Thank you for your last message and your profound comments. I wish I was more qualified to respond properly to your remarks and answer your questions, but I’ll give it my best. Also, I read again what you had written, The Reminded Way. Are you sure your not really a Bah‡”?
I would like to talk about three subjects you spoke about: 1) The relationship of God, His Manifestation and Humankind, but from the Bah‡” viewpoint (see attachment), 2) Your question about children (below), 3) Your question about recognizing the next Manifestation. (below)
About my children: yes, I have a daughter and two sons. My love for them is unconditional, so I don’t expect praise from them. But since they were brought up with unconditional love, I receive it anyway. Does that make sense?Ê It’s nice to have them say “I love you Dad” every once in a while. Otherwise, I have always felt that the education and training of children is most important
As a father, you ask “what makes you happy”. I would have to say that having my children become Bah‡” s would make me happy as a father. I guess I need to explain a bit.
I was an Episcopalian but became a Bah‡” later in life, when my children were in their teens. Unlike the children of some other religions, Bah‡” children do not automatically inherit the Faith of their parents.Ê However, the parents are responsible for the upbringing and spiritual welfare of their children, so that the children will be reared in “the light of the revelation of Bah ‡ ‘u’ll ‡ h and from their earliest years will learn to love God and His Manifestations and to walk in the way of God’s law”Ê Upon attaining the age of 15 a Bah‡” child becomes spiritually mature and is responsible for for stating on his or her own behalf whether or not he or she wishes to remain a member of the Bah‡” community. So you see, I was not able to raise my children in the Bah‡” Faith as described above. Since God has made them free, all I can do now is open their eyes (to become spiritually mature) and tell them of what I think to be the truth. I’m working on it!
On your question of recognizing the coming Manifestation: I previously mentioned “The Greater Covenant” where God has promised a succession of Manifestations. And that Bah ‡ ‘u’ll ‡ h taught us that people have a twofold obligation towards God: they must recognize and accept the Manifestation when he comes, and obey and strive to put into practice the teachings which the manifestation gives. So because of our spiritual obligations and the responsibility of investigating truth independently (one of Bah ‡ ‘u’ll ‡ hs principles) Bah‡”s would be more likely to recognize the new manifestation, than those in previous dispensations.
But what would we look for in the coming Manifestation or how can we be certain? Actually Jesus Himself gave us the way to be certain. In the Bible, Matthew 7.15-20 He says: ” Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheepÕs clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?Ê In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”Ê
So, Bah‡” s would judge the next Manifestation by His fruits. If the fruit is good, than the tree is good, therefore the Manifestation is true.
If Christian’s had observed “The Greater Convenant” and listened to His (Jesus’) teachings they would be Bah‡”s today. Hopefully, by the time of the next Manifestation humankind will have matured sufficiently
You were correct when you said “the master point of all these movements and teachings is to love and help each other”. These are some of Bah ‡ ‘u’ll ‡ h’s teachings:
” Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.” — Baha’u’llah, Gleanings , p.285
I look forward to hearing from you again.
In His Service — Vin
Sunday, December 28, 2003 3:32 PM