THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH OF UTAH
Bahá'í is pronounced Baw-HIGH. It means "Belonging to Glory" in Arabic
This is a personal website and NOT the official website of the Baha'i Community of Utah!
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Dear Seeker of Truth,
The Bahá'í Faith is an independent World Religion with over 6 million adherents worldwide; about 150,000 in the United States, and about 700 or so in Utah.
There are Bahá'í (baw-high) Communities (congregations) in most Utah cities with a population over 10,000. The first Mormon to become a Baha'i was Xorol ("ksor-rawl") R. Oliver (1889~1959), a woman who made many amazing prophecies and had many visions. Some believe she was Prophetess (or "Seeress").
The Faith was founded in 1863 in Baghdad, Iraq, by Bahá'u'lláh (baw-haw-ool-LAHHH), which in Arabic means "The Glory of God". He was born as Mirza Husein-Ali Nuri; a nobleman in Persia (Iran), in 1817. He was a direct descendant of King Cyrus of Persia and King David of Israel. He died in Akka, Palestine (now Israel), in 1892.
In 1891, Bahá'u'lláh (baw-haw-ooL-LAHHH) climbed Mount Carmel, in the Holy Land, an announced that He was the Son of Man; the promised incarnation of the Holy Ghost (Spirit of Truth).
The Shrine of The Báb, a Baha'i Holy Site, was built on the Sacred Spot on the slopes of Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel, where Baha'u'llah announced in the year __1891__ that the promised Son of Man had come.
In the year 1891, Baha'u'llah (baw-haw-ooL-LAHHH) declared:"Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings. He Who was hidden from mortal eyes is now come. This is the Day to hear the Voice, and see the Face, of the Son of Man" (Tablet of Carmel)
Bahá'u'lláh (baw-haw-ooL-LAHHH) means "The Glory of God" in Arabic. He was the promised Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit of Promise, the Holy Ghost incarnate (in the flesh). The Baha'is also refer to Him as:
*The Manifestation of God for our Age.
*The Supreme Manifestation of God
*The Messenger of God four our Age.
*The Bless-ed Beauty.
*The Bless-ed Perfection.
*The Ancient Beauty.
*The World Teacher.
Baha'u'llah is the Holy Ghost incarnate. The word "incarnate" means "in the flesh". He is the One Who inspired the Prophets and Seers of old. He is the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised would be sent to teach us "all truth".
You may read about the prophecies of Baha'u'llah, and their fulfillment, in the book The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews. The Baha'i Bookstore in Salt Lake City, which is located inside the Salt Lake Baha'i Center, has a copy of that book.
Mormons believe that "one day" the Holy Ghost will come to Earth, born of a woman, to "get a body" and perform some Holy Mission. Baha'is believe that Day came in 1817, when Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri (Arabic: "Prince Beauty Exalted of Light"), was born in Tehran, Persia (now Iran). He took the name/title of BAHA'U'LLAH, which means in Arabic "THE GLORY OF GOD". He died in Akka, Palestine (now Israel), in 1892. He was "seen" by some after His death, as Jesus was.
This brief introduction to the Baha'i faith is in 5 Brief Sections.
1: The Spirit of TruthWe 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)
Bahá'u'lláh a leader of what was considered a "heretical" and "anti-Islamic" sect (cult). Therefore, He was exiled to Baghdad, and later to Akka Palestine (Israel). He made Himself known to the world-at-large in February of 1891; when He climbed Mount Carmel and recited His "Tablet of Carmel"; His announcement to all mankind that He was the promised "Son of Man" and "Spirit of Truth" now come to teach Mankind "all things" they needed to know about establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth.
The Room of Baha'u'llah in Akka, Palestine (April, 1890). The door and windows are covered in white veils
Baha'u'llah (born: Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri), was a descendant of King David and of King Cyrus of Persia. Because of His claims, He was exiled form Iran: first to Baghdad, then to Adrianople, Turkey, and finally to the Turkish prison city of Akka, Palestine. White in Iraq, He spent two years among the Sufis (Muslim mystics), and earned the right to wear the Crown of a Sufi Master. He wore that crown the rest of His life. While in Baghdad, in 1863, an anti-Baha'i mob burned His house, and all His clothing. Baha'i women made Him a new wardrobe, from red Persian drapes. He wore blood red robes In Akka, Palestine (now Israel), He lived in a small room, covered by white veils. Those who wished to see His Face had to wash, anoint themselves, wear white clothing, and know certain secret "signs". Then the white veil was parted, and they could enter His presence.
His followers are called Bahá'ís (baw-highzz); meaning "belonging to Glory".
There are about 5 to 6 million Baha'is in the world today, in 120 countries. There are about 150,000 Bahá'ís in the United States, and about 700 or so in Utah. There are Bahá'í Communities (congregations) in the following Utah cities and areas:
| Aneth Chapter (Navajo Reservation) | Bountiful | Cedar City | Cedar Hills | Centerville | Cottonwood Heights | Draper | Eagle Mountain | East Mill Creek| Farmington | Holladay | Iron County | Kanab | Layton | Lehi | Logan | Midvale | Moab | Murray | North Logan | North Ogden | Ogden | Orem | Park City | Provo | Red Mesa Chapter | Richmond | Riverton | Salt Lake City | San Juan County | Sandy | Saratoga Springs | Smithfield | South Ogden | South Salt Lake | St. George | Summit County | Syracuse | Taylorsville | Uintah And Ouray Reservation | Washington | West Jordan | West Valley City | Woods Cross|
In addition to these Baha'i "Communities" (congregations), thee are smaller Baha'i "Groups" (1 to 8 adults) in many other cities/towns in Utah. A Baha'i "Community" (congregation) must have at least "9" active Baha'i adults. Most Baha'i Communities and Groups meet for Feast in each other's homes. A few larger Baha'i Communities in Utah have their own "Baha'i Centers"; such as Salt Lake City, East Mill Creek, and Logan. Baha'i Centers have bookstores and lending libraries.
Baha'is meet every 19 days for "Feast": always in the evening. There are no required Sunday meetings, although some Baha'i Communities have Sunday Schools for children.
Bahá'ís believe in God, and in the "Manifestatations of God"; major Prophets which include Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, and Bahá'u'lláh (to name a few). Each Manifestation of God brings a unique Message to Humanity from our Creator, and has a distinct Divine Mission to fulfill.
Baha'u'llah referred to the Baha'i Faith as "The Cause of God" and "The Celestial Kingdom".
If you ask a Baha'i "Why did you join the Baha'i Faith?" they will most likely say: "Because of the Baha'i Principals". Some of the "Baha'i Principles" include:
*There is One God
*Most (not all) religions have a foundation in truth.
*Men and women are equal and should have equal rights.
*Prejudices of all kinds must be eliminated
*Universal education must be mandated.
*A universal auxiliary language must be established.
*A world state must be established to protect the human rights of all.
*Evolution is true, but has been Divinely-guided.
*One's religion should be determined by the individual, not by their parents nor by their government.
*The World Order of Baha'u'llah will become the Kingdom of God on Earth.
*Religion is progressive.
The Manifestations of God on Earth have included:
The Báb (forerunner of Baha'u'llah)
Baha'is (bah-highzz) refer to Baha'u'llah as:
*The Messenger of God for our Age.
*The Supreme Manifestation of God
*The Blesséd Beauty
*The Blesséd Perfection
*The Ancient Beauty
*The World Teacher
Baha'u'llah (bah-HAH-ooL-LAHHH) is the latest, but not the last, Manifestation of God on this planet. The next Manifestation of God is due on or about the year 2863 A.D. They will continue to be sent as long as Mankind exists.
Baha'u'llah established the Law of God for our "Age" with His book "The Most Holy Book" (Kitab-i-Aqdas). He came as the Spirit of Truth: to teach Humanity "all things" pertaining to the Law of God for our time.
Baha'u'llah died in 1892, but there are accounts of Him "appearing" to others after that time, in His ethereal body. The Faith teaches that the physical body is never raised, but always returns to dust. Baha'u'llah taught that humans consists of a spirit, a soul, a physical body, and an ethereal body. Only the ethereal body is resurrected.
The Baha'i Faith is headquartered at the Baha'i World Centre, in Haifa, Israel; on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The Most Holy Shrine of Baha'u'llah is located twenty miles north, near Acca, Israel, in a place called "Bahji" (baw-zhee). Baha'is face toward the Most Sacred Spot (Bahji) in prayer, and travel to Bahji on Pilgrimage.
Baha'i World Centre (Haifa, Israel)
2: The Baha'is
There are about 5 to 6 million Baha'is (bah-highzz) in 120 countries. About 150,000 in the U.S., and about 700 or so in Utah.
The Feast and Pilgrimage
Baha'is meet together every 19 days for "Feast"; which is like a Pot-Luck and takes about one hour to 90 minutes. There is no Sabbath day. There is no tithing. Baha'is donate what they wish to various "Funds". There are no secret temple rites, but Baha'is do go on "Pilgrimage" to the Holy Shrines in Haifa and Bahji (baw-zhee) Israel, at least one time in their lifetime, if they are healthy and can afford it.
Year of Service
There are no "missionaries" or "missions". However, Baha'i youth between high school and college are expected to go on a "Year of Service" which is like a "welfare mission". Many Baha'is on their Year of Service spent it serving at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
The use of alcohol is forbidden in the Faith. Smoking is allowed, but discouraged. Baha'is "fast" for 19 days a year, during the daylight hours. Adultery, fornication (all sex outside of heterosexual marriage) is forbidden. There are no bishops. There are no confessions to a bishop. No "worthiness" interviews. Sins are confessed to God in private and never to any other human being.
Gossiping and backbiting is "forbidden" (but it still happens). Protesting the government is forbidden.
Smoking is discouraged, but allowed. In the LDS (Mormon) Church smokers are usually shunned, and they usually go inactive. However, Baha'is are more accepting of smokers. They are not considered "sinful" or "disgusting" as many Mormons would consider them to be. Of course, all smoking must take place outside.
There are no mandatory Sunday meetings. Some Baha'is Communities (congregations) have Sunday Schools for children, but these are not mandatory. Baha'is "may" meet on Sunday for a "Devotional" (like a Mormon Fireside) but, again, these meetings are completely optional. Baha'is may shop on Sunday, or work, or play sports on Sunday.
The Baha'i Faith has no "Gospel Ordiances". No baptism. No sacrament. No ordinations. No rites from the dead other than Prayers for the Dead. No "sealings". No temple rites. Baha'is pray in cicles, with one reading a prayer and the rest bowing their heads. There is a Baha'i Prayer that resembles Muslim prayers, with "prostrations" toward a Qiblih (Point of Adoration) like Muslims do, but Baha'is in the West usually don't use those "prostrating" prayers: preferring to pray while sitting on chairs in a circle.
Baha'i House of Worship (New Delhi, India)
There are Baha'i "temples" (called "Houses of Worship") but these are not for secret rites, but are open to anyone. The Holy Writings are recited, and basically they are places to hear the Holy Words being recited and to meditate while one is listening to the recitals: which are often in Arabic or Persian, and often "sung" in those languages. There is no special "clothing"; no "robes" when going to a Baha'i House of Worship. But people are expected to wear clean modest clothing.
Baha'i women do not wear "hijabs" like Muslim women do, but are still expected to wear "modest" clothing.
There is a Daily Obligatory Prayer that takes a few seconds to recite. There are many other Baha'i Prayers. They are considered "effectual" for forgiveness, for healing, etc., because they were revealed by Baha'u'llah, the Spirit of Truth. There are Baha'i Prayers for the Dead which are considered "effectual" for the dead; actually "helps" the dead in the "Unseen Realm" (the Baha'i term for the Spirit-World).
