Read: High Endeavours - Messages to Alaska


HIGH ENDEAVOURS: MESSAGES TO ALASKA
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska, 1976 edition


EXCERPTS FROM TABLETS OF THE DIVINE PLAN

"I desire for you eternal success and prosperity and beg perfect..."

To the Assemblies and Meetings of the believers of God and the maidservants of the Merciful in the United States and Canada.

Upon them be Baha'u'llah El' Abha

He is God!

O ye blessed souls:

I desire for you eternal success and prosperity and beg perfect confirmation for each one in the divine world. My hope for you is that each one may shine forth like unto the morning star from the horizon of the world and in this garden of God become a blessed tree, producing everlasting fruits and results.

Therefore I direct you to that which is conducive to your heavenly confirmation and illumination in the Kingdom of God!

It is this: Alaska is a vast country; although one of the maidservants of the Merciful has hastened to those parts, serving as a librarian in the Public Library, and according to her ability is not failing in teaching the Cause, yet the call of the Kingdom of God is not yet raised through that spacious territory.

His Holiness Christ says: Travel ye to the East and to the West of the world and summon the people to the Kingdom of God. Hence the mercy of God must encompass all humanity. Therefore do ye not think it permissible to leave that region deprived of the breezes of the Morn of Guidance. Consequently, strive as far as ye are able to send to those parts fluent speakers, who are detached from aught else save God, attracted with the fragrances of God, and sanctified and purified from all desires and temptations. Their sustenance and food must consist of the teachings of [iv]
God. First they must themselves live in accordance with those principles, then guide the people. Perchance, God willing, the lights of the most great guidance may illumine that country and the breezes of the rose garden of the love of God may perfume the nostrils of the inhabitants of Alaska. Should ye become confirmed in thus rendering such a service, rest ye assured that ye shall crown your heads with the diadem of everlasting sovereignty and at the threshold of oneness you will become the favored and accepted servants.


SUPPLICATION

O Thou Incomparable God! O Thou Lord of the Kingdom! These souls are Thy heavenly army. Assist them and with the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse, make them victorious; so that each one of them may become like unto a regiment and conquer these countries through the love of God and the illumination of divine teachings.

O God! Be Thou their supporter and their helper, and in the wilderness, the mountain, the valley, the forests, the prairies and the seas, be Thou their confidant-so that they may cry out through the power of the Kingdom and the breath of the Holy Spirit!

Verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Omnipotent and Thou art the Wise, the Hearing, and the Seeing.
-Abdu'l-Baha (April 8, 1916)
[1]


PART I:

Letters to Individuals, 1939-1943. These were written prior to the formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly and reflect the early development of the Faith in Alaska.

[3]


(1) March 12, 19391

Dear Baha'i Friend,

The Guardian has received your most welcome and inspiring message of the 19th February, and is inexpressibly delighted to know that you have spontaneously offered your services for pioneer teaching in Alaska.2 He can well imagine the feelings of immeasurable satisfaction and unbounded gratitude with which both the N.S.A. and the National Teaching Committee must have welcomed your determination to teach and establish the Faith in that far-off and hitherto unexplored territory, and he wishes me to express also his own appreciation and gratitude for this remarkable step which you have, notwithstanding the well-nigh insuperable obstacles in your way, been inspired to take to carry the Message to that distant land. The spirit of heroic self-sacrifice, and of unflinching resolve that has prompted you to undertake so noble and sacred a mission, and make such a warm and immediate response to his recent teaching call addressed to the American believers cannot but fill all hearts with admiration and praise, and evoke the memory of those acts of unrivalled heroism, of selfless and unstinted devotion that have characterized the lives of the immortal heroes of the Apostolic age of our beloved Faith.

Though labouring in an age and under circumstances wholly different from those in which those early pioneers of the Cause have been privileged to labour, yet it is that selfsame spirit of entire self-forgetfulness, of whole-hearted and unwavering loyalty, and of absolute consecration that is now, in this Formative period, inspiring you, and all our dear American Baha'i pioneers, to forsake their all and undergo such privations and suffering in order to speed up and ensure the triumph of the Cause of God.
[4]

Rest assured that the Guardian will incessantly and most fervently supplicate on your behalf, that the invisible hosts of the Kingdom may continually reinforce and guide your efforts, and enable you to attain this assuredly high and noble goal you have set yourself to attain in service to Baha'u'llah and His Cause.

In the hope that this letter will find you well, happy and well on the way of the realization of your plans, and with most cordial greetings,

Yours ever in His Service,
H. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]
Dear and prized co-worker:

I am thrilled by the news you give me. How proud I feel of the spirit that so powerfully animates you. My prayers will, I assure you, accompany you on your great and historic adventure. Persevere no matter how great the obstacles in your way. Future generations will glorify your deed and emulate your example. The Concourse on high acclaims your resolve and will richly bless your endeavours. Be happy and confident.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(2) February 12th, 1940

Dear Baha'i Sister,

The Guardian has received your most welcome message of December 31st, and feels truly delighted to know of your recent confirmation in the Faith, and of the pioneer work you are now undertaking in Alaska,3 in collaboration with our beloved sister Miss Honor Kempton.

He is indeed grateful to you for having offered to teach and establish the Cause in that far off land, and feels confident that through the promised confirmations of Baha'u'llah and your own persistent efforts you will eventually succeed in completely attaining your goal.

The various measures you have already taken with the view of giving widespread publicity to the Teachings have been noted with deep interest and appreciation by the Guardian who indeed trusts that they will result in attracting to the Cause people of capacity and understanding.

He would urge you and also dear Miss Kempton to persevere, and through your joint exertions endeavour to pave the way for the formation of a local assembly in Alaska. Rest assured his prayers will be specially offered on behalf of you both, that you may receive ever-increasing [5] strength, capacity and guidance to carry out your high teaching mission to complete success.

With the renewed expression of his abiding gratitude for your devoted services, and with loving greetings,

Yours very sincerely,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-worker:

Your letter cheered and heartened me in the conduct of my arduous duties and responsibilities. I rejoice to learn of your high endeavours in that distant field, and I will specially pray with increasing fervour for your protection and success. How great your privilege, how laborious your task, how noble your mission! Do not feel disheartened. Persevere and be confident always.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(3) February 13th, 1940

Dear Baha'i Sister,

The Guardian has received your most welcome communication of the 31st December, and his heart was greatly cheered and refreshed by the perusal of its contents, and at the evidences of the slow yet steady progress of your teaching work in Alaska.

The very illuminating report you had given him covering the general social and religious conditions prevailing in that land clearly reveals the nature and extent of the obstacles which you have to face and surmount in the prosecution of your teaching task. But surely for such valiant and steadfast pioneers like you there is no difficulty, however seemingly insurmountable, which cannot be effectively overcome, as Baha'u'llah is assuredly guiding and reinforcing your labours through the unseen hosts of His Kingdom.

The Guardian was particularly encouraged to know of the contact you have established with the editor of the "Alaskan," and of his very generous offer to publish in his paper various materials on the Teachings. His hope is that this will prove a most effective medium for the spread of the Cause, and will bring in a large number of earnest inquirers.

Also the Guardian cherishes very bright hopes regarding the bookshop which you have opened in Anchorage, which he trusts will serve to attract widespread attention to the Faith. [6] Renewing to you his abiding and heartfelt gratitude for your invaluable teaching services, and assuring you again of his continued prayers for the confirmation of your efforts, and also for your own welfare and protection in these dark and gloomy days,

Yours in His Service,
H. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-worker:

Your most welcome report brought immense joy to my heart. With feelings of increasing pride, admiration and gratitude I follow your activities and pray continually for your success. Do not relax in your efforts. The Concourse on high is watching over you and the Blessed Beauty will reinforce and guide you.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(4) December 12th, 1942

Dear Baha'i Sister,

Your letter of Aug. 5th has been received, and the Guardian was very pleased to hear from you. He has instructed me to write and answer you on his behalf, and also thank you for the photographs you enclosed.

He feels that this is a very important opportunity which you have now obtained of teaching the Faith to the Eskimo people,4 and he hopes your efforts will be crowned with success.

He would not advise you to teach them Esperanto, as we have no way of knowing whether it will ultimately be chosen as the auxiliary language of the world. He thinks the most direct and quickest way of communicating with them in a common tongue should be chosen; in other words either you should learn their language or they yours, whichever will yield the quickest results.

As they are a relatively uncivilized people, unused to the modern cosmopolitan forms of life, and consequently not au courant with the thoughts which to us have become mere commonplace, he would advise you to approach them through love, friendliness, and association, until you are in a position to enter into their confidence, and gradually teach them, in a simple way, the great truths of our Faith.

To confirm them in the Faith should be your main objective, always [7] bearing in mind that faith and belief are different from learning and a full grasp of the implications of such a vast Cause as ours.

You may be sure his loving prayers will be offered for the success of your historic mission, and he will be interested to hear how you are progressing.

With Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]
Assuring you of my abiding gratitude and appreciation for the magnificent services you are rendering, and for the laudable spirit you are demonstrating in your historic activities and achievements in these days of stress and peril, and assuring you also of my special and constant prayers for the success of every effort you exert, and every step you take in the path of service,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(5) July 24th, 1943

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The Guardian was very happy to receive your letter of May 29th; and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

It is with great joy that he welcomes you into the Faith of Baha'u'llah, and he hopes that you will be the means of attracting many other souls to this glorious life-giving Message.

Abdul-Baha was most anxious that the Eskimo people should be taught the Message of this New Day, and it is a source of happiness to all Baha'is that you, a member of that race, have arisen to spread these teachings.+E4 God has surely guided your steps and blessed your search for divine Truth.

If people only realized it, the inner life of the spirit is that which counts, but they are so blinded by desires and so misled that they have brought upon themselves all the suffering we see at present in the world. The Baha'is seek to lead people back to a knowledge of their true selves and the purpose for which they were created, and thus to their greatest happiness and highest good.

You may be sure the Guardian will pray that you may render the Cause [8] many valuable services and become a gifted and confirmed Baha'i teacher.

With warm Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

P.S. It will interest you to know that there are now Baha'is active in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Eskimo village of Tuluksak, Alaska.

[From the Guardian:]
Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your most welcome letter has rejoiced my heart. I extend to you a most hearty welcome into the ranks of the followers of Baha'u'llah, and will greatly value your support and cooperation. Your conversion to His Cause is indeed a historic event, and will greatly rejoice the hearts of the believers. I will pray for your success and spiritual advancement from the depths of my heart. Rest assured and be confident.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(6) October 14, 1943

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of July 9th has reached the Guardian safely, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He feels that the most important thing at the present time is, of course, the establishment of the first Baha'i Spiritual Assembly of Alaska.

