239 Days in America, Day 167: September 24, 1912 | Denver

The World Is Thinking of War 1

“THE PEOPLE OF THIS world are thinking of warfare,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told an audience in Denver, Colorado, on September 24, 1912, “you must be peacemakers.” Two days earlier, in Omaha, Nebraska, news reached ‘Abdu’l-Bahá of the impending conflict in the Balkan Peninsula. By the time he arrived in Colorado, the front pages of every newspaper in the country were trumpeting that the tensions in the Balkans were about to escalate.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá had lamented Italy’s invasion of Tripoli on April 12, 1912, his second day in America. In 1911, Italian troops had landed on the shores of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, in what is now western Libya. Italy’s victory emboldened the Balkan states in their own military aspirations against the Muslims. During the summer months of 1912, the Christian Balkan states -— Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, and Bulgaria -— created the Balkan League, whose mandate was to rid the area of the Ottomans.

On September 22, in Omaha, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had described how a general European war could be averted. North and South American republics should put pressure on European nations, financiers should refuse to give military loans, railroads should refuse to transport arms. When he arrived in Denver on September 24, he raised the issue of war and peace immediately.

Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah 2

After the morning sessions on September 24 He walked through the park. Many people stopped and looked, and some took photographs as He passed by. One of the friends remarked that, with their diversity of Easter and Western clothes, people were looking upon the sight as a comedy. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laughed, “‘Yea, it is heavenly fun, a performance of the Kingdom and a wonderful theater.’”

When He went by train to the suburban home of Mrs. Clark in the afternoon, again some observers were whispering about them. Abdu’l-Bahá told the friends to tell them, “‘We are neither Turks nor Arabs; neither of the East nor of the West; but we are of heaven and of God.’”

September 24, 1912 3

There was a rush of people from early morning until noon. Friends, seekers, professors, clergymen and philosophers all came to see Him. They each raised questions and were filled with joy on hearing the Master’s words.

He was invited by some clergymen to speak in their churches. He tendered His regrets, saying, ‘My stay here is brief.’

Today the newspapers published ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s picture along with those of His companions, as well as articles describing His talks.

After the meeting He went for a walk and strolled through parks and boulevards. As the Master passed by the government buildings, monuments and statutes of American heroes, He remarked: ‘Their victories are trifling in comparison with the first victories of Islam, yet they are famous and a source of honor to all who know them. But these great victories have been completely forgotten.’ All eyes were attracted to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to His glory, dignity and grandeur, as He walked with His companions dressed in their kuláhs and Persian clothes. One of the Master’s companions remarked that the people viewed this picturesque sight as an amusing comedy. He replied, ‘Yes, it is a heavenly act, a performance of the Kingdom, a wonderful pageant.’

Those who had read the newspapers about the arrival of the Master were heard saying to each other, ‘He is the Prophet of the East, the Messenger of Peace. Those who had cameras took the Master’s photograph as He walked by.

In the afternoon He was invited to the suburban home of Mrs Clark. As we rode on the train some passengers were seen to be whispering about us. He said, ‘Tell them we are neither Turks nor Arabs, neither of the East nor of the West, rather we are of heaven and of God.’ One of the companions said, ‘Being of that is good but being of God is better.’

When the Master arrived at Mrs Clark’s home, several of the friends had already gathered to see Him. He spoke to them about the confirmations of the Abhá Beauty and the power and influence of the Word of God. ‘See how He has made the Easterner and the Westerner friends’, He said, ‘and has bestowed sincere love and true friendship. Otherwise, what connection would there be between us and Americans, between this Japanese youth and Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání? Mrs Clark said: ‘I have frequently dreamt that my home would become honored with the footsteps of the Beloved Master. I am extremely thankful and grateful that my dreams have come true. My heart is now freed from ego, whereas before I used to consider myself better than anyone else.’ The Master said:

“Thank God, because the first self-conceited one was Satan. A man must never consider himself greater than others. Rather, he must always be humble and self-effacing. The bird, as long as it sees itself at a low level, is given impetus to soar and progress; but the moment it fancies itself high in the air, it begins to descend.”

