l Baha is specifically which station Confucius (and Buddha) fulfills. I imagine if Confucius had no station, Abdu'l Baha would have outright said that, but instead Abdu'l Baha then describes Confucius with the very same description he used to describe a Minor Prophet in the question asked directly before that one.

So either Abdu'l Baha is confirming the status of Confucius as Minor Prophet, or he is being VERY misleading (and I have never known another quote from the man that was purposefully misleading in that way so I think it must be the former)

And keep in mind that I had a very strong anti-Confucius bias coming into this subject. I'd prefer him not to be a prophet, to fit with some of my other beliefs more easily, but alas, all indications given by Abdu'l Baha are that the man was indeed a Prophet, even if a minor one.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 03:26 PM   #9
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We also should bear in mind a distinction between the writings of Shoghi Effendi, and those of his secretaries:

"Although the secretaries of the Guardian convey his thoughts and instructions and these messages are authoritative, their words are in no sense the same as his, their style certainly not the same, and their authority less, for they use their own terms and not his exact words in conveying his messages."

- Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 25 February 1951 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles

And it is also important to pay attention to the context of any letter by Shoghi Effendi:

"As regards Shoghi Effendi's letters to the individual Bahá'ís, he is always very careful not to contradict himself. He has also said that whenever he has something of importance to say, he invariably communicates it to the National Spiritual Assembly or in his general letters. His personal letters to individual friends are only for their personal benefit and even though he does not want to forbid their publication, he does not wish them to be used too much by the Bahá'í News."

- Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Extracts from the USBN

Lastly, the very pertinent quotes previously posted by Walrus:

"The infallibility of the Guardian is confined to matters which
are related strictly to the Cause and interpretations of the
Teachings; he is not an infallible authority on other subjects,
such as economics, science, etc."

- Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual, 17 October 1944

and

"The Guardian's infallibility covers interpretation of the Revealed Word and its application. Likewise any instructions he may issue having to do with the protection of the Faith, or its well being must be closely obeyed, as he is infallible in the protection of the Faith. He is assured the guidance of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, as the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá clearly reveals."

- Letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, 20 August 1956


To me, this indicates that if one wishes to stick to Baha'i doctrine, letters written to individuals on behalf of the Guardian about the religious history of past dispensations are likely not covered by the infallability of his office. That is not at all to say that such messages are wrong, or should be completely disregarded. But in this Faith the criteria for inclusion in Baha'i doctrine is a very high bar indeed, and we do a great disservice to the Cause if we add things to what we consider as Baha'i doctrine that do not in fact belong there and can provide mighty barriers between souls and their Best Beloved.

Last edited by Matthew Light; 12-08-2016 at 04:12 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2016, 08:02 PM   #10
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Personally, I see the authority of Messages of the Guardian and Universal House of Justice as more authoritative than Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, simply because of increased authenticity of language and source. Letters written on behalf of the Guardian less so than direct guidance from the Guardian himself.

I use the guidance from the Guardian as the sway by which I can understand any possible ambiguity in the Writings of the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha.

Kam

Last edited by Kam; 12-09-2016 at 12:15 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2016, 07:13 AM   #11
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Saveyist asked:

Quote:
How authoritative is the Guardian's word? Pardon if I am wrong but the way I understand it, Abdu'l-Baha was Baha'u'llah's divine interpreter, and essentially what he said is undeniable in terms of the faith. When he chose the Guardian to interpret after his passing, did this give him the same level of authority? Or are his sayings not as authoritative, more like guidelines than set words?

Like, for example: Let's say that the Guardian gives an interpretation/says something, and somebody did not agree with that interpretation. What happens then?

Another reason I ask this is because on things like Wikipedia for example, the Guardian is not said to be a "key figure" whilst Abdu'l-Baha is. Essentially I am asking, how authoritative is the Guardian's word? Is it equal to Abdu'l-Baha's?
Saveyist:

I always appreciate when someone gives focus to such an important Baha’i institution as that of the Guardianship. Considering your questions and for your own consideration, I will offer some comments and quotes related to the topic.