He hopes that, after the assembly is well established and has a sufficient number to maintain its status, you will again be able to do pioneer teaching work among the Eskimos.

Your talk on the Faith in the church of Tuluksak may, indeed, have reached some of them, and left a seed of Truth in their minds.

As the Centenary Celebration of the Faith draws near the Guardian finds himself busier than ever before and barely able to keep pace with his work. However, his thoughts are often with the friends, and he is very proud of their achievements.

He assures you of his deep appreciation of your devoted and self-sacrificing services, and that his loving prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani
[9]

[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-worker:

I admire and feel proud of your historic achievements. I am deeply grateful to you and will continue to pray from the depths of my heart for your protection, happiness, and the speedy and full realization of every hope you cherish in such an important sphere of Baha'i activity.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi
[10]


PART II:

Letters to Baha'i Institutions. These letters are presented chronologically in their entirety. They trace the strengthening and development of the institutions-National Spiritual Assembly, Local Spiritual Assemblies, Committees and Conventions.


(7) November 19th, 1945

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of Aug. 6th brought great joy to the Guardian's heart. It has taken it some time to reach him but he has instructed me to answer it at once.

He was particularly pleased to hear of the weekly radio broadcasts you are giving, and feels that this cannot but have a marked effect on the progress of the Cause in Alaska, both visibly and spiritually.

Although there are many souls ripe to receive the message, there are many others who, though they are not able to recognize its import at present, will take the seed into their hearts, and there it will ultimately germinate. Radio reaches so many people and thus is of the utmost importance.

It was very kind of you to think of sending gifts to the Guardian made by Eskimos, and he will value them as tokens of your love and the handiwork of a people whom he is most anxious should receive the Divine Message.

He hopes that your Assembly will endeavour to reach the Eskimos with the Message; he fully realizes how difficult a task this is, but it is also one of great importance. If but one of these souls should become truly enkindled, he or she could then teach others in their own language and a manner suited to their minds.

Assuring you all of the loving appreciation of your devoted services, and his ardent prayers for the success of your labours.

Yours, with warm Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]
Dear and prized co-workers:

It is always a joy to hear from you. I truly admire the spirit that [14] animates you, as well as your remarkable achievements in the service of our beloved Faith. You truly deserve the praise of the Concourse on high. Persevere in your noble and historic task, and rest assured that the Beloved is well pleased with you.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(8) December 17, 1951

To the Baha'is who attended the Alaska Convention.

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of December 3rd has reached the beloved Guardian; and he was very pleased to receive the assurance of your determination to persevere in the work of the Cause, and achieve all the goals set before the American Baha'i Community.

He was also very happy indeed to know that all Alaskan Baha'is had been present. He considers this a great achievement. When we consider that not so many years ago, there was not a single Baha'i in Alaska, we can truly say: "What hath God wrought!"-and with thankful hearts rededicate ourselves to the work of His Faith.

With Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my deepest appreciation of the sentiments you have expressed, and of my loving, my ardent and continued prayers for the extension and consolidation of your highly meritorious activities,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(9) February 3, 1952

Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District.

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Our beloved Guardian has received your letter of January 17th, enclosing the loving contribution for the Shrine of the Bab from the Baha'is of the Anchorage District; and has instructed me to answer on his behalf, and to send you the attached receipt.
[15]

He very deeply appreciates your gift toward the completion of this most holy enterprise, which is serving to draw the devoted believers in all lands closer to the Center of their Faith.

Naturally he is most happy to hear of the growth of the Faith in your land, and it cannot be otherwise when there is such firm resolve and determination to serve, and such harmony among the devoted believers.

He assures you all of his loving prayers for you at the Holy Shrines.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless you and your fellow-workers in Anchorage, sustain and protect you, reward you for your contribution and services to the Faith, and aid you to enrich the splendid record of your achievements.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(10) February 9, 1953


The Baha'i Community of Anchorage.

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of January 7th, expressing appreciation of the action of the beloved Guardian in arranging for Ruhiyyih Khanum, accompanied by the Vice-President of the International Council, Amelia Collins, to be present at the All-America Teaching Conference and the dedication of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Chicago, has been received by him. He has asked me to acknowledge receipt of your letter on his behalf.

The Guardian feels that the four forthcoming Conferences are the most important gatherings ever held in the Faith to date.

The Conferences will bring together representatives of the entire Baha'i World, representing twelve national communities, made up of numerous racial and religious backgrounds.

The purpose of the Conferences will be the world-wide propagation of the Faith. They will lay the foundations of the service of the Baha'is of the world for the great ten year Crusade ahead-which, God willing, will be consummated in the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel, and the achievement of the initial goals set by Abdu'l-Baha in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, whereby the world will be flooded with the Glory of the Lord.
[16]

The Guardian attaches great importance to the Conference to be held in Wilmette, and he sincerely hopes as many of the believers as possible will attend.

The Guardian will pray at the Shrines for the friends in Anchorage.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(11) March 24, 1953

To the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Just a little note to assure you our beloved Guardian received your Naw-Ruz greeting, which he appreciated very much.

Great things lie ahead of the Baha'is in Alaska, and he will pray that they may attain their goals speedily and worthily.

With warm Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani


(12) March 30, 1953

To the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of January 23rd has been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it in his behalf.

The Guardian feels the Dedication of the Temple, and the Intercontinental Teaching Conference to be held immediately thereafter, will mark a most important historic milepost in the development of the Faith in America, and the world. It will close the epoch of Temple Building, and open the 10 year period of World Crusade, during which time, the Faith will be established over the face of the earth.

The Guardian is happy Ruhiyyih Khanum and Vice-President Collins of the International Baha'i Council can attend to represent him. He hopes as many of the Friends as possible will be present.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
I am,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas, Asst. Secretary
[17]


(13) August 5, 1953

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The Beloved Guardian has asked me to write the Friends of Alaska on his behalf, and explain to them that he is following very closely their activities in Alaska.

He attaches the very greatest importance to the services which are being rendered by the Baha'is in that land.

The future of Alaska is so important that he has set as one of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade, the establishment of a National Spiritual Assembly in Alaska, notwithstanding its present or future political relationship with the United States.

This great gift which has come to Alaska likewise calls for great sacrifice and service. The Guardian feels the Baha'is of Alaska fully realize the heavy responsibilities devolving upon them and will arise with a superhuman effort to spread the Faith throughout the length and breadth of the country. He will welcome advice of the opening up of new cities and centers throughout Alaska, which will lay the foundation stones on which the future National Assembly can be built. The only way this can be done is for the Friends to "scatter" as the Master foretold, and settle in new cities, areas, etc.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the American National Spiritual Assembly, so that they might assist the friends of Alaska to fulfill their spiritual mission and help their country attain its spiritual destiny.

Please send a copy of this appeal of the Guardian to each Believer in Alaska.

The Beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to each and every one of the Baha'is in Alaska. He assures you of his prayers at the Holy Shrine in your behalf, that every obstacle may be removed from your paths, as you prosecute this sacred mission.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(14) August 5, 1953

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has asked me to write you on his behalf, concerning settlement in Kotzebue, in the Arctic Circle.
[18]

He has learned that one of the Baha'is of Anchorage, or Alaska, has gone or is going soon to Kotzebue, and he wishes full information in connection therewith. He would like to know who the pioneer is, when he settled, or if not settled, when he will do so.

The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to this project, and he asks that your Assembly assist the pioneer in every way possible.

The Guardian asks that you give his love to the pioneer either in or enroute to Kotzebue, and assure him, the Guardian will pray for him; that the Divine Confirmations may be with him, that every obstacle may be removed from his path, and that he will achieve new victories for our Glorious Faith.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(15) November 23, 1953

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of September 3rd has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The Baha'is of Alaska have always proved themselves full of initiative and devotion; and he feels sure that they will successfully accomplish their goal of having an independent National Assembly before the end of the ten years.

He feels that if Mrs. Wells can go to Kotzebue next Spring, it would be excellent. The ideal of course is for the friends to obtain work before they go to new places, if at all possible, and in this way not deplete their resources or be a burden on the Fund.

The Guardian was also very happy to hear that the Caldwells are still in the Aleutian chain, as he attaches the greatest importance to this very difficult post. He urges your Assembly to give them all the encouragement you can, and to impress upon them the importance of remaining there.

You may be sure he will pray for the progress of your work in the holy Shrines; and no doubt the National Assembly will give you every assistance it can. As you know, it has heavy demands made upon it at present, in order to get the pioneers out to their posts; and the consolidation work will undoubtedly be taken up later on.

With warmest Baha'i greetings to you all,
R. Rabbani
[19]

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, aid you to promote continually the vital interests of His Faith, and win great victories in its service.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(16) March 18, 1954

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian is following very closely the activities in connection with the Ten-Year Crusade throughout the entire Baha'i world. He has been encouraged by the reports reaching him from all centers.

The Guardian is happy over the development of the Faith in Alaska. Inasmuch as one of the very important goals of the Ten Year Crusade is the establishment of a National Spiritual Assembly for Alaska, the Guardian is hopeful that the friends will very seriously undertake the establishment of the Faith in the important cities, and the development of as many assemblies as possible. This can be accomplished best, of course, by "scattering" from the larger communities, and in settling in new areas.

The beloved Guardian was greatly encouraged to learn through a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell addressed to me, that at the Alaska State Convention on December 6th, a fund was started for the Haziratu'l-Quds. The Guardian attaches great importance to the development of the Haziratu'l-Quds even before there are prospects for the establishment of the National Assembly. The Guardian is arranging for a gift to this fund of $500 as his personal contribution. It will be sent you by the Treasurer of the American N.S.A. He hopes this will stimulate the friends to contribute to this important fund, as time goes on.

The beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to all the friends in Alaska.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Secretary-General
International Baha'i Council


(17) April 23, 1954

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of April 6th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
[20]

In regard to the matters you raised in it, he feels that the Haziratu'l-Quds should be inside the city limits. Ten miles from the town is too far out to be practical.5

The first thing is to acquire, if possible, either a building site or a building; but pending the possibility of doing this, which no doubt will involve considerable expenditure, he advises you to go on augmenting the Haziratu'l-Quds Fund.

