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My father was a clergyman during the formative years of my life. Came across the Baha'i Faith and declared as a follower of Baha'u'llah when I was 20 years old in 1971 (no counting allowed, hear?). Over the intervening years, have done all the "normal" Baha'i things - served on various Local Assemblies, the odd committee, travelled, enjoyed the Fireside thing (still do), became a tutor for the Ruhi Program, and for a time served as Cluster Statistics Officer. Now retired (due to health, not age), leaving me plenty of time to develop my personal teaching goals and begin to work toward them. Married to the most beautiful person on this planet (though others may have a different viewpoint (grinning)), and a wonderful daughter between us. Live on some acreage, enjoy the company of the wildlife (many of whom seem to have adopted us).

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What is a Baha’i?

What is a Baha’i? An obvious question for a person who has just come across the Baha’i Faith, but likewise a question that people who have already professed their belief in Baha’u’llah should perhaps regularly ask themselves. And for others who may not profess acceptance of Baha’u’llah and His claims, but who chose to behave in an upright manner, the question obtains equal importance. In the Arabic Hidden Words, Baha’u’llah states:

O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.

An examination of the Baha’i Sacred Texts amply provides us with detailed information on what it means to be a Baha’i, and regular contemplation and application of this guidance will provide a light and a guide in which a person can place their deeds. Likewise, it provides a means of aiding one to set goals for improvement in behaviour and attitude. It must be made clear at the start, however, that the question asks not “who”, but “what” is a Baha’i. And in the light of the guidance in the Baha’i Sacred Texts, even the question of “who” cannot be assumed to be one who has recognised Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation of God for this day. An instance in point are these statements from Abdu’l-Baha: Continue reading