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Old 04-15-2018, 05:42 PM   #41
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Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
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On 04/10/18, in Post #40 Jcc wrote in response to my Post #39:


Thank you for the above summary, and I agree it makes clear how the Twin Institutions were designed to function together. It is perplexing and tragic that this could not occur, but ultimately it does not prevent the Revelation of Baha'u'llah from fulfilling its purpose.

"without such an institution (as the Guardianship) . . . the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.”

Unfortunately an active presence was withdrawn, but all of the work the Guardian did to delineate the sphere of legislation remains and is used every day. The fact that this was mentioned shows that it was a possibility that was contemplated by the Guardian. The Universal House of Justice legislates on whatever is not "expressly revealed" in the Teachings. The Guardian, through his interpretive function, added to the body of Teachings that were "expressly revealed", as opposed to implicitly revealed, by clarifying the meaning of the Writings. Whatever else in the Writings that remains unclarified is open to legislation.
Hello Jcc:

Thank you for your comments. In brief I will express that I would never disagree that the Revelation of Baha’u’llah will somehow ultimately fulfill its Divine Purpose. Added to that, I would never suggest that the volumes of the writings left to posterity by Shoghi Effendi have not been an invaluable source of guidance to the Universal House of Justice since its official formation in 1963. I must argue though that Shoghi Effendi never suggested that his written communications were intended to fill the seat of the Guardianship in the absence of a Guardian as you have suggested above and previously. Your suggestion that “(t)he fact that this was mentioned shows that it was a possibility that was contemplated by the Guardian”, does not hold up because you have taken Shoghi Effendi’s sentence (that I quoted) out of context and have isolated it from what the Guardian actually wrote, not only in the same paragraph, but also in that portion (‘The Administrative Order’) of his ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ treatise, and in what he called his “clear and unambiguous language”. Those words alone remove any “possibility” that he meant anything otherwise than what he actually wrote. In fact, I have not found anywhere in that entire treatise where he even once used the word “possibility”.

Beyond Shoghi Effendi’s “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ treatise, dated February 8, 1934 , I will share with you why I perceive he anticipated the continuance of the actual institution of the Guardianship (and not meaning his writings left to posterity) extending well into the future. Let’s move ahead several years to the time and thereafter that he had expelled the last male member of ‘Abdu’-Baha’s family (December 1951). Shoghi Effendi wrote in his cablegram dated December 24, 1951 of the need to “acquire extensive sorely needed properties in the vicinity of the Bab’s Sepulcher destined to serve as the site of future edifices envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to house auxiliary agencies revolving around the twin institutions of Guardianship and House of Justice. . . .” (Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 – 1957) And again in another related letter dated November 27, 1954 he wrote “(t)he raising of this Edifice (International Baha’i Archives building) will in turn herald the construction, in the course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, of several other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice. These Edifices will, in the shape of a far flung arc, and following a harmonizing style of architecture, surround the resting-places of the Greatest Holy Leaf, ranking as foremost among the members of her sex in the Bahá'í Dispensation, of her Brother, offered up as a ransom by Bahá'u'lláh for the quickening of the world and its unification, and of their Mother, proclaimed by Him to be His chosen ‘consort in all the worlds of God.’ The ultimate completion of this stupendous undertaking will mark the culmination of the development of a world-wide divinely-appointed Administrative Order whose beginnings may be traced as far back as the concluding years of the Heroic Age of the Faith." (Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950 – 1957, p. 74). Surely, Shoghi Effendi did not intend for an administrative seat for the Guardianship to be constructed only for the purpose of housing his writings, and another building constructed to house the institution of the Hands of the Cause only to sit empty for lack of “this vital and indispensable organ of the embryonic and steadily unfolding Baha’i Administrative Order” that was “destined to assume in the fullness of time, under the aegis of the Guardian, the dual sacred responsibility for protection and propagation of the Cause of God”. (Cablegram, April 6, 1954; Messages to the Baha’i World, p. 59). Consider in these brief quotes above that he used the words “destined to” (2 times), and “will” (5 times), and that he explained that these structures “will” be built “in the course of successive epochs” to come. Shoghi Effendi was clearly writing about the future of the Administrative Order, including the Guardianship and the other institutions mentioned. He was not suggesting, or even implying, that there was no one he could appoint as a successor because he had already expelled all the male members of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s family.

And again, in Shoghi Effendi’s cablegram of June 4, 1957 (only 5 months before his passing) he emphasized the necessity of closer association of the institutions of the Hands of the Cause and the National Spiritual Assemblies and refers to “the weighty responsibilities now resting upon the members of these two institutions, occupying, with the Universal House of Justice, next to the Institution of the Guardianship, foremost rank in the divinely ordained administrative hierarchy of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.” (Messages to the Bahá'í World: 1950-1957, p. 123). We might well consider that as the institution of the “Universal House of Justice” that Shoghi Effendi referred to in that message only existed in its embryonic form at that time, being the International Baha’i Council, and as “the World Order of Baha’u’llah” he mentioned also only existed in its embryonic form as the Administrative Order, it is very apparent that at that time in 1957 his message was addressing the future of all the institutions of the Cause of God. He was very clear that the Universal House of Justice would function “next to” (alongside of, or in order of importance to) the Guardianship. It is evident that the Guardian, even at that late date, envisioned all of the chief institutions described in ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, and mentioned above, functioning not just in the “Formative Age” but also in the future World Order of Baha’u’llah. He wrote: “This World Order will, in turn, in the course of successive Dispensations of the Bahá'í Cycle, yield its fairest fruit through the birth and flowering of a civilization, divinely inspired, unique in its features, world-embracing in its scope, and fundamentally spiritual in its character--a civilization destined as it unfolds to derive its initial impulse from the spirit animating the very institutions which, in their embryonic state, are now stirring in the womb of the present Formative Age of the Faith.” (Messages to the Bahá'í World: 1950-1957, p 75)

Unless provided with indisputable evidence (in contrast to supposition), I must continue to argue that the vacancy in the institution of the Guardianship, and the absence of the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God have impacted and will continue to impact (at least to some degree) the Administrative Order and the future World Order of Baha’u’llah as the Guardian himself has “clear(ly)” explained in his ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ treatise and in other places. In fact, the Universal House of Justice itself recognized and wrote as part of an elucidation that “we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith has suffered” from the loss of the Guardianship. (letter December 1969 to an individual). I cannot even consider that the Guardian of the Cause of God was mistaken in all that he consistently and clearly wrote from the beginning of his ministry to the very end, for to do so would be an affront to the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, to the Center of His Covenant, and to the “Guardians who are its (the Covenant’s) chosen ministers”.

Respectfully, I offer what I have written above, and even more so, what the Guardian himself actually clearly wrote, for your reflection and thoughtful consideration.

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Old 04-17-2018, 05:43 PM   #42
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Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 492

Thank you again for your comments above. I won't add any more as I think we are speaking past each other. We don't really disagree about anything.

All the best to you!

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