He would like you to please forward him a list of all the places where there are Baha'is throughout Alaskan territory, specifying whether it is an Assembly, a Group or an isolated Centre.

Although he attaches great importance to the opening of new Centres throughout any territory, including, of course, Alaska, he wishes you to give special attention to sending a pioneer to Point Barrow, beyond the Arctic Circle. He feels that there is a great significance in having believers serving so far north; and he hopes that one of the friends will be able to secure some employment there and proceed to act as a pioneer in this highly meritorious field.

All the news that you gave him was good news, and he appreciated it deeply.

You may be sure that his loving prayers will surround you and all the friends, as they labour to carry the Faith throughout Alaskan territory, and to hasten the day when it will have its own independent National Spiritual Assembly.

With Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide your steps, and enable you to win great victories in the service of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(18) January 28, 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of January 19th, written on behalf of the Spiritual Assembly of the Anchorage Recording District, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to send you this note in reply.
[21]

He was indeed happy to hear that the Anchorage Recording District Assembly is now incorporated, thus broadening still further the foundations of the Administrative Order of the Faith.

He would appreciate receiving a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation, to be added to the many now on display in the Mansion of Bahji.

The devoted services of the dear friends there are deeply appreciated, and he sends his loving greetings to you all.

With warm Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for the success of the efforts which you and your fellow-workers are exerting for the promotion of our beloved Faith,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(19) March 1, 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of June 25, 1954, with enclosure, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was indeed happy to learn that, through the dispersal of the friends in Anchorage to three other cities, the goal set by the Alaska Teaching Committee for the last year was achieved. This is indeed most encouraging news.

The rapid expansion of the Faith in Alaska has delighted the heart of the Guardian. The way the believers have scattered in order to create new Centers, shows their great devotion and courage.

He is now looking forward to the time when the friends there will have their own Haziratu'l-Quds.

Please convey the loving greetings of the Guardian to all the Alaska Baha'is; and assure them of his deep appreciation of their sacrificial services, and their determination to broaden the basis of their Faith in that country. All these efforts will hasten the day when Alaska will have its own National Spiritual Assembly.

His prayers are ever with the friends as they pursue their noble task.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani
[22]

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for the success of your deeply appreciated endeavours for the promotion of our beloved Faith,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(20) May 7, 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of April 6th with enclosures has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The contribution you enclosed from the Baha'is of Anchorage Recording District is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The Guardian greatly appreciated receiving the incorporation papers from the Anchorage District Assembly. He feels the incorporation of this Assembly an historical event. He likewise appreciates the map which you sent showing the area involved in the recording district, as well as the location of the Baha'i property. So far as the use of the land is concerned, this is something which will have to be determined as time goes on, and particularly when Alaska establishes their National Assembly.

The Guardian sincerely hopes all the friends in Alaska will redouble their teaching efforts, so that the Faith may become firmly established. The work of the Alaska Baha'is has so encouraged the Guardian that he has announced the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly for Alaska in 1957. It is evident that intensive teaching work must be done between now and that date, so that there will be a sufficient number of Assemblies and a wide enough basis of the Faith throughout Alaska to build up a proper foundation for this crowning institution.

The challenge has now come to the Alaska Baha'is. We all hope and pray they will be assisted in their strenuous efforts.

The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends you his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(21) July 1, 1955

Northern Peoples Teaching Committee

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of May 2nd with enclosures has been received by the [23] beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He appreciates receiving the pamphlet and the photograph which you sent him.

He considers it would be a great service to the Faith if you can arrange to have some of the literature translated into other of the more widely used dialects, and especially Aleut. He also approves of your following the idea of the book published in English entitled: "A Baha'i Child's Song Book," where you feel that is desirable.

The Guardian greatly values the services of your Committee in their devoted efforts to bring the Faith to the native people of Alaska, and assures you of his prayers for the abundant success of your labours.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless, guide and sustain you, and enable you to enrich the record of your splendid services to His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(22) August 26, 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letters of July 15 and 23, with enclosures, have been received by the beloved Guardian; and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He regrets the delay in receiving your letter of the 15th, as it prevented his sending a cabled message on the occasion of the dedication of the Haziratu'l-Quds of Alaska.

He rejoices over this important step forward on the way to the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska. He considers the progress of the Faith in Alaska remarkable.

The Guardian urges the friends to exert even greater efforts, especially in the teaching and enrollment of the Eskimos.

He remembers all the dear friends in Alaska in his loving prayers.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved guide, aid and protect you in your high and historic [24] endeavours, assist you to extend rapidly the range of your meritorious activities, and win memorable victories in the service of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(23) September 16, 1955

Teaching Committee for Alaska

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of August 17th, with the sheet enclosed showing the names of those who attended the first All Alaskan Summer Teaching Conference.

The progress of the work in Alaska is very gratifying to him.

He would like your Committee to assure those who attended this Teaching Conference of his prayers for the success of their labours.

It is the Guardian's deep hope that, in countries where the friends may teach freely, a mighty, sustained teaching effort may be exerted. If the Faith progresses rapidly in such countries, this will in a measure compensate for the setback it has suffered in Persia, because of the recent terrible persecutions.

He attaches great importance to Alaska; and he hopes the friends there will rise to great heights, in the days to come, in their teaching activities.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide your steps, and aid you to promote, at all times, the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(24) December 7, 1955

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Sister:

This is just a note to acknowledge, on behalf of the beloved Guardian, receipt of your letter of October 9th, as well as the three photographs enclosed.
[25]

He is happy that the Baha'is are so well installed in their new Haziratu'l-Quds, and will pray for you all.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless you and your dear fellow-workers, and enable you to lend a great impetus, in the coming months, to the onward march of the Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(25) December 25, 1955

To the friends who were present at the Alaska State Convention.

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter, signed by all those who were present at the Convention on December 4th; and this is just a note on his behalf to urge you all to redouble your teaching efforts, so that Alaska will have a firm foundation for its National Assembly.

With Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your high endeavours, guide and sustain you, and aid you to lend a great impetus to the onward march of the Faith in that promising country.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(26) February 2, 1956

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District.

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of January 9th has been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution which you have sent to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herein.
[26]

The Hosts of the Supreme Concourse are in marshall array, poised between Earth and Heaven ready to rush to the assistance of those who arise to Teach the Faith. If one seeks the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, they can find it in rich abundance in the Teaching Field. The world is seeking as never before, and if the Friends will arise with new determination, fully consecrated to the noble task ahead of them victory after victory will be won for the Glorious Faith of God.

The Guardian will pray for the quickening of the teaching work in Alaska. A great upward surge is essential in that great country, as it is soon to have its own National Assembly. May the Friends arise with resolve, dedication and consecration. Then surely great results will be achieved. The Guardian sends you his loving Greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(27) May 3, 1956

The Baha'i Community of Ketchikan, Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of April 24th has been received, and the beloved Guardian was delighted over the formation of your Assembly.

He compliments Mrs. Roberts on her youthful spirit, which has enabled her at her age to recognize this glorious Faith, and arise to serve it.6 She must truly be an inspiration to other Alaskan Baha'is; and he was truly happy to know that your Community is distinguished by having the first Indian Alaskan7 as one of its members. You seem to have made a "scoop"!

You may be sure he will pray for your progress and the unfoldment of the work there, in the holy Shrines. He sends you all his loving greetings.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless your efforts, guide and sustain you always, and aid you to win great victories in the service of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(28) May 14, 1956

Anchorage Recording District

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of April 23rd was received by the Beloved Guardian, [27] and he has directed me to respond to it on his behalf. The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herein.

The spirit of the time is the teaching of the Faith in new areas, particularly on the home front. The Guardian sincerely hopes you will be most active in this field, so that many seeking the light of divine guidance in your area, may be led to the Fountain of Immortality.

The Keynote of success in the teaching field is study of the Word, Prayer, Meditation; and then action. Above all, perseverance in action. When these steps are followed in the realm of self-sacrifice, success will be achieved.

The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(29) May 23, 1956

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Brother:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of May 15th, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

The news you conveyed of the enrollment of Miss Campbell8 was most welcome. The Guardian is very proud to have these Indian Baha'is in the Faith, and hopes that they will make every effort to carry the Message of Baha'u'llah to their people, remembering always the promises of the beloved Master of how great the Indians would become when the illumination of this Revelation reached them.

The Guardian is happy to see that the Assembly there is functioning so well and achieving so much in the teaching field. He will pray for you all.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless you and your dear co-workers, guide and sustain you always, and aid you to promote the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(30) June 22, 1956

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your loving letter of June 8th, on behalf of the Spiritual Assembly of [28] the Baha'is of Ketchikan, Alaska, came duly to hand; and the beloved Guardian directed me to respond to it on his behalf. The contribution to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The Guardian is very appreciative of the excellent work being done by the Baha'is of Alaska in preparing for their National Assembly. The pioneering services are highly meritorious, and will be richly blessed by the ever watchful Master. The friends should redouble their efforts during the short remaining period, so there may be many more Baha'is in that important area, when the National Assembly is formed.

The Guardian assures you, each and every one, of his prayers in your behalf. He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(31) July 24, 1956

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Anchorage

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of June 27th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

You must feel proud of the achievements in Anchorage, and in Alaska generally. He himself is very happy over, and proud of, the work accomplished there, particularly in recent years.

You should not worry about attacks on the Faith, as these in the end cannot but result in the further growth of the Faith. You should face the coming formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska with joy and confidence, as it will rest on a firm and promising foundation.

He will remember all the members of the Spiritual Assembly in his prayers, that their labours in the Cause of God may be richly blessed. He also assures you of his prayers.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Spirit of Baha'u'llah, whose cause you and your fellow-workers serve with such love, zeal and devotion, guide and sustain you, aid you to lend, in the days to come, an unprecedented impetus to the spread of the Faith, and the multiplication of its institutions, and win memorable victories.

Your true brother,
Shoghi
[29]


(32) August 1, 1956

Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of recent date, has been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The Beloved Guardian is most hopeful that the Friends on the "Home Front" will arise with renewed effort, and win many seeking souls to the Faith. He hopes you will be the means of bringing eternal life to many.

He assures you of his prayers in your behalf.

He sends you his loving Greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(33) September 16, 1956

Teaching Committee for Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of August 8th, enclosing a list of the Baha'is who attended the Fairbanks Conference conducted by the Alaska Teaching Committee, as well as a program of the Conference, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was especially pleased to see that a number of different localities were represented at this gathering.

He hopes the spirit generated there will strengthen the believers in the different areas and encourage them to carry forward the work with even greater energy than before. There is much to be done before the rapidly approaching historic election of their own National Spiritual Assembly. The Guardian feels the members of the Teaching Committee and all the friends are very conscious of this fact, and urges them to leave no stone unturned to gain new believers, and also to do all in their power to assist in the further consolidation of the Faith throughout that important land.

He appreciates the devoted efforts of each one of the friends, and assures them all of his prayers.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless the splendid work now being achieved in Alaska, [30]
guide the steps of the valiant friends laboring in that land, and enable them to win memorable victories in the days to come.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(34) October 22, 1956

Baha'i Assembly of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of September 30th has been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution you have sent to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

Teaching is the keynote of spiritual success today. Those who arise and teach will be guided and confirmed, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be with them. The Guardian sincerely hopes you will join most actively in this spiritual crusade, and win many souls to the Faith.

The Guardian rejoiced at the success of your teaching work, and is happy that the Faith is spreading in that far off, but important city. He will pray that you will reach your goal, so that you may then spread into new cities.

He assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends you his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(35) December 20, 1956

To the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of December 3rd was received by the Beloved Guardian. He has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

The beloved Guardian is hopeful the friends will arise, each and every one, with renewed vigor and spiritual power, to teach the Cause of God. Everywhere the goals of the Ten Year Crusade are being won, with exception of teaching on the Home Fronts. The Guardian hopes you will [31] be most active in this great spiritual upsurge in the teaching work, and win many seeking souls to the Faith.

The Guardian was very happy to learn of the enrollment of another (the third) Indian.9 He welcomes these three into the Faith and sends them his loving greetings. He hopes they will arise and teach their own people. He will pray for them and for the success of their teaching work among their people.

He assures you all of his prayers and for the success of your teaching efforts.

He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(36) April 12, 1957

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Will you please deliver to the Convenor of the Alaska Baha'i Convention the enclosed envelope containing the Guardian's Message to the friends and which is to be read to them at Convention.

To gain time this is being sent thru Rome and mailed by a Pilgrim.

With Ridvan greetings,
R. Rabbani

P.S.-The Guardian requests that you acknowledge receipt of this communication by cable to him.


(37) April, 1957

To: Delegates and Visitors assembled at the Convention of the Baha'is of Alaska

I welcome, with joy, pride and thankfulness, the convocation, on the northern fringes of the Western Hemisphere, and in a region that must needs play a prominent part in the shaping of the destinies of mankind, of the first Alaskan Baha'i Convention. So auspicious an event constitutes an important milestone in the progressive unfoldment of the Baha'i World Spiritual Crusade, and represents the fruition of the valiant efforts exerted, in the course of several decades, by the American Baha'i Community, which has striven so steadfastly to ensure the emergence of independent Baha'i Communities in that hemisphere.
[32]

So great a triumph, crowning so much patient and painstaking labour, won at the hour when the Baha'i World Spiritual Crusade is entering the second year of the third phase in its irresistible unfoldment, must be celebrated through the initiation of a subsidiary Six-Year Plan on the part of the newly-formed Alaskan National Spiritual Assembly, for the purpose of speedily increasing the number of the followers of the Faith; of multiplying its Centres; of adding to its existing Local Spiritual Assemblies; of inaugurating a National Baha'i Fund; of establishing a Summer School; of initiating local Baha'i endowments; of incorporating the newly-emerged National Spiritual Assembly as well as all firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies; of obtaining recognition for the Baha'i Marriage Certificate, as well as the Holy Days on which work is forbidden; of stimulating the conversion of both the Eskimos and American Indians, and of purchasing a plot of land to serve as the site for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of Alaska.

I appeal to the members of the American National Spiritual Assembly to persevere in their highly laudable endeavours on behalf of a Community so small yet so valiant and promising, and to ensure by every means in their power the steady development and consolidation of the institutions of an Order to whose rise and establishment they have so conspicuously contributed.

May the process now set in motion gather momentum in the years lying ahead, through a liberal effusion of the grace of Baha'u'llah, and may those whose privilege it is to stimulate its development, be guided in every step they take, and fulfill every desire they cherish for its ultimate consummation.

Shoghi


(38) May 16, 1957

To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of May 5th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution made by your new Assembly to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

It is fitting that one of your first actions should be the dispatch of this remittance, as it links your new spiritual body directly with the work being done at the World Center of the Faith.
[33]

The Guardian is well pleased with the diligent services of all the Alaska friends, reaching the present goal of a National Assembly. May the friends now arise with renewed vigor, and with the new spirit released, win many more souls to the Faith. More Baha'is, more Centres, more Assemblies is the dominating spirit of service for the friends during the remainder of the Ten Year Crusade.

The Guardian will pray for you, and for the success of your labours for the Cause of God.

He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(39) May 20, 1957

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:
Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you on his behalf and inform you that the Hand of the Cause, Mr. Varga, will shortly be forwarding to your assembly the equivalent of five hundred English Pounds, as the Guardian's contribution to your newly established National Fund.

He hopes that, in the formulation of your plans, particular attention will be given to the all-important teaching work, the foundation of all the activities of the Faith and the most urgent task facing the friends in this critical period the world is passing through.

You may be sure he will pray for your success.

With Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani


(40) May 28, 1957

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The Beloved Guardian has instructed me to write your Assembly in connection with the important goal of your six year plan, of purchasing or acquiring the site for the future Baha'i Temple in Alaska.
[34]

No publicity of any type should be given this matter at this time, but the Committee should proceed with its work quietly and wisely. They should simply try to purchase a piece of land, without indicating its purpose. No contact should be had with the Government.

If your Assembly is not incorporated, or your local Assembly, then the land can be registered in the name of individuals appointed by the National Assembly.

Before actual purchase is made, the Guardian would appreciate advice as to the location, size of land, cost, etc. This you can send to him through me.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
I am,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(41) June 4, 1957

The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your loving letter of May 15th was received by the Beloved Guardian and he has directed me to acknowledge it in his behalf.

The contribution made by the friends in Ketchikan to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

The establishment of the new National Spiritual Assembly in Alaska must be a source of great gratification to those of you who have labored so long and diligently in the establishment of the Faith in that very important country. This great blessing likewise carries with it many serious responsibilities. The greatest responsibility today is the diffusion of the Divine Fragrances and the establishment of the Faith far and wide. The Guardian hopes therefore that the Members of your Assembly will arise with renewed vigor and not only spread the Faith more firmly in Ketchikan, but will spread your energies to surrounding areas so that new lights of Divine Guidance may be established in the various centers.

The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends you his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
[35]


(42) June 30, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer the letters received, with enclosure, from the Assembly's Recording Secretary and from the Secretary, and dated as follows: May 4, 7, 29 and June 11.

He is very happy to see the eagerness with which this new historic Body has embarked upon its tasks, and he wishes you to know that he is particularly pleased with the Alaska Community. He admires the lively spirit animating it and which indeed has animated it for years-the spirit of optimism and joyous service, and its determination and courage. He has recently heard many fine things about the friends there and the work they are doing from Mrs. Florence Mayberry, all of which have encouraged him to cherish the very highest hopes for the future of the work in that vast territory.

He hopes your Assembly will devote special, constant attention to encouraging the friends in their teaching work, and facilitate their tasks. As the new National Assemblies are being formed, he feels it incumbent upon him to issue a word of warning to avoid rules and regulations and tying the believers' work up in red tape. Over-administration can be even worse for the Faith at this time than under-administration. The believers are, for the most part, young in the Cause, and if they make mistakes it is not half as important as if their spirit is crushed by being told all the time-do this and don't do that! The new National Body should be like a loving parent, watching over and helping its children, and not like a stern judge, waiting for an opportunity to display his judicial powers. The reason he points this out to you is that constantly, for the past twenty years and more, he has been pointing this out to the old and tried National Assemblies, and he does not want the younger bodies to make the same mistakes. Individual cases should be dealt with as they arise, according to the Teachings, of which the believers have quite sufficient available to handle all of their problems at this time, and no more additional rules and regulations need be introduced.

The friends should be helped to overcome their problems, deepen in the Faith, and increase their unity and their love for each other. In this way you will find that your work goes ahead speedily, and that the National Body is like the beating of a healthy heart in the midst of the Community, pumping spiritual love, energy and encouragement out to all the members.
[36]

As regards the question you asked about a Summer School, there is no reason why a property should either be rented or bought for this purpose. You can arrange to hold a Summer School in any suitable place where the friends can find accommodation, and a hall can be rented for its sessions. This is what they have done in England for many years to great advantage. It is a simple and economical way of holding the School. The primary purpose of the School is to deepen the knowledge of the friends in the Teachings, to enable them to consort, as Baha'is, with each other, and to confirm any contacts who may have attended. The School may be held during the winter season or any other time of the year.

As regards local endowments, these can be a piece of land, or a building offered or purchased in any place in Alaska. However, as the friends have six years in which to accomplish their Plan, and the most important work of all is the teaching work, he would not advise that they begin by spending their money on these projects, unless somebody has a piece of land or a building which they wish to give. The site for the Temple is much more important. It should be near the capital of Alaska within easy distance, or preferably in it, so that the friends can gather there, when the Temple is built for their services. If the twenty-acre National Endowment is suitably close to the city, it can be used as the Temple site, and another piece of land, smaller in area, and anywhere in Alaska, be acquired as the National Endowment.

He is delighted to see that you are approaching your tasks with so much enthusiasm, and awaits news of wonderful victories from that promising northern territory.

He feels your Assembly should bear in mind, and call to the attention of the friends, the importance of the Iron Curtain territories not yet open. Whoever feels the urge to dedicate themselves to arising and going to one of the satellites or republics of the Soviet Union, should be encouraged to do so.

He hopes to receive much good news during the coming months of the progress of the work there, and assures you all of his prayers for your success.

With loving greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-workers:

The formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska signalizes the erection of yet another pillar designed to support, and reinforce the foundation of the future Universal House of Justice, [37] and marks a milestone of far reaching significance in the history of the evolution of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in the North American continent. I rejoice at this remarkable evidence of the vitality of the Faith which animates the members of the small yet highly promising community of His followers in that far off northern region of the globe, a region destined to play an important role in shaping the spiritual destinies of the great Republic of the west of which it forms a part, and to contribute, in no small measure, to the establishment of the institutions of His World Order throughout the American continent.