Baha'u'llah was born a Shi'ite Muslim, and Islam allows up to four wives. Baha'u'llah had three wives, but polygamy was outlawed in the Faith by the Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, Abbas Effendi, Who changed His name to 'Abdu'l-Baha (ab-dell bah-HAH), which means "Servant of Glory" in Arabic.
'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell bah-HAH) was actually quite famous in the early 20th century, and His name and image appeared in thousands of newspapers and magazines. He came to Salt Lake City in the year 1912, and knocked on the East Door of the Salt Lake Temple, but was refused entry. Many early Baha'is believed that He was the "return" of the Son of God. Baha'is refer to 'Abdu'l-Baha as "The Master". You can read more about this in the link below: "Did Jesus Visit Salt Lake City In Late September 1912?"
Polygamy is "forbidden" in the Faith. However, men and women who are already polygamists "before" they become Baha'is are not asked to divorce, but to retain their commitments, but men cannot take additional wives after they become Baha'is, and they must teach their children that polygamy is forbidden in the Faith.
There is a Baha'i doctrine of eternal marriage, called "Eternal Union". No temple sealing is necessary for Eternal Union. Baha'i couples who become "one" physically and spiritually are married in all the Worlds of God. They are "sealed" by Baha'u'llah, Who is the Holy Spirit of Promise.
'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW), the Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, wrote:"In a true Bahá'í marriage the two parties must become fully united both spiritually and physically, so that they may attain eternal union throughout all the Worlds of God,...." (Baha'i World Faith, p.372)
"Their purpose must be this: to becoming loving companions and comrades at one with each other for time and eternity...." (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p.86)
Baha'is consider the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha (not a Manifestation of God but a Chosen One) to be Infallible Scripture. Eternal Union is not automatic, but is achieved only by those Baha'i couples who become "one" physically and "one" with God spiritually. No Temple "sealing" or rite is necessary for Eternal Union. Baha'is are "sealed" by Baha'u'llah--the Holy Spirit of Promise.
The Holy Quran, the holy book of Islam, which Baha'is accept as Infallible Scripture, teaches that the Mo'meneen (Arabic: "Faithful") will be married to their spouses, and have their children with them, in Paradise.
The Baha'i Faith is headed by a council of nine elected men (elected every five years) called "The Universal House of Justice". The "House" is not a building, but a council of nine men. They are not "Prophets" but simply nine elected men who are guided by the Tablets (books) of Baha'u'llah (Who died in 1892) and the "Directives" (letters) of the Guardian of the Faith (Shoghi Effendi), who died in 1957.
Universal House of Justice (Haifa, Israel)
The Members of the Universal House of Justice are not prophets, nor seers, nor revelators. Each one is a "Rijal" (Arabic: "Distinguished Gentleman") who has an advanced education, and many decades of service to the Baha'i Faith. They are elected, not appointed, every five years. They are "guided" by the Holy Texts (i.e. the Writings of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha), and the Directives (signed letters) of Shoghi Effendi.
It was Shoghi Effendi (show-gee ef-den-dee), the great-grandson of Baha'u'llah, who said to various Baha'is that "Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet minor or otherwise." (Pilgrim's Notes of Ramona Browne)
Shoghi Effendi was not a Prophet (Manifestation of God) nor a Chosen One, but he was probably a Seer. He prophesied of the "Holocaust" (by that term) years before it occurred, and he prophesied of the Internet decades before the Web became a reality. He died in London in 1957.
Baha'is (baw-highzz) belong to "Communities" (congregations) of from 9 to hundreds, and each "Community" is headed by a "Local Spiritual Assembly" which consists of nine men and women who are elected by the Community. Baha'is meet in their homes or in a "Baha'i Center" (meetinghouse) every 19 days for "Feast"; which is similar to a Mormon "Pot-Luck". Most Baha'i Communities have about 20 to 30 adults and children. Baha'i Communities in major cities, like London, Toronto, New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of members. The Baha'is of Salt Lake City have around 100 members or so, with about 40% active. Baha'i "Communities" (congregations) are almost always much smaller than an LDS Ward.
Each Baha'i "Community" (congregation) follows city or county boundaries, and is headed by a Local Spiritual Assembly, consisting of 9 men and women who are elected yearly. There is no "Priesthood" in the Baha'i Faith. There are Baha'i Prayers for Healing, which can be recited by anyone; including children.
Anyone under the age of 15 are not counted as Baha'is. The children of Baha'is are encouraged to choose the Baha'i Faith between the ages of 15 and 18, or choose their own religion, or no religion; instead of blindly following their parents into the Faith. The Faith teaches that one has a right to choose their own religion, or lack or religion, instead of one's religion being dictated by their parents or the State, as is the case in most countries.
What are the Baha'is "like"?
The great majority of Baha'is are like this:
*Very "World-Problem conscious" (very concerned about "world problems" of hunger, injustice, racism, war, conflict, famine, inequality, etc.)
If you are "radically" Liberal, Atheist, agnostic, anarchistic, smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, sleep around, you will NOT be comfortable in the Baha'i Community!
Most Mormons are more concerned with making money, getting material things, property, position, success, etc. Baha'is are not as concerned with those things. They tend to look "outward" instead of "inward" as Mormons do. Baha'is are more concerned with "solving world problems" than what Mormons are concerned about: which generally is the pursuit of "The Good Life" (wealth and worldly success) in this world and "Exaltation" (Godhood) in the next world.
Baha'is are, generally, "moderately" Liberal. If you are a Radical, or an Anarchist, radical Feminist, 420 positive, polyamorist, Marxist, you would NOT be comfortable in the Baha'i Faith. Baha'is might march in a "Peace March" but they would never think about engaging in violent protests of any kind for any reason. Baha'is are peaceful, "social-conscious" people who want the change the world. They are not as concerned with "being successful" like most Mormons are, although, because they are well-educated, Baha'is are just as "successful" as well-educated Mormons are.
Baha'is do not equate "wealth" with being "blessed by God" as many Mormons do. Nor do they see wealth and success as a "sign" of "being righteous" or being "blessed by God" as many Mormons do. Baha'is seek to "bless the world" by helping to "solve world problems" (war, poverty, hunger, injustice), instead of thinking how to "get blessings" from God for themselves and their families.
There are "some" LGBT Baha'is, but the Baha'i teachings concerning homosexuality is the same as in the LDS Church. Homosexual "acts" (Arabic: "liwat") are HARAM (forbidden) for the Baha'is. LGBT Baha'is are expected to remain celibate all their lives, if they cannot marry in heterosexual marriages. In the World Order of Baha'u'llah, entire countries will be ruled by Baha'i Holy Law, where liwat will be fined, with fines doubling for each offense. Why? We are not told that other than certain sexual actions "retard the progress of the soul in the Afterlife". Why? We are not told "why": only that they "do". Baha'is are "followers of Baha'u'llah" Who commanded Baha'is to abstain from Zena (fornication and adultery) and Liwat (homosexual acts). If we cannot obey Baha'u'llah, then we are not Baha'is. Homosexual marriage is also HARAM (forbidden) for Baha'is. If you cannot accept this, then we suggest you find a religion/church that accepts LGBT people without restrictions:
*Unitarian-Universalist ("UU") Churches
*United Church of Christ
*Presbyterian Church USA
*Evangelical Free Lutheran Church
*Many (not all) United Methodist Churches
*MSIA (Movement for Spiritual Inner-Awareness)
*Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS Church)
In practical terms, as long as LGBT Baha'is keep their private sexual lives private, and do not discuss it at Baha'i meetings, they are not shunned or condemned. Baha'is do not discuss sexual matters in public, especially not with other Baha'is. There are no "Worthiness Interviews" in the Faith: no man sitting behind a desk, or in a confessional booth, is going to ask you about your private sexual practices. Baha'is confess their sins to God only, not to other sinful men.
When Baha'i Principalities (City-States) shall eventually be established, "liwat" (homosexual acts) will be punished by fines (9 Mithquals of gold) which double upon each offense. Why? Because that is the Law of God, as revealed by Baha'u'llah~the Spirit of Truth. For reasons which have not be explained in the Holy Texts, "liwat" (homosexual "actions") in this life are detrimental to the progress of the soul and prevent it from ascending to the Kingdom of Heaven at death. Why? We don't know! But we follow what the Spirit of Truth reveals to us.
Baha'u'llah promises "a humiliating torment" in the Afterlife for those who commit zena (adultery) and liwat (homoseuxal acts) (Kitab-i-Aqdas paragaph 49). He did not specific what the humiliating torment was, but it can't be good.
Baha'u'llah is not a "mere man with a few good ideas". He claimed to be the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost in the flesh. Infallible in His words, laws, and statues. Either He was, or He was not. If He was not, then don't become a Baha'i. If He was...then follow what He says.
Baha'is who obey the Statues of Baha'u'llah in "this" life, are promised rewards in the Afterlife. Baha'u'llah does not specify "what" the rewards are. However, the two Muslim Seers who prepared the way for the Baha'i Revelation, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i of Bahrain, and Siyyid Kazim Rashti of Iran, both wrote in their books that the "rewards" of the Faith included every imaginable sensual please; including homosexual delights. You can read more about this in the section titled "Sexuality in the Afterlife" below.
The Sent Ones
The Baha'i Faith accepts the existence of three kinds of "Sent Ones:
***Prophets (Manifestations of God)
**Chosen Ones (non-prophets Who have a "station" between Prophet and human being)
*Seers (ordinary human beings who see angels or have true visions)
The Baha'i sense of the term "Prophet" is very different from the Christian or Mormon usage of the term "Prophet". In Baha'i terms a "Prophet" is a sinless and infallible Manifestation of God, a Divine Person with a Divine Soul; not a human soul. In Christian (and Mormon) terms, Prophets are fallible and sinful humans who see angels, have visions, and speak in the Name of the Lord, and "Seer" is just another name for a Prophet. Not so in the Baha'i Faith!
***Prophet=Manifestation of God=infallible=sinless=Divine (non-human) Soul
**Chosen One=Incarnation of the Word/Logos/Command of God=infallible=sinless=Divine Soul
*Seer=ordinary human being who sees angels or has true visions=fallible=sinful=human soul
Jesus Christ was both a Manifestation of God and a Chosen One: because the Father (Holy Ghost) dwelt "in" Him, and because His Soul was the Son (Word/logos/Command) of God. Jesus was NOT the Son of ALLAH (The Universal Unknowable Essence) but the Son of the Holy Ghost.
About 30% of the Baha'is in North American are from Iran, or they are the children of Iranian immigrants, and are referred to as "Persian Baha'is". This is because, in 1979, when the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolutionary Government took over Iran, they began to arrest Baha'i leaders, and they would throw many Baha'is into prison, or confiscate their property and bank accounts, because the Baha'i Faith is "illegal" in Iran. Baha'i children are not allowed to go to university, nor work in most professions. Poor Baha'is are denied state assistance. Many Baha'is lost their lives, or their jobs, and many Baha'i women were forced into marriage with Muslim men; against their will. So, naturally, tens of thousands of Baha'is who "could" afford to flee Iran in or around 1979, did so. Many came to North America, or to Australia or to Canada or the U.K.
About 20% of Baha'is in the U.S. are African-Americans. There are very few black Baha'is in Utah, simply because there are very few blacks in Utah. The Baha'i Faith has always been "pro-Black" in its doctrines, from the beginning; unlike the LDS Church which had anti-black doctrines and policies from 1848 until 1978.
Mystical Teachings vs. Social Teachings
The Baha'i Faith has "Mystical Teachings" (God, Afterlife, salvation, sin, atonement, etc.) and "Social Teachings" (world peace, equality, end to war, end to racism, etc.). Baha'is in North America emphasize the social teachings over the mystical teachings. Too much so, in the opinion of some. But, that's the way it is. The Mystical Teachings are "slowly" becoming more popular, but the Social Teachings still dominate just about all Baha'i discussions and "talks".
