Archive for August, 2008

Beauty – a gift from a loving God

Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.

Beauty is one of the attributes of God and one of God’s gifts to us. An appreciation of the beauty of nature and of the beauty of the human soul helps bring us closer to God. Think of all of the good, selfless things that people have done for you.

Neglect not My commandments if thou lovest My beauty, and forget not My counsels if thou wouldst attain My good pleasure.

The most beautiful thing of all is to attain a recognition of our true spiritual nature. This is done through the divine teachings given to us by God’s Messenger.

And when He purposed to manifest His beauty in the kingdom of names and to reveal His glory in the realm of attributes, He brought forth His Prophets from the invisible plane to the visible, that His name “the Manifest” might be distinguished from “the Hidden” and His name “the Last” might be discerned from “the First”, and that there may be fulfilled the words: “He is the First and the Last; the Seen and the Hidden; and He knoweth all things!”

Recognizing God and being obedient to His Word is the ultimate source of our happiness.

Behold ye My beauty, and My radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God, the True One! I am Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the beauty thereof. I will recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and recognize My rank and station, and hold fast unto My hem.

Government of Vietnam Recognizes Baha’is

Photos and article courtesy of the Baha’i International Community.
For more photos and information, go to

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — The government of Vietnam has given full recognition to the Baha’i community as a religious organization.

A certificate was presented to representatives of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Vietnam at a ceremony on 25 July.

It was the final act in a series of steps that included the election four months ago of the Baha’i Assembly – itself a landmark event in that it was the first time in many years that elections for the governing council were held. Government representatives were on hand to observe the balloting.

The head of the central government’s Committee for Religious Affairs, Nguyen The Doanh, officiated at last week’s ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City.

The official government news agency reported the event and referred to comments by the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, Mr. Nguyen Thuc: “(He) said the Government’s recognition of the Baha’i religion ‘charts a new course of development for the entire Baha’i community’ and motivates followers to make more contributions to social and humanitarian activities and to drive to preserve traditional spiritual values.”

The Baha’i Faith was established in the country in 1954, and the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Vietnam was elected 10 years later. In the mid-1970s, formal activities of the community were suspended.

The Vietnam News Agency said last week’s ceremony means that “the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs has recognized the Baha’i Community of Vietnam as a religious organization able to operate on an equal footing with other religions.”

Baha’is of Vietnam are now working on consolidating their community, gathering accurate statistics, and expanding social projects to serve the people of Vietnam, particularly in the area of education.

Some things are best not done alone

… like going for a walk across a new bridge with 30,000 of your friends. Well, OK, so maybe you don’t have quite that many friends – that just means that there are fewer people to ask you for favors.

Searching your spiritual nature and connecting with your Creator can be done in more intimate surroundings, such as by attending a devotional meeting with Baha’is in your community, or a study circle to learn about important aspects of spirituality from the Baha’i teachings, or a fireside where you can discuss whatever spiritual matters appeal to you. Your children, too, can attend children’s classes. Activities can be planned for junior youth.

Becoming a better person does not happen by accident. Reflection, decision, action, focus, persistence and habit are all required for success in life, spiritual or material.

Photo: the grand opening of the new Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma and the peninsula, on Sunday, July 15, 2007.

Art – Eye Candy for the Soul

Art is a ladder to the soul. Here are some words by ‘Abdu’l-Baha about the importance of art.

“Music is one of the important arts. It has a great effect upon the human spirit. Musical melodies are a certain something which prove to be accidental upon etheric vibrations, for voice is nothing but the expression of vibrations, which, reaching the tympanum, affect the nerves of hearing. Musical melodies are, therefore, those peculiar effects produced by, or from, vibration. However, they have the keenest effect upon the spirit. In sooth, although music is a material affair, yet its tremendous effect is spiritual, and its greatest attachment is to the realm of the spirit. If a person desires to deliver a discourse, it will prove more effectual after musical melodies.”