The task now facing this highly promising, spiritually dynamic community, at the hour of its emergence as an independent member of the embryonic World Baha'i Commonwealth, is truly formidable; the responsibilities which it valiantly shoulders, at this crucial hour in its evolution are sacred, heavy, manifold and inescapable. The tests and trials which it must, sooner or later, experience in the course of its unfoldment and consolidation will severely challenge its spirit and resources. The path which it must tread ere the full evidence of its latent capacities are manifested will be long, tortuous and stony. The indomitable faith which now so powerfully animates its members, however, will, beyond the shadow of a doubt, enable them to overcome whatever obstacles may confront them in the future, and ensure the ultimate attainment of their high destiny.

The Six Year Plan, to which this community is now committed, and which should be regarded as the chief and immediate instrument designed to ensure the triumphant conclusion of the initial stage in the unfoldment of its destiny, must be energetically prosecuted however great the sacrifices involved, and must receive the concentrated, the continuous and prayerful consideration of its national elected representatives. All must participate in furthering its interests and in ensuring its ultimate and complete success.

Every effort must be exerted to increase steadily the number of avowed adherents of the Faith in that Territory, to multiply its centres, to consolidate its local Assemblies, to incorporate the firmly grounded amongst them.

The establishment of Baha'i endowments and of a summer-school, and the incorporation of the National Spiritual Assembly itself, must be simultaneously and efficiently carried out. Steps must likewise be taken to obtain recognition of the Baha'i Marriage Certificate and of the Baha'i Holy Days from the civil authorities concerned. Nor must the vital [38] obligation of converting as speedily as possible, both the Eskimos and the American Indians, who, as time passes, must assume a notable share in the diffusion of the Faith and the establishment of its rising Order in these regions, be, under any circumstances neglected; and last but not least, the selection and purchase of a site for the Mother Temple of Alaska, in the city of Anchorage or its suburbs, must be carefully considered and suitable action taken at the earliest opportunity.

The endeavours which the highminded, youthful hearted, deeply consecrated members of this community will exert must be such as to excite the unqualified admiration of their fellow believers in Baha'i communities in both Hemispheres. The sacrifices which must be made will, no doubt, if they rise to this occasion, merit the applause of the Concourse on high and draw forth a still fuller measure of the promised blessings of the Author of the Divine Plan Himself.

That the members of this community may neither falter nor fail, that they may set an example worthy of emulation of their fellow-workers in all continents of the globe, that they may achieve such feats, in the course of the attainment of their high objectives, as shall eclipse the past achievements of their spiritual brethren in the North American continent and throughout Latin America, is the object of my constant prayer for them in the Holy Shrines as well as my heart's most cherished desire.

Shoghi


(43) July 6, 1957

The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of June 7th was duly received by the beloved Guardian and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

The Spirit of confirmation is descending in torrents on all those who arise to teach in a devoted and consecrated manner. Never before have so many victories been won in the teaching field as are being won all over the Baha'i world at this time.

Alaska has developed very remarkably in the past years. With the establishment of the new National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska in Ridvan of this year, the Guardian is hopeful that the friends will arise with [39] renewed effort and spread the Faith far and wide. A new spirit has been released due to the establishment of the National Assembly and the friends should seize their opportunity while they still have the chance and win many souls to the Faith.

The Guardian will pray for you and for the success of your work. He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(44) July 12, 1957

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Anchorage Recording District

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of May 29th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is very happy to learn that your Assembly now has an endowment of its own. This will give the Faith a greater prestige and standing there. The spiritual vitality shown by the friends in Alaska pleases him greatly.

Please express his appreciation of their gift to the Faith to the donors of this tract of land.10

He assures you of his prayers for you all, and for the rapid progress of the work in that region, and throughout Alaska.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide every step you take, and aid you to promote the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(45) July 14, 1957

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Tanana Valley

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of June 15th, in which you quoted the cablegram sent by your Assembly to Iran; and has [40] instructed me to acknowledge it on his behalf, and to tell you he greatly appreciates your prompt response to his request.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani


(46) July 19, 1957

Convention Secretary First Annual Convention of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of June 11th together with enclosures has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He appreciates having the Minutes of this Convention.

The Guardian has high hopes for the rapid progress of the Faith in Alaska, and feels confident that, as the believers arise to shoulder their new responsibilities, adequate strength and guidance will be given them to accomplish the tasks set before them.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty guide your steps in the path of service, and aid you to further the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(47) August 8, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your loving letter of July 6th was received by the beloved Guardian and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution made by your National Assembly to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

The Guardian feels that it is proper for your Assembly to make a contribution to the International Fund because it links more closely the activities of the National Assembly with the World Center of the Faith and through you all the Baha'is in Alaska.

Alaska has won many great victories for the Faith in the past, but the Guardian feels sure now that the National Assembly has been established, the victories to be won in the future will be far more glorious and far more effective for the spread of the Faith.
[41]

He will pray for you and for the success of your work. He sends each and every one his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(48) August 15, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you that he was very happy to note from your recent letter the practical way the National Assembly has gone about settling their goals for this year, and will pray for their success.

He deeply appreciates the gift Mrs. Huffman and her husband have made of the Temple site for Alaska. This fulfills one of Alaska's important goals-only a few months after the birth of the new National Spiritual Assembly.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani


(49) August 17, 1957

The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Ketchikan

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of July 15th was duly received by the beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The Divine Confirmations are descending in torrents on those who arise to teach. At this critical time in the history of the Faith, teaching is the one Baha'i service that is Confirmed.

The Guardian hopes that you will therefore arise with renewed effort to take your part in this great crusade now sweeping the world. America has been called upon by the Master to play the preponderating role in this great World Crusade which is moving forward with increasing momentum. Thus more Baha'is must be confirmed in the United States, that America may achieve its Spiritual Destiny.

The Guardian will pray for you and for the success of your teaching work. He sends you his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
[42]


(50) August 18, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your recent letters have been received and the change of the P.O.B. noted.

As regards the ring stone you kindly offered to send the Guardian: he feels this should be kept in your own Archives with other historic mementos.11

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless, guide and sustain you, and aid you to promote, at all times the vital interests of His glorious Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(51) September 8, 1957

Baha'i Community of Ketchikan, Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of August 15th was received by the beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

Spiritual success can be won today, only by teaching the Faith of God. The people are seeking, dying from spiritual thirst. The Baha'is must disseminate the Water of Life freely, so seeking souls may find eternal life.

If the friends arise with consecration, devotion, and zeal-so the Holy Spirit may descend through them, to those who are wandering the deserts of material chaos-they will be surprised at the victories which will be won.

The Guardian hopes you will take a most active part in this quickening of mankind. May the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and its confirming power be with you at all times.

The Guardian will pray for you, and for the success of your work. He sends his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
[43]


(52) September 9, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian is very anxious to secure information as to the Indian tribes (native), which have been contacted by any of the believers in your area; or of course if there are any believers from these Tribes, that would be even more interesting.

Can you prepare a list showing the number of Tribes that have been contacted, and of these Tribes, the number who have become believers. This would be very interesting information.

Can you secure it at an early date and send it on to me for the beloved Guardian.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
I am,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(53) September 18, 1957

Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Fairbanks

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of July 28th with enclosures has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He greatly appreciates your prompt action in sending the cable to Iran.

The believers in Fairbanks are all remembered by him, and he prays for the success of the teaching efforts of each one.

He also wishes to assure Kathryn and Marzieh Alio of his prayers for the recovery of Mrs. Volz.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for your success and spiritual advancement,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(54) October 20, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your loving letter of October 4th and subsequent cablegram of October [44] 12th have been duly received and its contents presented to the beloved Guardian.

He was pleased to learn the manner in which your Assembly and the Baha'is are undertaking this all-important task of teaching the Indians, the Eskimos and to the extent possible, the Aleuts.

The Master has promised that very great results would be achieved when these people are given the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore he hopes the friends will be able to bring it to them in increasing force and in increasing numbers.

The Guardian will pray for you and for the success of your work.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(55) October 27, 1957

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Alaska

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of October 1st was duly received by the beloved Guardian and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution which has been sent by your Assembly to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

The Guardian is happy that the friends in Alaska are arising with such vigor and enthusiasm to serve the Cause of God. They have won outstanding and historic victories for the Faith, but the thing that pleases him most is that each victory that is won has been used as a stepping stone to further service in the Cause of God. Thus the Cause is expanding very rapidly both in the teaching and administrative fields. He hopes that your Assembly will be guided and confirmed in the noble undertakings in which you are engaged. But he likewise hopes that you will be able to stimulate all the friends to intensive effort so that many seeking souls may find eternal life at this particular time and that the Institutions of the Faith may be firmly established in that promising Country. He will pray for you and for the success of your work.

He sends you his loving greetings.

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
[45]


PART III:

Letters to Individuals, 1946-1957. These letters were addressed to many individuals who continued to write directly to the Holy Land after the formation of the institutions. The tone of the letters reflects personal interests rather than institutional development.


(56) July 30, 1946

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter dated July 17th has been received, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He was very pleased to hear the Alaskan believers are so active, and that you have witnessed with your own eyes such a wonderful development of the Faith there these last few years, since you went there as a pioneer.

He was also delighted to hear Mr. Oliver is anxious to translate some of the Writings into Eskimo; please assure him this would be rendering both the Eskimos and the Cause a great service. If anything is printed in that language the Guardian would like to receive copies for the libraries here.

He hopes through the "Arctic Trails Shopping Service" you will be able to demonstrate the fairness, uprightness, and nobility of the adherents of the Baha'i Faith to the people it deals with, as this will more than anything else attract their attention to the Faith.

As to your own plans: if you are absolutely certain that your departure from Alaska will not in any way affect the stability of the Cause there, he approves of your suggestion that you go to Europe and assist the work there. If, on your way, you could visit and do some teaching in England it would help the British Baha'is very much, as they are embarking on a very heavy teaching schedule. He will pray that your family there may become attracted to the Faith.

Assuring you of his deep appreciation of your wonderful services and his loving prayers.

Yours in the Faith,
R. Rabbani

P.S.-If Mr. Oliver would begin by translating even a small pamphlet into Eskimo at once this would be a much appreciated service. Please send him some printed copies as soon as available. Please assure this dear friend that his service is highly meritorious.
[48]

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my deepfelt and abiding gratitude for the splendid and historic services you have rendered our beloved Faith and of my constant prayers for the extension of your valued activities, and the realization of every hope you cherish for the advancement of its institutions,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(57) March 15, 1947

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of January 9th has been received and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He very much appreciated your desire to once again answer the call for pioneers and go to Europe, and in principle he approves of your doing so. However, Miss Kempton12 has already left Alaska, and you say Miss Dole13 is contemplating doing so, and he is very concerned lest the work in Alaska suffer and the number of resident believers in Anchorage fall to below Assembly status. Alaska is one of the prizes of the first Seven Year Plan, and must be guarded at all costs. If you find in the future, after consultation with the National Teaching Committee, that you can be safely spared from the work there, he approves of your going to Europe.

He cannot suggest to you what form of employment would be best for you, but he will pray that you may be guided in this matter, and that your Baha'i services be richly blessed.

With loving greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Dear and valued co-worker:

I deeply appreciate the spirit that so powerfully animates you in the service of our beloved Faith. You are a great asset to the Cause you serve so devotedly. I will pray for the extension and consolidation of your service from the depths of my heart. Persevere in your historic task, rest assured, and be happy.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(58) May 16, 1947

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter, dated May 7th, has been received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
[49]

He was very pleased to see with what determination and dedication you are serving the Cause in Alaska. Now that two pioneers have gone forth from there, your labour is all the more important, and he certainly hopes that, through the medium of the Arctic Trails Shopping Service, the public meetings being held weekly, and the devoted labours of all the dear friends there, the Faith will rapidly reach and enlighten many new souls.

There is such a confusion in the world today, so much uncertainty, so much materialism, that it is very hard to hold the attention of even the more spiritually minded people. But we must persevere and do our best knowing this is our duty and that conditions will eventually change completely and follow Baha'u'llah's Pattern.

Please give his love to the Anchorage friends. You may be sure he will pray for you all, and for the success of your work, in the Holy Shrines.

With warm Baha'i love,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my special and fervent prayers for your success, for the steady extension of your valued activities, for the consolidation of the historic work already achieved, and the realization of every hope you cherish for the promotion of our beloved Faith,

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(59) November 14, 1947

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter to our beloved Guardian dated October 31st has been received, and, in spite of the fact that he is terribly busy, he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf because he would not like in any way to ever hurt the feelings of one of the friends. However, he suggests in the future you refer such questions to the N.S.A. and ask them to put you in touch with a Baha'i teacher who can correspond with you. He himself cannot do this kind of work, because he is so overworked with the more urgent administrative affairs of the Faith.

To answer you briefly what the original state of the universe was no one as yet knows. But we believe God is a spiritual Being and did create it; how we do not know. We will have experience of God's spirit through His Prophets in the next world, but God is too great for us to know without this Intermediary. The Prophets know God, but how is more than our human minds can grasp. We believe we attain in the next world to seeing [50] the Prophets. There is certainly a future life. Heaven and hell are conditions within our own beings.

He urges you to study carefully the Baha'i books, and he will pray for your advancement and the success of your Baha'i activities.

With loving greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide and sustain you in your meritorious activities, in such a distant field, and enable you to win great and memorable victories in the teaching field.

Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi


(60) March 18, 1952

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your most interesting gift has been received, through the kindness of Leroy Ioas, and it is deeply appreciated. I thank you for the thought as well as the gift.

These are busy days in Haifa with the many pilgrims who are coming and going. The news of the rapid growth of the Faith in various lands is very inspiring, and the pilgrims leave the Holy Land for their posts with a new determination to play nobly their parts.

With warm Baha'i love,
Ruhiyyih

P.S. I should also say the beloved Guardian appreciated very much the Eskimo things.


(61) September 17, 1952

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of August 5th has been received by the beloved Guardian and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

As the Guardian is very busy indeed these days, the answer will be brief. Your plan to return to Alaska makes him very happy indeed. He attaches the greatest importance to Alaska, and it will become increasingly important in the future. Therefore, he urges you by all means to return to that land, and there lend your valuable assistance in the service of Baha'u'llah.
[51]

The Guardian assures you your dedication and service to the Faith are very deeply appreciated.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved reward you bountifully for your splendid labours, guide and sustain you always, and enable you to win great and memorable victories in the days to come.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(62) March 29, 1953

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your loving letter of February 14th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution which you have made to the Shrine of the Bab is very greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The work on the dome of the Shrine is going forward quite satisfactorily. The brim of the dome has been finished. As additional units of the building are completed, it adds to the stateliness of the entire structure, and permits one to realize how beautiful it is going to be.

The Guardian very deeply appreciates the wonderful work you are doing in connection with the spread of the Faith.

The Eskimo booklet which you submitted for his approval he feels should be submitted to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States for their review. The reason for this is that they are closely in touch with the teaching work, and therefore well qualified to decide just what should and what should not be included in such a pamphlet.

He hopes you and Frances Wells will work very closely with the National Spiritual Assembly in connection with this important service.

The Guardian is extremely anxious that the Eskimos be brought into the Faith. He values very highly indeed the very wonderful services rendered by Mrs. Wells. He feels that she has sacrificed very deeply in order to carry the light of guidance to the seeking peoples of the world, particularly in Alaska, and now with the Eskimos. You may be sure the Guardian will pray for her spiritual success and her spiritual happiness.

The Guardian will likewise be very happy to pray for Mrs. Hadley [52] Ferguson of Fairbanks, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Greene, Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Pirkey, Mrs. Perry Bane, and Dr. Saul Mackoff.

The Guardian has communicated with the National Spiritual Assembly with regard to the efforts being made by yourself and Mrs. Wells as well as others in connection with the introduction of the Faith amongst the Eskimos, asking them to render every possible assistance to this most important work. It is impossible to let you know how important the Guardian feels the introduction of the Faith amongst the Eskimos is at this particular time.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary

P.S.-The draft of your pamphlet is being sent direct to the National Spiritual Assembly.


(63) December 7, 1953

All Pioneers:

Dearly Beloved Friends,

The beloved Guardian sends you his loving greetings, and he assures you of his prayers in your behalf.

You will be most happy to know that at this time there is only one country, Chagos Archipelago, which has not been assigned to a settler, outside of the countries which are under Iron Curtain influence. More pioneers are arriving at their posts daily, so that at the present time, 71 of the new countries of the Crusade have been opened to the Faith.

You are now the representative of the Faith in your area, and the beloved Guardian feels assured that you will arise to the great opportunity that has come to you, to become the one to quicken the souls in your virgin territory and become the spiritual conqueror of that new land. The Guardian realizes you will have many problems and difficulties, but he urges you to persevere under all circumstances; not to become disheartened in any way, but relying solely upon Baha'u'llah and His quickening Spirit, arise at once to carry forward the teaching work.

The Guardian makes the following suggestions with regard to teaching in virgin areas, at this critical time:
1. No publicity should be secured.
2. No articles should be placed in newspapers or magazines.
3. Do not contact Authorities or Political Leaders.
[53]

4. Do not discuss Government policies in any way.
5. No effort should be made toward a public proclamation of the Faith.
6. Proceed with great caution.
7. Be very wise in the manner in which the Teachings of the Faith are presented.
8. Make friends, and when these friends gain confidence in you and you in them, gradually confirm them in the Faith.
9. What is needed is a complete reliance upon Baha'u'llah; pure consecration to the Faith, and then energetic but wise presentation of the Divine teachings. Such selfless sacrificial devotion will attract the divine confirmations, and gradually you will confirm souls who will join you as strong supporters of the Faith in your area.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Secretary-General
International Baha'i Council


(64) December 13, 1953

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of October 9th was duly received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

He very deeply appreciates the contribution which you have made in behalf of the Eskimos of Alaska. Receipt therefor is enclosed herewith. It is fitting that the Eskimos of Alaska be associated with the work of the Shrine of the Bab, and your having made this gift in their behalf is very appropriate, especially as you are endeavoring to work with the Eskimos in that country.

The Guardian feels that you should write to the American National Spiritual Assembly in detail concerning the problem of Groups, Assemblies, etc. outside of Fairbanks. Certainly some basis should be set up for the establishment of such Groups and Assemblies, and he feels sure that within the principles that have already been enunciated, the American National Spiritual Assembly can properly handle the matter.

At his direction I am sending a copy of this letter to the National Assembly, so that they will be informed of the matter when you write to them.
[54]

The Guardian greatly values your sacrificial and devoted services to the Faith. He is praying in your behalf. He likewise will pray for the friends in Alaska, and also for those who are being attracted to the Faith, particularly Mr. English, who is half Eskimo.

The Guardian was deeply appreciative of the spirit which animated you in preparing the tape recording of the Ridvan Feast held in the home of an Eskimo family in Fairbanks.

With warm Baha'i greetings, I am
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(65) December 18, 1953

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving communication of December 5th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge it on his behalf.

The contribution which you have made to the Shrine of the Bab is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The beloved Guardian is very happy because of the response of the friends throughout the world to the Ten Year Crusade. All of the virgin areas, with the exception of the Iron Curtain countries, are settled or assigned to pioneers. There are now over seventy of the virgin areas settled by pioneers, which bring the number of countries within the pale of the Faith to over two hundred.

The Guardian is now deeply concerned with the development of the Faith in the homelands. If the Faith is not developed and spread in the homelands, it will ultimately affect the success of the work in foreign lands. The Guardian therefore hopes that the believers who have not been able to go to foreign areas will, in accordance with the Master's instructions, scatter to the goal cities in the homelands, and thus aid in the establishment of Spiritual Assemblies.

What is needed to achieve success in the teaching field is a complete dedication on the part of the individual, consecration to the glorious task of spreading the Faith, and the living of the Baha'i life, because that creates the magnet for the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit which quickens the new soul. Thus, the individual should be as a reed, through which the Holy Spirit may flow, to give new life to the seeking soul.

One should search out those who are receptive to the Faith, and then concentrate on those persons in their teaching.
[55]

The Baha'is in Alaska have a special responsibility, and that is to spread the Faith rapidly in that vast country. The success of the teaching work done by the Baha'is of Alaska will determine how soon a National Spiritual Assembly will be established in your country.

The beloved Guardian is praying for the success of your efforts. He sends his loving greetings to you.

With warm Baha'i love,
Leroy Ioas
Assistant Secretary


(66) January 9, 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian greatly appreciated the spirit of your loving letter of December 28th, addressed to me, and has asked me to assure you of his prayers in your behalf, for the success of the noble mission you have undertaken. He will pray that the divine confirmations may be with you always, so that many souls may find eternal life, in that far off land, through your devoted and sacrificial efforts.