The Station of Jesus
The Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, Who is called 'Abdu'l-Baha (ab-dell baw-HAW), born in Iran in 1844 and died in Palestine (now Israel) in 1921, wrote in The Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha that the Manifestations of God have "ranks" and the Baha'u'llah has the "rank" of the Father, Jesus has the "rank" of the Son, and the rest of the Manifestations of God have the "rank" of Servants. He also compared Baha'u'llah to the Brain, Jesus to the Heart, and the other Messengers of God to "less vital organs of the body" (Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p.102).
Baha'u'llah wrote that Jesus death on the cross "sanctified the soul of the sinner" (Gleanings, p. 100). The Baha'i Holy Writings call Jesus "The Lord Christ" and "The Son of God" and "The Lord of the Visible and the Invisible". But the Father is greater than the Son, and even Jesus said: "The Father is greater than I."
Jesus is not the Son of ALLAH (God), but the Son of the Holy Ghost:Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:18)
Baha'is refer to Jesus as "Christ". They do not know what "personal relationship with Jesus" means. They know that 'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW), the Son of Baha'u'llah, called Christ "the very Saviour of Man" (Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.62), but they don't know what that means. They've never really thought about it. Most of them are not "into" what they call "the Mystical Teachings". They prefer the Social Teachings ("Principles") of the Faith: world peace, an end to prejudice and racism, equality of the sexes, equal pay for equal work, an end to the extremes of poverty and wealth, universal education, universal auxiliary language, and so forth.
An excellent explanation of the Atonement of Christ is given by Xorol ("ksor-rawl") R. Oliver, the Mormon "Prophetess" in Part Two of the the online book Xorol R. Oliver: The Mormon Prophetess which is linked at the bottom of this page. You'll be amazed by her explanations! Again, Xorol R. Oliver has no official status in the Baha'i Faith, other than she was the first Mormon to become a Baha'i.
The Second Coming
Most Christians believe that Jesus will return sitting or standing on a cloud, or suspended in a cloudy sky, with thousands of angels blowing trumpets. Baha'is don't believe that. They believe the "clouds" is a metaphor: a symbol and not literal. The Hebrew word for "cloud" is "covering" or "veil". The Baha'i interpretation that Jesus shall "come in the clouds" meaning that He shall come in "veils" which hide His true identity. This is the meaning in the Temple where the entrance to the Celestial Room is covered in white veils.
The Baha'is believe that the "Second Coming of Christ" was fulfilled, in some mystical way they can't explain, by Baha'u'llah.
The author of this website believe that Jesus Christ was composed of two Divine Beings in one body: the Father (Holy Ghost) and the Son. The Father (Holy Ghost) became "flesh" in 1817, as Mirza Husein-Ali Nuri (later known as Baha'u'llah). The "Son" (Word of God) returned as a different Person than Baha'u'llah. You can read more about this this in the online article Did Jesus Visit Salt Lake City in Late September 1912? which is linked at the bottom of this page.
The Baha'i Faith teaches that the resurrection is not of the physical body. Dust always returns to dust. After the death of Baha'u'llah in 1892, the Muslim imaam (leader of a Mosque) of Akka, Palestine, planned to start a pogrom (persecution) of the Baha'is of Akka. This would have led to the more fanatical Muslims attacking the Baha'is physically. However, Baha'u'llah opened the door to the imaam's study, showing Himself to the frightened imaam. This was a few days after Baha'u'llah had died. The imaam cancelled his pogrom. What the Muslim imaam saw was not the physical body of Baha'u'llah; Who taught that human beings consisted of four elements: a physical body (jism alef), ethereal body (jism bet), a soul (nafs) and a spirit (roohh). The physical body is never raised, only the ethereal body, which can only bee seen in visions.
Muslims consider Baha'is to be "heretics" and "cultists" and the more fanatical among them sometimes kill Baha'is in very cruel ways. Baha'is in Iran, still today, are sometimes killed, or raped, or arrested for "spying for Israel" (a false claim), and their children are denied education after high school, and Baha'is cannot receive government welfare nor work in most professions.
Baha'i doctrine states that reincarnation for "human" souls is not true. Human souls all have only one lifetime on planet Earth. However, the Manifestations of God do not have "human" souls: their Souls are the Names/Attributes of ALLAH.
In His Tablet (book) Athar-i-Qalam-i-A'la, Baha'u'llah decalres that He Himself was Abel ("afflicted by the hands of Cain"), Abraham (whom Nimrod tried to set on fire according to the Qu'ran), Moses, Jesus (i.e. as the Holy Ghost Who dwelt in Jesus from His baptism to the Cross), the Imam Ali (the first Shi'ite Imaam who was beheaded in Karbala, Iraq, in the 7th century), as Mansur al-Hallaj (Turkish Sufi mystic who was crucified "suspended in the air" and killed in the 13th century because he called himself "The Truth").
Again, the Manifestations of God and Chosen Ones do not have "human" souls. The Souls of the Manifestations of God are the Names/Attributes of ALLAH: the Universal Unknowable Essence that Baha'is call "GOD". The Souls of the Chosen Ones are the WORD/Logos of God, the Primal Will, the "Command" of ALLAH, the "Be!" when ALLAH said "BE!" and the Cosmos leaped into existence.
The Manifestations of God (return)
The Chosen Ones (return)
Human souls (do not return to "this" material planet)
The Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah was named 'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW). Baha'is refer to Him as "The Master". He was not a Manifestation of God, but a "Chosen One". The Chosen Ones have a "unique station" between Manifestation of God and ordinary human. A Baha'i woman named Laury Clifford Barney once asked 'Abdu'l-Baha (ab-dell baw-HAW), if she could return to the Earth (reincarnate). 'Abdu'l-Baha said: "God has so many planets, why do you want to return to this planet?" (The Chosen Highway 3:6). In implication was that human souls do not return to "this" planet, but dwell on other planets after death.
The Muslim Seer, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i (d. 1820), whom all Baha'is "must" accept as a true Seer, taught that the Souls of the Manifestions of God and Chosen Ones "return" and are born of new mothers in every Dispensation. He called this "raj'at" (Arabic: "return"). Human souls don't "raj'at" (return) to "this" material planet. All Baha'is must accept Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i ("shake AHH-mad ee aw-sai") as a true Seer, a man who, while not a Prophet lesser or otherwise, nevertheless had true visions.
Xorol R. Oliver and Consecutive Incarnation
Some believe that Xorol ("ksor-rawl") R. Oliver (1889~1959) was a "Seer". She was the first Mormon to become a Baha'i. She taught that human souls have one mortal probation per material planet. All souls which become "angelic" in this life go to the World of Angels, but all souls who fail to become "an Angelic soul" in this life must "return" to the Physical Realm (i.e. Nasoot) as human beings; not to this planet, but to another planet; there to have another mortal probation, and to be rewarded or punished according to the "deeds" that soul did on this planet. Our birth on this planet, either into wealth or poverty, with beauty or ugliness, with disease in mind or body or total health, are "rewards" and "punishments" for our last mortal probation on a different planet before this planet. She called this "Consecutive Incarnation": to have "consecutive" incarnations on different planets, one mortal probation per material planet. Xorol R. Oliver has no official standing in the Baha'i Faith. You can read more about Xorol ("ksor-rawl") and her prophecies and teachings in Did Jesus Visit Salt Lake City in Late September 1912?; a link to that article is at the bottom of this page.
Baha'u'llah NOT Jesus Reincarnated
Baha'u'llah was NOT the reincarnation of Jesus! He is the incarnation of the Holy Ghost Who dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism in the Jordan River, to His death on the Cross. When the Holy Ghost entered Jesus at His baptism He became "Jesus Christ": the Father (Holy Ghost) and the Son in "one" body.
The Begetter of the Son
In His Tablet (book) Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Baha'u'llah calls Himself "the Begetter of the Son" (ESW p.120). According to the Gospels, the Holy Ghost "begot" Jesus. In Mormonism God the Father and the Holy Ghost are two separate White Men: one with a body (God the Father) and one still waiting to come to Earth to get a body (Holy Ghost). Mormon leaders taught from 1850 to 1972 that God the Father, a resurrected white man, stepped down from his throne and "begot" Jesus the exact same way a mortal man begets a mortal son. However, in the Baha'i Faith, the Holy Ghost and the Heavenly Father is the Same Being: the Begetter of the Son. The Holy Ghost begot Jesus in a supernatural way, not in a physical way.
ALLAH Is NOT Heavenly Father
For Baha'is, ALLAH is God, but not the "Father". The term "The Father" is reserved for the Holy Ghost, the Begotter of the Son. ALLAH (GOD) is the Universal Unknowable Essence Who begets not, and He is not begotten. ALLAH is not a man, never was a man, He has no father, no mother, no brother, no sister, no son, and no daughter. ALLAH is the Universal Unknowable Essence that has always existed, will always exist, and has no body. ALLAH has "Names and Attributes" which are "reflected" in Perfect Men on this and other planets. These Perfect Men are called "Manifestations of God".
When Jesus prayed to His "Father in Heaven" He was not praying to ALLAH, but to the Holy Ghost, the Begetter of the Son. The Holy Ghost is not ALLAH but the "Spirit" of ALLAH. The Agent of ALLAH. The Chief Messenger of ALLAH.
Again, Baha'is of North America spend very little time discussing the Faith's "Mystical Teachings". They tend to emphasize the "Social Teachings" of the Faith (i.e. spiritual solutions to World Problems such as war, hunger, injustice, racism, inequality, poverty, etc.) which are called "The Baha'i Principles".
Salvation of the Soul
The Baha'i Holy Writings present two types of "salvation": the salvation of the soul, and the salvation of humanity as a living species. The salvation of the soul was accomplished, in some mystical way, by the death of Jesus on the Cross, which is why 'Abdu'l-Baha calls Jesus "the very Saviour of Man" (Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.52). How Jesus' shed blood accomplished this, and why His blood had to be shed to "sanctify the soul of the sinner" (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p.100) is never explained in the Baha'i Holy Writings thus far translated (much has yet to be translated).
Bahá'u'lláh wrote:"Know that when the Son of Man [Jesus] yielded upon His breath to God, the whole creation wept with such a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things.***Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified. He is it Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him." (Gleanings from the writings of Baha'u'llah pp.85,86)
'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote:"He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the One that will give unto him that is athirst of the Fountain of the water of life and bestow upon the sick the remedy of true salvation." (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, pp.12-13)
Baha'is believe that the Holy Tablets of Baha'u'llah (the Supreme Manifestation of God) and 'Abdu'l-Baha (a Chosen One) are Infallible Scripture. It is evidence They both believed that Jesus' death on the cross "saved the soul" of the sinner. However, They did not "explain" the "how" and "why" the soul of the sinner was purified by Jesus' shed blood on the cross.
Adam and Eve Based on Real Historical People
Xorol R. Oliver (1889~1959), the first Mormon to become a Baha'i, taught that humans evolved from lower forms of life. But she also taught that "Adam" and "Eve" really existed: not as the first man and first woman, but as real historical people who lived in ancient Egypt. Xorol ("ksor-rawl") gave very detailed explanations of "why" Jesus had to shed His blood on the Cross to "save the soul of sinners". She claimed to receive this information from her out-of-body visits to the Spirit-World. She has no official standing in the Baha'i Faith, bu you can read more about that in Part Two the online book Xorol R. Oliver: The Mormon Prophetess in the links at the bottom of this page. In Part Two, the Story of Adam and Eve is explained as a parable based upon two historical people: Pharaoh Aye and Pricess Khiyah of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt (about 1300 B.C.). They dwelt in a walled Garden called the Garden of Meru-Aten, which was built by Pharaoh Inkhenaten, the husband of Queen Nefertiti. Pharaoh Aye was the Son of God, and He had to "return" to this world and be born of a virgin, and shed His blood to "atone" for His original sin in the Garden of Meru-Aten. You can read more about that in Xorol R. Oliver: the Mormon Prophetess in the links at the bottom of this page.
Salvation of the Whole of Humanity
Baha'is are less concerned with the Salvation of "The Soul" and much more concerned with the Salvation of "The Whole": meaning the salvation of Mankind from poverty, injustice, racism, inequality, and extinction by nuclear war. Baha'is believe that the establishment of the World Order of Baha'u'llah will literally "save" Mankind from extinction by global thermo-nuclear war. The great majority of Baha'is spend little time discussing, or even thinking about, the "Mystical Teachings" such as the salvation of the soul.
The 7th Angel
Baha'is believe that by helping to establish "The Baha'i Principles" worldwide, they are literally "saving the planet" from the Day of Doom (total nuclear holocaust). In the book Some Answered Questions, 'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW) says that the "7th Angel" would be instrumental in establishing World Peace (Some Answered Questions, p.169). According to Xorol R. Oliver, the 7th Angel is the seventh incarnation of the Son of God on this planet, Who shall appear in the 24th century (2300s A.D.). You can read more about that in Xorol R. Oliver: The Mormon Prophetess in the links at the bottom of this page.
Baha'is in North America don't spend much time at all discussing or thinking about the Mystical Teachings of the Faith. They concentrate almost solely on the Baha'i Principles and "how to" establish the Principles worldwide. Establishing the Principles worldwide is called "social-action". That is where their "heart" is, and that is where their interest lies, and that is what they discuss at just about all their meetings. They believe in the Afterlife (World to Come), but they just don't spend much time at all discussing it, or thinking about it. A "typical" Baha'i discussion will center on Race Unity, or World Peace, or Esperanto, or equal pay for equal work, or some other "Principle" of the Faith. God is acknowledged, and prayers are given, but the "Mystical Teachings" are rarely discussed.
However, much of the Holy Writings of the Faith, deal with the question of the World to Come (Afterlife), and its rewards and punishments.
The Holy Writings of the Faith reveal that there are the Five "Worlds of God":
Hehoot (Realm of the Divine Essence)
Lahoot (Realm of the Names/Attributes)
Jabarroot (Realm of the Powers)
Malakoot (Realm of the Angels)
Nasoot (Realm of the Created Beings)
There are 11 stations of the soul, 4 material stations (mineral, plant, animal, human), and 7 spiritual stations which are called "The Seven Valleys". We perform spiritual practices such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, reciting the Zikr (Remembrance of God), and charity. Such practices increase the "station" of our soul. Those who reach the highest station of the soul, which is called the "Seventh Valley" then our "human" soul is transformed into an "angelic soul" and at death we go to Malakoot (Realm of the Angels). From Malakoot we "may" (not necessarily "will") progress to Jabarroot (Realm of the Powers). The Manifestations of God come from Lahoot (Realm of the Names/Attributes). Only ALLAH dwells in Hehoot. ALLAH is not a man, never was a man, will never be a man. He does not beget. He was not begotten. He is beyond description or concept, and is an Absolute Unknowable Essence. ALLAH is eternally alone in Hehoot.
Perhaps the Powers (Jabarroot) and the Angels (Malakoot) are the "Celestial Angels" and the "Spiritual Angels" in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg? According to Swedenborg, the Celestial Angels are "married" in Heaven, but the Spiritual Angels "marry not nor are they given in marriage".
The Path of Holiness
Performing spiritual practices daily (daily prayer, fasting 19 days a month, reciting Zikr, living a honest and chaste life, etc.) is called the Path of Holiness. This Path increases the "holiness" of our soul, so it may raise to to greater stations (Valleys), and, ultimately, be born again into an Angelic Soul, and go to the realm of Malakoot (Realm of the Angels) at death.
'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW), the Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, taught that to go "Heaven" at death, meant to be "born again". In 1898 He told a group of Baha'i pilgrims in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel):"Another commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another even as I love you. Great mercy and blessings are promised to the people of your land, but on one condition; that their hearts be filled with the fire of love, that they live in perfect harmony and kindness like one soul in different bodies. Never forget this; look at one another with the eye of perfection; look at me, follow me, be as I am; take no thought for yourselves or your lives, whether ye eat or whether ye sleep, whether ye are comfortable, whether ye are well or ill, whether ye are with friends or foes, whether ye receive praise or blame; for all these things ye must care not at all. Look at me and be as I am; ye must die to yourselves and to the world, so ye shall be born again and enter the kingdom of heaven" (Bahá'í Scriptures, p.50)
'Abdu'l-Baha is known as "The Exemplar" of the Baha'i Faith: the "example" for all Baha'is. Most Baha'is keep a photograph or painting of 'Abdu'l-Baha in their homes. He was not a Prophet (Manifestation of God), but a Chosen One.
Living the Life
Baha'is must walk the Path of Holiness every day of their lives, which is called "Living the Life". The goal of "Living the Life" is spiritual transformation; also called being "born again". Being born again does not come from water baptism, nor Temple Rites, nor from reciting the Sinner's Prayer, nor from eating consecrated bread and wine. Being "born again" comes from walking the Path of Holiness daily, until one's "human" souls is born again as an "Angelic Soul". Only an Angelic Soul may enter Malakoot at death. From Malakoot, a soul "may" (not necessarily "will") ascend into Jabarroot (the Realm of Powers) and become a "Celestial Angel" as Swedenborg wrote.
The Path of Holiness includes:
*Daily prayer (Daily Obligatory Prayer)
*Chaste and holy life (boundaries on sexual behavior)
*Helping the worthy poor
*Honesty in conversation and business
*Obeying the statues of Baha'u'llah
*Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines (if you are able)
*Contributing to the Baha'i Funds (whatever you are able)
*Cleanliness in speech and person
*Reciting the ZIKR (Remembrance of God) nightly
*Mercy and justice towards all others.
Nasoot is Hell
Baha'u'llah describes Nasoot (the material/physical realm) as "this Netherworld" (i.e. Hell), where our skins are burned and aged by the rays of the Sun (Hell-Fire), and where demons (socio-paths) exist to torment us, and where there is suffering, sorrow, hard labor, famine, war, injustice, plague, disease, deformity, racism, sexism, inequality, and death. In other words, "Hell" is symbolic of our physical/material realm (Nasoot) where the Sun "burns" our skins, and where there is disease, accident, heavy labor, injustice, famine, violence, war, and death.
Activists vs. Mystics
Baha'is spend little of their time discussing or thinking about the Afterlife. They believe that the Afterlife cannot be comprehended, no more than a child in the womb can comprehend our world, so why even try? They spend most of their time thinking about and discussing "how to solve world problems" like hunger, war, injustice, racism, sexism, prejudice, and poverty. Most Baha'is still unaware that the Muslim Seers, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i, and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, gave extremely detailed descriptions of the Afterlife in their books. Unfortunately, these books are still in Arabic and Farsi (Persian) and have not yet been translated into English: except for some excerpts in various scholarly articles.
Baha'is can be classified as "Activists" and "Mystics". About 95% of Baha'is are Activists, and see the Baha'i Faith as a "way" to establish World Peace/Race Unity/Equality of Genders/Equal Pay for Equal Work/Justice for All/Elimination of the Extremes of Poverty and Wealth/Universal Language/Universal Education/Just Government internationally, and about 5% of Baha'is are Mystics, and are interested mainly in the Faith's "Mystical Teachings" (nature of God, Afterlife, Salvation of the Soul, Path of Holiness, etc.). The Faith has both Social Teachings and Mystical Teachings. But, right now, the Social Teachings ("The Principles") absolutely predominate just about all Baha'i discussions and activities, but that is slowly changing.
Sexuality in the Afterlife
The Holy Quran, which Muslims and Baha'is accept as Infallible Scripture, teaches that the Faithful will be married in the Afterlife, and sit upon thrones, on green carpets, have their children with them, and be served by male-servants (Ghulams) and female servants (Hooreez). They shall inherit "Gardens" underneath which rivers flow. Just about all Muslim men assume they will have their wive(s) with them, but also they will have sexual rights over the Hooreez, and homosexual Muslims assume they will have sexual rights over the Ghulams. In the Holy Quran it says:"As for those that have faith and do good works, We shall admit them to Gardens watered by running streams where, wedded to chaste spouses, they shall abide khaliduun ("immortals"). To a cool shade We shall admit them. (4:57 Dawood Translation)
"Say: Shall I tell you of better things than these, with which the righteous shall be rewarded by their Lord? Theirs shall be Gardens watered by running streams, where they shall dwell khaliduun ["immortals"]: spouses of perfect chastity, and grace from God. (3:15)
And We shall wed them unto fair ones with wide lovely eyes (45:54)
"Such as persevere in seeking their Lord's countenance and are regular in prayer and spend (on the poor) of that which We bestow upon them secretly and openly, and overcome evil with good, theirs will be the sequel to the (heavenly) Home, Gardens of Eden wich they enter, along with all who do right of their fathers and their helpmeets (wives) and their seed (children). (13:22-23)
Lo! those who merit Paradise this day are happily employed. They and their wives, in pleasant shade, on thrones reclining.... (36:55)
The Holy Quran teaches eternal marriage for those who inherit Paradise, and they shall dwell in Gardens "with their seed (children)" (13:23).
Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i (1760~1820) was a Shi'ite Muslim Muhaddath (Seer) from the island of Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf. He claimed to be a "Moo-haw-daath" (Arabic: "one spoken to by angels"). He claimed to receive many visions from the Prophet Muhammad and the Imaams of Shi'ite Islaam. He wrote He also wrote of having a vision of a city consisting only of women and no men. The women became pregnant from the root of a "penis tree", and not from men, and their children were all female (from his book Jalami al-Kalim).
Shaykh Ahmad made many followers among the Shi'ite Muslims, but he was considered to be a heretic. He founded the Shaykhi school of Shi'a Islaam. His books are still published today in Arabic and Persian by the Shakhis (shei-keez) of Bahrain and Iran. Baha'u'llah wrote:"The followers of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i have, by the aid of God, apprehended that which was veiled from the comprehension of others of which they remain deprived." (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p.120)
The successor of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i, was an Iranian named Siyyid Kazim Rashti, who died in 1843 in Iran. He is considered a Seer (ordinary human who has true visions) and another "Herald" of the Baha'i Revelation. He wrote a book titled Sharh-e-Zyarade-Jamea which he claimed to have a vision of Paradise, and in that world he saw a city, and in the city were "lanes" (avenues), and on one avenue (Lane 277 to be specific) he saw a mansion where men had sexual relations with other men (Sharh-e-Zyarade-Jamea, p.128).
In Islaam, and in the writings of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, sexuality in Paradise is not automatic, but a reward for the Faithful: those who sincerely and consistently obey the statues and ordinances of God in this life. Homosexual Muslims believe if they refrain from homosexual acts (liwat) in this life, they will be rewarded with Ghulams (ghoo-lawmzz) in Paradise: who will take the shape of beautiful young men and boys. Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim Rashti taught the same thing in their books. Baha'is consider Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim Rashti to be a true Seer, but very few of them are aware of what he actually wrote and taught: other than he "prepared the way" for the coming of Baha'u'llah.
Again, Muslims who are homosexual believe that if they are good Muslims in this life (marry a woman, have children, obey the Statutes found in the Quran and Sunnah) they will be rewarded with Ghulams (ghoo-lawmzz) in Paradise, who will take the form of beautiful young men and boys. The visions of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, whom all Baha'is must accept as a true Seers (because they are called such in the Baha'i Holy Texts and the Directives), confirmed this belief, but this reward, like all heavenly rewards, was predicated upon obedience to the Divine Statutes in this life. God does not reward those who are disobedient or hypocritical, but those who obey His Statutes as He reveals them via the Messenger of God for the Dispensation.
