Celebrating Freedom and Individual Rights Part 2

"We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end"

Celebrating Freedom and Individual Rights Part 2

Please join us for PART 2 of our discussion on "Celebrating Freedom & Individual Rights,' this Sunday 7/9 at 11 am. at the Edmond Baha'i Center.

Thank you to all those who have been participating in our Sunday devotionals. The coffee is on at 10:30, so come early and stay late when you can. Please free to invite friends...See you then

11:00 Welcome and Introduction

Baha'i Prayer for America (performed by Remembrance Ensemble)

“Verily I Say” by Nadia & Roshan

Reading 1

All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.
— Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CIX

How long shall we drift on the wings of passion and vain desire; how long shall we spend our days like barbarians in the depths of ignorance and abomination? God has given us eyes, that we may look about us at the world, and lay hold of whatsoever will further civilization and the arts of living. He has given us ears, that we may hear and profit by the wisdom of scholars and philosophers and arise to promote and practice it. Senses and faculties have been bestowed upon us, to be devoted to the service of the general good; so that we, distinguished above all other forms of life for perceptiveness and reason, should labor at all times and along all lines, whether the occasion be great or small, ordinary or extraordinary, until all mankind are safely gathered into the impregnable stronghold of knowledge. We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfill his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice. “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”

The Secret of Divine Civilization ‘Abdu’lBahá

Reading 2

The Faith of God must be propagated through human perfections, through qualities that are excellent and pleasing, and spiritual behavior. If a soul of his own accord advances toward God he will be accepted at the Threshold of Oneness, for such a one is free of personal considerations, of greed and selfish interests, and he has taken refuge within the sheltering protection of his Lord. He will become known among men as trustworthy and truthful, temperate and scrupulous, high-minded and loyal, incorruptible and God-fearing. In this way the primary purpose in revealing the divine law—which is to bring about happiness in the after life and civilization and the refinement of character in this —will be realized.

The Secret of Divine Civilization ‘Abdu’lBahá

All the peoples of Europe, notwithstanding their vaunted civilization, sink and drown in this terrifying sea of passion and desire, and this is why all the phenomena of their culture come to nothing. Let no one wonder at this statement or deplore it. The primary purpose, the basic objective, in laying down powerful laws and setting up great principles and institutions dealing with every aspect of civilization, is human happiness; and human happiness consists only in drawing closer to the Threshold of Almighty God, and in securing the peace and well-being of every individual member, high and low alike, of the human race; and the supreme agencies for accomplishing these two objectives are the excellent qualities with which humanity has been endowed. A superficial culture, unsupported by a cultivated morality, is as “a confused medley of dreams,”  and external luster without inner perfection is “like a vapor in the desert which the thirsty dreameth to be water.”  For results which would win the good pleasure of God and secure the peace and well-being of man, could never be fully achieved in a merely external civilization.

The Secret of Divine Civilization ‘Abdu’lBahá

"O Thou Compassionate Lord" by Emily Price & Van Gilmer


Reading 3

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’lBahá

The Faith of the Blessed Beauty is summoning mankind to safety and love, to amity and peace; it hath raised up its tabernacle on the heights of the earth, and directeth its call to all nations. Wherefore, O ye who are God’s lovers, know ye the value of this precious Faith, obey its teachings, walk in this road that is drawn straight, and show ye this way to the people. Lift up your voices and sing out the song of the Kingdom. Spread far and wide the precepts and counsels of the loving Lord, so that this world will change into another world, and this darksome earth will be flooded with light, and the dead body of mankind will arise and live; so that every soul will ask for immortality, through the holy breaths of God.

11:30 Discussion

“Individual Rights and Freedom in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”

The Universal House of Justice

The Bahá'í World Centre

29 December 1988

11:55 Closing

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