He was pleased with the establishment of the fund for the Hazira for Alaska. It is his hope, the Friends will arise with renewed effort in the Teaching Field, so many new centers and Assemblies may be established, thus enabling Alaska to achieve its supreme goal of the NSA early in the Ten-Year Plan. Then the time will be ripe for the building of the Hazira, for which the Friends are now contributing funds.

With loving Baha'i greetings, I am,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(67) February 20, 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of February 8th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge it on his behalf. Your contribution to the international interests of the Faith is greatly appreciated by him. Receipt is enclosed herewith.

The Guardian is very happy with the development of the teaching work in the virgin areas of the Ten-Year Crusade. Over 84 of the countries have [56] now been settled, bringing the number of countries within the pale of the Faith to over 216.

The Guardian is hopeful that the friends at home will arise with the same spirit of sacrifice and determination as the pioneers abroad, and teach and spread the Faith.

More Baha'is, more Groups, more Assemblies, are the immediate goals before the friends at home. He feels sure the friends will arise as never before, and filled with the Holy Spirit, quicken the seeking souls, leading many to the bourn of immortality.

Dedication to the heavenly task, complete consecration to the noble mission, and living the life, are the requirements for success in the teaching field.

The beloved Guardian greatly values the active services of you two devoted workers in the Faith. As you know, the Guardian feels that the future of Alaska is very important indeed, particularly the city of Anchorage. One of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade is the establishment of a National Assembly in Alaska. This great bounty carries with it great responsibilities; and therefore the Guardian is hopeful that each and every Baha'i in Alaska will redouble their efforts in order to spread the Faith far and wide, and to bring many new souls into the Faith.

The Guardian feels sure that you two will render distinguished and outstanding services in connection with the development of the Cause in Alaska during the present Crusade. He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving greetings.

With warm Baha'i love,
Leroy Ioas


(68) April 12, 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your loving letter of March 16th has been received through the courtesy of Mrs. Tuttle.

We have prayed at the Shrines for the solution of your problems; that all obstacles may be removed from your path, and that your true field of Baha'i service may become clear and evident.

As a general principle, the Guardian has established the order of importance in Baha'i service as follows: First, Pioneering in one of the virgin areas of the Ten Year Crusade. Second, Pioneering in one of the consolidation areas of the Ten Year Crusade. Third, Settlement and Teaching in one of the goal cities of the home front campaign. This of [57] course would include developing the Faith in Communities where there is already a Group or isolated Baha'is.

The Guardian feels that it is advisable for every individual, after his own prayers and meditations and seeking of guidance, to consult with the appropriate committee appointed by the National Assembly. They are in touch with the ramifications of the Campaign, and are qualified to give sound advice.

So far as your personal affairs are concerned, the Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf, that they may be clarified for you. Of course the question of love and marriage is something that can only be determined by the individual.

So far as the publication of the pamphlet in Eskimo is concerned, it probably would be advisable for you to write the National Assembly on this important matter, asking them what the present status is, and if you can assist in any way.

With loving Baha'i greetings, I am,
Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas
Secretary-General


(69) May 7, 1954

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of April 21st has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He appreciated your loving thought in sending him Ridvan Greetings from a new Alaskan Center.14

He attaches the greatest importance to the spread of the Faith in that territory, because, as you know, it is destined to have a National Spiritual Assembly of its own ere the termination of the Ten Year Plan; and the sooner the believers can open up new centers and establish new Spiritual Assemblies, the sooner will the happy day come when Alaska will be independent, and have its own national Baha'i Body.

He assures you he will certainly pray that your sacrifices and your services may be richly rewarded.

He urges you to concentrate on attracting the natives as much as possible, by that he means the Eskimos. These people have a right to hear of the glorious message of Baha'u'llah, and he hopes you will be instrumental in attracting many of them to the Faith.

With warmest Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani
[58]

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for your success and spiritual advancement,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(70) May 14, 1954

Dear Baha'i Friends:

Your letter of March 19th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is delighted to see that you are in one of the goal cities in Alaska, and that you have been joined by Miss Meyer. He feels sure that this nucleus will soon attract to itself sufficient new Baha'is to create a Spiritual Assembly.15

He urges you to persevere, and assures you of his prayers for your success.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani


(71) July 20, 1954

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of June 5th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He will pray that your personal affairs may work out happily. He fully approves of your going to Selewik, where you can be of greater service to the Faith than in Fairbanks, where there are now a number of Baha'is, until such time as you can arrange to carry the Teachings into the far north.

He assures you his loving prayers will always surround you in your devoted efforts to serve the Faith so dear to your heart.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, remove all obstacles from your path,and enable you to promote the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi
[59]


(72) December 23, 1954

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your letter of December 15th has been received by the beloved Guardian; and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He is happy to know that you are engaged in the service of the Faith, and will pray that you may be strengthened to perform befittingly your part, and may be instrumental in guiding others to this great Cause.

He urges you to teach all you can, both in Anchorage, and, if possible, in surrounding towns. As you know, Alaska is to establish its own National Spiritual Assembly during the World Crusade; and the first step is the formation of a sufficient number of Local Spiritual Assemblies.

In his visits to the Holy Shrines, he will remember all the members of your family. He hopes your two dear children will become pure and noble examples of the Baha'i life, and worthy instruments for the service of the Cause.

He will also remember in his supplications all the dear friends in that land.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, and enable you to promote the vital interest of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(73) February 20, 1955

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of February 10th, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

In view of the fact that he hopes that in the not-too-distant future Alaska will have its own Spiritual Assembly, he advises you to remain in Alaska, and try to find employment in some place other than Anchorage, where you can assist in establishing another Local Spiritual Assembly. There must be a sufficient number of local Assemblies in Alaska in order to form a broad basis for the National Body to be erected upon. He feels that this would be the greatest service you could render at this time.

Assuring you of his appreciation of your devotion to the Faith, and of his prayers for your success,

With loving greetings,
R. Rabbani
[60]

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for your success and spiritual advancement,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(74) August 26, 1955

Dear Baha'i Sister:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of July 15th, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He deeply appreciates your devotion and service to the Faith.

You must not become discouraged, but strive diligently to consolidate the Faith in that important area. He feels the Haziratu'l-Quds itself will prove to be an instrument to attract new souls to the Cause.

He assures you of his prayers for the success of your labours, and will also pray for all the Baha'is in Anchorage.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

Assuring you of my loving prayers for the realization of your heart's desire,

Your true brother,
Shoghi


(75) November 11, 1956

Dear Baha'i Brother:

Your loving letter of October 31st has been received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf. The contribution which you have made to the International Fund is greatly appreciated. Receipt is enclosed.

Alaska is a most important country, especially mentioned by Abdu'l-Baha in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. The Friends there must arise with renewed effort to spread the Glad Tidings and win souls to the Cause of God. There should be many assemblies, groups and Isolated centers, for the formation of the National Assembly, and its vigorous functioning.
[61]

The Guardian was happy to learn that Alaska is awake to the Faith, as never before. It therefore remains to see what the Friends will do; for it is now in their hands to raise the heights of their spiritual endeavors.

The Guardian assures you, and all the Friends in Alaska of his prayers in their behalf; for the success of their work; and the confirmation of many souls in the Kingdom of God.

He sends you his loving Greetings,

Faithfully yours,
Leroy Ioas


(76) January 24, 1957

Dear Baha'i Friends:

The beloved Guardian has received your letter of January 3rd, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He was very happy to hear of the declaration of Miss Johnson,16 and particularly of the translation into Aleut of the excerpt from Baha'u'llah's Writings. Likewise, he was very happy to know that you are building a Baha'i Center,17 which he will consider as an auxiliary to the other goals the friends are winning all over the world.

Perhaps one should not approach the people in that country18 on the basis of religion, but rather through the social teachings of the Faith and its Laws, and make them understand the need for World Order, rather than giving them the religious aspect first, when they are so fanatically attached to their church.

He will certainly pray that you may find receptive souls, and the slow work of conversion be begun. No doubt once they embrace the Faith, they will be very staunch.

Assuring you all of his loving prayers and his appreciation of your persevering services,

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you, aid you to extend the range of your meritorious services to His Faith, and win memorable victories in the days to come.

Your true brother,
Shoghi
[62]


(77) April 20, 1957

Dear Baha'i Sister:

Your letter of April 5th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.

He feels that now that you have found the thing you were searching for inwardly, and have this added joy in your life of our glorious Faith, you should be kinder to your husband and more considerate than ever, and do everything in your power to make him feel that this has not taken you away from him, but only made your love for him and your desire to be a good wife to him, greater. Whether he will ultimately be able to become a Baha'i or not, is something that only time can tell; but there is no doubt where your duty lies, and that is to make him appreciate the fact that your new affiliation has not interfered in any way with his home life or his marriage, but on the contrary, has strengthened both.

It is very difficult when one has found what one knows is the truth, to sit by and see a dear and close relative completely blind to it. The temptation is to try and "stir them up and make them see the light", but this is often disastrous. Silence, love and forbearance will win greater victories in such cases. However, your husband has no right to ask you to give up being a Baha'i. That is going too far. Nobody should trespass on the sacred bond every human being has a right to have with their Creator.

The Guardian assures you he will pray that you may be guided to do the right thing at this difficult time, and that your husband's attitude may change.

With warm Baha'i greetings,
R. Rabbani

[From the Guardian:]

May the Beloved bless, guide and sustain you, aid you to overcome your difficulties,and enable you to promote effectively the vital interests of His Faith.

Your true brother,
Shoghi
[65]


PART IV:
Telegrams to Pioneers.


(78) To a Knight of Baha'u'llah arriving at Kodiak:

July 14, 1953
ASSURE FERVENT PRAYERS. SHOGHI


(79) To Knights of Baha'u'llah upon reaching Unalaska:

August 14, 1953
LOVING PRAYERS SURROUNDING YOU. SHOGHI


(80) To the pioneers who filled the post at Barrow:

July 5, 1955
DELIGHTED ASSURE PRAYERS. SHOGHI
[66]

[67]


PART V:

Statements on Various Subjects. These statements are extracted from letters to individual believers. These extracts are not found elsewhere in this compilation. They are from letters written by the Guardian's secretary at his specific direction. The arrangement is according to subject matter.

[69]


(81) ALASKA-Important

Your letter to our beloved Guardian was received, dated September 10th, and he is very happy to welcome you into the service of this glorious Faith, and especially to see that you are going to serve in Alaska, a country to which he attaches great importance.


