The Universal House of Justice ("The House")
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 elected 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. They are the "Governing Body" of the Baha'i Faith worldwide. Baha'is refer to this council of 9 elected men as "THE HOUSE".
Universal House of Justice (Haifa, Israel)
The Members of the Universal House of Justice are not prophets, nor seers, nor revelators. They never claimed to be. 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: the Guardian of the Faith who died in 1957.
Women may serve on Local (LSA) and National Spiritual Assemblies (NSA), but not on "The House"? Why? Because the House is the Universal House of Justice; not the Universal House of Mercy. The House is expected to become the "Supreme Court" of the World Order of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i World State).
Baha'is (baw-highzz) belong to "Communities" (congregations) of from 9 adults to, in some cases, hundreds of adults. Children of Baha'is may attend "Feasts" but they are technically not members of the Faith unless they make a "Declaration" at age 15 or older. Each Baha'i "Community" (congregation) is headed by a "Local Spiritual Assembly" which consists of nine men and women who are elected by the Community (congregation). 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" or "Break-the-Fast". Most Baha'i Communities have about 20 to 30 adults and children. Baha'i Communities in major cities, like London England, Toronto Canada, 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 average LDS Ward.
Each Baha'i "Community" (congregation) follows city or county boundaries. A Baha'i Community cannot "cross" a city or county boundary line. There are no Bishops in the Baha'i Faith. There is no "Bishop's Interview". There is no thithing or tithing settlement. There in "Confession of Sins" to others. There is no "laying on of hands". There are Baha'i Prayers for Healing, which can be recited by anyone; including children.
Many Baha'i Communities have "Sunday Schools" for children, but these are not mandatory. Some Communities (congregations) have one-hour "Devotionals" on Sunday mornings for adults, but, again, these are completely voluntary and optional. Baha'is are only required to attend Feasts (every 19 days in the evenings) and, if they are able to, go on Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines in Israel at least one time in their lifetime. The poor, pregnant women, Baha'is over the age of 70, those who are sick, or have chronic medical conditions, are "exempt" for performing Pilgrimage.
Baha'is between 18 and 30 are "asked" to perform a Year of Service, but this is not mandatory. This Year of Service is paid for by wealthy Baha'is who "deputize" the "Servant" on his/her Year of Service. Nobody is pressured to "serve" like in the LDS Church; where parents often "pressure" or even "force" their sons to serve two-year proselyting missions, which must be paid-for by the parents or the missionary or a combination of the parents and missionary.
The Independent Investigation of Truth
One of the "Principles" of the Faith is the Independent Investigation of Truth; meaning that one's religion should not be determined by one's parents, family, clan, caste, or by the State. All should be free to choose their own religion, or lack of religion, according to the dictates of one's own conscience.
Those 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 21, 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. The children of Baha'is do attend Baha'i Sunday Schools (if they choose to), and Baha'i Youth Summer Camps (if they want to), but they are never "forced" to declare themselves "Baha'i" at age 15, and they are never shunned if they decide the Baha'i Faith is not for them.
Forced Testimonies and Forced Missions in Mormon Culture
In Mormon culture, young children, as young as 4 or 5 years old, are told to "bear testimonies" of Jesus and Joseph Smith, during "Fast and Testimony Meeting" the first Sunday of every month, saying: "I know dat Josuf Smif wuz uh twoo Prawfit uh Gawd". These children have no concept of what they are saying.
Mormon youth are "told" what they believe, and are often pressured or even forced by their families to go on two-year full-time missions for the Church at age 18. Many young Mormon missionaries do not want to be on two-year "missions" but are pressured or forced by their parents to go. Mormon youth who go inactive or leave the Church are often shunned by their Mormon family and friends; forcing them to live life as hypocrites. Such things do not exist in the Baha'i Faith. Children are never "forced" or "pressured" to believe, nor forced or pressured to go on their Year of Service. There are no Baha'is under the age of 15, no forced "bearing of testimonies", no forced "missions", no shunning of family members who do not "declare" themselves Baha'is, or who decide to leave the Faith.
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. Mormons tend to look at blessing themselves and their own families. Baha'is wish to "bless" all of Mankind.
Baha'is are, generally, "moderately" Liberal. 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 do not believe they can change the world via the political process, but via the promotion of the Baha'i Faith and it's Principles. 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 retards the progress of the soul in the Afterlife. Why? We are not told "why": only that they "do". LBGT Baha'is (and they do exist) are expected to remain celibate, marry in a heterosexual marriage, or at least not publicly discuss their sexual orientation. Baha'is do not discuss their sex life in public. There are no "confessing of sins" to other mortal men, and no "worthiness interviews" in the Baha'i Faith.
The Baha'i holy law against "liwat" (homosexual acts) is binding upon all Baha'is, and cannot be changed by vote, or human consensus. It can only be changed by the next Manifestation of God on this planet: due about the year 2863 A.D. This holy law cannot be changed by the Universal House of Justice (the governing body of the Faith worldwide). They are authorized to make laws on all things not specifically addressed in the Baha'i Holy Writings and the Directives of the Guardian: both of which condemn LIWAT (homosexual sex "acts").