“In this Cause the art of music is of paramount importance. The Blessed Perfection, when He first came to the barracks (Acca) repeated this statement: “If among the immediate followers there had been those who could have played some musical instrument, i.e., flute or harp, or could have sung, it would have charmed every one.” In short, musical melodies form an important role in the associations, or outward and inward characteristics, or qualities of man, for it is the inspirer or motive power of both the material and spiritual susceptibilities. What a motive power it is in all feelings of love! When man is attached to the Love of God, music has a great effect upon him.”

“A painter asked: “Is art a worthy vocation?” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá turning to her impressively, said: “Art is worship.”

From the Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Photo: Glass art by Dale Chihuly on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass next to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington

Join us for Children’s Classes

Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children, young plants of the Abha Paradise, so that these children, fostered by grace in the way of salvation, growing like pearls of divine bounty in the shell of education, will one day bejewel the crown of abiding glory.


We need volunteers to devote themselves to a year of service teaching neighborhood Baha’i children’s classes in Northeast and Central Tacoma. And, we would love to have your children join us! It’s also a great oppportunity for our neighbors who are not Baha’is. Please contact us at or (253) 474-8029.


“And further, those present should concern themselves with every means of training the girl children; with teaching the various branches of knowledge, good behaviour, a proper way of life, the cultivation of a good character, chastity and constancy, perseverance, strength, determination, firmness of purpose; with household management, the education of children, and whatever especially applieth to the needs of girls — to the end that these girls, reared in the stronghold of all perfections, and with the protection of a goodly character, will, when they themselves become mothers, bring up their children from earliest infancy to have a good character and conduct themselves well.”

“Thou didst write as to the children: from the very beginning, the children must receive divine education and must continually be reminded to remember their God. Let the love of God pervade their inmost being, commingled with their mother’s milk.”

“The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind and draweth down the grace and favour of the All-Merciful, for education is the indispensable foundation of all human excellence and alloweth man to work his way to the heights of abiding glory. If a child be trained from his infancy, he will, through the loving care of the Holy Gardener, drink in the crystal waters of the spirit and of knowledge, like a young tree amid the rilling brooks. And certainly he will gather to himself the bright rays of the Sun of Truth, and through its light and heat will grow ever fresh and fair in the garden of life.”


“O my dear children! Your letter was received. A degree of joy was attained that is beyond words or writing that, praise be to God, the power of the Kingdom of God hath trained such children who, from their early childhood, eagerly wish to acquire Bahá’í education that they may, from the period of their childhood, engage in service to the world of humanity.”


 From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Photo by Bonita Dannells: Central Tacoma neighborhood children’s class, Summer 2008



Courage comes from promoting the Word of God

“The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love.

The essence of charity is for the servant to recount the blessings of his Lord, and to render thanks unto Him at all times and under all conditions.

The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.”


“Strive as much as ye can to turn wholly toward the Kingdom, that ye may acquire innate courage and ideal power.”

“Then it is clear that the honor and exaltation of man must be something more than material riches. Material comforts are only a branch, but the root of the exaltation of man is the good attributes and virtues which are the adornments of his reality. These are the divine appearances, the heavenly bounties, the sublime emotions, the love and knowledge of God; universal wisdom, intellectual perception, scientific discoveries, justice, equity, truthfulness, benevolence, natural courage and innate fortitude; the respect for rights and the keeping of agreements and covenants; rectitude in all circumstances; serving the truth under all conditions; the sacrifice of one’s life for the good of all people; kindness and esteem for all nations; obedience to the teachings of God; service in the Divine Kingdom; the guidance of the people, and the education of the nations and races. This is the prosperity of the human world! This is the exaltation of man in the world! This is eternal life and heavenly honor! These virtues do not appear from the reality of man except through the power of God and the divine teachings, for they need supernatural power for their manifestation.”

From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Photo: the Monument Gardens and the Seat of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel