The first of these plans is now before us. Opening at Riḍván 1964, while the memories of the glorious Jubilee of 1963 still surge within our hearts, it must, during its nine-year course, witness a huge expansion of the Cause of God and universal participation by all believers in the life of that Cause. 1
The tide of victory which carried the Bahá’í World community to the celebrations of the Most Great Jubilee is still rising. A ceaseless shower of divine confirmation rains upon our efforts, its evidences apparent in the many noteworthy achievements of the few brief months since the launching of the Nine Year Plan. 2
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the revelation by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, in March and April 1916, of the first Tablets of the Divine Plan, has witnessed the conclusion of a feat of pioneering unparalleled in the annals of the Cause. 3
At the conclusion of the third year of the Nine Year Plan we acknowledge with thankful hearts the evidences of Divine favor with which Bahá’u’lláh unfailingly sustains and confirms the dedicated efforts of His servants everywhere, and we unhesitatingly affirm our confidence that the community of the Most Great Name can and will, by its determination and sacrificial efforts, achieve complete victory. 4
June 24, 1968 Message to the Bahá’ís of the World:
The majestic unfoldment of Bahá’u’lláh’s world-redeeming administrative system has been marked by the successive establishment of the various institutions and agencies which constitute the framework of that divinely created Order. Thus, more than a quarter of a century after the emergence of the first National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í world the Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God was formally established, with the appointment by the beloved Guardian, in conformity with the provisions of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá’s Will and Testament, of the first contingent of these high-ranking officers of the Faith. Following the passing of the Guardian of the Cause of God, it fell to the House of Justice to devise a way, within the Administrative Order, of developing “the Institution of the Hands of the Cause with a view to extension into the future of its appointed functions of protection and propagation,” and this was made a goal of the Nine Year Plan. Much thought and study has been given to the question over the past four years, and the texts have been collected and reviewed. During the last two months, this goal, as announced in our cable to the National Conventions, has been the object of prolonged and prayerful consultation between the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause of God. All this made evident the framework within which this goal was to be achieved, namely:
The Universal House of Justice sees no way in which additional Hands of the Cause of God can be appointed.
The absence of the Guardian of the Faith brought about an entirely new relationship between the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause and called for the progressive unfoldment by the Universal House of Justice of the manner in which the Hands of the Cause would carry out their divinely conferred functions of protection and propagation.
Whatever new development or institution is initiated should come into operation as soon as possible in order to reinforce and supplement the work of the Hands of the Cause while at the same time taking full advantage of the opportunity of having the Hands themselves assist in launching and guiding the new procedures.
Any such institution must grow and operate in harmony with the principles governing the functioning of the Institution of the Hands of the Cause of God.
In the light of these considerations the Universal House of Justice decided, as announced in its recent cable, to establish Continental Boards of Counselors for the protection and propagation of the Faith. Their duties will include directing the Auxiliary Boards in their respective areas, consulting and collaborating with National Spiritual Assemblies, and keeping the Hands of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice informed concerning the conditions of the Cause in their areas. 5
The continued progress of the Cause of God stands in vivid contrast to the chronic unrest afflicting human society, a contrast which the events of the past year, both within and without the Faith, have only served to intensify. Amidst the disintegration of the old order the Cause of God has pursued its majestic course, extending the range of its activities and influence and accomplishing a further development of its administrative system. 6
16 November 1969 Message to the Bahá’ís of the World:
In the worsening world situation, fraught with pain of war, violence and the sudden uprooting of long-established institutions, can be seen the fulfillment of the prophecies of Bahá’u’lláh and the oft-repeated warnings of the Master and the beloved Guardian about the inevitable fate of a lamentably defective social system, an unenlightened leadership and a rebellious and unbelieving humanity. Governments and peoples of both the developed and developing nations, and other human institutions, secular and religious, finding themselves helpless to reverse the trend of the catastrophic events of the day, stand bewildered and overpowered by the magnitude and complexity of the problems facing them. At this fateful hour in human history many, unfortunately, seem content to stand aside and wring their hands in despair or else join in the babel of shouting and protestation which loudly objects, but offers no solution to the woes and afflictions plaguing our age. 7
BAHÁ’Í WORLD COMMUNITY ENTERING SEVENTH YEAR NINE YEAR PLAN HAS AMPLY DEMONSTRATED ABILITY SCALE HEIGHTS DEVOTION SACRIFICE WIN ASTONISHING VICTORIES WORLD-REDEEMING WORLD-HEALING WORLD-UNITING FAITH. AT THIS RIḌVÁN EXTEND LOVING WELCOME ELEVEN NEW NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES NOW FORMING SEVEN IN AFRICA ONE IN AMERICAS ONE IN ASIA TWO IN AUSTRALASIA RAISING TO NINETY-FOUR NUMBER SUPPORTING PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE. MOVED PAY LOVING TRIBUTE HANDS CAUSE GOD THEIR BRILLIANT SERVICES BLAZING TEACHING TRAILS SURFACE PLANET UPLIFTING ADVISING ASSEMBLIES FRIENDS ALL CONTINENTS. IN VIEW EFFECTIVE REINFORCEMENT THIS NOBLE WORK BY ABLE DEDICATED CONTINENTAL BOARDS COUNSELORS THEIR AUXILIARY BOARDS TOGETHER WITH GROWING NEED AND EXPANSION WORLD COMMUNITY ANNOUNCE AUGMENTATION VITAL INSTITUTION THROUGH APPOINTMENT THREE ADDITIONAL COUNSELORS IRAJ AYMAN WESTERN ASIA ANNELIESE BOPP BETTY REED EUROPE AND AUTHORIZATION APPOINTMENT FORTY-FIVE ADDITIONAL AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS NINE AFRICA SIXTEEN ASIA TWO AUSTRALASIA EIGHTEEN WESTERN HEMISPHERE. CALLING FORMATION FOUR NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES RIḌVÁN 1971 LESOTHO SEAT MASERU IVORY COAST MALI AND UPPER VOLTA SEAT ABIDJAN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SEAT PORT OF SPAIN SOLOMON ISLANDS SEAT HONIARA. NINE YEAR PLAN ALREADY MARKED GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS PIONEERING PROCLAMATION RECOGNITION FAITH UPSURGE YOUTH ACQUISITION PROPERTIES COMMENCEMENT CONSTRUCTION PANAMA TEMPLE DEVELOPMENTS WORLD CENTER. URGENT IMMEDIATE VITAL NEED CONCENTRATE ATTENTION INCREASE NUMBER LOCALITIES LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES BELIEVERS FILL REMAINING PIONEER POSTS. LAST RIḌVÁN CALL RAISED SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE PIONEERS MINIMUM REQUIREMENT. FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE SPECIFIC POSTS STILL UNFILLED. TOTAL VICTORY REQUIRES MORE PIONEERS MORE FUNDS MORE NEW BELIEVERS. HANDS CAUSE COUNSELORS BOARD MEMBERS NATIONAL LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES EVERY SINGLE FOLLOWER BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SUMMONED UTMOST EFFORT REMAINING YEARS NINE YEAR PLAN. ACHIEVEMENT THIS STEP MASTER’S DIVINE PLAN WILL ENDOW COMMUNITY CAPACITY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES UNDERTAKE NEXT STAGE IMPLEMENTATION SUPREME PURPOSE BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S REVELATION UNIFICATION MANKIND ESTABLISHMENT LONG PROMISED KINGDOM GOD THIS EARTH. ASSURE ARDENT LOVING PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES. 8
On November 28th 1971 the Bahá’í World will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Passing of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, the Center of the Covenant, the Ensign of the Oneness of Mankind, the Mystery of God, an event which signalized at once the end of the Heroic Age of our Faith, the opening of the Formative Age and the birth of the Administrative Order, the nucleus and pattern of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. As we contemplate the fruits of the Master’s Ministry harvested during the first fifty years of the Formative Age, a period dominated by the dynamic and beloved figure of Shoghi Effendi, whose life was dedicated to the systematic implementation of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá and of the Tablets of the Divine Plan—the two charters provided by the Master for the administration and the teaching of the Cause of God—we may well experience a sense of awe at the prospect of the next fifty years. That first half-century of the Formative Age has seen the Bahá’í Community grow from a few hundred centers in 35 countries in 1921, to over 46,000 centers in 135 independent states and 182 significant territories and islands at the present day, has been marked by the raising throughout the world of the framework of the Administrative Order, which in its turn has brought recognition of the Faith by many governments and civil authorities and accreditation in consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and has witnessed the spread to many parts of the world of that “entry by troops” promised by the Master and so long and so eagerly anticipated by the friends. 9
The opening of the final year of the Nine Year Plan sees the Bahá’í world community poised for overwhelming victory. With grateful hearts we acknowledge the continuing confirmations which have attended its efforts and the Divine bounties which have never ceased to rain down upon this blessed, this ever-developing embryonic world order. 10
We announce with joyful and thankful hearts the completion in overwhelming victory of the world-encircling Nine Year Plan. The Army of Light has won its second global campaign; it has surpassed the goals set for expansion and has achieved a truly impressive degree of universal participation, the twin objectives of the Plan. With gratitude and love we testify to the unceasing confirmations which Bahá’u’lláh has showered upon His servants, enabling each and every one of us to offer Him some part of the labor, the devotion, the sacrifice, the supplication which He has so bountifully rewarded. At this Centenary of the Revelation of the Most Holy Book, the Community of the Most Great Name lays its tribute of victory at His feet, acknowledging that it is He Who has bestowed it. 11
- Universal House of Justice. “April 1964 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 2, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19640421_001/1#052168509 [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1965 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19650421_001/1#179013126. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1966 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19660421_001/1#088546253. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1967 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19670421_001/1#819707702. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “24 June 1968 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19680624_001/1#139243592. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1969 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19690421_001/1#326191831. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “16 November 1969 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19691116_001/1#537867499. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1970 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19700421_001/1#611058407. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1971 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19710421_001/1#194114209. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1972 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19720421_001/1#255180794. [return]
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1973 – The Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19730421_001/1#245056552. [return]