THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH OF UTAH
List of Baha'i Communities (congregations) in Utah: | Aneth Chapter (Navajo Reservation) | Bluffdale | Bountiful | Cedar City | Cedar Hills | Centerville | Cottonwood Heights | Draper | Eagle Mountain | Farmington | Holladay | Iron County | Kanab | Layton | Lehi | Logan | Midvale | Millcreek | Moab | Murray | North Logan | North Ogden | Ogden | Orem | Park City | Provo | Red Mesa Chapter | Riverton | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake County (East Mill Creek) | San Juan County | Sandy | Saratoga Springs | Smithfield | South Ogden | South Salt Lake | Springville | St. George | Sugard | Summit County | Syracuse | Taylorsville | Uintah And Ouray Reservation | Washington | West Jordan | West Valley City | Woods Cross |
*A "Baha'i Community" (congregation) has an average of 20 to 30 adults plus their children. Baha'i Communities in large cities (London, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.) can have thousands of members.
Holy Shrine of The Báb. Baha'i World Centre. Haifa, Israel
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This website is a private website and not an official website of any of the Baha'i Communities of Utah
INTRODUCING THE BAHA'I FAITH
THE BAHA'I FAITH is an independent World Religion with over six million Believers in over 120 countries. There are about 170,000 Baha'is (baw-highzz) in the U.S., and about 1000 in Utah (mostly in the greater Salt Lake City area). The Baha'i Faith is not a "church" but a world religion: like Islam, or Buddhism, or Christianity. The Baha'i Revelation is considered the most recent, but not last, Revelation of God to mankind:
The term "Baha'i" (baw-HIGH) means "Belonging to BAHA". The Arabic word "BAHA" means "Glory". Baha'is are followers of BAHA'U'LLAH (baw-HAW-oh-LAW: the latest (but NOT last) Messenger of God on this planet. Other Messengers of God has included Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, and many Others. The Messenger of God has "stations" or "ranks" and the "stations" being:
Jesus was a Messenger of God Who came with the "station" (rank) of "Son". Baha'u'llah has the station (rank) of "Father". The Divine Mission of Baha'u'llah was to establish the "Millennial" (1000 year rule) Kingdom of God on this planet, called the World Order of Baha'u'llah.
Baha'is (baw-HIGHZ) do accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the Jews, and the miraculously-conceived and virgin-born "Son" of God". His death on the Cross is viewed as an "atonement" for "the sins of all mankind".
The Glory of God
Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah (born Mirza Husein-Ali Nuri in Iran in 1817) is....
*The Spirit of Truth in the flesh
*The Holy Ghost incarnate
*The Supreme Manifestation of God on the Father on this planet.
*The World Teacher
*The Messenger of God for Our Age
*The Promised One
*The Holy Spirit of Promise
*The Heavenly Father in the flesh
The Spirit of Truth is Now Come
We believe that Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892) was the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost or Spirit of Truth. Jesus said:"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me.... (John 16:13-14)
Bahá'u'lláh wrote:"Verily, He Who is the Spirit of Truth is now come to guide you unto all truth. He speaketh not as prompted by His own self, but as bidden by Him Who is the All-Wise. Say, this is the One Who hath glorified the Son and hath exalted His Cause. (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p.12)
Baha'i Faith Overview
In the Baha'i Faith:
*There is no tithing.
*There are no secret "temple rites" for the living or the dead.
*Baha'i Temples (Houses of Worship) are open to everyone.
*There are no "required" meetings that one must attend.
*There is an optional "feast" every 19 days (usually in the evening) and also a optional "Sunday Devotional" which lasts about one hour.
*There are no bishops but a council of 9 elected men and women who oversee local congregations called "Baha'i Communities"
*Smoking is allowed, but drinking alcohol is NOT.
*Baha'is are required to go on a Pilgrimage to Holy Shrines in Israel at least once in their lifetime "if" they can afford it, are not pregnant, and are in good health, and not above 69 years.
*There is no baptism
*There is no priesthood
*There is a Year of Service (similar to a "Mission") but those on their Year of Service may "date" and also listen to music, and have no "companion".
*The Baha'i Faith is headed by a council of 9 elected men, who rule the Faith from the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
The Baha'i Faith teaches...
*There is eternal marriage for those "sealed" by Baha'u'llah (called "Eternal Union")
*There is no reincarnation for human souls back to "this" material world (other mortal existences on other material worlds are possible)
*Instead of Priesthood there is an "Administrative Order" which women can serve in all capacities except on the Universal House of Justice.
*There are no "wards" but "communities".
*Each Community is ruled by 9 men and women called a "Local Spiritual Assembly" (LSA)
*All Baha'i Communities in a given country are ruled by a council of 9 men and women called the National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) for that country.
*There is no sacrament meeting
*There are reading of short prayers and the singing of hymns at the Feasts and Devotionals.
*Children of Baha'i parents may reject the Baha'i Faith at age 15 (if they choose) or "declare" themselves Baha'is: without pressure or parents or fear or shunning or ridicule.
