Saturday, June 6, 2009

Every Word Is Endowed With A Spirit

Refining Utterance
"Because the Most Great Peace is the object of our longing, a primary effort of the Baha'i community is to reduce the incidence of conflict and contention, which are categorically forbidden in the Most Holy Book."

(Universal House of Justice, Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 14)


"...unity... is the alpha and omega of all Baha'i objectives."

(Universal House of Justice, May 19, 1994)


One of the purposes for the material presented here is to serve as an additional resource for Ruhi study circle participants studying Book 2,
Arising to Serve, "Deepening Themes," Section 4, pages 35-43. See Table of Linked Contents below.

This compilation was assembled around 1996. A resource for further guidance on several of the matters dealt with here is the latest edition of Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies: Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities.
Members of the Baha'i community of the United States of America may download it for free at
www.usbnc.org.


TABLE OF LINKED CONTENTS

1-5) Why God has given us the gift of speech.

6-16) How we should regard backbiting, slander, calumny, and gossip.

17-18) What if the things being said about others are true—is it still backbiting?

19-26) What the Baha'i Writings say about fault-finding and negative criticism of others.

27-29) What are the results of backbiting?

30-33) How can we learn not to concern ourselves with the faults of others?

34-37) What course of action should we take if someone wants us to listen to backbiting?

38-40) What should be done if someone persists in attempting to make us listen to backbiting or engages in other flagrant conduct injurious to the community? Is reporting it to the institutions of the Faith backbiting?

41-44) What should be our response as an individual if we are the target of slander?

45-56) Quarreling, harsh criticism, and hurt feelings within a Baha'i community have serious implications.

57-66) How should problems of harsh words and disunity be dealt with if they occur in a Baha'i community?

67-75) How should the friends express themselves in relating to the institutions of the Faith?

76-79) How should the Assemblies relate to the friends?

80-100) How can an individual go about refining the power of speech?
101-105) What about the value of silence?

106-114) The Baha'i writings explain what our speech should be like in relation to our actions.
Final Thoughts

Note: The headings, the numbers preceding the quotes and any words contained in brackets are from the compiler. The italics in extracts #12 and #59 are in the source material.


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