Along with the belief in Prophets and Chosen Ones, the Baha'i Faith recognizes the existence of "Seers". Two Muslim Seers who prepared the way for the Baha'i Revelation, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Asa'i* of Bahrain (1769-1826), and Siyyid Kazim Rashti** of Iran (1789-1843), both wrote in their books that the "rewards" of the Faith included every imaginable sensual pleasure; including homosexual delights. You can read more about this in the section titled "Sexuality in the Afterlife" below.
**Sih-yid Kaw-zeem Rawsh-tee
Why Are Some People Born Gay?
This question is not answered in the Baha'i Holy Texts thus far translated (much has still to be translated and published). But the Seer Xorol R. Oliver* (1889-1955), who claimed to visit the Spirit-World in the late 1920s in her Astral Body, claimed to have discovered the "reason why" some people were "Inverts" (1920s name for homosexuals). You can read more about her and her teachings in the links at the bottom of Part Two.
In the year 1820 there was a Shi'ite Muslim Seer (not a "Prophet" but a "Seer") who arose in Behrain, an island near Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. He claimed to have "true visions". He studied various branches of Islam, and esoteric Islam (Sufism, Israqism) for 35 years, and then he became a "SHAYKH" (Arabic: "Elder") which, in Islam, means a very important man (large land owner) or a very LEARN-ED man: such as a scholar. He was from the village of Asa, which is in what is the "Shi'ite" part of Saudi Arabia: the eastern coast near Behrain. He claims to have had out of body experiences, and "visions" from the various Shi'ite Imaams and also the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Some of his doctrines were considered very "strange" and even "heritical" by orthodox Shi'ites and Sunni Shaykhs (religious elders). So, he had to travel often, ahead of those who wanted him arrested and tried for heresy (false teaching). He never denied his "Revelations".
Shaykh Ahmad said that the Imaam Mehdi, the "Promised One" of the Shi'ite Muslims, would arise in the Muslim year 1260 A.H. (1844-5 A.D.). He taught that the Prophets and Chosen Ones "return" in every Dispensation: a "limited" form of reincarnation he called "Ra'Ja" (Arabic: "return") that DID NOT PERTAIN TO HUMAN SOULS, but only pertained to the "Prophets" and "Chosen Ones": not to the Seers or other "human" souls.
The main disciple of Shaykh Ahmad was Siyyid Kazim Rashti, a Persian man who studied in Iraq for many years, and thus spoke Arabic and his nature Persian (Farsi). Siyyid Kazim also claimed to be a "Muhaddath" (moo-haw-dawth) and also claimed out of body experiences and "true visions". Again, he had to travel quite a bit, because the orthodox Shi'ite clergy (the "Ulema" meaning "learn-ed ones") wanted to arrest him too for heresy.
A young merchant in Shiraz, Iran, in 1844, was a disciple of Siyyid Kazim. The young merchant was named Siyyid Ali-Muhammad Shirazi. He later took the title of BAB'U'LLAH. Baha'is known Him today simply as "THE BÁB" (Arabic: "The Gate").
These two SEERS, Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, are called the "HERALDS" of the Faith. One may liken them to the Jewish SEERS who prepared the way for Jesus: such as Simeon and Anna the Prophetess. Is ISLAM, a SEER (Muhaddath) is NOT a "PROPHET" but an ordinary "human" soul who has "True Visions".
The "Heralds" of the Faith
The Seers Shaykh Ahmad-i-As'ai and Siyyid Kazim Rashti definitely wrote that they visited the Unseen World (al-Ghayb) and "saw" a "city of women" who had children without men, and also a "mansion" on a street in a city where men used each other as women. More about that in Part Two on this article.
Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957) wrote signed letters in which he stated "no matter how loving and committed" a homosexual relationship may be, it is still forbidden in the Baha'i Faith. Why is it forbidden? He did not say. But in another letter Shoghi Effendi said that adultery and fornication "retard the progress of the soul in the Afterlife." Why and "how" this retardation of the soul is not explained.
There is an organization which "helps" Baha'is who want to "suppress" their homomsexual drives called BANAA (baw-naaw).
Unlike the Unitarian-Universalist churches, or the UNITY churches, or the Episcopal church, or many (not all) United Methodist churches, or the "Community of Christ", the Baha'i Faith does not "fully" accept gays and lesbians. This is based upon the words of Baha'u'llah and Shoghi Effendi: that "liwat" (lee-waat), or "homosexual SEX ACTS" are HARAM (forbidden) among the "Friends" (Baha'is).
2 In the published Tablets, written by the Central Figures (The Bab, Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha), and the Guardian (Shoghi Effendi), the question as to "why" has not yet been answered. Perhaps that answer EXITS in the Holy Texts, but has not been translated yet. All we know is that LIWAT (lee-waat) is FORBIDDEN among the followers of Baha'u'llah. We cannot know the "Why?" until a Holy Text is found, and translated, that answers that question.