Jesus said:"In my Father's House, there are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)
The Seers Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, were not "guessing" as to the Afterlife. They claim to have "visited" the Afterlife, and seen for themselves what it was like. In their visions, they saw that Paradise had every sort of sensual pleasure imaginable, offered in mansions, in cities with "lanes" (streets). It is very clear in their writings, that they interpreted these cities and mansions in Paradise as literal and not figurative. Their books are in Arabic and Farsi (Persian) and have not yet been translated into English, except for excerpts in scholarly journals. Baha'is have never studied them.
Heaven for Christians
In Christianity, the Afterlife consists of the Saved (Christians only) joining an Eternal Heavenly Choir of sexless and genderless Angels who are eunuchs, neither male nor female, who sing praises to God and the Lamb (Jesus) for all eternity. They have no sexuality, but enjoy singing, and they also enjoy looking at the Damned (all except born-again Christians) being eternally burned in Hell-fire; with no hope of mercy or reprieve. For these eternally-singing Angels, there is no romantic love, no sex, no begetting, no children, and no male or female, for all eternity.
Everybody Goes To Hell But __Us__!
Catholics believe one goes to Heaven by being Catholic; accepting the Pope in Rome. Good Catholics go to Heaven at death. Bad Catholics go to Purgatory for awhile, then to Heaven. All others burn in eternal Hell-fire. Orthodox believe the same: good Orthodox go to Heaven at death, bad Orthodox must spend time in Purgatory first. All others go to eternal Hell-fire. Fundamentalist Muslims believe the same! Good Muslims go to Paradise at death, and bad Muslims go to a temporary hell. All others go to an eternal unending Hell.
Roman Catholics believe only Catholics will go to Heaven. Orthodox Christians believe only the Orthodox will go to Heaven. Evangelical Christians believe that only born-again Christians (i.e. Evangelicals) will go to Heaven. All others will burn in unending Hell-Fire, to be tormented for all eternity; with no hope of mercy or reprieve or escape. So too, Fundamentalist Muslims believe "they" are the only ones going to Paradise; all others will burn in Hell-fire for eternity, and be tortured by demons, with no hope or mercy or reprieve, and without escape.
Baha'is are convinced there is no literal "fire-and-brimstone" eternal "Hell". What is Hell? They will say: "Being far from God!" What does that mean? They don't know. They've never thought about it. Most Baha'is do not give it two seconds of thought. A few of them guess that "Hell" in the Afterlife is "regret" for not working for World Peace or Race Unity, and "regret" for doing some horrible crimes in life. They don't know, and most don't really care. They care about children in Zimbabwe getting clean water. They care about World Peace and the end of the Arms Race. But, Baha'u'llah (baw-haw-ooL-LAHHH), the Spirit of Truth did have a very clear "picture" of what "Hell" meant.
Hell is Nasoot
Baha'u'llah wrote that Hell was "This Netherworld" (our realm) that was filled with "demons" (evil men and evil women) who torment us (Tablet of the Vision). Nasoot (the Realm of Created Beings) is a place where the rays of the Sun "burns" and ages our skin. A place of disease, deformity, injustice, famine, war, slavery, addiction, violence, hunger, misery, and death. For Baha'u'llah Nasoot (the Realm of Created Beings) was "Hell". The Realm of Nasoot is "eternal" but individual souls may escape it, by returning to God. We "return to God" by walking the Path of Holiness daily, until we reach the "Seventh Valley" (i.e. the 7th Spiritual Station of the Human Soul). When we reach the "Seventh Valley" of spirituality, our human soul becomes an Angelic Soul, and, at death, we enter the Unseen Realm of Malakoot. From Malakood we "may" (not necessarily "will") ascend to the Realm of Jabarroot and become what Swedenborg called "Celestial Angels".
Conditions of the Soul
Baha'is believe that "Heaven" and "Hell" are not geographical places, but conditions of the soul. "Heaven" is being close to God, and "hell" is being far from God. Baha'is don't like to speculate on what the rewards and publishments of the Afterlife are, but they are convinced that Paradise and Hell-fire are "metaphors" that we cannot possibly understand in this life: no more than a child in the womb can understand our world. Most Baha'is don't even try to "guess" what Heaven and Hell is like in the Hereafter. They often say: "The World has so many problems like war, hunger, injustice, racism, slavery, inequality, corrupt rulers...let's worry about the problems of this life, and not spend time thinking about the Hereafter!"
For many Baha'is, talking about the Afterlife is like talking about talking about wanting to go on a vacation to Tibet, but never having been to Tibet, and having absolutely no idea what Tibet is like, while one is on a ship in the middle of the ocean that is both sinking and burning at the same time! Baha'is see planet Earth as in "crisis" with humanity-threatening problems that need to be fixed "now" and not later. Would you talk about the Afterlife while your ship was sinking and burning? You probably wouldn't. You probably would be frantically trying to find "solutions" to your current "problems". That is how most Baha'i "see" things!
Also, they're convinced that what the Afterlife is like cannot possibly be known to anyone who is alive...like a child in the womb cannot imagine our world. They are unaware that Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i and Siyyid Kazim Rashti gave extremely detailed descriptions of the Afterlife in their books. These were not speculations on their part, but real visions of the Hereafter. Baha'is are simply "unaware" of this. Perhaps you can inform them!
According to the visions of Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1767), a Swedish "Seer", he saw two types of Angels in Paradise: Celestial Angels and Spiritual Angels. The Celestial Angels were married and had "conjugal relations" but the Spiritual Angels were single and not married, and had no children nor could they produce children (i.e. "they are not married nor given in marriage"). The Son of Baha'u'llah ('Abdu'l-Baha) called Swedenborg a "Herald of the Baha'i Revelation".
The Mormon Heaven: Becoming Gods
In Mormonism, faithful Mormon couples who are "sealed" by a Mormon high priest in a Mormon Temple, and who are "faithful to their covenants" they made in a Mormon Temple, shall become Gods and Goddesses in resurrection, and shall create planets, and literally beget spirit children to populate those planets. Mormon men expect to have multiple wives in the Celestial Kingdom (the highest heaven).
The World Order of Baha'u'llah
Baha'is recognize that war, injustice, and poverty is not a problem of lack of resources, but it is mainly a problem of "bad government". Most of the world is ruled by despots who amass great wealth, while letting their own people remain in ignorance, disease, and squalor; subject to corrupt, inept, and often criminal local officials.
Take, for example, the situation of Venezuela in the year 2016. The country has the largest oil reserves in the world, and many minerals and much fertile farm land. Yet, many people are starving. Dogs and pigeons are being eaten. The poor must wait all day in line just to buy some bread and rice, at outrageous prices. The hospitals have no medicine, unless for the wealthy. The problem here is not resources, but corrupt and inept government leaders using economic systems that don't work. Most countries on the planet are run by corrupt and inept leaders, and most of the population suffers because of it.
Baha'is believe they will be instrumental in establishing the World Order of Baha'u'llah which will be a World Government consisting of a World Executive, the Universal House of Justice, and Kings and Queens who rule over various principalities. If a king or queen becomes "tyrannical" (corrupt, inept, violent) then they will be unseated by the World Executive. The Universal House of Justice will act as the Legislative/Judicial world body. In this way, Baha'is believe, that war, injustice, racism, inequality, and poverty will cease. Mankind will spend its money on curing disease, universal education, ending poverty, curing diseases and birth defects, inventing new forms of energy so that fossil fuels need not be burned, and so that ocean water can be used cheaply to raise crops, terra-forming the Moon and Mars, so that humans can live on those planets, exploring other solar systems looking for new "Earths" to colonize, instead of spending trillions of dollars each year on armies and navies and new kinds of weapons of war.
Yes, an atheist and tyrannical "New World Order" will be created first, but that system, after "several generations", will eventually fall and be replaced by the World Order of Baha'u'llah; similar to how the pagan Roman Empire, which persecuted Christians, was eventually replaced by the Christian Holy Roman Empire. 'Abdu'l-Baha said that "the Seventh Angel" would be instrumental in establishing universal world peace (Some Answered Questions p.165).
According to Xorol ("ksor-rawl") R. Oliver, the "Seventh Angel" is the seventh incarnation of the Son of God on this planet, and that He will come in the 24th century. He will not come in the literal clouds of the sky, but in a "veil" (Hebrew: "cloud/covering"), meaning a new body, with a new name, born of a new mother. You can read more about that in the links at the bottom of this page.
Christians and Mormons believe that the "New World Order" will be overcome by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, Who will descend from a cloud, kill the Anti-Christ, and reign for a thousand years. 'Abdu'l-Baha said that World Peace would finally be established by the 7th Angel (SAQ, p.165). Perhaps we're talking about the same thing here?!
Baha'is greet each other with the Arabic phrase "Allah'u'Abhá" (God is Most High). This greeting is for Baha'is only, not for Seekers. Seekers should say: "Hi, my name is _________, and I'm a Seeker".
Please do not say "Allah'u'Abhá" unless you are a Baha'i! The Baha'is call each other "The Friends" or "The Believers". If you are not a Baha'i then greet the Baha'is with "Hi, my name is ______. I'm a Seeker".
Baha'is do shake hands, but gently.
Those who are not Baha'is, but "investigating" the Baha'i Faith, are called "Seekers". The Faith has no missionaries. So, nobody will "teach you" the Faith. You must study it on your own, by reading books, reading websites, asking questions at a Fireside, and so forth.
There is an intellectual way and a spiritual way to study the Faith. The intellectual way is by reading and asking questions. The spiritual way is by hearing the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited in prayers. His Words are powerful! Many people are brought to tears listening to the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited.
To Be A Baha'i
'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell baw-HAW), the Master, the Exemplar of the Faith, the Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, said:"To be a Baha'i simply means to love all the world, to love all humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." ('Abdu'l-Baha in London, p.122)
A person becomes a Baha'i by "Declaring" (signing a Declaration Card). There is no baptism in the Baha'i Faith. To become a Baha'i one must agree to abide by the following prohibitions and obligations:
*Do not drink alcohol
*Do not use illegal drugs
*Do not protest the government
*DO not engage in sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage
*Do not argue about religion
*Do not get involved in partisan politics
*Avoid combat arms in the military if possible
*Do not take additional wives after becoming a Baha'i
*Attend the 19-Day Feast (once every 19 days) if possible.
*Keep the nine Baha'i Holy Days if possible
*Go on a Pilgrimage to the Baha'i Holy Shrines (Haifa and Bahji, Israel) if possible.
*Donate to the Baha'i Funds (anything you wish) if possible.
*If you divorce, wait one full year (Year of Patience) without dating anyone else, without sexual relations, before making the divorce final.
*Go on a Year of Service between the ages of 18 and 30 if possible.
*Recite the Daily Obligatory Prayer (takes one minute)
*Recite the Zikr daily (Remembrance of God--takes less than 4 minutes)
*Read at least one Verse from the Holy Writings of the Faith daily.
Declaration cards are available via any Baha'i Community (congregation).
There is no "one book" to read and pray about in the Baha'i Faith. However, we recommend that you buy or "get on loan" the following books:
Thief in the Night by William Sears.
The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews
These two books are best for Seekers. You may purchase either, or "borrow" them, from your local Baha'i Center. The Salt Lake Baha'i Center is located at: 1700 South street: 2835 East 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah. On 1700 South, 1/2 block west of Foothill Blvd. You must call first, a week ahead, and they'll make sure to open the Baha'i Center for you so you can browse the bookstore and lending library. The number to the Salt Lake Baha'i Center is at the bottom of this page.
How to "know" if Baha'u'llah is the Spirit of Truth?
You must attend a Baha'i "Fireside" (public information meeting), and hear the Words of Baha'u'llah being reciting during a Baha'i Prayer at the beginning of the Fireside. Then you will "know" if He is a religious fraud or the promised Spirit of Truth. It's really that simple.
