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Compiled February, 2016 by Marlene Macke

O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it.1

[In 2016] the Bahá’í world will mark one hundred years since the first of the Tablets of the Divine Plan flowed from the pen of the Master. In these fourteen Tablets, revealed during one of humanity’s darkest hours, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laid out a charter2 for the teaching work that defined its theatre of action as the entire planet. Held in abeyance until 1937, when the first in a succession of Plans launched at the instigation of the Guardian was assigned to the Bahá’ís of North American, the Divine Plan has continued to unfold over the decades since as the collective capacity of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers has grown, enabling them to take on ever-greater challenges. How wondrous the vision of the Plan’s Author! Placing before the friends the prospect of a day when the light of His Father’s Revelation would illuminate every corner of the world, He set out not only strategies for achieving this feat but guiding principles and unchanging spiritual requisites. Every effort made by the friends to systematically propagate the divine teachings traces its origins to the forces set in motion in the Divine Plan.3

“Abdul Baha wrote these letters under dangerous conditions at the height of World War I from what was then Ottoman Palestine to the small Baha’i community in North America (the much larger community in Persia was suffering heavy persecution, as it still does now in Iran.) At that time, the American community was only about two decades old, and its members were being asked to travel to some of the most remote corners of the earth. Abdul Baha asked a visiting student who happened to have a geography textbook if he could keep the textbook, and this was used to list out the sometimes obscure places that the North American Baha’is were called on to visit.”4

TDP 1

 

Chart 1

When, to Whom and Where Were the Tablets Revealed?

1 March 26, 1916 Northeastern States5 In ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room at the house in Bahjí
2 March 27 Southern States6 In the garden adjacent to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh
3 March 29 Central States7 Outside the house in Bahjí
4 April 1 Western States8 In ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room at the house in Bahjí
5 April 5 Canada9 In the garden outside the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh
6 April 8 United States & Canada In the garden adjacent to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh
7 April 11 United States & Canada In ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room at the house in Bahjí
8 April 19 United States & Canada In ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s room at the house in Bahjí
9 February 2, 1917 Northeastern States In Ismá’íl ‘Aqá’s room at the house of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Haifa
10 February 3 Southern States In Ismá’íl ‘Aqá’s room
11 February 8 Central States In Bahá’u’lláh’s room at the house of ‘Abbúd in ‘Akká
12 February 15 Western States In Bahá’u’lláh’s room at the house of ‘Abbúd
13 February 21 Canada In Bahá’u’lláh’s room at the house of ‘Abbúd
14 March 8 United States & Canada In the summer-house (Ismá’íl ‘Aqá’s room) at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s house in Haifa

 

Chart 2

The Countries, States, Territories, Islands, Cities to be Opened, and the Peoples Named

1 Mar 26, 1916 Northeastern States Cities in the Northeastern States
2 Mar 27 Southern States The Southern States
3 Mar 29 Central States Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas specifically named
4 Apr 1 Western States New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada specifically named
5 Apr 5 Canada Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava, Franklin Islands and Greenland all specifically named, as well as the Eskimo peoples
6 Apr 8 United States & Canada Alaska, Mexico, the 6 Central American Republics of Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama. Belize (or British Honduras). The Indian peoples. The islands of the West Indies: Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles, Bahama Islands, even the small Watling Island, the two black republics, Haiti and Santo Domingo in the Greater Antilles. Bermuda.

 

The republics of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela. Islands: Falkland Islands, the Galapagos, Juan Fernandez, Tobago and Trinidad. The city of Bahia in Brazil.

