Daily Frameworks for 25 January 2023

’Idál, 07 Sultan (Sovereignty), 179 B.E

The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031

The accomplishments of the previous series of Plans—particularly the last Five Year Plan—could not have occurred without a tremendous advance in the teaching work. An important dimension of this work is the capacity to engage in conversations on spiritual themes, a capacity which was explored in our message to your 2015 conference, where we described how it is developed through participation in institute courses and by gaining practical experience. It is evident that the pattern of activity unfolding at the grassroots opens up a variety of settings in which receptive souls—sometimes whole families or peer groups—can take part in meaningful conversations which awaken interest in the vision of the Faith and the Person of Bahá’u’lláh. Over time, many such souls begin to identify themselves with the Bahá’í community, especially as they gain the confidence to participate in community life through service. Of course, the community welcomes any degree of association that a person would like to maintain, great or small. Yet to recognize Bahá’u’lláh as a Manifestation of God and accept the privileges and responsibilities that are uniquely associated with membership in the Bahá’í community is a singular moment in a person’s spiritual development, quite distinct from regular involvement in Bahá’í activities or voicing support for Bahá’í principles. Experience has shown that the environment created by community-building endeavours in a locality enables anyone who wishes to take this step to do so with relative ease. Wherever these endeavours are under way, it is important for the friends to remain mindful that the doors of the Faith are wide open and to give encouragement to those who stand at the threshold. And in areas where such endeavours have been well established for some time, many believers are discovering that a vibrant, expanding pattern of activity can naturally lead to families, groups of friends, and even clusters of households being ready to enter the Cause. 1 For in spaces where the possibility of joining the community can be discussed openly and inclusively among those who share a sense of collective identity, souls can more easily feel emboldened to take this step together. Bahá’í institutions, especially Local Spiritual Assemblies, must adopt a mindset that allows for such developments, and ensure that any obstacles are removed. 2 3

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

Every receptive soul who hath in this Day inhaled the fragrance of His garment and hath, with a pure heart, set his face towards the all-glorious Horizon is reckoned among the people of Bahá in the Crimson Book. Grasp ye, in My Name, the chalice of My loving-kindness, drink then your fill in My glorious and wondrous remembrance. 4

Paris Talks

The eleventh principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:

The Power of the Holy Spirit, by which alone Spiritual Development is achieved

It is only by the breath of the Holy Spirit that spiritual development can come about. No matter how the material world may progress, no matter how splendidly it may adorn itself, it can never be anything but a lifeless body unless the soul is within, for it is the soul that animates the body; the body alone has no real significance. Deprived of the blessings of the Holy Spirit the material body would be inert. 5

  1. “He said in substance, “Erelong you will find yourselves in manifest loss. Your sovereignties will be laid waste; your empires will become a wilderness and a heap of ruins; hosts from without will invade and subdue your lands; lamentation and mourning will rise from your homes. There will be no throne; there will be no crown; there will be no palace; there will be no armies. Nay, rather, all these will be brought low; but the standard of the Cause of God will be held aloft. Then will you see that hosts and hosts will enter the Cause of God and that this mighty revelation will be spread throughout the world.” Read the prophecies contained in the Súratu’l-Haykal and ponder carefully over them.”
    ’Abdu’l-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 433. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/32#966960944
  2. Universal House of Justice. The Nine Year Plan: 2022-2031. 1st ed. Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing, 2022, 46-47.
  3. Universal House of Justice. “30 December 2021 – To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors.” Bahá’í Reference Library, December 30, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20211230_001/1#758524483.
  4. Bahá’u’lláh. Tablets of Baháʾuʾlláh, Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Translated by Habib Taherzadeh. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1978, 220. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/tablets-bahaullah/6#963095998
  5. ’Abdu’l-Bahá. Paris Talks: Addresses given by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912. 11th British Ed. 1912. Reprint, London, England: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1972, 73–74. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/paris-talks/5#978627885.

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