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June 1, 2016

How to become nearer to God

The essential thing and the real nearness to God, is to be steadfast in the Religion of God, to serve His Cause and to be in Servitude at the Threshold of Unity. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet, Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)

May 14, 2016

We should love the whole world

It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Peace)

April 8, 2016

The “dead body should be treated with the utmost honour and respect”

As this physical frame is the throne of the inner temple, whatever occurs to the former is felt by the latter. In reality that which takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain is the inner temple of the body, not the body itself. Since this physical body is the throne whereon the inner temple is established, God hath ordained that the body be preserved to the extent possible, so that nothing that causeth repugnance may be experienced. The inner temple beholdeth its physical frame, which is its throne. Thus, if the latter is accorded respect, it is as if the former is the recipient. The converse is likewise true.

Therefore, it hath been ordained that the dead body should be treated with the utmost honour and respect.
- The Báb  (Excerpt from the Persian Bayan, ‘Selections from the Writings of the Báb)

March 12, 2016

Not to harm any soul

Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven. 
- ‘Abdu'l-Baha  (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu'l-Baha)

November 15, 2015

The vision of community should fully embrace its children and youth

It is imperative… that… definite steps be taken to ensure that the vision of the community fully embraces its younger members. The education of children, an obligation enjoined on both parents and institutions, requires special emphasis so as to become thoroughly integrated into the process of community development. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 26 November 1999) 

November 8, 2015

Each human being has two powers and two aspects of development - material & spiritual

Man has two powers; and his development, two aspects. One power is connected with the material world, and by it he is capable of material advancement. The other power is spiritual, and through its development his inner, potential nature is awakened. These powers are like two wings. Both must be developed, for flight is impossible with one wing. Praise be to God! Material advancement has been evident in the world, but there is need of spiritual advancement in like proportion. We must strive unceasingly and without rest to accomplish the development of the spiritual nature in man, and endeavor with tireless energy to advance humanity toward the nobility of its true and intended station. For the body of man is accidental; it is of no importance. The time of its disintegration will inevitably come. But the spirit of man is essential and, therefore, eternal. It is a divine bounty. It is the effulgence of the Sun of Reality and, therefore, of greater importance than the physical body. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, 25 April, 1912, Washington, D.C.; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

October 11, 2015

The “attributes of the people of faith”

…the attributes of the people of faith are justice and fair-mindedness; forbearance and compassion and generosity; consideration for others; candor, trustworthiness, and loyalty; love and loving-kindness; devotion and determination and humanity. 
- ‘Abdu'l-Baha  (‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)

August 16, 2015

In return for all the care and hardship that one’s parent go through, children should “make charitable contributions and perform good works in their name, and implore pardon and forgiveness for their souls”

...parents endure the greatest toil and trouble for their children, and often, by the time the latter have reached the age of maturity, the former have hastened to the world beyond. Rarely do the mother and father enjoy in this world the rewards of all the pain and trouble they have endured for their children. The children must therefore, in return for this pain and trouble, make charitable contributions and perform good works in their name, and implore pardon and forgiveness for their souls. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Table talks in Akka, authenticated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha; ‘Some Answered Questions’ – 2014 revised translation by the Baha’i World Center)

June 7, 2015

We shouldn’t allow anything to “intervene” between us and God

Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him. Eat ye, O people, of the good things which God hath allowed you, and deprive not yourselves from His wondrous bounties. Render thanks and praise unto Him, and be of them that are truly thankful. 
- Baha’u’llah  ('Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Conservation of the Earth's Resources)

May 10, 2015

We should view the world as “one homeland and one habitation”

This span of earth is but one homeland and one habitation. It behoveth you to abandon vainglory which causeth alienation and to set your hearts on whatever will ensure harmony. In the estimation of the people of Bahá man’s glory lieth in his knowledge, his upright conduct, his praiseworthy character, his wisdom, and not in his nationality or rank. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas)

April 12, 2015

Involvement in the society

Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘The Tabernacle of Unity’) 

March 15, 2015

Each human being has two natures or aspects – God’s Teachings brought to humanity through His various Prophets are to help us conquer our animal nature.

Man has two aspects or natures - merciful or divine and an animal aspect. The merciful aspect is peace, happiness, love and faithfulness. But the animal aspect is strife, discord, war and battle. If the animal aspect dominates in man, he becomes lower than an animal. If the divine aspect dominates, he becomes an angel of the Lord. The teachings of the Prophets were for this: that the animal aspect may be conquered, so that the souls that are captives of nature may be saved and the heavenly aspect may dominate. That divine aspect consists of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It consists of 'the second birth.' He who possesses that aspect is a well-wisher of all; he is kind to all the creatures; he has no bitterness toward any creed, and he shuns no religion. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk given at the Universalist Church in Washington DC, April 21, 1912; Star of the West, vol.19, no. 3, June 1928)

January 17, 2015

One should never consider himself/herself greater than others

…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. 
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 24 Denver 1912, Lincoln, USA; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)

December 20, 2014

Every person should be helped to “develop and express his or her God-given talents and capacities in service to humanity.”

…the principle of the oneness of humankind, as proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, is inconsistent with any attempt to impose uniformity. Its watchword is unity in diversity. To accept it is to embrace the rich diversity that characterizes the human race. To promote it implies helping every soul to develop and express his or her God-given talents and capacities in service to humanity.  
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 28 July 2008 to the Baha’is in Iran)    

November 12, 2014

One’s ambition in life should be “to revive the world, to ennoble its life, and regenerate its peoples.”

They who are the people of God have no ambition except to revive the world, to ennoble its life, and regenerate its peoples. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

October 5, 2014

“Love is the source of all the bestowals of God”

Love is the source of all the bestowals of God. Until love takes possession of the heart, no other divine bounty can be revealed in it. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, New York, 14 April 1912; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

September 18, 2014

Each human being should try to “become a source of social good.”

...the honor and distinction of the individual consist in this, that he among all the world's multitudes should become a source of social good. Is any larger bounty conceivable than this, that an individual, looking within himself, should find that by the confirming grace of God he has become the cause of peace and well-being, of happiness and advantage to his fellow men? No, by the one true God, there is no greater bliss, no more complete delight. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘The Secret of Divine Civilization’)

August 10, 2014

Each person should blot out every last trace of prejudice from his/her life

Let us strive to blot out from our lives every last trace of prejudice -- racial, religious, political, economic, national, tribal, class, cultural, and that which is based on differences of education or age. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 13 July 1972, addressed to all National Spiritual Assemblies; Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973)