7 Apr 11 United States & Canada 3 great Island groups of the Pacific Ocean – Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia: New Guinea, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Philippine Islands, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Bismarc Archipelago, Ceram, Celebes, Friendly Islands, Samoa Islands, Society Islands, Caroline Islands, Low Archipelago, Marquesas, Hawaiian Islands, Gilbert Islands, Moluccas, Marshall Islands, Timor, and the other islands

Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Japan, Asiatic Russia, Korea, French Indo-China, Siam, Straits Settlements, India, Ceylon, Afghanistan

 

Continent of Africa, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Madeira Islands, Reunion Island, St. Helena, Zanzibar, Mauritius

 

British Isles, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Roumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, San Marino, Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Malta, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Hebrides and Orkney Islands

 

The Tablets of the Divine Plan Arrival in North America

 

TDP 2

 

  • the first five Tablets arrived in North America in the summer of 1916, written on postcards, and were published in the Star of the West, September 8, 1916
  • communications between the Holy Land and the West were suspended then, due to World War I
  • after the war, the rest of the Tablets were sent to America
  • all 14 Tablets were unveiled during the “Convention of the Covenant”, Hotel McAlpine in New York City, April 26-30, 1919
  • some 120 territories and islands were named in the Tablets, with Bahá’ís living in 35 countries circa 1919 (Balyuzi, 424)

The Strategy, or How the Tablets were Implemented

  • some individuals arose immediately, Clara & Henry Hyde Dunn, Martha Root, Agnes Alexander, Marion Jack all travelled internationally
  • institutionally, there were very few local or national Spiritual Assemblies in 1919; Shoghi Effendi spent many years patiently building the Administrative Order
  • 1937-1944 – the Guardian presented the First Seven Year Plan to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, the primary goal of which was to establish a local Spiritual Assembly in every state and province, thereby inaugurating the first systematic implementation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan
  • 1946-1953 – the Second Seven Year Plan, also given to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, a primary goal of which was to spiritually revitalize Europe, then suffering for the second time in the 20th Century from the ravages of war (Note: seven other regional/national Spiritual Assemblies were also given Plans by the Guardian in this period)
  • 1953-1963 – the Guardian unveiled the Ten Year Crusade, giving every Bahá’í the mandate to fulfil the Tablets of the Divine Plan. Bahá’ís who settled virgin countries and territories were designated “Knights of Bahá’u’lláh”.

Guiding Principles

  • The apostles of Jesus travelled outward from the Holy Land to the known world to bring the Glad Tidings. As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote,

“Consider! The station and the confirmation of the apostles in the time of Christ was not known, and no one looked on them with the feeling of importance—nay, rather, they persecuted and ridiculed them. Later on it became evident what crowns studded with the brilliant jewels of guidance were placed on the heads of the apostles, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of John.” 10

Core Elements

  • “…we must not consider our ability and capacity, nay, rather, we must fix our gaze upon the favours and bounties of God…” (Tablet 1, paragraph 3, or 1-3)
  • “… you must either go yourselves or send a number of blessed souls … so that they may guide the people to the Kingdom of Heaven.” (2-3)
  • “Appreciate ye the value of this time and be ye engaged in the sowing of the seeds …” (2-5)
  • “Send to those parts teachers who are severed from all else save God, sanctified and pure.” (3-3)
  • “… it is better for those who intend to go to Mexico to teach, to be familiar with the Spanish language.” (6-6) “The teachers traveling in different directions must know the language of the country in which they will enter.” (8-19)
  • “Attach great importance to the indigenous population of America.” (6-8)
  • “Books and pamphlets must be either translated or composed in the languages of these countries and islands, to be circulated in every part and in all directions.” (7-12)
  • “Thus far ye have been untiring in your labours. Let your exertions henceforth increase a thousandfold. Summon the people in these countries, capitals, islands, assemblies and churches to enter the Abhá Kingdom. The scope of your exertions must needs be extended.” (7-16)
  • “Be not concerned with the smallness of your numbers, neither be oppressed by the multitude of an unbelieving world.” (13-5)