Yes, the Baha'i Faith has a doctrine of eternal marriage called "Eternal Union". No temple sealing is necessary for Eternal Union. Baha'u'llah is the Holy Spirit of Promise, and "seals" those who truly follow Him.
The Baha'i Faith has no missionaries. Nobody comes to your home to teach you. If you want to "investigate" the Baha'i Faith as a "Seeker", then you must study it by yourself. You may do so by reading articles on the Internet, or reading books you find at the Baha'i Center. But, ultimately, you must attend a Fireside to hear the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited. His Words will shake your very soul! Then you will KNOW!
There is a Baha'i Fireside being given at least once a month all across North America, and near where you live. How to contact your local Baha'i Community, is given at the bottom of this page.
The Baha'is are warm, friendly, intellectual, educated, moderately liberal people who are more concerned with the problems of the world (inequality, racism, war, poverty) than with their own "selves". They believe that the Baha'i Faith offers "solutions" to those World Problems. If you "think" like they do, they'll welcome you with open arms! Contact information is below.
The information below concerns the subject of Mormonism and the Baha'i Faith.
3: Joseph Smith and Mormonism
Because this article deals with the Baha'i Faith in Utah, and Utah is predominantly Mormon, the subject of Joseph Smith and Mormonism must be addressed.
Mormons (Latter-day Saints) believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and the greatest man to ever save except for Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith claimed to have a vision of "the Father and the Son" in 1820. He was later shown were gold tablets were buried, near his farm, and he "translated" the writing on the gold tablets into "The Book of Mormon"; which purportedly is a history of Jews in ancient America. Joseph Smith was killed by an Anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois, in June of 1844. Mormons believe that the successors of Joseph Smith are the Presidents (senior apostles) of the Mormon Church: which is named "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". The senior apostle serves as the "President" of the Church, and is called "The Living Prophet". All 15 Mormon Apostles are believed to be Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, as Joseph Smith was.
Anyone may read the prophecies, visions, and revelations of Joseph Smith. However, the last Revelation received by Mormon leaders was received in 1889 by Wilford Woodruff. The last prophecy by Mormon leaders was uttered in 1898, again by Wilford Woodruff. The last vision published by a Mormon leaders was in 1918, by Joseph F. Smith. Why don't modern Mormon prophets utter prohecies, or publish visions or Revelations? That question is never asked, and never answered.
The Kingdom of Heaven
Most Mormons assume that the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is "the Kingdom of God on Earth". But, that is not the case. In fact, the LDS Church was established to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Heaven, that would be established upon the Earth. In the LDS Bible Dictionary it says:"Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God. These terms are used in various combinations and with various meanings. Generally speaking, the kingdom of God on earth is the Church. Is is a preparation for the greater kingdom~ the celestial or kingdom of heaven." (LDS Bible Dict. p.721)
According to the LDS Bible Dictionary, in the back of every Bible that the LDS Church publishes, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the terrestrial kingdom on Earth, that was established to prepare the way for the Celestial Kingdom, or Kingdom of Heaven, which shall be established on Earth.
Baha'u'llah (baw-haw-ooL-LAHHH), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, referred to the Faith as "The Cause of God" and "My Celestial Kingdom".
The Holy Ghost Incarnate
Mormons still await "the Day" that the Holy Ghost, whom they believe is still a "Spirit-Man" without a body, will come down, be born of a woman, and perform some "mission" on Earth.
The Baha'i Faith teaches that the Holy Ghost "became a Man" (born of a woman) on this planet in 1817, and that He died in 1892. Joseph Smith formed a "Holy Order" in 1842, and planned to take this Holy Order with Him to Palestine, there to meet the "Son of Man". A "Voice" told Joseph Smith that the Son of Man would come "in red apparel" (D&C section 130) when Joseph Smith was 85 years old (1890-91...D&C section 130), on Mount Carmel (D&C section 128).
In the year 1891, Baha'u'llah (bah-HAH-ooL-LAHHH), "The Glory of God", a Persian nobleman Who claimed to be the Holy Ghost in the flesh, appeared on Mount Carmel, in a red robe, calling Himself "the Son of Man". Some see this as fulfillment of prophecy, but others see this as "an unrelated coincidence".
Jesus Christ: The Father and the Son
Joseph Smith was told that he was in the beginning "with the Father, even the Spirit of Truth" (D&C 93:23).
Jesus was the Son/Word/Logos/Lamb of God in the flesh. The Holy Ghost (Father) "entered" Jesus at His baptism, and dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism to the Cross. The Book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 93, says:17 And he [Christ] received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father with with him, for he dwelt in him. (D&C 93:17)
Baha'u'llah means in Arabic: "The Glory of God".
"Jesus Christ" was "the Father and the Son" together in one body. The "Father" here referring to the Holy Ghost or Spirit of Truth, as He is identified in Doctrine and Covenants section 93, verse 23.
"Jesus Christ" (the Father and the Son) will not return in one body, but in "two bodies"; as a "Father" and His literal "Son".
The Book of Mormon says, in Mosiah chapter 15, that the Son is the flesh, and the Father is the Spirit, and they became "the Father and the Son" as "Jesus Christ".
Baha'is refer to the Holy Ghost as the "Father" since according to the Bible, and The Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost "begot" Jesus. Baha'is view "GOD" (ALLAH) as a Universal Unknowable Essence Who is not a Man, nor an Exalted Man, but a Being that can be described only by His "Names and Attributes". ALLAH "begets not nor is He begotten" as the Quran says. It is the Holy Ghost Who is the "Begetter of the Son".
ALLAH (He does not beget, He is not begotten)
Holy Ghost (The Begetter of the Son)
Son (The Only Begotten)
Mormons are taught that the Godhead consists of Three White (Caucasian) Men: two with resurrected bodies (Father and Son) and one without a body (Holy Ghost), but the Holy Ghost will eventually come to Earth and be born of a woman and "get a body". Mormons do not know when that "day" will come.
Baha'is believe that ALLAH is not a "man" and has no body, but the Names and Attributes of ALLAH may "Manifest" on Earth, and other inhabited planets, as Perfect and Sinless Men called "Manifestations of God".
Father (Holy Ghost/Manifestations of God)
Son (Christ-Spirit/Manifestations of the Sons of God)
The Holy Ghost has "become flesh" many times on this planet, and so has the Christ-Spirit. ALLAH (Unknowable Essence) has no body. The Holy Ghost (Father) has had many "bodies" of flesh and bone on this planet alone. The Christ-Spirit (Son) also have incarnated on this planet a number of times.
"Jesus Christ" was a combination of the Son (Christ-Spirit) and the Father (Holy Ghost) in one body. Will Jesus Christ return in one body? Or...in "two"?
Jesus (Son) + Holy Ghost (Father) = "Jesus Christ"
In the 19th century (1800s) the Father (Holy Ghost) become flesh as Mirza Hussein-Ali Nuri ("Prince Beauty Exalted of Light"), a Persian Nobleman Who was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. The Son also became flesh but as a different person as shall be explained below.
The Baha'i Faith accepts Mary as a "literal" virgin when she conceived and gave birth to Jesus. Baha'is reject the notion that ALLAH (God) "begets" like a human man begets. For Baha'is, Mary was a literal virgin both before and after Jesus was conceived.
4: The 1891 Prophecies of Joseph Smith
The Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah was 'Abdu'l-Baha (abdell-baw-HAW). He was not a Manifestation of God, but a "Chosen One". Lesser than a Manifestation, but higher than an ordinary human. He is called "The Master" by the Baha'is. He came to Salt Lake City in late September 1912, and stayed for three days. He knocked on the East Door of the Salt Lake Temple, but, of course, He was refused entry.
'Abdu'l-Baha had daughters, but no sons. His eldest grandson was named Shoghi Effendi (show-gee ef-fen-dee), who became the Guardian of the Faith in 1921. His letters (called "Directives") are considered "authoritative" (binding upon all Baha'is). Shoghi Effendi told a number of Baha'is the following:"Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet minor or otherwise." (Pilgrim's Notes of Ramona Brown, published in Memories of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p.117)
That is what some Baha'is heard Shoghi Effendi "say". But, none of the "Directives" of Shoghi Effendi say that Joseph Smith was a Seer. Therefore, Baha'is are "free" to accept, or reject, or even ignore, whatever Shoghi Effendi "said" but didn't "write down". The "sayings" of Shoghi Effendi are called "Pilgrim's Notes"; because they were written down by Baha'is on "Pilgrimage" to the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
Shoghi Effendi (c. 1940). Haifa, Israel
A "Seer", in Baha'i terms, means an ordinary human being who speaks with angels or has true visions. Seers are not considered to be sinless or infallible. A "Seer" may be as "sinful" as any other human being. Shoghi Effendi did not want to "force" other Baha'is to agree with him that Joseph Smith was a Seer. He left it up to each Baha'i to decide that for his/herself. Shoghi was once asked if The Book of Mormon was "historical". He said: "That is a matter for historians to pass upon" (High Endeavors #93). Baha'is interpret that statement in various ways:
Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is interpret that statement to mean that since all non-mormon historians reject The Book of Mormon, so should all Baha'is.
Pro-Joseph Smith Baha'is interpret that statement to mean that the "historacity" of The Book of Mormon is irrelevant to it's message. Many Pro-Joseph Smith Baha'is also believe that Xorol ("Ksor-rawl") R. Oliver (1889-1959) was also a "Seer". She was the first Mormon to become a Baha'i. She uttered prophesies and had visions. She said that The Book of Mormon was not a history of America's past, but a prophetic parable about America's future. You can read more about her in Did Jesus Visit Salt Lake City in Late September 1912? in the links at the bottom of this page.
Baha'is may accept, reject, or ignore anything Shoghi Effendi "said" (pilgrim's notes), but they __must accept__ anything Shoghi Effendi "wrote" (Directives)
Shoghi Effendi was not a Prophet, but he was probably a Seer. He prophesied of the Holocaust (by that very name) and the Internet, years, or decades before those things became reality. He died, in London, England, in 1957. The Directives of Shoghi Effendi are contained in a book titled Lights of Guidance.
Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is think that Shoghi Effendi was "wrong" about Joseph Smith, but "right" about everything else.
Pro-Joseph Smith Baha'is think that Shoghi Effendi was "right" about Joseph Smith being a "Seer" and that Joseph Smith prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a "Seer" (not in the capacity of a Prophet).
As A Man Like Ourselves
Mormons, like other Christians, believe that Jesus will return by sitting or standing upon a cloud in the sky, with thousands of angels blowing trumpets: either over Jerusalem, or over Jackson County Missouri, or over Salt Lake City, or every every city, town, and village on Earth, and over every ship at sea. But, Joseph Smith was told:"When the Savior appears, we shall see Him as He is, as a man like ourselves." (D&C 130:1).
What is a "man like ourselves"? We are born. We grow up. We eat. We sleep. We get sick. We age. We die. We don't stand or sit on clouds.
Joseph Smith prophesied (praw-fess-side) twice, that the Lord would return in the year 1891.
In 1835, Joseph Smith prophesied that the "coming of the Lord was nigh (near), even 56 years would wind-up the scene." If one adds 56 years to 1835, one comes to the year 1891.
On February 14, 1835, Joseph Smith said to a group of Mormon men who were preparing to march to Jackson County, Missouri (called "Zion"), to rescue Mormons there who were being attacked by Missouri mobs. He said:"... it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh - even fifty-six years should wind up the scene." (History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.13, p.182)
Take the year 1835, and add to it 56 years, and it comes to the year 1891.
Joseph Smith prophesied in the year 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois, the following:"I was once praying earnestly upon the subject, and a voice said unto me, My son, if thou livest till thou art 85 years of age, thou shalt see the Face of the Son of Man--I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this & took the liberty to conclude that if I did live till that time He would make His appearance or I shall go where He is--I prophesy in the name of the Lord God--& let it be written, that the Son of Man will not come in the heavens till I am 85 years old, 48 years hence or about 1890." (Diary of Joseph Smith, April 6, 1843, quoted in The Revelations of Joseph Smith, p.345)
Now, Joseph Smith said that the Son of Man would come "48 years hence, or about 1890". If you take the year 1843, and add 48 years, you again come to the year 1891.
