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!
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 in Utah.
There are Bahá'í Communities (congregations) in Salt Lake City, East Mill Creek, Sandy, Logan, Layton, Davis County, Ogden, West Valley City, West Jordan, Murray, Bountiful, Cedar City, Provo, Orem, Aneth (Navajo Reservation), and St. George.
The Faith was founded in 1863 by Bahá'u'lláh (baw-haw-ool-law), 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-law) 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).
Bahá'u'lláh is the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost), the One Who inspired the Prophets and Seers of old. The Holy Ghost became a Man in 1817, in Iran; born of a holy woman just as the Son did. He performed a Divine Mission, and wrote a Body of Scriptures called "The Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh".
Bahá'u'lláh (baw-haw-oh-LAW) means "The Glory of God" in Arabic.
We are forbidden from showing the Face of Baha'u'llah on the Internet nor in books or other publications. His Face is considered too sacred to be shown anywhere except on Baha'i Pilgrimage to Bahji (bah-zhee), Israel, where the Most Holy Shrine is located.
This brief introduction to the Baha'i faith is in 19 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)
In 1817 a Man was born in Persian (Iran) named Mirza Hussein-Ali Nuri (Arabic: "Prince Beauty Exalted of Light"). He was a direct descendant of King Cyrus of Persia and King David of Israel. In 1853 He became known as BAHÁ'U'LLÁH (baw-HAW-oh-LAWWW); which, in the Arabic language, means "THE GLORY OF GOD".
We believe that He was the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost.
Bahá'u'lláh was exiled to Baghdad, and later to Akka Palestine (Israel). He made Himself known to the world-at-large in April 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.
His followers are called Bahá'ís (baw-highzz); meaning "belonging to Glory".
There are about 5 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 Salt Lake Valley, Ogden, Layton, and Logan. There are two Bahá'í Centers (meetinghouses) in Salt Lake City, East Mill Creek, and one in Logan (Cache Valley). The Centers include small bookstores and free lending libraries of Bahá'í books.
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.
For example: Jesus came to teach us about Personal Salvation (i.e. how to be "born again" and go to "Heaven" at death). Muhammad came to teach Mankind the Law of God: called the "Straight Path". Bahá'u'lláh was sent to teach Humanity "all things" pertaining to the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom of God of Earth.
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 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.
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.
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".
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".
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.
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.
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". Most Baha'i Communities have about 20 to 30 adults and children.
What are the Baha'is "like"?
The great majority of Baha'is are like this:
*Very "Social-conscious" (very concerned about "world problems" of hunger, injustice, racism, war, conflict, famine, inequality, etc.)
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 becoming more "successful" in life, and the pursuit of "The Good Life".
Baha'is are, generally, "moderately" Liberal. If you are a Radical, or an Anarchist, radical Feminist, etc., you probably 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" instead of thinking how to "get blessings" from God for themselves and their families.
About 20% 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. So, naturally, tens of thousands of Baha'is who "could" flee Iran in or around 1979, did so. Many came to North America, or to Australia or the U.K.
About 20% of Baha'is in the U.S. are black. 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; unlike the LDS Church which had anti-black doctrines and policies from 1848 until 1978. Although, of course, Joseph Smith was very pro-Black, but things changed in the LDS Church to anti-black in the era of Brigham Young, and remained that way 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".
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".
Those who are not Baha'is, but "investigating" the Baha'i Faith, are called "Seekers".
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:
*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 Most Holy Shrine (Bahji, Israel) if possible.
*Donate to the Baha'i Funds (anything you wish) is 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)
*Read the Holy Writings of the Faith
Declaration cards are available at any Baha'i Center. There is a Baha'i Center in Salt Lake City (on 1700 South Street near Foothill Blvd.), and also in Logan Utah. There are Baha'i Communities (congregations) in Logan, Ogden, Layton, Farmington, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, East Mill Creek, South Salt Lake, West Valley City, Taylorsville, Sandy, American Fork, Orem, Provo, Cedar City, St. George, and Anath (Navajo Reservation).
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.
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. 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.
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:
2358 East 1700 South Street, Salt Lake City, Utah
You can contact the Baha'is of Salt Lake City at: (801) 582-2026
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.
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)
The Holy Ghost
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)
"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 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.
4: The Holy Ghost Is Now In A State Of Probation
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)
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).
For all but six days, Joseph Smith would be 85 years old in the year 1891.
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 fact, in Haifa, Palestine, in 1891, there was a small colony of Mormons! They had arrived in Palestine in 1964. Most returned to America because of hardships in Palestine. They didn't speak the language (Arabic), and water was too scarce. However, twenty families remained, and eventually settled in the Arab village of Haifa, next to the northern slopes of Mount Carmel. This is where Baha'u'llah made His "Great Announcement" in 1891, on the northern slopes of Mount Carmel. There is no doubt the Mormons living in Haifa heard His Voice, and saw His Face. Had Joseph Smith lived, he would have been among them.
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).
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.
In Utah, some Baha'is are Pro-Joseph Smith, some are Anti-Joseph Smith, but most are No-Opinion Joseph Smith
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.
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 accepted in the Faith.
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.