Yes, there are LBGT Baha'is. Some think it is a private matter, not to be discussed. Others want the Faith to "change" and accept LGBT just as they are. However, the Laws of Baha'u'llah can only be "changed" by the next Manifestation of God: due sometime around 2863 A.D. Until then, the Holy Laws are UNchangeable! They CANNOT BE CHANGED! Not by scholarship, not by vote, not by "pressure", not by anyone; except the next Manifestation of God.
The Holy Texts of the Central Figures, and the Directives (signed letters) of the Guardian of the Cause of God (Shoghi Effendi, d.1957) are considered INFALLIBLE, and CANNOT be changed nor re-interpreted by anyone, except the next Manifestation of God (sinless and infallible Prophet) Who is expected to arise about the year 2863 A.D.
Why did God make you gay? We don't know. The Holy Texts _____do NOT____ say. Perhaps the answers exists somewhere in the Holy Texts not yet translated and published. Much of the Holy Tablets have not yet been translated into English.
However, the writings of Xorol R. Oliver ___do____ say, but she is NOT recognized as a true Seer by most Baha'is. In fact, 97% of the Baha'is of North America have never heard the name Xorol (ksor-rawl) R. Oliver!
According to the lectures of Xorol R. Oliver, some men and women are "born as inverts" (note: "invert" is a 1930s name for "homosexual") because, on a previous planet (she taught that human souls have one mortal life per planet: she called this "Consecutive Incarnation"), some men "abused" women, and some women "abused" men. As punishment, on their Day of Account (i.e. their mortal life on Earth), the men who abused women would be born with no desire for women, and the women who abused men would be born with no desire for men. Gay men and Lesbian women see their homosexuality usually as a "blessing". While it may be a "blessing" on Earth, the "earthly" practice of LIWAT does prevent their souls from entering into the Kingdom of Malakoot: with is the first "step" in ascending to the Throne of God:
*Nasut (Material Kingdom)
_____Veil between Material and Spiritual Worlds____
*Malakut (Kingdom of Angels)
*Jabarrut (Kingdom of Powers)
*Lahut (Kingdom of the Names and Attributes of God)
*Hehut (Kingdom of the Essence of God)
A human souls can only reach Malacut (maw-law-koot) from this World, but, once they reach Malakut in the World to Come, it is possible for their soul to ascend higher, even to Lahut (law-hoot), but it is impossible for any soul to ascend to Hehut (hey-hoot): the Kingdom of the Essence of God.
Also, according to Baha'u'llah, those who commit "Satanic Deeds" in this life, such as adultery and LIWAT (homosexual SEX ACTS) will face a "GREAT HUMILIATION" in the World to Come. We don't know what "that" is, according to the Holy Texts, but it can't be good.
Gay and bi-sexual Muslims believe that ___IF_____ they follow the Shariah (Holy Law) in this life, then they will be permitted their sexual preferences in Paradise. In other words, they must "sacrifice" their sexuality in this life on the Alter of God, and, as a reward, they shall have their sexual preferences in PARADISE.
Not everyone goes to Paradise at death: only those who have been BORN AGAIN and reached the highest "station" of the soul in this life.
According to the SEERS, those human souls which do not reach the highest spiritual station in this life, must go to the Fire (Hell); which they interpreted as another mortal life where the skin "burns" and "ages"; but not back to this planet! Only the Prophets and Chosen Ones "return" to "this" material world.
The SEERS, Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, clearly taught the same thing: that LIWAT (lee-waat) was HARAM (forbidden) in this life, but for those who became true Submitters to the Will of God in "this" life: they would have the reward they sought in the World to Come.
Note: Most Baha'is have heard of Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, but the great majority of Baha'is are totally unaware of their teachings, nor have they read their published books (in Arabic and Farsi). Only a few dozen Baha'i scholars, who read Arabic and Farsi, have read their books.
Is there homosexuality in the World to Come?
Amazingly, according to the "Heralds" of the Faith (the SEERS Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim), there ______IS_____! Yes, according to their "visions" of Paradise. That will be explained later, in PART TWO.
If LGBT Bbaha'is talk openly about their sexuality, "advocate" gay marriage, or get married (legally or otherwise), they lose their "voting" rights. If they try to "force" the Universal House of Justice to "change" the Holy Laws of Baha'u'llah, then they are declared "Covenant-Breakers" and then shunned by all other Baha'is.
In practical terms as long as LGBT Baha'is keep their sex life "private" there is no sanction against them, but they certainly cannot march in gay pride parades, nor can they be married in gay marriages.
Baha'is are not allowed to ask other Baha'is "Are you gay?" or "Tell me about your private sexual life!" That is NOT permitted! Baha'is do NOT confess their sins to other men or women. However, "if" a Baha'i advocates gay marriage, or gets married in a gay marriage, or takes part in gay pride parades, or openly discusses their private sexual life, they lose their voting rights. Further violations would probably get them SHUNNED by the other Baha'is in their "Community" (congregation).