Joseph Smith prophesied (praw-fess-side) twice, once in 1835, and again in 1943, that the "Son of Man" would come in the year 1891. He would come in "red apparel" (D&C section 133:48) probably on Mount Carmel in Palestine (D&C section 128:19). By Divine Providence, or perhaps by mere coincidence, Baha'u'llah, in His blood red robes, climbed Mount Carmel in the year 1891, and proclaimed Himself "the Son of Man". Some Baha'is think this is a fulfillment of Joseph Smith's "1891 Prophecies". Other Baha'is believe this is "mere coincidence" and that the 1891 Prophecies of Joseph Smith and the 1891 declaration of Baha'u'llah on Mount Carmel, called "The Tablet of Carmel", have absolutely no relation to one another.
Joseph Smith once prayed and asked God when Christ would return. He said he then heard a Voice which told him:"My son, if thou livest until thou art eight-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man." (D&C 130:15)
For all but six days, Joseph Smith would have been 85 years old during the year 1891.
Joseph Smith was told that "if" he lived until he was 85 years of age, he would "see the Face of the Son of Man." Joseph Smith formed a "Holy Order of Anointed Mormons" in the 1842, and planned to take them to the Holy Land (Palestine at the time), there to await the coming of the Son of Man, Who would set His feet upon Mount Carmel (D&C 128:19), in red apparel (D&C 133:48).
Either by divine Providence, or by "mere coincidence", Baha'u'llah climbed Mount Carmel in the year 1891, in a red robe, shouting: "This is the Day to hear the Voice, the See the Face, of the Son of Man."
In 1864, the head of the Holy Order after Joseph Smith was killed in 1844, a man named George J. Adams, the Bishop of Nauvoo, took the Holy Order to Palestine. Before his martyrdom in June of 1844, Joseph Smith ordained George J. Adams an "Apostle of the Anointed Quorum (Holy Order)". In 1864, Adams took the Holy Order Members to Palestine. They did not follow Brigham Young to Utah, because they believed that the Apostle of the Holy Order (George J. Adams) had greater authority than Brigham Young: the senior Apostle of the Church.
The Holy Order members were all initiated into the Celestial Masonic Rite: which included being washed with water, donning white clothing, placing a shawl over the right shoulder, wearing an apron, kneeling in a circle around an altar, and learning secret grips and passwords, so that they could enter the Celestial Room (symbolic of the Celestial Kingdom), where, inside, a man sat on a throne, wearing a crown and a red robe. Brigham Young "reworked" the Celestial Masonic Rite of the Holy Order, into the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony; which all faithful Mormons must go through in order to serve missions or get married in a Mormon Temple. Brigham Young removed the Man With Crown and Red Robe from the Celestial Room of Mormon Temples, without explanation. Today, the Celestial Room in Mormon Temples contains only furniture.
Because of hardships, most of the Holy Order members left Palestine, and returned to North America, but 20 families remained, and eventually settled in the village of Haifa, next to Mount Carmel. There was a German Colony in Haifa since 1868, and the Holy Order members moved in among them. Had Joseph Smith lived, he might have been among them. According to George J. Adams, a close friend and confidant of Joseph Smith, the Seer planned to leave the Church in the care of his brother Hyrum Smith, and then take the Holy Order to Palestine; there to await the coming of the Son of Man, in red robes, in the year 1891. This was not to be, since both Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois, in June of 1844.
After Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed, George J. Adams said to Brigham Young "I'm taking the Holy Order to Palestine as Brother Joseph commanded me." but Brigham Young (who was not a member of the Holy Order) said: "You'll go with us to the Great Salt Lake or be damned!" Young excommunicated Adams, and the entire Holy Order, who then formed their own church called "The Church of the Messiah".
Brigham Young took most of the Mormons to Utah, and built many cities there. He built temples, but he removed the Crowned Man with the Red Robe from the Endowment Ceremony; without explanation. Young went on to ban black Mormons from all Mormon Temples, and the Mormon Priesthood, in 1848. He introduced the Curse of Cain Doctrine in 1848, that "Negroes" were the cursed children of Cain, and that the mark of the Cain was "black skin, a flat nose, and kinky hair". Young also taught that Adam was the father of our spirits, and the father of the spirit and body of Jesus (Journal of Discourses 1:50), and that he begot Jesus in "the natural course of events" the way any man begets a son. Brigham Young received one "Thus saith the Lord" Revelation in 1846, and then no more after that.
In 1856, a Mormon named Joseph Morris rose up, receiving "Thus saith the Lord" Revelations, and condemning Brigham Young. He made hundreds of converts. Joseph Morris was shot to death, while kneeling in prayer, in Uintah, Utah, by a Mormon Sheriff. Dozens of his followers were also killed, mostly by canon fire; all of them unarmed. They were forced out of Utah, and most of them fled to Montana or California. Joseph Morris said that Christ would appear in the year 1863. Today (2016), the LDS Church has disavowed and repudiated all of Brigham Young's unique doctrines (Adam-God Doctrine, Curse of Cain Doctrine, Blood Atonement Doctrine, etc.). Joseph Morris' revelations and visions were published in the book The Spirit Prevails.
The Holy Ghost is NOW in a State of Probation
In the 27th of August of 1843, Joseph Smith said:
"The Holy Ghost is now  in a state of probation which, if he should perform in righteousness, he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has." (The Words of Joseph Smith, p.245)
The term "State of Probation" comes from The Book of Mormon, and means "a mortal life on Earth". It means being born of a woman, and being "mortal" (subject to hunger, thirst, disease, injury, illness, and death).
In February, 1843, somewhere on Earth, the Holy Ghost was living a mortal life.
Joseph Smith never claimed to be the Holy Ghost. In 1843, a Man was living in Iran (Persia), Who later claimed to be the Holy Ghost/Spirit of Truth. That Man was Mirza Husein-Ali Nuri. He later became known as BAHA'U'LLAH (baw-HAH-ooL-LAHHH), which means "THE GLORY OF GOD" in Arabic.
In Baha'i teachings, Joseph Smith was NOT a "Prophet" but he "may" have been a "Seer".
In Mormon doctrine a "Prophet" and a "Seer" is the same thing exactly. However, in Baha'i terms a "Prophet" and a "Seer" are quite different. In Baha'i terms, a "Prophet" is a sinless Manifestation of God. A "Manifestation of God" is the incarnate of a Name/Attribute of ALLAH. But, in Baha'i terms, a "Seer" is not a Prophet minor or otherwise, but an ordinary human being, an ordinary "sinner", who, nevertheless, has "seen" a true vision or an Angel.
In Baha'i doctrine, Joseph Smith was NOT a "Prophet" minor or otherwise. Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957) was the great-grandson of Baha'u'llah (bah-HAH-ool-LAHHH), and the "Guardian" of the Baha'i Faith. He said a number of times that "Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet minor or otherwise." (source: various pilgrim's notes).
In Mormon terms "Prophet" and "Seer" means basically the same thing, but in Baha'i terms a "Prophet" and a "Seer" are very different. A "Prophet" is a sinless and infallible Manifestation of God, but a "Seer" is an ordinary sinful human being who sees angels or has true visions. Seers are as sinful and fallible as any other human being.
Baha'is are not "obligated" to view Joseph Smith as a "Seer"! Baha'is are free to view Joseph Smith as a fraud, or as a Seer, or have "no opinion" either way. Baha'is may hold any of the following views regarding Joseph Smith:
*Pro-Joseph Smith (i.e. he was a Seer who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer).
*Anti-Joseph Smith (i.e. he was a fraud)
*No-opinion Joseph Smith (no opinion either way)
All three views are accepted as "Personal Belief" in the Baha'i Faith. Baha'is may hold "Personal Beliefs" as long as they do not conflict with Accepted Baha'i Doctrine.
Joseph Smith Seldom Discussed Among Baha'is
You'll never hear Joseph Smith discussed at any Baha'i Feast! Baha'is have no "testimony" meeting. Baha'i children are not forced to say: "I know that so-and-so is a true Prophet of God!" The children of Baha'is are free to accept, or reject, Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith. They are not "forced" to attend Baha'i meetings, like many Mormons force their children to attend Church, or to serve missions, or to recite testimonies of things they don't really understand or believe in.
Joseph Smith is only discussed when Mormon Seekers ask about him, like at a Baha'i Fireside (public information meeting). In Utah, some Baha'is are Pro-Joseph Smith, some are Anti-Joseph Smith, but most are No-Opinion Joseph Smith. Most Baha'is, even in Utah, don't give Joseph Smith two seconds of thought.
The Book of Mormon
The purpose of The Book of Mormon "is for the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ" (title-page). Baha'is accept Jesus as the "Christ". Thus, they need no "book" to read to convince that that Jesus is the Christ. They already believe He is the Christ. In fact, they rarely refer to Him as "Jesus" but they refer to Him as "Christ".
Some Baha'is who are Pro-Joseph Smith believe that Joseph Smith's "1891 Prophecies" concerning the coming of "the Son of Man" in red apparel (D&C 130) were fulfilled in Baha'u'llah. That is personal belief, and not official Baha'i doctrine.
Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is
Some Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is do not want other Baha'is believing that Joseph Smith was a Seer, and they can sometimes become argumentative and "demand" that all other Baha'is agree with their views. But, in reality, Baha'is are FREE to accept or reject Joseph Smith as a Seer. No Baha'i may accept him as a "Prophet" in the Baha'i sense of the term "Prophet" (sinless and infallible Manifestation of God).
Any Baha'i who says to you: "We don't accept Joseph Smith as inspired of God in any way" is either mistaken or lying to you. This is the correct answer:
Baha'is do not accept Joseph Smith as a Prophet, meaning a Manifestation of God. However, Shoghi Effendi believed he was a Seer. Baha'is are allowed to view Joseph Smith as a fraud, or a Seer, or simply to have no opinion concerning him. All three views are accepted in the Baha'i Faith.
If any Baha'i tells you anything different from what I just wrote above, they are either sincerely mistaken, or deliberately lying to you. Unfortunately, a few Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is will deliberately lie to you because they don't want other Baha'is accepting Joseph Smith as a Seer who prophecied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer.
Some people of every religion are Hypocrites, and the Baha'i Faith is no exception. A few "Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is" in Utah will spread false rumors. Spreading rumors and "backbiting" is forbidden in the Faith. They do it anyway.
Baha'is may be:
a) Pro-Joseph Smith (he was a Seer but not a Prophet)
b) Anti-Joseph Smith (he was a fraud and not a Prophet and not a Seer)
c) No-Opinion Joseph Smith (no opinion either way)
All three views are equally accepted in the Faith. No Baha'i has the "right" to say "You MUST accept Joseph Smith as a true Seer" or "You MUST accept Joseph Smith as a fraud". Nobody has that right. You "can" say: "I accept him as a Seer as a personal belief, and I respect your personal belief that he was a fraud, so let us agree to disagree agreeably!" Baha'is are forbidden to argue about matters of religion. To prevent such arguments, Baha'is must leave a confrontation, or drop the subject. Baha'is must always be Peacemakers.
There are Hypocrites in all religions and churches, and the Baha'i Faith is no exception.
"My Father Is Greater Than I"
The Faith does not recognize the President of the LDS Church as a "Living Prophet". The 15 leaders of the LDS Church do not "prophesy" (praw-fes-sai), do not "see" visions, and receive no "Revelations". How then are they "Prophets/Seers/Revelators"? This is never explained. Any Mormon who asks such questions, are threatened with excommunication. They are told: "Don't worry about it, just obey! Don't question the Brethren!"