Preparing Oneself

  • Intention – “Exalt your effort and magnify your aims.” (6-12)
  • Detachment – “Now is the time for you to divest yourselves of the garment of attachment to this world that perisheth, to be wholly severed from the physical world, become heavenly angels, and travel to these countries.” (6-13)
  • Purposefulness – “With hearts overflowing with the love of God, with tongues commemorating the mention of God, with eyes turned to the Kingdom of God, they must deliver the glad tidings of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts to all the people.” (7-5)
  • Selflessness – “Consequently, one must close his eyes wholly to these thoughts11, long for eternal life, the sublimity of the world of humanity, the celestial developments, the Holy Spirit, the promotion of the Word of God, the guidance of the inhabitants of the globe, the promulgation of universal peace and the proclamation of the oneness of the world of humanity! This is the work!” (7-18)
  • Prayer – “Whoso sets out on a teaching journey to any place, let him recite this prayer day and night during his travels in foreign lands…” (7-22)
  • Sacrifice – “We must not sit inactive for one moment; we must sever ourselves from composure, rest, tranquillity, goods, property, life and attachment to material things. We must sacrifice everything to His Highness, the Possess of existence …” (10-7)
  • Firmness – “… become ye sanctified above and purified from this world and the inhabitants thereof; suffer your intentions to work for the good of all; cut your attachment to the earth and like unto the essence of the spirit become ye light and delicate. Then with a firm resolution, a pure heart, a rejoiced spirit, and an eloquent tongue, engage your time in the promulgation of the divine principles…” (10-10)
  • Steadfastness – “The teachers of the Cause must be heavenly, lordly and radiant. They must be embodied spirit, personified intellect, and arise in service with the utmost firmness, steadfastness and self-sacrifice. In their journeys they must not be attached to food and clothing. They must concentrate their thoughts on the outpourings of the Kingdom of God and beg for the confirmations of the Holy Spirit.” (12-10)

Promise of Divine Confirmations

  • There is no doubt that the assistance and the bestowal of God shall descend upon you.” (2-1)
  • “…the believers of God must become self-sacrificing and like unto the candles of guidance become ignited… Should they show forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they will obtain universal divine confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a most great victory will be obtained.” (5-2)
  • “The moment this divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America and is propagated through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion.” (7-5)
  • Know ye of a certainty that whatever gathering ye enter, the waves of the Holy Spirit are surging over it, and the heavenly grace of the Blessed Beauty encompasseth that gathering. (7-5)
  • Therefore, know ye of a certainty that whosoever arises in this day to diffuse the divine fragrances, the cohorts of the Kingdom of God shall confirm him and the bestowals and the favours of the Blessed Perfection shall encircle him.” (7-7)
  • Consider ye, what happiness, what joy is this! I declare by the Lord of Hosts that had this respected daughter12 founded an empire, that empire would not have been so great! For this sovereignty is eternal sovereignty and this glory is everlasting glory.” (7-9)
  • “Should one of them turn his face toward some direction and summon the people to the Kingdom of God, all the ideal forces and lordly confirmations will rush to his support and reinforcement.” (8-3)
  • “Behold the portals which Bahá’u’lláh hath opened before you! Consider how exalted and lofty is the station you are destined to attain; how unique the favours with which you have been endowed….” (8-6)
  • “… rest ye assured in the confirmation of the Merciful and the assistance of the Most High…” (10-10)
  • “… your mission is unspeakably glorious. Should success crown your enterprise, America will assuredly evolve into a centre from which waves of spiritual power will emanate, and the throne of the Kingdom of God will, in the plentitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established.” (11-11)
  • “This is the most great work! Should you become confirmed therein, this world will become another world, the surface of the earth will become the delectable paradise, and eternal Institutions be founded.” (14-11)

Unchanging Spiritual Requisites

  • “To attain to this supreme station is, however, dependent on the realization of certain conditions:13
  • “… firmness in the Covenant of God …” (8-8)
  • “… Fellowship and love amongst the believers. The divine friends must be attracted to and enamoured of each other and ever be ready and willing to sacrifice their own lives for each other…. O ye friends! Fellowship, fellowship! Love, love! Unity, unity!” (8-9, 10)
  • “… Teachers must continually travel to all parts of the continent, nay, rather, to all parts of the world, but they must travel like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá … sanctified and free from every attachment and in the utmost severance….” (8-11)
  • “The aim is this: The intention of the teacher must be pure, his heart independent, his spirit attracted, his thought at peace, his resolution firm, his magnanimity exalted and iin the love of God a shining torch.” (8-13)

Supplications Found in the Tablets of the Divine Plan

Tablet 6 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada

O Thou Incomparable God! O Thou Lord of the Kingdom! These souls are Thy heavenly army. Assist them and, with the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse, make them victorious, so that each one of them may become like unto a regiment and conquer these countries through the love of God and the illumination of divine teachings.