If you think this is "prejudiced" and Baha'u'llah and Shoghi Effendi were "wrong" in what they wrote concerning homosexuality, then the Baha'i Faith is NOT for you, and it is best you stop reading this, and get on with your life.
Remember: Baha'u'llah is the promised SPIRIT OF TRUTH. We don't follow Him because He was just a "man" like us, or a "wise man". We follow Him because He is the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, the Heavenly Father. He KNOWS what helps us and harms us, regarding our souls. If we don't beleive that, then we are not Baha'is, but MOO-NAW-FEE-KOON (Arabic: "Hypocrites").
No Manifestation of God is going to "approve" of any actions, sexual or otherwise, that "harm" the progress of the soul in the Afterlife, and we are told in the Holy Texts, and in the Directives (letters) of the Guardian Shoghi Effendi, that certain sexual "actions" HARM THE PROGRESS OF THE SOUL in the Afterlife.
Why? Again, the translated and published Holy Texts DO NOT TELL US. However, the lectures/teachings of Xorol R. Oliver ____does____.
Yes, there is "sexuality" in Paradise. All Muslims believe this, and the "HERALDS" of the Faith also taught that in their books, which is not based upon speculation, but upon their own out-of-body experiences. Xorol (ksor-rawl) R. Oliver, a Mormon "Seer" who became a Baha'i in 1930, also claimed out of body experiences to the Spirit-World, and her teachings ___agree___ with the HERALDS: although their "terms" are often different. You can read more about this in PART TWO under "Sexuality in the Afterlife".
*Xorol (ksor-rawl) was the first Mormon to become a Baha'i. She has no "official" standing in the Baha'i Faith.
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: where the terms "Prophet" and "Seer" as different as "night" and "day".
A good example of what a "Prophet" and a "Seer" is in Baha'i terms, is John the Baptist and his father Zacharias. The father of John the Baptist was a Levite (priest) working in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, when the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and told him that his wife would bear a Prophet of the LORD, and to name his son "John" (Hebrew: "Yohannah"). This vision was profound, that Zacharias could not speak for three days. His wife Elizabeth did bore him a male child, Who was named John, Whom Jesus called "a Prophet and greater than a Prophet". But Zacharias was not a "Prophet" but a "Seer"; an ordinary human being who has true visions.
***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
Prophets (i.e. Manifestations of God) are always male, but Chosen Ones and Seers can be male or female. Why are Prophets always male? Because...They are. Why is space always dark? Why are the galaxies always made of stars? Because that is the Way It Is.
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.
"Jesus Christ" was really Two Divine Beings in one body: the Father (Holy Ghost) and the Son (Word of God). The Holy Ghost dwelt "in" Jesus for three years: from His baptism to His death.
About 25% 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 they don't even know; 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.
Some female Baha'i martyrs who have been executed by the Revolutionary Islamic Government or Iran in the last 30 years. Their crimes? Mentioning the name "Baha'u'llah" to the Muslim children they cared for or taught was one crime punishable by death. Reporting that a Muslim man (or men) had raped them was another "crime" punishable by death under the government of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
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 far 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 envision "One World" without war, racism, sexism, injustice, hunger, the extremes of poverty or wealth, universal education, universal auxiliary language, where the poor are no oppressed, where men and women are equal in all things, where "race" and "caste" are irrelevant. They believe that Baha'u'llah has Authored a blueprint for that "One World". That is what interests most of them far more than the "Mystical Teachings".
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 (The Father/Brain)
JESUS (The Son/Heart)
All Other Prophets (The Servants/Less Vital Organs of the Body)
Jesus' Parable of the Lord of the Vineyard in the Gospel of Mark, 11th chapter, is a perfect representation of the three Ranks of the Manifestations of God: Father, Son, and Servant.
Many Baha'is will say something like "All the Manifestations of God are equal in every way". But, the Baha'i Holy Writings actually do not say that. The Manifestations of God have three "ranks": Father, Son, and Servant; according to the Tablets (letters) of 'Abdu'l-Baha. His Tablets (writings) are considered Infallible Scriptures in the Baha'i Faith. He was not a Manifestation of God (Prophet), but a Chosen One.
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 what "Very Savior of man" means. 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.
What is "Salvation" and How is it Achieved?
Christians believe that "salvation" is going to Heaven instead of going to eternal Hell-fire, and this is dependent on "having a personal relationship with Jesus". This is achieved by reciting the Sinner's Prayer, and believing in your heart that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and died on the Cross for your sins. We are saved by grace through faith (knowledge and acceptance) in the blood" of Jesus shed on the Cross for their sins.
Mormons believe that "salvation" from going to "a lesser kingdom" than the Celestial Kingdom is dependent upon being a "faithful Member of the Church" (paying tithing, obeying Church leaders) all of one's life. They do not believe in any place of eternal Hell-fire (although The Book of Mormon teaches there is); except "Outer Darkness" where Sons of Perdition (Mormon apostates) cry and gnash their teeth forever floating in darkness. For Mormons "salvation" means to become Gods and Goddesses in the Celestial Kingdom, create your own planets, and beget (physically) spirit-children to populate those planets with. Their "salvation" is dependent totally on their loyalty and faithfulness to Mormon leaders who are called "The Brethren"; especially to the "Living Prophet" who is the President of the Church.
