(Norway, 31 December)

Excerpts from a talk given by Counselor S. Youssefian 31 December at Bahá’í Winter School in Norway on the sacred act of teaching.

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When we are talking about conveying the Word of God, we are talking about something absolutely sacred – the Word of God is sacred. And the soul of man is also something sacred, the soul of any one is a sacred reality. It comes from God and to Him it will return. So whatever happens when we convey the Message and teach the Faith, this is something sacred; it cannot be manipulated.

There is a very special relationship between the soul and God. This territory between the soul and God is a sacred territory. When we get close to a person, we should have the same feeling we have when we get close to the holy places. So if we have this feeling in our heart, this attitude towards people, the manner we convey the word of God becomes different. Imagine that you are holding something in your hand, your heart and your mind, that is the most holy element of creation, which is the Word of God. What should be our attitude [in this situation]?

We don’t convert people. When we talk about the Faith we don’t try to convince people, much less confront them. This is far, far away from our understanding [of what] teaching is.

[will be expanded as the transcription process proceeds]

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The Shrine of the Báb

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THAT WHICH He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts; and of these the loved ones of Him Who is the Sovereign Truth are, in this Day, as the keys. Please God they may, one and all, be enabled to unlock, through the power of the Most Great Name, the gates of these cities.

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THE THINGS He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts, that He may cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane. Open, O people, the city of the human heart with the key of your utterance. Thus have We, according to a pre-ordained measure, prescribed unto you your duty.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings 241-242, 304

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(Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community – view here)