O God! Be Thou their supporter and their helper, and in the wilderness, the mountain, the valley, the forests, the prairies and the seas, be Thou their confidant—so that they may cry out through the power of the Kingdom and the breath of the Holy Spirit.

Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Omnipotent, and Thou art the Wise, the Hearing and the Seeing.

Tablet 7 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada

Whoever sets out on a teaching journey to any place, let him recite this prayer day and night during his travels in foreign lands:

O God, my God! Thou seest me enraptured and attracted toward Thy glorious kingdom, enkindled with the fire of Thy love amongst mankind, a herald of Thy kingdom in these vast and spacious lands, severed from aught else save Thee, relying on Thee, abandoning rest and comfort, remote from my native home, a wanderer in these regions, a stranger fallen upon the ground, humble before Thine exalted threshold, submissive toward the heaven of Thine omnipotent glory, supplicating Thee in the dead of night and at the break of dawn, entreating and invoking Thee at morn and at eventide to graciously aid me to serve Thy Cause, to spread abroad Thy teachings and to exalt Thy Word throughout the East and the West.

O Lord! Strengthen my back, enable me to serve Thee with the utmost endeavor, and leave me not to myself, lonely and helpless in these regions.

O Lord! Grant me communion with Thee in my loneliness, and be my companion in these foreign lands.

Verily, Thou art the Confirmer of whomsoever Thou willest in that which Thou desirest, and, verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Omnipotent.

Tablet 8 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada

O God, my God! Thou seest how black darkness is enshrouding all regions, how all countries are burning with the flame of dissension, and the fire of war and carnage is blazing through out the East and the West. Blood is flowing, corpses bestrew the ground, and severed heads are fallen on the dust of the battlefield.

O Lord! Have pity on these ignorant ones and look upon them with the eye of forgiveness and pardon. Extinguish this fire, so that these dense clouds which obscure the horizon may be scattered, the Sun of Reality shine forth with the rays of conciliation, this intense gloom be dispelled and the resplendent light of peace shed its radiance upon all countries.

O Lord! Draw up the people from the abyss of the ocean of hatred and enmity, and deliver them from this impenetrable darkness. Unite their hearts, and brighten their eyes with the light of peace and reconciliation. Deliver them from the depths of war and bloodshed, and free them from the darkness of error. Remove the veil from their eyes, and enlighten their hearts with the light of guidance. Treat them with Thy tender mercy and compassion, and deal not with them according to Thy justice and wrath which cause the limbs of the mighty to quake.

O Lord! Wars have persisted. Distress and anxiety have waxed great and every flourishing region is laid waste.

O Lord! Hearts are heavy, and souls are in anguish. Have mercy on these poor souls and do not leave them to the excesses of their own desires.

O Lord! Make manifest in Thy lands humble and submissive souls, their faces illumined with the rays of guidance, severed from the world, extolling Thy Name, uttering Thy praise, and diffusing the fragrance of Thy holiness amongst mankind.

O Lord! Strengthen their backs, gird up their loins, and enrapture their hearts with the most mighty signs of Thy love.

O Lord! Verily, they are weak, and Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty; they are impotent, and Thou art the Helper and the Merciful.

O Lord! The ocean of rebellion is surging, and these tempests will not be stilled save through Thy boundless grace which hath embraced all regions.

O Lord! Verily, the people are in the abyss of passion, and naught can save them but Thine infinite bounties.

O Lord! Dispel the darkness of these corrupt desires, and illumine the hearts with the lamp of Thy love through which all countries will erelong be enlightened. Confirm, moreover, Thy loved ones, those who, leaving their homelands, their families and their children, have, for the love of Thy Beauty, traveled to foreign countries to diffuse Thy fragrances and promulgate Thy teachings. Be Thou their companion in their loneliness, their helper in a strange land, the remover of their sorrows, their comforter in calamity. Be Thou a refreshing draught for their thirst, a healing medicine for their ills and a balm for the burning ardor of their hearts.