Catholics think that "salvation" from eternal Hell-fire is dependent upon being a Roman Catholic, and "salvation" from Purgatory (temporary Hell) is dependent upon being a "good" Catholic and dying in a "State of Grace" (i.e. sins are confessed and forgiven and no mortal sin has been committed since last confession). The Grace of God is "received" through the Blood and Body of Christ, via the hands of a Roman Catholic priest.
Muslims believe that "salvation" from eternal Hell-fire is dependent upon being a good Muslim. What a "good Muslim" is varies between Muslim sects and schools of jurisprudence. Sufi (soo-fee) Muslims believe that we are "saved" by "dying in God" (fana'i'llah); meaning we increase the level of our own spirituality (which they call "Mystical Valleys") until the "Seventh Mystical Valley" is reached, then the "ego" (nafs/self) is annihilated, and, at death, one goes to Paradise. Fundamentalist Muslims believe "salvation" is achieved by following the Shariah (straight path) to the best of one's ability, and obeying the religious authorities (imaams, ayatollahs, mullahs, khaleefah) that your particular "sect" of Islaam recognizes as "correct" and "Islamic".
The Eastern Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Cao-Dai), teach that we are "liberated" from the Wheel of Rebirth (reincarnation), and go to Nirvana (Eternal Bliss), by our own "merits" (right actions) and our "suffering". There are many Hells, but these Hell are temporary. We go to Nirvana when our "merits" (right actions), meditation, and suffering which "burns away" all our "karma" (negative substance that attaches to our soul and prevents it from ascending to Nirvana). Reincarnation is not seen as a reward, but as a punishment, which we should try to escape via "Moksha" (Liberation).
The Baha'i Holy Writings say that "salvation" from the Realm of Nasoot (Realm of Created Beings), where the rays of the Suns "burn" and ware-out the skin, where "demons" (tyrants/socio-paths) exist, where we "eat bitter fruit" and "drink boiling water" (birth water) and "freezing water" (cold water that fills the lungs at death), where we are dragged about with heavy iron chains (addictions, tyrants, forced labor) is dependent upon the "Bounties of God" (God's Grace), and God only bestows His "bounties (grace) upon those who walk the Path of Holiness daily until they reach the Seventh Mystical Valley, at which point their "ego" is annihilated ("dying in God") and they are "born again" from a "human" soul into an "Angelic" Soul, and at death these alone, who are called the Mo'meneen (Arabic: "Faithful") shall enter into Malakoot (the Realm of the Angels), and, from Malakoot, they "may" (not necessarily "will") advance to Jabarrot (Realm of the Powers), and perhaps even Lahoot (Realm of the Divinities).
Why Did Jesus Have To Die on the Cross?
If we are "saved" by the Grace of God, after walking the Path of Holiness to the Seventh Mystical Valley, then "why" did Jesus have to die on the Cross to "pay" for our sins? That is not explained in the Baha'i Holy Writings thus far translated. However, that is explained fully in the teachings of the Seeress Xorol (ksor-rawl) R. Oliver (1889-1955). According to Xorol (ksor-rawl), the Soul of Adam first on this planet as Adapa of Eridu, about 6,000 B.C. Not the first "man" but the first of "a new race of men" (the Adamites). All Adamites inherit a "copy" of the Soul of Adam. Whatsoever "affects" His Soul, also affects our souls. Adam returned (reincarnated) several times, once as Melchizedek, and again as an Egyptian Pharaoh. This Pharaoh "sinned" in a literal walled Garden, called Meru-Aten, in Egypt, about 1350 B.C. Because the Soul of Adam "sinned" His God-Breathed Soul "died" in the Spirit-World, and the Souls of all Adamites also died; which is why the Old Testament teaches Soul-Sleep. The Soul of Adam had to "return" to this Earth, born of a virgin, and atone for the Sin of Adam (as Pharaoh) in the Garden of Meru-Aten; so that His Soul (and ours) would be resurrected in the Spirit-World. The resurrection takes place in the Spirit-World: not in our Physical-World. Adam is called "the Son of God" (Luke 3:38). This is all explained in the links at the bottom of this page.
*Xorol R. Oliver has no official station in the Baha'i Faith. Baha'is may accept her, or reject her, as a Seeress as a matter of Personal Belief.
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. How did He fulfill the Second Coming? They don't know "how" they just know He "did". Again, for Baha'is, that is a "Mystical Teaching" and they spend very little time thinking about "Mystical Teachings".
The Bible references that Jesus would return "with clouds" means to Christians, and Mormons, that Jesus will return sitting or standing upon the clouds of the sky. But, the Baha'i interpretation is different. By "clouds" is not meant the white puffy clouds of the sky, but "veils". The Hebrew word for "cloud" is the same for "veil". The meaning "He cometh with clouds" is really "He cometh in veils": i.e. that Jesus will return in "veils" that "hide" His true identify. The Baha'i interpretation is that He will "return" with new names, born of new mothers, in new bodies which "veil" His true identity.
