Deepening on Baha’i Elections – Day 1 of 5

A Deepening given in Hawaii to great success!
The deepening is used to prepare voters for unit conventions and to prepare voters for Assembly elections. 
This can also be found in Ruhi Book 8.2, Section 12 & 13. Download Deepening Here: PDF    DOCX

The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this
new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this
unique, this wondrous System– the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed. –-Baha’u’llah, 
Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp 77-88

The nature of Bahá’í elections
Given the importance of the subject, our discussion will enter into considerable detail, drawing
on passages written both by the Guardian, or on his behalf, and by the Universal House of
Justice. You are encouraged to take the time necessary to go through the quotations carefully and
reflect on the features of the electoral process that distinguish Bahá’í administration so sharply
from political processes in the world today. Remember that we are interested not in the
mechanics of Bahá’í elections but in the principles underlying their operation that Shoghi
Effendi expounded as he strove to bring the Administrative Order into being.

Participating in the Bahá’í electoral process is, of course, a duty enjoined on every believer. We
each discharge this duty by taking part annually in the election of the Local Spiritual Assembly
that serves our community and in the unit convention held in the area where we reside. A small
number of believers in every country are also elected as delegates to vote each year for the
National Spiritual Assembly at the National Convention. Further, in countries where applicable,
the members of the Local Spiritual Assemblies in a region vote for those who will serve on the
Regional Bahá’í Council. Let us begin our study of the electoral process by reading the following
passage, which describes the attitude that Shoghi Effendi urges the believers to adopt towards the
voting process:

“On the election day, the friends must whole-heartedly participate in the elections,
in unity and amity, turning their hearts to God, detached from all things but Him,
seeking His guidance and supplicating His aid and bounty.” –In a letter written by
Shoghi Effendi, 27 February 1923 to the Bahá’í in the East (translated from the Persian)

Regarding the qualifications for membership on an Assembly, the Guardian encourages the
friends to bear the following in mind:

“. . . it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of
passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of
only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of
selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature
experience.” —Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, pp. 87-88

He gives the following further instructions in this respect:

“Due regard must be paid to their actual capacity and present attainments, and only
those who are best qualified for membership, be they men or women, and
irrespective of social standing, should be elected to the extremely responsible
position of a member of the Bahá’í Assembly.” —In a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, 
27 December 1923 to the NSA of the Baha’is of India and Burma

Photo By Dragfyre (Own work)

Baha’i National Election, Danang 2009

[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 

 

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