The author of this article is a Pro-Joseph Smith Baha'i, but one can be Anti-Joseph Smith or No-Opinion Joseph Smith and still be a Baha'i in good standing; as long as one does not try to "force" other Baha'is to believe as you do on the subject of Joseph Smith and Mormonism.
The current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS Church") is Thomas S. Monson.
You should ask yourself this question: Who is greater, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost, the Begetter of the Son, or Thomas S. Monson? Monson is a man sustained twice a year as a "Prophet/Seer/Revelator" but who has uttered no prophecies, published no supernatural visions, and received no "Thus Saith the Lord" Revelations. How then is he a prophet/seer/revelator? That is never explained.
How can you compare any sinful man to Baha'u'llah: the One Who inspired all the Prophets and Seers? Even Jesus said: "The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)
1*Baha'is believe that God (ALLAH), is a Universal Unknowable Essence, Whose Names/Attributes are reflected in certain Perfect Men on this planet and others called "Manifestations of God".
2* ALLAH is not a man, never was a man, does not beget, and is not begotten.
3* The Holy Ghost is the Father (D&C 93:23), the Begetter of the Son, as is taught in the Gospels and in The Book of Mormon.
4* The Holy Ghost is a Spirit that dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism to His death, and this is why Jesus said: "The Father is in me, and I am in the Father." (John 14:11).
5* Jesus promised the the Spirit of Truth would be sent to teach us "all things".
6* Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah is the Spirit of Truth, the Manifestation of God for our Age.
7* 'Abdul-Baha (ab-dell baw-HAW), the Eldest Son of Baha'u'llah, came to Salt Lake City in late September 1912.
8* Baha'is accept evolution, but that evolution is not "random" but Divinely Guided.
9* Baha'is cannot view Joseph Smith as a "Prophet" (Manifestation of God), but they "may" view him as a "Seer" or as a "fraud" or have "no opinion" concerning him.
10*Joseph Smith did prophesy, twice, of the coming of the Son of Man, in red apparel, in 1891.
11* Baha'is may view The Book of Mormon as historical, or a parable, or "fiction", or have no opinion.
12* Shoghi Effendi, the great-grandson of Baha'u'llah, and Guardian of the Faith, said: "Joseph Smith was a Seer, not a Prophet minor or otherwise." (Pilgrim Notes of Ramona Brown and others)
13* In Baha'i terms, a "Prophet" and a "Seer" are very different, although in Mormons terms "Prophet" and "Seer" is basically the same.
*14 The Baha'i Faith has always preached against racism, but Mormon leaders taught racist doctrines for 130 years (Curse of Cain Doctrine), but have, in recent decades, "disavowed" the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and have come out strongly against racism.
15* Baha'is accept Jesus as the Son of God, Savior of the soul, and virgin-born.
16* Baha'is are moderately liberal, and very "world-problems conscious": they are concerned mainly with finding spiritual solutions to World Problems such as war, hunger, racism, inequality, and injustice.
17* The Baha'i Faith has no tithing nor tithing settlement, but Bahai's contribute to various "funds" as they see fit.
18* The Baha'is meet every 19 days for Feast, and there are no required Sunday meetings.
19* Baha'is often have Sunday Schools for children, but not for adults unless they are teachers of children.
20* Baha'is do have certain "Obligations" and "Prohibitions" they must follow.
21*"Jesus Christ" was Two Divine Beings in one body: the Father (Holy Ghost) and the Son (Word incarnate).
22* Baha'u'llah forbade His followers from practicing fornication, or adultery, or "liwat" (homosexuality), and LGBT Baha'is are expected to remain celibate or to "hide" and not discuss their private sexual practices.
23* In the World Order of Baha'u'llah, zena (adultery) and liwat (homosexual "acts") will be punished with fines, paid in gold, and doubling with each offense.
24* Shayky Ahmad-i-Asa'i (d. 1820), and Siyyid Kazim Rashti, whom Baha'is revere as a true "Seers", did teach that the Faithful who obey the Statutes (holy laws) of God in this life, will be rewarded with their preferred sexuality in various "mansions" in Paradise, and they also taught that the Souls of the Prophets and Chosen ones reincarnation (raj'at) in every Dispensation.
25* Baha'u'llah is NOT the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, but the "incarnation" of the Holy Spirit Who dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism in the Jordan River to the Cross.
26*The Baha'i Faith teaches reincarnation on "this" planet for "human" souls is NOT true, but we "may" have other mortal lives on other planets.
27* The Souls of the Manifestations of God are not "human" but they are the Names/Attributes of ALLAH (The Universal Unknowable Essence)
28* Baha'u'llah refered to the Baha'i Faith "The Cause of God" and "My Celestial Kingdom".
29* Baha'u'llah was the Messenger of God for our Age, the promised Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost Incarnate, the Holy Spirit of Promise, the Begetter of the Son, the Heavenly Father in the flesh.
30* Baha'u'llah claimed He was "Abel" who was killed by Cain, and also Abraham, and Moses, and various other Prophets and Chosen Ones.
31* Mormons are taught from birth that the 15 top Mormon leaders ("The Brethren") are Prophets/Seers/Revelators, although they do not actually prophesy/see/revelate. Their prophecies/visions/revelations are not published for Mormons to read because they do not exist.
32* Mormons who ask "Where are the prophecies, visions, or Revelations of Thomas S. Monson (current Mormon Church President)?" are told "Don't worry about!" and "Stop asking such questions...just obey!"
33* Some Baha'is are "Pro-Joseph Smith" (believe he was a Seer), others are "Anti-Joseph Smith" (believe he was a fraud), but most Baha'is are "No-Opinion Joseph Smith" (have no opinion either way).
34* A few "Anti-Joseph Smith" Baha'is in Utah, and elsewhere, will lie and spread false rumors about others, in order to get their way because they don't want other Baha'is believing that Joseph Smith was a Seer, but lying and spreading rumors and gossip is contrary to Baha'i Principles (there are Hypocrites in all religions and the Baha'i Faith is no exception)
35* Many Baha'is in North America (up to 33%) are "Persian Baha'is" and either from Iran or are the children or grandchildren of Iranian Baha'is who escaped the anti-Baha'i persecution that commenced in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power (Iranian Baha'is in Iran are still being persecuted and sometimes killed by fanatical Muslims or by the Iranian government)
36* The Baha'is of North America concentrate mainly on the Social Teachings ("Principles") of the Faith, rather than the Mystical Teachings (God, Afterlife, salvation of the soul, etc.).
37* Baha'i teachings concerning "Liwat" (homosexuality) are the same as in the LDS Church; that such practices are derogatory to the soul in this life; although the Seers (Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i and Siyyid Kazim Rashti) did claim visions where they said they saw gay men having sex and a "City of Women" that did not have relations with men, in Paradise.
38* Baha'is greet each other with "Al-LAHHH-oo-awb-HAA!" (God is Highest). Please do not use that greeting unless you are a Baha'i. Just say "Hi, my name is _______. I'm a Seeker!"
39* Each Baha'i Community holds a "Fireside" at least monthly for Seekers; usually at the homes of a Baha'i couple.
40* The Baha'i Faith does have a doctrine of eternal marriage called "Eternal Union" which requires no Temple rite or "sealing" since Baha'u'llah is the Holy Spirit of Promise.
41* The Challege of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews is the best Baha'i book for Seekers
42* The Prophets and Chosen Ones "return" to this planet in every Dispensation/Age, but human souls go on to other planets.
43* Nasoot (the Realm of Created Beings) is Hell, a place of torment, but we can escape it by walking the Path of Holiness to the "Seventh Valley" which causes us to be "born again" from a human soul to an Angelic Soul.
44 *To "know" if Baha'u'llah is the Promised Spirit of Truth, or not, you must attend a Baha'i Fireside and "hear" His Words being reciting in prayer. Then you will know!
5: Further Information
If you want more information about the Baha'i Faith just Google "Baha'i Faith" and to speak to the Baha'is you may call 1-800-228-6483 anytime day or night and leave your name, zip code, and telephone number. Baha'is have free public information meetings called "Firesides" where you can watch a DVD about the Faith and meet the Baha'is in your area. Dress is casual. Firesides are free. No donations can be accepted. Light refreshments are served (also for free). If you would like to attend a Baha'i Fireside (information meeting) near your home just call 1-800-228-6483 anytime day or night, and leave your name, zip code, and telephone number. Somebody will get back to you.
There are Baha'i Communities (congregations) in the following areas:
Aneth Chapter | Bountiful | Cedar City | Cedar Hills | Centerville | Cottonwood Heights | Draper | Eagle Mountain | Farmington | Holladay | Iron County | Kanab | Layton | Lehi | Logan | Midvale | Moab | Murray | North Logan | North Ogden | Ogden | Orem | Park City | Provo | Red Mesa Chapter | Richmond | Riverton | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake County/East Mill Creek | San Juan County | Sandy | Saratoga Springs | Smithfield | South Ogden | South Salt Lake | St. George | Summit County | Syracuse | Taylorsville | Uintah And Ouray Reservation | Washington | West Jordan | West Valley City | Woods Cross
All of them hold a monthly Baha'i Fireside (public information meeting). Usually at the home of a Baha'i couple. These Firesides are free. No donation can be accepted. Dress is casual. No child care. Refreshments are served, like at a Church dance. Smoking is allowed outside. Smokers are never shunned. Call the following number, leave your name, zip code, and your number, and someone will get back to you:
1-800-228-6483 (call anytime day or night)
If you live in Salt Lake Valley, or southern Davis County, you can attend a Fireside at the Baha'i Center. The Salt Lake Baha'i Center is a red-brick white-trimmed house, in a residential neighborhood, three houses west of the Montessori Center, on 1700 South Street, just west of Foothill Blvd on 1700 South in East Salt Lake City:
2358 East 1700 South Street, Salt Lake City, Utah
To get to the Salt Lake Baha'i Center one need only take Foothill Blvd, to 1700 South Street. You'll see a Red Hanger Cleaners near the corner, and an Episcopal Church. Then turn West on 1700 South for half a block. The Baha'i Center is on the south side of the street, four houses West of the Montessori Center. Call first, at least a week, before you plan to visit the Baha'i Center.
You can contact the Baha'is of Salt Lake City at: (801) 582-2026. Make sure to call and leave your name and telephone number. Say: "My name is ___________ and I'm a Seeker. I would like to attend a Baha'i Public Information Meeting" or "I would like to visit the Baha'i Center Library and Bookstore in Salt Lake City, can you tell me what time and day it will be open?" If you do go to the Baha'i Center, we recommend that you buy or borrow The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews. This is an excellent book for Seekers.
The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews
You cannot read the prophecies of Thomas S. Monson. You cannot read his visions, nor his Revelations. Because...they do not exist. However, you can read the prophecies of Baha'u'llah, and how they were fulfilled, in the book The Challenge of Baha'u'llah by Gary L. Matthews. The Salt Lake Baha'i Center has copies of this book in their bookstore. They are not expensive.
To "know" if Baha'u'llah is the Spirit of Truth, then you must listen to His Words being recited in a Baha'i Prayer. There is a short Baha'i Prayer (about 2 minutes long) at the beginning of a Baha'i Fireside (public information meeting). If you attend a Baha'i Fireside and "listen to the Words of Baha'u'llah being recited" then you will know if He is or is not the Spirit of Truth! Thank you.
Greater Salt Lake City: (801) 582-2026
Outside of the Salt Lake City area: 1-800-228-6483
Free Baha'i Information Packet mailed to you home click HERE.
Official Website (Baha'is of the U.S.)
Private (unofficial) personal websites:
Note: The article linked above is not an official Baha'i publication, but is a private article that contains personal beliefs and interpretations. Only the Holy Writings of the faith, the Directives of the Guardian, and the Letters of the Universal House of Justice are "official" Baha'i publications.
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