The Bible says that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18). The Gospels say that the Holy Ghost "lighted upon" Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan River. After that time Jesus said "The Father is in me and I am in the Father." (John 4:24). The Holy Ghost dwelt "in" Jesus like water in a glass, or wine in a wine-skin. Before the Holy Ghost entered into Jesus, He was merely a "Chosen One" but when the Holy Ghost entered into Him, He became a Manifestation of God: because the Father (Holy Ghost) dwelt "in" Him. Jesus became "Christ" (the Anointed One) when the Holy Ghost "lighted upon Him" at His baptism.
In His Parable of the Three Measures of Meal, Jesus said:"Another parable spoke he to them; The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matthew 13:33)
The meaning is that the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will not be fully established until all three measures of meal have been "leavened" (bread "rises" when it is leavened--when yeast is added to it). The meaning is that the Kingdom of God will not be realized on planet Earth until Jesus has returned ("arisen") three times "HID" (veiled) in three new bodies, with new names, born of new mothers.
Leaven=the Soul of Jesus (the Riser)
That a woman took=born of women.
And hid in Three Measures of Meal=three male bodies that "veil" the Soul of Jesus.
The Meaning: The Soul of Jesus (yeast/leaven/riser) will be born of a woman three more times in male bodies that veil/cloud His true identity, so that only the Sheep will recognize His Voice (Words), but not the Goats, and then the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will be fully established like bread that is fully risen and baked.
Baha'u'llah as the Return of Christ
Baha'is believe that the Second Coming occurred with Baha'u'llah, Who was "Christ returned" in some mystical way they can't explain. Again, they are not really interested in the "Mystical Teachings"; no more than a teenager is interested in retirement, or cinema-goers are particularly interested in the "Coming Attractions" which are played before the feature film. They rarely read the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation), and even more rarely study it. They are generally not interested in Bible prophecy or "End Times".
Baha'u'llah was not Jesus, not Jesus reincarnated, so "how" could He be the "Second Coming of Christ"? Baha'is cannot explain it. However, if Baha'u'llah was the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost dwelt "in" Jesus, from His baptism to the Cross, then one "could" say that the First Coming of Christ (i.e. the Father/Holy Ghost) was when the Holy Ghost "entered" Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan River, and the "Second Coming of Christ" was when that same Holy Ghost, Who dwelt "in" Jesus for three years, was later was born of a woman in Iran in 1817, and proclaimed His "station" as "He Whom God Will Make Manifest" in 1863, and again as "the Son of Man" on Mount Carmel in 1891.
First Coming=when the Holy Ghost "lighted upon" Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan River. The Holy Ghost and Jesus become one flesh..
Second Coming=when Baha'u'llah made His declaration in Baghdad in 1863, and His declaration on Mount Carmel in 1891. The Holy Ghost becomes flesh.
The term "Christ" means "One Who is Anointed" (covered). The Kings of Israel were anointed with oil. The "Christ" would be "anointed" with the Holy Ghost. The meaning is: the Man in Whom the Holy Ghost dwells.
The ancient Jews expected not one "Christ" but two: the Messiah ben Joseph (the Suffering Messiah), and the Messiah ben David (the Reigning Messiah). the Messiah ben Joseph (son of Joseph) would suffer and die, and the Messiah ben David would resurrect Him. They were not two advents of one person, but two different Men. The Holy Ghost would "dwell in" them both. Both Yeh'o'shua (Jesus) and Baha'u'llah were descendants of King David.
We must distinguish between the "Second Coming of Christ" (or the Advent of the Second Christ), and the "return" of Jesus. For Christians (and Mormons) "Christ" and "Jesus" is the same Being. However, we have seen that "Christ" refers to the two Men in Whom the Holy Ghost dwells, and "Jesus" refers to a specific Soul of the Son of God, the WORD of God incarnate:"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God.
And the Word became flesh, and we beheld His glory, even that of the only begotten of the Father." (John 1:1-2,14)
There is no doubt that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ) ben Joseph: the Suffering Messiah. Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah (also a descendant of King David) was the Messiah ben David: the Reigning Messiah. Christians (and Mormons) do not see two Christs, but two advents of "one" Christ". But, the Jews believed in the coming of Two Messiahs (Christ) not one. Baha'u'llah was the Messiah ben David, but He was NOT the "return of Jesus". Baha'u'llah is the Father (Holy Ghost) not the Son (Word).
The Seven Incarnations of the Son of God
According to Xorol R. Oliver (1889-1967), who claimed to be a "Seer" and to have visited the Spirit-World in her astral body, the Son of God (Word of God/Logos) will incarnate (become flesh) on this planet seven times as seven different men: 3 times before Jesus, once as Jesus, and 3 times after Jesus. These three new bodies, with new names, born of new mothers, are three "veils" or "clouds". These are the seven horns and seven eyes of the Slain Lamb of God that John sees in vision on the island of Patmos (Rev. 5:9).