Someone in the audience asked, ‘What shall I do to become a true servant?’ He replied:

“Act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Do not only read His teachings but put into practice in your lives the Hidden Words and the other holy writings. Whatever I say is not even a drop from the ocean of the Supreme Pen and the treasure-filled sea of the bounty and favor of the Abhá Beauty.

“I have brought the message of Bahá’u’lláh to this country in order to teach people to investigate truth, to render service to humanity, to endeavor to bring about international peace, to exert every effort to guide humanity, to show kindness to all creatures and to raise the Call of the Kingdom. Man must be endowed with divine attributes and must enter the concourse of the exalted ones. These teachings are only a drop from the sea concealed in the Hidden Words. We must pray for each other. If we act according to the divine teachings, by God besides Whom there is none other God, we shall shine like lamps. But woe betide those people who are aware of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and know them to be the cause of eternal salvation and divine nearness but still do not bring their actions into conformity with them. Such is a source of great distress. Thus it is incumbent upon us to endeavor day and night to follow the teachings of God. This is the cause of eternal esteem, this is divine favor, this is the honor of mankind and this is everlasting life.”

Another person asked about telepathy or communication from mind to mind. He replied:

“It is evident. If a lover holds the hand of a beloved, it is obvious what feelings ensue. They communicate face to face and speak heart to heart, as this light is communicating now with human eyes, the sun with the earth, the cloud with the land and the breeze with the tree. This process is found in all things.”

The Master was asked about His health and comfort, to which He replied:

“I have not come for rest and diversion. I have come to raise the call of the Abhá Kingdom in order to diffuse the divine fragrances. Had I desired rest, I would have secured it more easily in the East. Now I must journey to various cities and countries and call people to the divine Kingdom. Suppose I had rested for a few years, what results would it have had?”

The Master was asked about His health and comfort, to which He replied:

“I have not come for rest and diversion. I have come to raise the call of the Abhá Kingdom in order to diffuse the divine fragrances. Had I desired rest, I would have secured it more easily in the East. Now I must journey to various cities and countries and call people to the divine Kingdom. Suppose I had rested for a few years, what results would it have had?”

Early in the evening when He returned to the hotel the Master discovered that the editor of The Post had placed an automobile at His disposal. On the way to the Church of Divine Science, He remarked:

“Behold the power and confirmation of the Blessed Beauty: The pastor comes in person with all humility to invite us and the proprietor of a leading journal sends his automobile for our use, so that we may raise the call of God in the church. Truly, such confirmations have never been seen in other dispensations and in no age have the Manifestations of the Cause of God met with such reverence and honor. But these things should be the cause of humility and self-effacement. We must not consider that they are due to our addresses or our eloquence. These shining lights which you see will instantly darken if the origin of their bounty is severed from them.”

When the Master’s automobile reached the church, a crowd of people was seen standing outside. Immediately the pastor came forward, and taking the Master’s arm, led Him to the pulpit. The pastor reverently introduced the Master to the audience. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stood and delivered an address on the reality and condition of the Manifestations of God. After His talk, the people came to the pulpit to see Him and shake His hand, surrounding Him like moths. Another clergyman, with the utmost humility, asked the Master to speak at his church. He was so persuasive that every tongue was forced to say, ‘All heads are bowed before Him.’ With great courtesy, the Master tendered His apologies because of His limited time but promised to return.

As the Master left the church He was perspiring so much that His companions were concerned about His health and tried to keep Him warm with His ‘abá, shawl and blanket. Indeed, the guidance and protection of the Abhá Beauty prevailed and His assistance bestowed. Everything relating to this journey has been the cause of joy and a sign of the power of the King of Manifestations.

Talk at Home of Mrs. Sidney E. Roberts , Denver, Colorado4

Praise be to God! We are living in a century of light. Praise be to God! We are upon earth in the day of divine effulgence. Praise be to God! We are alive in this time of the manifestation of divine love. Praise be to God that we live in the day of the outpouring of heavenly bounty. Praise be to God! This is a day wherein the lights and splendors have awakened progress throughout the East and the West. Many holy souls in former times longed to witness this century, lamenting night and day, yearning to be upon the earth in this cycle; but our presence and privilege is the beneficent gift of the Lord. In His divine mercy and absolute virtue He has bestowed this upon us, even as Christ declared, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Verily, God has chosen you for His love and knowledge; God has chosen you for the worthy service of unifying mankind; God has chosen you for the purpose of investigating reality and promulgating international peace; God has chosen you for the progress and development of humanity, for spreading and proclaiming true education, for the expression of love toward your fellow creatures and the removal of prejudice; God has chosen you to blend together human hearts and give light to the human world. The doors of His generosity are wide, wide open to us; but we must be attentive, alert and mindful, occupied with service to all mankind, appreciating the bestowals of God and ever conforming to His will.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

