The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth everyone who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.
(Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, [the Book of Laws] Page 19)

By faith is meant,
first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.

(`Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i World Faith, Page 383)

                           To Live the Life:

"To be no cause of grief to anyone.

To be kind to all people and to love them with a pure spirit.

Should opposition or injury happen to us, to bear it, to be as kind as ever can be, and through all, to love the people.   Should calamity exist in the greatest degree, to rejoice, for these things are the gifts and favors of God.

To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults.

To look always at the good and not at the bad.  If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.

Never to allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.

To do all of our deeds in kindness.

To cut our hearts from ourselves and from the world.

To be humble.

To be servants of each other, and to know that we are less than anyone else.

To be as one soul in many bodies, for the more we love each other, the nearer we shall be to God; but to know that our love, our unity, our obedience must not be by confession, but of reality.

To act with cautiousness and wisdom.

To be truthful.

To be hospitable.

To be reverent.

To be the cause of healing for every sick one,
          a comforter for every sorrowful one,
          a pleasant water for every thirsty one.
          a heavenly table for every hungry one,
          a star to every horizon,
          a light for every lamp,
          a herald to everyone who yearns for the kingdom of God"

                                                                                                                        `Abdu'l-Bahá

      The wish of Abdu'l-Baha, that which attracts His good pleasure and, indeed, His binding command, is that Baha'is, in all matters, even in small daily transactions and dealings with others, should act in accordance with the divine Teachings. He has commanded us not to be content with lowliness, humility and meekness, but rather to become manifestations of selflessness and utter nothingness. Of old, all have been exhorted to loyalty and fidelity, compassion and love; in this supreme Dispensation, the people of Baha are called upon to sacrifice their very lives. Notice the extent to which the friends have been required in the Sacred Epistles and Tablets, as well as in our Beloved's Testament, to be righteous, well-wishing, forbearing, sanctified, pure, detached from all else save God, severed from the trappings of this world and adorned with the mantle of a goodly character and godly attributes.
         First and foremost, one should use every possible means to purge one's heart and motives, otherwise, engaging in any form of enterprise would be futile. It is also essential to abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation, inasmuch as their foul odour is soon detected by every man of understanding and wisdom. Moreover, the friends must observe the specific times for the remembrance of God, meditation, devotion and prayer, as it is highly unlikely, nay impossible, for any enterprise to prosper and develop when deprived of divine bestowals and confirmation. One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them...
         It is primarily through the potency of noble deeds and character, rather than by the power of exposition and proofs, that the friends of God should demonstrate to the world that what has been promised by God is bound to happen, that it is already taking place and that the divine glad-tidings are clear, evident and complete. For unless some illustrious souls step forth into the arena of service and shine out resplendent in the assemblage of men, the task of vindicating the truth of this Cause before the eyes of enlightened people would be formidable indeed. However, if the friends become embodiments of virtue and good character, words and arguments will be superfluous. Their very deeds will well serve as eloquent testimony, and their noble conduct will ensure the preservation, integrity and glory of the Cause of God.
(From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Baha'is of the East - translated from the Persian; Shoghi Effendi: Living the Life, Pages: 1-2)

Therefore, in thanksgiving for them ye must act in accordance with the teachings of Baha'u'llah. Ye must read the Tablets - the Hidden Words, Ishraqat, Glad Tidings - all the holy utterances, and act according to them. This is real thanksgiving, to live in accord with these utterances. This is true thankfulness and the divine bestowal. This is thanksgiving and glorification of God.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page: 237)

You must thank God that your efforts are high and noble, that your endeavors are worthy, that your intentions are centered upon the Kingdom of God and that your supreme desire is the acquisition of eternal virtues. You must act in accordance with these requirements. A man may be a Baha'i in name only. If he is a Baha'i in reality, his deeds and actions will be decisive proofs of it. What are the requirements? Love for mankind, sincerity toward all, reflecting the oneness of the world of humanity, philanthropy, becoming enkindled with the fire of the love of God, attainment to the knowledge of God and that which is conducive to human welfare.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page: 336)

It is your duty to be exceedingly kind to every human being, and to wish him well; to work for the upliftment of society; to blow the breath of life into the dead; to act in accordance with the instructions of Baha'u'llah and walk His path - until ye change the world of man into the world of God.
(`Abdu'l-Baha: Selections From the Writings of. `Abdu'l-Baha, Page: 90)

The chosen ones of God ... should not look at the depraved condition of the society in which they live, nor at the evidences of moral degradation and frivolous conduct which the people around them display. They should not content themselves merely with relative distinction and excellence. Rather they should fix their gaze upon nobler heights by setting the counsels and exhortations of the Pen of Glory as their supreme goal. Then it will be readily realized how numerous are the stages that still remain to be traversed and how far off the desired goal lies - a goal which is none other than exemplifying heavenly morals and virtues.
(From a letter dated 30 October 1924 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tihran, translated from the Persian)

The Baha'i standard is very high, more particularly when compared with the thoroughly rotten morals of the present world. But this standard of ours will produce healthier, happier, nobler people, and induce stabler marriages....
(From a letter dated 19 October 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer) (Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, Page: 49)

Regarding the   To Life the Life quote:

 I originally heard about `Abdu'l-Bahá's, To Life the Life, from Marion Rhodes. She asked me to find her a copy for some plaques she was planning to make.  As a collector of old Bahá'í material, I was able to locate it in the archives of an Bahá'í that had passed away.   With so many early Bahá'í documents and teaching materials, copies had been made and handed out. This was one such copy. Recently it was brought to my attention that It had been published in David Hofman's, The Renewal of Civilization, (1946 edition on pages 38-39, in the 1972 and later editions on page 62).

There is a question whether this is a straight quote from `Abdu'l-Bahá, or a compilation of comments made by `Abdu'l-Bahá. It appears that the consensus is the later. I tend to agree with that. To further convince me that it is a compilation, is the fact Mr. Hofman does not give a source for the quote. If you have any further information regarding this beautiful and poetic instruction on how we should always behave, please e-mail me. My search for its source continues.   


kjherman@rt66.com

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