Deepening on Baha’i Elections – Day 3 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

In a global procession, ballots are cast for the Universal House of Justice
Those casting ballots were the members of the Baha’i National Spiritual Assemblies of the world.

In order for the individual believer to make a wise choice at the time of election, it is necessary,
Shoghi Effendi explains, for him or her to become fully involved in Bahá’í community life:

“Bahá’í electoral procedures and methods have, indeed, for one of their essential
purposes the development in every believer of the spirit of responsibility. By
emphasizing the necessity of maintaining his full freedom in the elections, they make
it incumbent upon him to become an active and well-informed member of the
Bahá’i community in which he lives.” –Shoghi Effendi, Letter of 4 February 1935
Lights of Guidance

In this light, the practice of nominating candidates for service, we are advised by the Guardian, is
alien to the spirit of Bahá’í elections:

“Bahá’í community life thus makes it a duty for every loyal and faithful believer to
become an intelligent, well-informed and responsible elector, and also gives him the
opportunity of raising himself to such a station. And since the practice of
nomination hinders the development of such qualities in the believer, and in
addition leads to corruption and partisanship, it has to be entirely discarded in all
Bahá’í elections.” —-Shoghi Effendi, Letter of 4 February 1935
Lights of Guidance

The Universal House of Justice explains further:

“The fundamental difference between the system of candidature and the Bahá’í
system is that, in the former, individuals, or those who nominate them, decide that
they should be placed in positions of authority and put themselves forward to be
voted into it. In the Bahá’í system it is the mass of the electorate which makes the
decision. If an individual ostentatiously places himself in the public eye with the
seeming purpose of getting people to vote for him, the members of the electorate
regard this as self-conceit and are affronted by it; they learn to distinguish between
someone who is well known as an unintentional result of active public service and
someone who makes an exhibition of himself merely to attract votes.” –(From a
communication dated 16 November 1988 written by the Universal House of Justice
to the International Teaching Center)

The following passage, written by the House of Justice, highlights a principle central both to the
electoral process and to service on administrative institutions:

“Election to an Assembly, from a Bahá’í point of view, is not a right that people are
entitled to, or an honor to which they should aspire; it is a duty and responsibility to
which they may be called. The purpose is that those who are elected to an Assembly
should be the most worthy for this service; this does not and cannot mean that all
those who are worthy will be elected.”

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