Verily, Thou art the Most Generous, the Lord of grace abounding, and, verily, Thou art the Compassionate and the Merciful.

Tablet 9 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the Northeastern States

The following supplication is to be read by the teachers and friends daily:

O Thou kind Lord! Praise be unto Thee that Thou hast shown us the highway of guidance, opened the doors of the kingdom and manifested Thyself through the Sun of Reality. To the blind Thou hast given sight; to the deaf Thou hast granted hearing; Thou hast resuscitated the dead; Thou hast enriched the poor; Thou hast shown the way to those who have gone astray; Thou hast led those with parched lips to the fountain of guidance; Thou hast suffered the thirsty fish to reach the ocean of reality; and Thou hast invited the wandering birds to the rose garden of grace.

O Thou Almighty! We are Thy servants and Thy poor ones; we are remote and yearn for Thy presence, are athirst for the water of Thy fountain, are ill, longing for Thy healing. We are walking in Thy path and have no aim or hope save the diffusion of Thy fragrance, so that all souls may raise the cry: O God, “Guide us to the straight path.”2 May their eyes be opened to behold the light, and may they be freed from the darkness of ignorance. May they gather around the lamp of Thy guidance. May every portionless one receive a share. May the deprived become the confidants of Thy mysteries.

O Almighty! Look upon us with the glance of mercifulness. Grant us heavenly confirmation. Bestow upon us the breath of the Holy Spirit, so that we may be assisted in Thy service and, like unto brilliant stars, shine in these regions with the light of Thy guidance.

Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Wise and the Seeing.

Tablet 10 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the Southern States

Every soul who travels through the cities, villages and hamlets of these states and is engaged in the diffusion of the fragrances of God, should peruse this commune every morning:

O My God! O my God! Thou seest me in my lowliness and weakness, occupied with the greatest undertaking, determined to raise Thy word among the masses and to spread Thy teachings among Thy peoples. How can I succeed unless Thou assist me with the breath of the Holy Spirit, help me to triumph by the hosts of Thy glorious kingdom, and shower upon me Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns? O my Lord! Assist me with Thy triumphant and effective might, so that my tongue may utter Thy praises and attributes among all people and my soul overflow with the wine of Thy love and knowledge.

Thou art the Omnipotent and the Doer of whatsoever Thou willest.

Tablet 11 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the Central States

Let the spreaders of the fragrances of God recite this prayer every morning:

O Lord, my God! Praise and thanksgiving be unto Thee for Thou hast guided me to the highway of the kingdom, suffered me to walk in this straight and far-stretching path, illumined my eye by beholding the splendors of Thy light, inclined my ear to the melodies of the birds of holiness from the kingdom of mysteries and attracted my heart with Thy love among the righteous.

O Lord! Confirm me with the Holy Spirit, so that I may call in Thy Name amongst the nations, and give the glad tidings of the manifestation of Thy kingdom amongst mankind.

O Lord! I am weak, strengthen me with Thy power and potency. My tongue falters, suffer me to utter Thy commemoration and praise. I am lowly, honor me through admitting me into Thy kingdom. I am remote, cause me to approach the threshold of Thy mercifulness. O Lord! Make me a brilliant lamp, a shining star and a blessed tree, adorned with fruit, its branches overshadowing all these regions. Verily, Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful and Unconstrained.

Tablet 12 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the Western States

The following commune is to be read by them every day:

O God! O God! This is a broken-winged bird and his flight is very slow—assist him so that he may fly toward the apex of prosperity and salvation, wing his way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space, raise his melody in Thy Supreme Name in all the regions, exhilarate the ears with this call, and brighten the eyes by beholding the signs of guidance.

O Lord! I am single, alone and lowly. For me there is no support save Thee, no helper except Thee and no sustainer beside Thee. Confirm me in Thy service, assist me with the cohorts of Thine angels, make me victorious in the promotion of Thy Word and suffer me to speak out Thy wisdom amongst Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art the helper of the weak and the defender of the little ones, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Unconstrained.