Many came to see the Master from all walks of life

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

September 24, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “The World Is Thinking of War.” 239 Days in America, 24 Sept. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/09/24/the-world-is-thinking-of-war/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 152-153.
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=7#section184
  4. ʻAbduʼl-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, 334-335. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/26#063559568

239 Days in America, Day 93: July 12, 1912 | New York

The Short and Fearless Life of Lua Getsinger 1

AT ABOUT MIDNIGHT ON December 8, 1898, dozens of pairs of eyes peered at Louisa Moore Getsinger through the darkness of a poorly-lighted coffee house near the beach where the ship had dropped them off. Lua was a long way from home: this was Haifa, an outpost of the Ottoman Empire on the shores of the Holy Land. A group of men sat cross-legged on the floor, sipping tea, and speaking Persian and Arabic. One of them nodded; the rest stared in amazement…

Everything was wrapped in secrecy so as not to arouse the suspicion of the authorities, because ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was still a prisoner under house arrest. The group of fifteen pilgrims had been instructed to arrive in the Holy Land in groups of two. Lua and her husband, Edward, were the first to arrive.

They waited almost two days before receiving permission to proceed to ‘Akká, a five-mile journey on horseback along the sandy edge of Haifa Bay. Lua later wrote of the “violent beating of my heart.” When she first laid eyes on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá she ran to him, threw herself at his feet, and cried like a child.

“Arise and be of good cheer!” she remembers ‘Abdu’l-Bahá saying. He wasn’t one for outbursts of devotion, not to mention people prostrating themselves at his feet. Lua would stay in the Holy Land for four months, learn to speak Persian, and listen as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá instilled in her the need for women to arise and do “great things.”

New York City 2

While He [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] had already proclaimed the Faith in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and other places, it was in New York that He stayed day after day, deepening those who came to Him, preparing them to develop new inner eyes, ears, hearts, and minds, bringing together interracial gatherings, trying to get the friends to see the spiritual qualities of each other as a reality.

Thursday, July 12, 1912 3

As the heat was excessive and because He had been revealing Tablets and visiting with the friends, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was tired. We said that there was a bath in the house and that the Master could have His bath every day. He said: ‘We are like soldiers; we must not form any habits or have a care for anything.’

At another time He was asked how He liked the large buildings of America. He replied:

“I have not come to see very tall buildings or places of interest in America. I look always for the foundation of the love of God in the realm of the hearts. I have no inclination to see other sights.”

At a meeting with the friends in the afternoon He explained the uniqueness of the divine teachings of this great Cause. Among them are the establishment of the Covenant and the Expounder of the Book ’[Abdu’l-Bahá], thereby closing the door on the differences that have arisen at the inception of past Dispensations; association with all religions; the prohibition of cursing or execrating other sects; the commandment to forgive enemies; the oneness of humanity and universal brotherhood; the giving and taking in marriage from all nationalities; the injunctions to parents to educate their children, whether boys or girls; the equality of the rights of men and women; the establishment of the supreme House of Justice as the center of authority; and finally the relinquishing of religious, patriotic, racial and political prejudices. His talk was long and very detailed.

In the evening ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was invited to Brooklyn and we accompanied Him. On the way He spoke about New York’s large population and the occupations of the people:

“This city with its suburbs has about half the population of Persia. If Persia had a population and an affluence like this, and had she turned herself to progress, she would have far excelled this country in all respects. There can be no comparison whatsoever between these people and the manners, love, hospitality, intuition and sagacity of the Persians.”

He then described the days of the Blessed Beauty’s sojourn in Constantinople, the self-subsistence and grandeur of the Ancient Beauty and the testimony of Mírzá Husayn Khán, who had said in Tihrán that there was only one person, Bahá’u’lláh, who had been the cause of glory and exaltation of the Persians in foreign lands and who did not court anyone’s favor in that city.