5: Xorol R. Oliver
Some Baha'is believe that a Mormon "Seeress" named Xorol (ksor-rawl) R. Oliver (1889~1959), was inspired of God. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She lived and taught in Northern California (Oakland area) in the 1920s and 1930s. She claimed to be a "Clairvoyant", or what Baha'is would call a "Seer". She gave a series of lectures in Berkeley, California, called the "Lectures on Kosmonic Science" which prophesied of many things that did come to pass. Xorol (ksor-rawl) was a Mormon woman, a descendant of the Mormon Apostle Willard F. Richards. She is the first Mormon to become a Baha'i that we have any knowledge of. "Xorol" (ksor-rawl) is a fairly common French name for a woman.
Xorol (ksor-rawl) R. Oliver taught the following:
*There is only One GOD (as The Book of Mormon itself teaches).
*GOD is not an exalted Caucasian man (as Mormons are taught), but an Unknown Essence Who can only by known by His "Manifestations".
*The "Manifestations of God" are sinless and infallible Men Who appear on Earth, and other planets, with Divine (not human) Souls.
*The Manifestations of God have "multiple mortal probations" on this and other planets. Their Souls are not "human" but their Souls are the Names/Attributes of God.
*All humans (those with "human" souls) have only one mortal probation per planet, but we shall live on many planets.
*The Book of Mormon is NOT a history of Jews who lived in ancient America, but a divinely inspired prophetic parable about the future of America, and was written by a group of Rosicrucian monks in Pennsylvania (Zionitic Brotherhood) in the 17th and early 18th centuries, in a Latin shorthand called "Tironian Latin" which is based mainly on ancient Egyptian shorthand.
*The Angel Moroni existed, but he was a "living man" in the 1820s; not a ghost or angel.
*Joseph Smith was "forced" to pretend to find buried treasure by his father, and his father's friends, so they would have work as diggers between harvests (they had no work between harvests, and they had families to support).
*Joseph Smith DID have the ability to "see things" in his peepstone: such as lost property, but his father used this to make money for himself and his friends between harvests (where there was no work).
*Joseph Smith "fell into sin" after he started practicing polygamy, and his "revelations" after that were not of God but his own imaginings (i.e. Book of Abraham, Kinderhook Plates, plural marriage, etc.)
*Polygamy is an "abomination" just as the Book of Mormon teaches.
*The true "Seers" after Joseph Smith died, were Joseph Morris, George Williams, and James Brighouse.
*The Endowment Ceremony (with its white veils, new names, washings and annointings, special white clothing etc.) symbolically "point" to Baha'u'llah.
*The true "Seers" after Joseph Smith were Joseph Morris (arose in 1856), George Williams (arose in 1864), and James Brighouse (arose in 1889). All three men (Morris, Williams, and Brighouse) taught reincarnation for the "Elect of God" (what Baha'is would call the "Chosen Ones"). Note: Brigham Young denied he was a Prophet, and denied he was the "rightful successor" of Joseph Smith. He did that three times, in General Conference.
*Mormon leaders will eventually repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine (Mormon leaders did repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine in 2013 on with the "Race and Priesthood Statement" under "Gospel Topics" on LDS.org online) and they will repudiate all of the the other unique doctrines of Brigham Young (such as Adam-God, Blood Atonement, etc.). The LDS Church now calls "false" all of the "unique" doctrines of Brigham Young (i.e. Adam is the Father of our spirits, Blood Atonement, God had sex with Mary to produce the body of Jesus, Negroes are the cursed children of Cain, only polygamists can become Gods, etc.).
*Joseph Smith's 1891 prophecies were fulfilled in Baha'u'llah.
*The Christ-Spirit will incarnate (become flesh) seven times on this planet. Jesus was the 4th Incarnation. The 6th Incarnation came to Salt Lake City in September, 1912, and was written about in The Salt Lake Tribune at the time (29 September 1912 edition Salt Lake Tribune).
Xorol R. Oliver taught that the WORD/LOGOS of God will incarnate (become flesh) seven times on this planet:
Six have already come...
One shall come in the future.
Mormons are taught that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the "Word" made flesh, and that the Son of God would "become flesh" (incarnate) only one time on this planet. But the Bible does not actually "say" that. Neither do the Mormon scriptures (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price). Brigham Young said, in General Conference, in 1857 the following:
"Jesus has been upon the earth a great more times than you are aware of. When Jesus makes his next appearance upon the earth, but few in this church will be prepared to receive him and see him face to face and converse with him, but he will come to his temple." (Brigham Young in the Tabernacle, General Conference, Salt Lake City, 1857, Journal of Discourses 7:142)
In 1857, in General Conference, Brigham Young, the President of the Church, said:
*Jesus has been on the Earth many more times that Mormons are aware of.
*Few in the Church will be prepared "to receive" (to recognize) Jesus and see Him face to face when He comes to the Salt Lake Temple.
Jesus has had many incarnations on planet Earth, with different Names, born of different mothers. Jesus was a "Chosen One". Only a "few" Mormons will "receive" (recognize) Jesus when He comes to the Salt Lake Temple, sometime after 1857.
Xorol R. Oliver, in the early 1930s, foretold of the defeat of Adolf Hitler (and his suicide), that men would land on the Moon and Mars, the advent of hydrogen and the using the rays of the Sun as fuel, and many other things that have "come to pass". Her more important teaching was that the "Word" of God would "become flesh" seven times on this planet, and that the 6th incarnation of the WORD came to Salt Lake City in late September, 1912.
Continued in Sections 6 through 19
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