*Baha'i Temples are called "Houses of Worship" where the Holy Texts are chanted meditatively
*Jesus is acknowledged as the virgin-born Son of God, and in the station of "Son" among the Manifestations of God (Who have three stations: Father, Son, or Servant).
*Jesus' divine mission on Earth was to reveals the Good News, and to offer Himself on the cross as a sinless sacrifice for the sins and iniquities of all mankind.
*After Jesus, the Messengers of God were Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha'u'llah.
*Baha'u'llah is the latest, but not last, Messenger of God to humanity.
*The Divine Mission of Baha'u'llah is to establish the Law of God that will ensure Universal Peace and Justice on this planet, and other planets, for the next 500,000 years.
Baha'i Public Meetings
We do not expect you to accept Baha'u'llah as the Spirit of Truth, just because He claimed to be so. However, if you want to "know" if He is or not, then you must "hear" the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited, by a Baha'i, in a Baha'i prayer, given at the beginning of a Baha'i Public Meeting (Fireside or Devotional). As you listen to His Words being recited your soul will vibrate! It is like NO FEELING you have ever had. This is NOT a "burning in the bosom" but a "vibration" of your soul. You can only experience this astounding event "if" you attend a Baha'i Public Meeting, and "listen" to the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited in Baha'i Prayer. These prayers only last a minute! You will be astounded! Baha'i Public Meetings include:
*Baha'i Firesides: given any evening, usually at the home of a Baha'i couple or at a Baha'i Center. They are free. No donations can be accepted. Dress is casual. Light refreshments are served after the meeting during the Question and Answer Period. One hour in duration. Smoking is allowed outside. A Baha'i Fireside usually lasts about 90 minutes. Seekers may browse the Baha'i literature after the Question and Answer Period. You can attend a Fireside near you by calling 1-800-228-6483 from anywhere in the 48 States, and leaving your name, number, and zip code (so they can direct you to the proper Fireside). Someone will call you back.
*Baha'i Sunday Devotionals: everything is the same as above, but these are on Sunday mornings. There is no Sacrament meeting. Men and women are not separated. There are prayers, hymns, and several short "talks". This meeting usually lasts about one hour.
If you want to attend either a Fireside or a Devotional, contact information can be found at the bottom of each of the linked articles below.
The Blesséd Beauty
Baha'is (baw-highzz) refer to Baha'u'llah as "The Blesséd Beauty". He is considered the latest, but not the last Manifestation of God the Father on this planet. Other "Manifestations" of the Father have included Krishna, Buddha, and Others. The next Manifestation of God is "due" about 2863 A.D., or soon thereafter, but not before then.
The Face of Baha'u'llah
The Face of Baha'u'llah is considered "too sacred" to be shown or displayed outside of the Baha'i Holy Shrines in Haifa and Akka, Israel. Baha'is consider Baha'u'llah to be the Manifestation of God the Father on this planet. The Promised One of all religions. The Messenger of God for our Era. The Spirit of Truth. The Holy Ghost in the flesh. Baha'is believe that ALLAH is an Unknowable Essence: not a "Person" nor an Exalted Man. ALLAH has no wife or wives, and no sons nor daughters. ALLAH begets not, nor is He begotten. ALLAH is not a "man" nor was never any man. The Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, however, is the "Father" of the "Son". Baha'u'llah founded the Baha'i Faith in 1863 in Baghdad, Iraq. He was later exiled to Acca, Palestine: then a Turkish province. He announced His true station to the World in "The Tablet of Carmel" which was written, and recited, on Mount Carmel, in Palestine, in the year 1891. He died in 1892.
The Baha'i Principles
THE BAHA'I FAITH AND MORMONISMShoghi Effendi on Joseph Smith
Shoghi Effendi (show-gee ef-fen-dee, 1897~1957) was the "Guardian" of the Baha'i Faith. He was the great-grandson of Baha'u'llah (1817~1892), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, and the Holy Ghost incarnate (i.e. the incarnation of the Holy Ghost or "Spirit of Truth"). Shoghi Effendi was considered "inspired of God" but he is not considered to be a "Prophet" in the Baha'i sense of the word "Prophet" (i.e. Manifestation of God).
Official Baha'i teachings state that Joseph Smith was "not a Prophet in the Baha'i sense of the term Prophet". The Baha'i word for "Prophet" means a sinless and infallible Manifestation of God on Earth. The Mormon term "Prophet" simply means any man (or woman) who has had true visions and revelations from God. The Baha'i term "Prophet" is not the same as the Mormon term "Prophet".
Regarding Joseph Smith, Shoghi Effendi is "reported" to have said:
"Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet; neither major nor minor. He had a high standard, but the Baha'is have a higher standard coupled with God's power that comes direct from God for this age." (Shoghi Effendi, quoted in Ramona Browne, Memories of 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1967, p.117)
Official Baha'i teachings (i.e. "Accepted Baha'i Doctrine") teaches that Joseph Smith was not a "Prophet" in the Baha'i sense of the word "Prophet" (sinless and infallible Manifestation of God). That is Accepted Baha'i Doctrine which all Baha'is must accept.
Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957) believed that Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet. In Baha'i terms, a "Seer" is an ordinary sinful man who has true visions, but a "Prophet" is a sinless and infallible Manifestation of God on Earth. A "Prophet" and a "Seer" are quite different in "Baha'i terms. Shoghi Effendi did not "mandate" that other Baha'is share his "personal belief" on Joseph Smith being a Seer.
Baha'is can believe any of the following:
A) Joseph Smith was a Seer who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer (pro-Joseph Smith view).
B) Joseph Smith was a fraud and not a Seer (anti-Joseph Smith view)
C) No option about Joseph Smith (No-Opinion-Joseph Smith View)
Baha'is can accept A, B, or C as "Personal Belief". But no Baha'i may accept Joseph Smith as a "Prophet" in the Baha'i sense of the word "Prophet" (sinless and infallible Manifestation of God).
Shoghi Effendi on The Book of Mormon
Shoghi Effendi was once asked if The Book of Mormon was historical. He replies "That is a matter of historians to pass upon." (High Endeavors, Note Number: 97). Baha'is interpret that statement by Shoghi Effendi in various ways, depending on whether they see Joseph Smith as a Seer or as a fraud.
Most Baha'is have "No Opinion" about the divine inspiration, or lack thereof, of Mormonism or Joseph Smith, and see the subjects of Joseph Smith and Mormonism as completely irrelevant to the Baha'i Faith or the claims of Baha'u'llah. The claims of Baha'u'llah have no "dependency" whatsoever on whether Joseph Smith was inspired of God or not.
The claims of Baha'u'llah should not be "judged" according to Joseph Smith, but "judged" according to their own merit. The prophecies of Baha'u'llah, and their historical fulfillment, are outlined in the book The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews, available online, or for sale or for free loan, at most Baha'i Center libraries.
Baha'i Information Meetings
There is a wealth of information about the Baha'i Faith on the Internet. Just go to Google and type in "Baha'i Faith". Here are some quick facts:
*Baha'is accept Baha'u'llah as the Promised Spirit of Truth (Holy Ghost) in the flesh. He wrote hundreds of epistles called "Tablets". Baha'u'llah was born in Iran in 1817, was exiled to Baghdad in 1853, started the Baha'i Faith in 1863,was exiled to the Turkish prison city of Akka, Palestine, in 1868, and announced Himself to the world in 1891, on Mount Carmel.
*There is no tithing in the Baha'i Faith. All gifts of money are voluntary.
*Baha'is meet every 19 days for "Feast" which is like a pot-luck but with prayers, community business, and perhaps a brief "talk" (no more than 20 minutes).
*The Baha'i Faith has no "bishops" or priests. Each "Community" (congregation) is run by an elected council of nine men and women called a "Local Spiritual Assembly" (LSA)
*Seekers are not taught by "missionaries" but must study the Faith themselves "independently".
*Baha'is have a one-hour Sunday Devotional which is "somewhat" similar to a Church service, but it is one hour in length. Seekers may attend a Sunday Devotional.
*Only Baha'is may attend Feasts (every 19 days).
*There is no baptism, no Sacrament (Eucharist), in the Baha'i Faith. There are set Prayers (from the Book of Baha'i Prayers), including a short (2 minute) Daily Obligatory Prayer.
*There are Baha'i "Temples" (Houses of Worship) but these places are open to the public, and are places to hear the Verses of God being recited and to meditate.
*Baha'is refer to each other as "The Friends".
*Baha'u'llah made the following practices "haram" (forbidden) for Baha'is: Zina (fornication and adultery) and liwat (homosexual "sex" acts). In practical terms, as long as LGBTQ Baha'is keep their sex life private, and do not discuss it, there is no discipline. Baha'is do not discuss their private sex life with others. There are no bishops or priests, no confessional booths, no "confessions" other than a private Prayer for Forgiveness that is said by the Believer privately to God. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Baha'i Faith.
*Baha'is greet each other with the phrase ALLAH'U'AHB-HAAA (God is Highest) while shaking hands gently. Please do not use this phrase unless you are a Baha'i. Those investigating the Faith are called Seekers. Just say: "Hi, my name is ___________, and I'm a Seeker." Shake hands gently.
*Seekers are encouraged to attend a Baha'i Fireside (public information meeting) which are one hour casual events at the home of a Baha'i family or at a Baha'i Center (meeting place) in or near your own city or town. The cost is FREE, no donation will be asked, none will be accepted. Dress is casual. Smoking is allowed (outside), and smokers are never shunned. If you'd like to learn more about Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith please do one or more of the following:
*Get and read the book The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews (Amazon.com).
**Read more about the Baha'i Faith on the Internet by going to Google or YouTube and typing in the words "Baha'i Faith".
***Attend a one hour Baha'i Fireside (Public Information Meeting) in or near your city or town, by calling the toll-free 800 number below and leaving your name and zip code (so they can direct you to the nearest Baha'i Community):
Call that number, leave your name and zip code, and someone will get back to you within a month. In the meantime, get a copy of The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews (Amazon.com), and, also, the Internet has many websites about the Faith. Thank you.
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