After approximately an hour’s drive, the carriage stopped at the home of Mrs Newton and Mrs Rivers. After a short rest, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to the table for dinner. Afterwards, He thanked the hostesses, spoke briefly and then returned home. On the way back He spoke about the difference in time between the East and the West. ‘Here it is almost midnight’, He said, ‘while in the East it is midday and in other countries it is afternoon. Here we are going to sleep, while in the East they are busy doing work.’

While the carriage was in motion it felt less hot but the long distance and the exceedingly hot weather took their toll on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The carriage crossed the Hudson River, passing through the length of the city, which was bedecked with gas and electric lamps of red, yellow and green and colorful advertisements along its wide streets and in the shops. The light emanating from them threw a luster on the greatness of this mighty century. Then the carriage reached home.

Diary of Juliet Thompson, 12 July 1912 4

Percy [Stickney Grant] spent the morning with us, leaving us for a little while to return with bottles of ginger ale and grape juice which he mixed into a drink for us. When he finally left about noon I followed him out of the studio.

“What message have you,” I asked, “for the Master?”

He swore! It was a very mild swear, but he coupled the Master’s name with it, so I can’t repeat it.

“I believe you love Him,” he said fiercely, “more than anything on earth.”

“I do.”

“More than your art,” he added quickly.

“But of course.”

“Well, you shouldn’t. With your talent, Juliet, you could do immortal work. Do you never think of that?”

“I am thinking of His immortal work in us.”

“He has done it, in you!”

“Not yet.”

“Juliet, I have wanted to co-operate with Him. You know that. But I don’t believe He can do this thing alone.”

“I believe He is perfectly able to do it alone.”

“You do?”

“He changes the hearts and nobody else can do that. Well, what message shall I take to Him?”

“Tell Him with my greeting that I will come up some time to see Him, but I am out of town a great deal, most of the time, and–“

“Can’t you do any better than that?” I asked.

“I want to do something for His comfort and when Mr Flagler’s yacht comes back I want to take Him up the Hudson. I will be in town Friday, Juliet.”

“Then come up on Friday to see Him with me. Please come. You know I don’t often persist, but this time–forgive me if I do.”

“I think it is beautiful of you to persist in this instance, Juliet.” With the face of a martyr he kissed my hand. “I will come Friday.”

And, looking unspeakably miserable, he left me.

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, 5 July 1912 5

The divine Prophets are conjoined in the perfect state of love. Each One has given the glad tidings of His successor’s coming and each successor has sanctioned the One Who preceded Him. They were in the utmost unity, but Their followers are in strife. For instance, Moses gave the message of the glad tidings of Christ, and Christ confirmed the Prophethood of Moses. Therefore, between Moses and Jesus there is no variation or conflict. They are in perfect unity, but between the Jew and the Christian there is conflict. Now, therefore, if the Christian and Jewish peoples investigate the reality underlying their Prophets’ teachings, they will become kind in their attitude toward each other and associate in the utmost love, for reality is one and not dual or multiple. If this investigation of reality becomes universal, the divergent nations will ratify all the divine Prophets and confirm all the Holy Books. No strife or rancor will then remain, and the world will become united. Then will we associate in the reality of love. We will become as fathers and sons, as brothers and sisters living together in complete unity, love and happiness; for this century is the century of light. It is not like former centuries. Former centuries were epochs of oppression. Now human intellects have developed, and human intelligence has increased. Each soul is investigating reality. This is not a time when we shall wage war and be hostile toward each other. We are living at a time when we should enjoy real friendship.

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s conversation with Reverend Percy Grant

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 12, 1912


  1. Sockett, Robert. “The Short and Fearless Life of Lua Getsinger.” 239 Days in America, 12 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/12/lua-getsingers-odyssey/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 110.
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=5#section110
  4. Thompson, Juliet. The Diary of Juliet Thompson. Edited by Marzieh Gail. 1st ed. 1947. Reprint, Los Angeles: Kalimát Press, 1983, 338-339. https://archive.org/details/diaryofjuliettho0000thom/page/338/mode/2up
  5. ʻAbduʼl-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, 222-223. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#846487127