Tablet 13 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of Canada

Praise be to Thee, O my God! These are Thy servants who are attracted by the fragrances of Thy mercifulness, are enkindled by the fire burning in the tree of Thy singleness, and whose eyes are brightened by beholding the splendors of the light shining in the Sinai of Thy oneness.

O Lord! Loose their tongues to make mention of Thee amongst Thy people, suffer them to speak forth Thy praise through Thy grace and loving-kindness, assist them with the cohorts of Thine angels, strengthen their loins in Thy service, and make them the signs of Thy guidance amongst Thy creatures.

Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.

–o0o–

The spreaders of the fragrances of God should recite this prayer every morning:

O God, my God! Thou beholdest this weak one begging for celestial strength, this poor one craving Thy heavenly treasures, this thirsty one longing for the fountain of eternal life, this afflicted one yearning for Thy promised healing through Thy boundless mercy which Thou hast destined for Thy chosen servants in Thy kingdom on high.

O Lord! I have no helper save Thee, no shelter besides Thee, and no sustainer except Thee. Assist me with Thine angels to diffuse Thy holy fragrances and to spread abroad Thy teachings amongst the choicest of Thy people.

O my Lord! Suffer me to be detached from aught else save Thee, to hold fast to the hem of Thy bounty, to be wholly devoted to Thy Faith, to remain fast and firm in Thy love and to observe what Thou hast prescribed in Thy Book.

Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Omnipotent.

Tablet 14 – Revealed to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada

Let whosoever travels to different parts to teach, peruse over mountain, desert, land and sea this supplication:

O God! O God! Thou seest my weakness, lowliness and humility before Thy creatures; nevertheless, I have trusted in Thee and have arisen in the promotion of Thy teachings among Thy strong servants, relying on Thy power and might.

O Lord! I am a broken-winged bird and desire to soar in Thy limitless space. How is it possible for me to do this save through Thy providence and grace, Thy confirmation and assistance.

O Lord! Have pity on my weakness, and strengthen me with Thy power. O Lord! Have pity on my impotence, and assist me with Thy might and majesty.

O Lord! Should the breath of the Holy Spirit confirm the weakest of creatures, he would attain all to which he aspireth and would possess anything he desireth. Indeed, Thou hast assisted Thy servants in the past and, though they were the weakest of Thy creatures, the lowliest of Thy servants and the most insignificant of those who lived upon the earth, through Thy sanction and potency they took precedence over the most glorious of Thy people and the most noble of mankind. Whereas formerly they were as moths, they became as royal falcons, and whereas before they were as brooks, they became as seas, through Thy bestowal and Thy mercy. They became, through Thy most great favor, stars shining on the horizon of guidance, birds singing in the rose gardens of immortality, lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom, and whales swimming in the oceans of life.

Verily, Thou art the Clement, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Most Merciful of the merciful.

Notes

1 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, Tablet #7, to the Bahá’ís of United States and Canada, revealed on April 11, 1916

2 The three Charter documents in the Bahá’í Faith are (1) the Tablet of Carmel that contains significant allusions to the establishment of the Word Centre, (2) the Tablets of the Divine Plan that call for systematic expansion of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the world,  and (3) the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that outlines the Administrative Order.

3 The Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, 29 December 2016, paragraph 51

4 How a Textbook and Postcards Helped Establish the Second Most Widespread Religion, by Shastri Purushotma, 15 March 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shastri-purushotma/how-postcards-and-a-geogr_b_9229922.html

5 9 States of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York

6 16 States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

7 12 States of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Missourit, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas

8 11 States of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington

9 Addressed to the Bahá’í of Canada: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava, Franklin Islands and Greenland

10 Tablets of the Divine Plan, # 7, paragraph 3

11 “…material rest, tranquillity, luxury and attachment to this corporeal world…” (7-17)

12 Agnes Alexander, teaching in Hawaii

13 Tablets of the Divine Plan, #8, paragraph 7