Joy, focus, and a strong sense of purpose are characterizing consultations at the 12th International Baha’i Convention.
In an extraordinary display of unity in diversity, delegates from around the world have been describing developments in their Baha’i communities and sharing experiences that are yielding valuable lessons about community-building and social transformation.
“We are fully aware that in our work spiritual forces will assist us,” said Sophie Menard, a delegate from France. “But we will have to show a high level of devotion, sacrifice, and heroism.”
“We see our world changing,” said Dorothy Whyte, a delegate from Jamaica. “We see it demonstrated here at the International Convention. We can take what we are consulting on here, go home, and spread it throughout the entire world.”
“Humanity is going through two processes that are very clear—disintegration and integration,” said Plinio Lacayo, a delegate from Costa Rica. “The process of disintegration is advancing rapidly, and humanity is suffering. But because of this, we know that we have to work harder and harder. We have to be more intense, more active, and more constant.”
“I live on the small island of Yap,” said Sophia Laiyolap, a delegate from the Caroline Islands, addressing the Convention. “Just six years ago, the majority of the people on the island, including myself, were unaware of the person of Baha’u’llah. Today, there are more than 1,000 people who are connected and inspired by His teachings.”
“Such is the power of the teachings of Baha’u’llah that, even in territories in the middle of the ocean, its light can radiate,” said Ana Sancho, a delegate from the Canary Islands.
The convention will come to a close tomorrow. After further consultations, delegates will celebrate the 12th day of Ridvan (which means “paradise”), the last of the holy days commemorating the 12-day period when Baha’u’llah proclaimed, 155 years ago, his divine message to a band of companions in exile with him in Iraq:
Wert thou to reflect upon that which We have revealed unto thee, thou wouldst undoubtedly grasp Our purpose in this utterance and discover that which We have desired to impart unto thee within this paradise. Perchance thine eyes may rejoice in beholding it, thine ears take delight in hearing that which is recited therein, thy soul be enthralled by recognizing it, thy heart illumined by comprehending it, and thy spirit gladdened by the fragrant breezes that waft therefrom. Haply thou mayest attain unto the pinnacle of divine grace and abide within the Ridvan of transcendent holiness. – Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 43.