Baha’u’llah states: “Know assuredly that just as thou firmly believest that the Word of God, exalted be His glory, endureth for ever, thou must, likewise, believe with undoubting faith that its meaning can never be exhausted. They who are its appointed interpreters, they whose hearts are the repositories of its secrets, are, however, the only ones who can comprehend its manifold wisdom. . . .” (Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 175) Baha’u’llah here indicates plurality, i.e. “They”, “appointed interpreters”, “they whose hearts”, “the only ones”; definitely indicating He anticipated more appointed interpreters of the Word of God than only ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

In addition to being Baha’u’llah’s first appointed interpreter, ‘Abdu’l-Baha was designated as the Center of the Covenant and no other individual can ever assume that role. On the other hand, the authorized appointed interpreters of the Word of God were not limited to ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Interpretation was anticipated to continue well beyond ‘Abdu’l-Baha via the hereditary institution of the Guardianship and a succession of appointed Guardians throughout the Baha'i Dispensation, the first one being Shoghi Effendi as outlined in ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament. Between November 1921 (with the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha) and November 1957 (with the passing of Shoghi Effendi), to believe anything counter to this was perceived to be challenging, or in violation of, the Covenant.

As far as your inquiry about Shoghi Effendi’s “level of authority”, the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha provides clarification. In the first portion of Part 1 of the Will, ‘Abdu’l-Baha refers indirectly to Shoghi Effendi and the hereditary institution of the Guardianship as “that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees” and as the “Light that after my passing shineth from the Daypring of Divine guidance – for behold! he is the blest and sacred bough that has branched out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind.” Later in Part 1 of the Will, ‘Abdu’l-Baha clearly identifies Shoghi Effendi as that “youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote Trees”, and as the “sign of God, the chosen branch, the guardian of the Cause of God” and as the “expounder of the words of God”, and the one to whom all “must turn”. He explained that it is “incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice (and all others) to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him. He that opposeth him hath opposed the True One, . . .” In Part 3 of His Will, ‘Abdu’l-Baha states that “he (Shoghi Effendi) is, after ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the guardian of the Cause of God” and that all “must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God, he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God, and that he that denieth him, hath denied the True One." ‘Abdu’l-Baha refers to Shoghi Effendi (and the Guardianship) as the “Center of the Cause”.

Bahiyyih Khanum, daughter of Baha’u’llah whom He designated as The Greatest Holy Leaf, and sister to ‘Abdu’l-Baha, wrote that in ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament that “with His own pen, He designated as Guardian of the Cause of God, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, the Chosen Branch, and made him the 'blest and sacred bough that hath branched out from the Twin Holy Trees,' to be the one to whom all must turn, the centre and focus of all on earth. (Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 208ff)

In Shoghi Effendi’s own words, he wrote that the “institution of the Guardianship (is) the pivot of ‘Adul-Baha’s Will and Testament” (Letter May 9, 1953; printed in Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 – 1957, p.148).

Further, as far as Shoghi Effendi’s “same level of (interpretative) authority” is concerned, Shoghi Effendi explained (quoting ‘Abdul-Baha) in his “Dispensation of Baha’u’llah Treatise” that “ ‘He is the Interpreter of the Word of God’ ” ‘Abdul-Baha referring to the functions of the Guardian of the faith, asserts, using in His Will the very term which He Himself had chosen when refuting the argument of the Covenant-beakers who had challenged His right to interpret the utterances of Baha’u’llah.” (World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 148 -149)

I hope you find these quotes and brief comments useful in your continued study of the role of the institution of the Guardianship, and its divinely designated authorities, in the Cause of God. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

-LR
 
Old 12-11-2016, 03:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Personally, I see the authority of Messages of the Guardian and Universal House of Justice as more authoritative than Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, simply because of increased authenticity of language and source.
The Baha'i Covenant gives very different roles to the Universal House of Justice and to the Guardian. The Guardian correctly and unerringly interprets the words and intentions of Baha'u'llah and `Abdu'l-Baha and provides a meaning to them that is true for all time. The Universal House of Justice, while also granted unquestionable and complete authority in the Baha'i Covenant as the Head of the Faith and as Legislator, does not provide authorized interpretations - that is, the House does not tell us the meaning of the Baha'i Texts:

"The legislation enacted by the Universal House of Justice is different from interpretation. Authoritative interpretation, as uttered by 'Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian, is a divinely guided statement of what the Word of God means. The divinely inspired legislation of the Universal House of Justice does not attempt to say what the revealed Word means -- it states what must be done in cases where the revealed Text or its authoritative interpretation is not explicit. It is, therefore, on quite a different level from the Sacred Text, and the Universal House of Justice is empowered to abrogate or amend its own legislation whenever it judges the conditions make this desirable."

- Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer titled "Teaching versus Proselytizing", January 03 1982

Similarly, the Guardian had unquestionable and complete authority in the Baha'i Covenant as the Head of the Faith and as authorized Interpreter, but did not have the authority to enact new legislation for Baha'is. And indeed he went to great pains to emphasize this:

"Though the Guardian of the Faith has been made the permanent head of so august a body he can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's revealed utterances. He interprets what has been specifically revealed, and cannot legislate except in his capacity as member of the Universal House of Justice. He is debarred from laying down independently the constitution that must govern the organized activities of his fellow-members, and from exercising his influence in a manner that would encroach upon the liberty of those whose sacred right is to elect the body of his collaborators."

- Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah

Last edited by Matthew Light; 12-11-2016 at 04:03 PM.
 
Old 01-28-2017, 07:33 PM   #13
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Matthew Light:

Thank you for those comments and quotes (post #12). I will offer a bit more information, my motive being to help bring more focus on the context of what Shoghi Effendi wrote, and also to avoid the impression that the Universal House of Justice, by majority vote, would ever consider attempting to “override” the perspectives and covenantal role of the Guardian of the Cause of God.

I appreciate that as part of your post you have provided a quote from Shoghi Effendi’s treatise, ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’. For those interested, I will call attention to a letter dated May 2, 1934 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi a couple of months after his ‘Dispensation’ treatise was written and dispersed: “Concerning the institution of the Guardianship and its true position in the Administrative Order of the Cause, the Guardian would urge you to make a careful study of the subject in his last general letter addressed to the West and published under the title of ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’. In the last part of this important treatise you will find an adequate and authoritative analysis of the origins, nature and function of that institution, and of its unique significance in the World Order of Baha’u’llah. You should also recommend your fellow-believers to better acquaint themselves with the contents of that same letter, so that their vision of the Cause and their understanding of its present-day administration may acquire in strength and in depth."

In further response to your post, I offer the thought that although the Guardian cannot “assume the right of exclusive legislation” and “cannot legislate except in his capacity as member of the Universal House of Justice”, he was divinely designated as the one having the responsibility and authority to provide “the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives” (the Universal House of Justice). In his treatise, Shoghi Effendi quotes ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament stating: "The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God.” . . . "It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice, upon all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God, to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the Guardian of the Cause of God." This tends to leave one with the impression that should the Guardian perceive the need “to insist upon a reconsideration by them (House of Justice) of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's revealed utterances” that the members of the House of Justice would no doubt, in humility before the “sign of God”, the “Center of the Cause”, and the divinely designated “sacred head and distinguished member for life" of the House of Justice, give consideration to the covenantal authorities of the Guardianship, and a “reconsideration” of their legislative enactment(s) questioned by the Guardian. (Quotes from ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’, printed in ‘The World Order of Baha’u’llah’, pp. 142-157; and from the ‘Will and Testament of ‘Abdul-Baha’)

Another thought: Perhaps this is the reason why May Maxwell and Mary Maxwell (soon to become the wife of Shoghi Effendi) got the impression from what they understood the Guardian to say, and why they wrote in their 1937 pilgrim notes that “The Guardian can over-rule a decision of the International House of Justice if he conscientiously feels it is not in accord with the teachings. This is the interpretive right. The second part of his work is participation in the legislative body.”

I appreciate the opportunity to consider the perspectives of others and to provide comment.

LR
 
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