The seven incarnations of the Son of God on this planet
According to Xorol ("ksor-rawl"), the the first of these incarnations was Adam, Who is called "the Son of God" (Luke 3:38). Adam was Adapa of Eridu: the first "Wise Man" among the Sumerians. The Soul of Adam "returned" as Melchizedek, king of Salem, then He returned again as an Egyptian Pharaoh, Who lived in a walled Garden along the Nile, with a "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". The Egyptian Pharaoh "sinned" with a princess (Eve), which caused His Soul to "fall" and the souls of all Adamites to also "fall". The Pharaoh had to "return" as Jesus of Nazareth to "atone" for His sin in the walled Garden. You can read more about that in the links at the bottom of PART TWO.
NOTE: Xorol R. Oliver has no official standing in the Baha'i Faith. Baha'is may accept her, or reject her, as a Seeress, as a matter of Personal Belief. Most Baha'is have never even heard of her.
< The Seventh Angel
'Abdu'l-Baha said concerning the coming of the 7th Angel:
"The seventh angel is a man qualified with heavenly attributes, who will arise with heavenly qualities and character. Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused. In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets–in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed." (Some Answered Questions, pp.55-6)
Some Baha'is think that 'Abdu'l-Baha was the Seventh Angel. Others think this figure refers to the next Manifestation of God, due around the year 2863 A.D.: 1000 years after the Declaration of Baha'u'llah in 1863, in Baghdad. Most Baha'is "have never really thought about it" and would rather think and talk about "The Principles".
But, according to Xorol R. Oliver, the 7th Angel will be Jesus, or rather the Soul of Jesus, returned in a "cloud" (new body, new name, born of a new mother) sometime in the 24th century (2300s). The 7th Angel will be instrumental in establishing lasting World Peace. Perhaps it is to Him we must look for the final fulfillment of the Christian, and Mormon, and Muslim prophecies concerning the Second Advent of Christ.
According to Muslim prophecy, the Prophet Isa (ee-suh) will return wearing two saffron robes, on the shoulders of two angels, and descend near a white mineret (Muslim prayer tower) in East Damascus, Syria. He shall break the crosses, kill the swine, kill al-Dajjal (the one-eyed anti-Christ), be a follower (at first) of the Imam Mehdi (Shi'ite promised one), live for forty years, die, and be buried in Medina next to the Prophet Muhammad. Baha'u'llah was never in Damascus, did not kill the Anti-Christ (as far as I know), and was not buried in Medina. Perhaps we must await the 7th Angel to see the fulfillment of these prophecies.
Was Xorol R. Oliver a "Fictional" Person?
NOTE: There is a false rumor among the Baha'is of Utah that Xorol R. Oliver is a "fictional person" who never existed. She did exist, did have correspondence with Shoghi Effendi (originals are kept at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa) from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s. She was granted two patents (for Electrolysis apparatus) in 1930 by the U.S. Patent Office (you may see one HERE.. While living in California, she placed many advertisements in The Oakland Tribune offering her Electrolysis services, which you can see HERE. Her death, in May of 1955, is mentioned in Baha'i News for July, 1955, on page 12 under "In Memoriam" . You can see that HERE. (under "In Memoriam" lower right of page). Those Baha'is who claim that she is a "fictional made-up person" are lying, or spreading lies they mistakenly believe is the truth. This false rumor was first told by two Anti-Joseph Smith "Baha'is" (?) in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the late 1990s; because they didn't want other Baha'is to accept Joseph Smith, or Xorol R. Oliver, as true Seers. They believed that Joseph Smith was a fraud, and they insisted all other Baha'is to believe as they did. That Big Lie that Xorol R. Oliver is a made-up person has spread all over Utah until today (2016), most Baha'is in Utah consider it the "Truth" because they've been told it by so many so often. Very sad. There are Hypocrites in all religions. The Baha'i Faith is no exception. If you hear a Baha'i saying anything negative about another person, Baha'i or non-baha'i, ask them: "Are you supposed to spread gossip in the Baha'i Faith?".
Baha'is are NOT supposed to spread gossip or backbite, but some do. There are hypocrites in all religions, and the Baha'i religion is no exception. A "few" Baha'is in Utah do not want other Baha'is to believe that Joseph Smith, or Xorol R. Oliver, were "Seers". They want all the Baha'is to believe as they do, that Joseph Smith was a fraud. So, they deliberately spread false rumors; such as Xorol R. Oliver being a "made-up person" who never existed. Spreading false rumors is wrong, and a violation of Baha'i Holy Law. If you see a Baha'i doing that, know that they are "violating" Baha'i Holy Law; something no "follower of Baha'u'llah" is supposed to do.
In reality, Xorol R. Oliver did exist, and correspondence (letters) between her and Shoghi Effendi are kept at the International Baha'i Archives in Haifa, Israel. Baha'is are allowed to believe any of the following:
A) Joseph Smith and Xorol R. Oliver were inspired Seers (not Prophets). Pro-Joseph Smith View.