(82) ALASKA-Incorporation of L.S.A. and growth

He was also delighted to hear of the incorporation of Anchorage. The Faith is certainly going ahead by leaps and bounds in the "barren North"!


(83) ALASKA-Spirit of confidence

He was delighted with all the good news you conveyed of the progress of the Cause in Alaska, the radio broadcasts, the new believers, and the spirit of confidence and devotion which animates you all in serving our precious Faith.


(84) ALASKA-Unity of believers

He was very happy to hear of the unity of the Alaskan Baha'is; they are a Community particularly dear to his heart, and he hopes that in the years to come the Cause will make remarkable progress in that land.


(85) ANTI-CHRIST

We do not believe in Anti-Christ in the sense the Christians do. Anyone who violently and determinedly sought to oppose the Manifestation could be called an "anti-Christ," such as the Vazir in the Bab's day, Haji Mirza Aqasi.


(86) CHRIST-RESURRECTION

We do not believe that there was a bodily resurrection after the [70] crucifixion of Christ, but that there was a time after His ascension when His disciples perceived spiritually His true greatness and realized He was eternal in being. This is what has been reported symbolically in the New Testament and been misunderstood. His eating with His disciples after resurrection is the same thing.


(87) CHRIST-Virgin Birth

What science calls a virgin birth we do not associate with that of Jesus Christ, which we believe to have been a miracle and a sign of His Prophethood. In this matter we are in entire agreement with the most orthodox church views.


(88) FEAR-Overcoming fear

He will certainly pray that you may entirely over-come your fear-complex. When you concentrate your thoughts on realizing that you now belong to Baha'u'llah, are His servant whom He loves and will always help, if you ask Him to, and that the great spiritual strength of the Cause of God is behind you for you to draw upon, you will soon see your fears melting away.


(89) FOOD-Storage

With regard to the storing of food-this is something which the Spiritual Assembly will have to determine, based on local conditions; and based on discussions with Local Authorities. The Guardian feels it is not a subject which can be generally legislated upon.


(90) GOD-Nature of our Knowledge

We find God only through the Intermediary of His Prophet. We see the Perfection of God in His Prophets. Time and space are physical things; God, the Creator, is not a "place" as we conceive of place in physical terms. God is the Infinite Essence, the Creator. We cannot picture Him or His state, but if we did, we would be His equals, not His creatures. God is never flesh, but mirrored in the attributes of His Prophets we see His Divine characteristics and perfections.


(91) IMMORTALITY-Cause of Happiness

He will pray for the progress and happiness of the soul of your dear daughter in the invisible, spiritual worlds. He feels your attitude in this physical separation from her is exemplary, and is causing her great happiness now.
[71]


(92) INVESTMENTS

He leaves such matters as investments, etc., to the discretion of individuals who are free to consult experts and make their own decisions, and he feels this applies also to the shares in the prospective oil land which you asked his advice about.


(93) MANIFESTATIONS-Future Manifestations

The bud, the flower, the fruit are only symbols to convey to us the sense of the progress being made by man in receiving ever fuller Revelations from God. In spite of the vast spiritual significance of what Baha'u'llah has brought to the world we humans have infinite progress to make in the future. Future Prophets will bring us new laws suitable to our state of development and continue to educate us on this planet, but they will be under the shadow of Baha'u'llah for five thousand centuries.


(94) PHOTOGRAPHS-of the Master

There is no objection to your copying pictures of the Master for your friends, but do not do it on a wholesale scale. He has always preferred that the friends should have the Master's photo rather than his own.


(95) PRAYER

We cannot know God directly, but only through His Prophets. We can pray to Him, realizing that through His Prophets we know Him, or we can address our prayer in thought to Baha'u'llah, not as God, but as the Door to our knowing God.


(96) PRE-EXISTENCE-of Prophets

The Prophets, unlike us, are pre-existent. The soul of Christ existed in the spiritual world before His birth in this world. We cannot imagine what that world is like, so words are inadequate to picture His state of being.


(97) JOSEPH SMITH-Statements in Book of Mormon

As there is nothing specific about Joseph Smith in the teachings, the Guardian has no statement to make on his position or about the accuracy of any statement in the Book of Mormon regarding American history or its peoples. This is a matter for historians to pass upon.


(98) SOUL-Origin

The soul or spirit of the individual comes into being with the conception of his physical body.
[72]


(99) STUDY

Shoghi Effendi advises you to study "Some Answered Questions" and the "Dispensation of Baha'u'llah" which help you to grasp these questions.


(100) TEACHINGS-Acceleration

The Guardian was very happy to learn that the teaching work in Alaska is being accelerated. May the momentum being gained, not be lost, but on the other hand intensified, so the forthcoming National Assembly may have a wide and strong base.

The world is seeking for a solution for its increasing problems, and if the friends arise with the dynamic spirit of the Faith, assured of final victory, many seeking souls will enter the Faith, and find eternal life.


(101) TEACHING-Importance

The more one observes the conditions of the world and the terrible problems confronting humanity, the more deeply one realizes that the only remedy is that which Baha'u'llah has brought, and yet, alas, the masses of the people seem to not yet be aware that the way out of our problems can only be a divine way, given by something far greater than human understanding! However, many souls are seriously thinking and seeking, and the Baha'is must try to bring the knowledge of the teachings to all, so that those prepared to accept may not be denied the Message.


(102) TEACHING-Participation of Children

He is happy that the children are being attracted. They are the pillars of the future, and should be trained and encouraged in every way, to learn the details of the teachings, and how to teach others. For the true source of existence is the diffusing of Glad Tidings.


(103) TEACHING-Remaining at Post

He would certainly advise you to remain in Alaska and continue to teach and give the small but devoted Community there your active support.


(104) TEACHING-Teaching Relatives

He would not advise you to in any way force the teachings on your husband, but rather through prayer, love and example attract his heart to what he will be forced to see has not only made you a happier person [73] but a better wife and mother than ever before. It is often most difficult to teach those nearest to us, but the Guardian will earnestly pray that your husband and children will join you in serving this wonderful Cause.
[77]


APPENDIX:


NOTES

1. (Letter No. 1)
Honor Kempton was the first Pioneer to Alaska under the first Seven Year Plan.

2. (Letter No. 2)
Janet Whitenack (Stout) was the first person to enroll in the Faith in Alaska during the first Seven Year Plan.

3. (Letter No. 4)
Janet Whitenack (Stout) had secured a school teaching position in the village of Tuluksak on the Kuskokwim River.

4. (Letter No. 5)
Melba Call (King) was the first Eskimo to become a Baha'i. While she was born and raised in Alaska, she was residing in New Mexico when she heard of the Faith and became a Baha'i.

5. (Letter No. 17)
Based on these directions from the Guardian, the first Haziratu'l-Quds was purchased inside the City limits at 810-8th Avenue. At that time (1955) the population of Anchorage was less than 25,000 concentrated around what is now downtown Anchorage. Following the earthquake in 1964, it was necessary to abandon the original Haziratu'l-Quds. The property was sold for $20,000 and a diligent year-long effort was made to find a suitable replacement. Nothing appropriate could be found inside the city limits within the price range. Guidance was requested from the Universal House of Justice. In a letter dated May 11, 1965, they stated the following, "...we feel that it is more important that you should acquire a national Haziratu'l-Quds for Alaska without delay. Preferably is should be within the civic limits of Anchorage but if you cannot find a suitable building which can be purchased for the $20,000 which you have available, you should look for a location in the immediate suburbs of Anchorage...."

6. (Letter No. 27)
Mrs. Sarah Mary ("Granny") Roberts was 87 years old when she became a Baha'i.

7. (Letter No. 27)
Joyce Anderson Combs was the first Tlingit Indian [78] to become a Baha'i in Alaska. The first Alaskan Native to become a Baha'i while living in Alaska was Agnes Parent (Harrison).

8. (Letter No. 29)
Joyce Campbell (Baldwin).

9. (Letter No. 35)
Martha Brown (Reed).

10. (Letter No. 44)
Arthur and Wilma Gregory and Vern and Evelyn Huffman.

11. (Letter No. 50)
This ringstone was given by the Greatest Holy Leaf to Mrs. Marie Lowell of Santa Barbara, California who gave it to Frances Wells. Mrs. Wells gave it to the Alaska National Archives.

12. (Letter No. 57)
Miss Honor Kempton served in Luxembourg after leaving Alaska.

13. (Letter No. 57)
Miss Dagmar Dole came to Alaska shortly after the first Local Spiritual Assembly was formed. She pioneered to Europe and is buried in Switzerland. The Guardian said she was a "distinguished consecrated pioneer."

14. (Letter No. 69)
Seward was opened by the pioneering of the Edgar Russell family.

15. (Letter No. 70)
This letter so encouraged the friends when it was re-read a year and a half later that it changed attitudes from one of discouragement to confidence and enthusiasm which resulted in the formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of Ketchikan the following Ridvan.

16. (Letter No. 76)
Janet Johnson (Smith) later became the Secretary of the Alaska National Spiritual Assembly.

17. (Letter No. 76)
The Baha'i Center at Unalaska was dedicated by Florence Mayberry at the first public meeting in February, 1958.

18. (Letter No. 76)
Aleutian Islands.
[79]


ADDRESSEES

Letters addressed to individuals by letter number. Only letters presented in their entirety are indicated.

1. Honor Kempton
2. Janet B. Whitenack (Stout)
3. Honor Kempton
4. Janet B. Whitenack (Stout)
5. Melba M. Call (King)
6. Janet B. Whitenack (Stout)
56. Honor Kempton
57. Betty Becker
58. Frances L. Wells
59. Melva Pippel
60. Margaret Pirkey
61. Frances L. Wells
62. Margaret Pirkey
63. Jenabe and Elaine Caldwell and family
64. Frances L. Wells
65. Robert E. (ÒPatÓ) and Georgine Moul
66. Jenabe and Elaine Caldwell and family
67. Verne and Janet Stout
68. Margaret Pirkey
69. Edgar Russell
70. Robert E. (ÒPatÓ) and Georgine Moul
71. Frances L. Wells
72. Howard J. Brown
73. Rose Perkal (Gates)
74. Mable Amidon
75. Vernon Huffman
76. Jenabe and Elaine Caldwell and family
77. Name withheld by request
78. Rose Perkal (Gates)
79. Jenabe and Elaine Caldwell and family
80. Margaret Pirkey and Frances L. Wells

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