B) Joseph Smith was a fraud and Xorol R. Oliver was either a fraud or self-deluded. Anti-Joseph Smith View.
C) No opinion on Joseph Smith or Xorol R. Oliver: their claims and revelations are irrelevant to the Baha''i Faith. No-Opinion Joseph Smith View.
All three of these views are acceptable in the Baha'i Faith. A Baha'i can believe "A", "B", or "C". They may share their personal belief with other Baha'is, but they CANNOT try to "force" other Baha'is to accept "A" "B" or "C". They cannot become contentious, nor "backbite" or tell negative rumors about others (Baha'i or not) in their effort to "discredit" another person's personal belief. Some Baha'is in Utah (Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is) will spread lies and negative rumors in order to "get their way" and in order to convince the other Baha'is to NOT view Joseph Smith or Xorol. R. Oliver as "Seers". That is WRONG, and they are in violation of Baha'i Holy Law.
No Baha'i may accept Joseph Smith as a "Prophet" in the Baha'i sense of the word "Prophet" (i.e. sinless and infallible Manifestation of God). Shoghi Effendi believed that Joseph Smith was "a Seer: not a prophet minor or otherwise". He did not mandate that other Baha'is agree with him. So, Baha'is are free to accept, or reject, Joseph Smith was a Seer. The same applies to Xorol R. Oliver and to any other man or woman who claims to be a Seer.
Baha'u'llah wrote:“Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men.” (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp. 219-220)
. . “O people of Bahá! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the daysprings of His loving-kindness. Defile not your tongues with the cursing and reviling of any soul.” (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, 1988 pocket-size edition, p. 27)
It is very sad to say, but some Anti-Joseph Smith "Baha'is" in Utah violate this, and spread gossip and false rumor, in their effort to get all Baha'is in Utah to be Anti-Joseph Smith Baha'is. Their lies are spread around until they are accepted as "truth" because people hear it so often. Do not expect the Baha'is to be perfect, nor to perfectly reflect the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.
As a Baha'i you do NOT need to accept Joseph Smith nor Xorol R. Oliver as Seers. You may reject both. That is perfectly acceptable in the Baha'i Faith. You may try to convince others that they were frauds, but you cannot become argumentative; nor can you "backbite" in order to attack individuals in your effort to "discredit" individuals as a means to silence them. This would be a violation of Baha'i Holy Law. As long as you are peaceful, and non-argumentative, you may express your own personal opinion regarding Joseph Smith and Mormonism. You may hold meetings at your home, and invite other Baha'is to "look at evidence" you have, but...
1) you cannot become argumentative.
2) You cannot "backbite" and slander individuals.
As a Baha'i, you CANNOT call Joseph Smith a "Prophet" but you may say: "In my personal opinion, Joseph Smith was a Seer who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer". You may say that. You are welcome to express that opinion; as long as you do not 1) become argumentative and 2) slander others.
The author of this website believe that Joseph Smith was a "Seer" who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer. You may read more about that in the article liked below. I also believe that Xorol R. Oliver was a Seer. I DO NOT CLAIM that this is official Baha'i doctrine. It is not. It is personal opinion only. Baha'is are allowed personal beliefs as long as they do not conflict with Accepted Baha'i Doctrine.
If you want to KNOW if Baha'u'llah is the Spirit of Truth, or not, then you need to attend a Baha'i Fireside (public information meeting), or a Baha'i Devotional on Sunday, and HEAR HIS WORDS being recited in a Baha'i Prayer: which takes less than one minute, at the beginning of the meeting. Listen to His Words, and then YOU WILL KNOW! There is no "burning in the bosom". Your soul will vibrate! It is not no other feeling you have ever had! It is that simple. Don't believe me? Try it...and you'll see!
Call the toll-free number below, and leave your name and zip-code. Somebody will call you back. Say: "My name is _____________, and I want to attend a Baha'i Fireside near my home. My zip code is ____________________."
Somebody will contact you. It may take up to a month, but somebody will contact you. While you wait, just go to Google and type in "Baha'i Faith". There are many things you can read on the Internet about the Faith. You are welcome to read our other articles on the Baha'is of Utah website at:
None of these articles are "official". The Baha'is of Salt Lake City have their own website. You may call anytime, and give your name and zip code:
Call it now. Nobody will try to "sell" you anything. The call is free. The Baha'i Fireside is free, and no donations may be accepted. The Fireside lasts about one hour, and it is casual. Smoking is allowed outside, and smokers are never shunned. There is no child care. No donations can be accepted. Light refreshments are served like at a Church dance. You will NOT be asked to speak or to offer any prayer. A Baha'i Prayer is offered at the beginning by a Baha'i. Listen carefully to it. As the prayer is being given, ask yourself: "Are these the Words of the Spirit of Truth or just a man?" You will experience a very "odd" feeling that you have never experienced before. Your soul will vibrate at a higher rate. Don't believe me? Try it!
If you want to know if Joseph Smith prophesied of Baha'u'llah, then read the article below. Please make that call right now.
Thank you, and go in Peace!
Did Joseph Smith Prophesy of Baha'u'llah?