The Báb revealed this commentary in October or November of 1846 while He was in Isfahan -- during the time that He was a guest at the residence of the ‘Imam Jum'ih of that city. It was at the request of His host that the “Báb, one night, after supper, revealed His well-known commentary on the surih of Va'l-'Asr. Writing with astonishing rapidity, He, in a few hours, had devoted to the exposition of the significance of only the first letter of that surih -- a letter which Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i had stressed, and which Bahá'u'lláh refers to in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas -- verses that equalled in number a third of the Qur'án, a feat that called forth such an outburst of reverent astonishment from those who witnessed it that they arose and kissed the hem of His robe.” (God Passes By, p. 14) Interpreting various parts of the short Qur'ánic surih, the Báb discusses many fundamental issues in religion including how to recognize spiritual truth, the nature of the human being, the meaning of faith, the nature of good deeds, and the preconditions of spiritual journey. (Adapted from God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi, p. 14; and ‘Gate of the Heart’, by Nader Saiedi p. 34)
He was born into a distinguished Baha'i family in Tihran, Iran, in 1904. While receiving his formal education he showed considerable aptitude as a linguist, becoming proficient in Persian, Arabic, English, and French. For many years he was chief interpreter and director of the Education Department of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and developed an accelerated method of teaching Persian to English speakers. He later became secretary of the 'Iraqi Embassy in Tihran. He became known as an Old Testament scholar and was well versed in the history of the Baha'i Faith and other world religions. He was author of several books about the Baha'i Faith in Persian and English. In 1933 he married the secretary, friend, and companion of Keith Ransom-Kehler, Javidukht Javid.
At the relatively young age of 34 he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iran and served on that body for the next 21 years. He made trips to the Holy Land in 1939 and 1940, and served as the receiving and distribution conduit for communications from Shoghi Effendi for the Iranian believers -- a service he discharged for 17 years. He was also instrumental in securing many precious Babi and Baha'i archives for safe preservation in the Holy Land. These included the famous sword wielded in defense of the Babis by Mulla Husayn at Barfurush in 1848, when with one stroke he cut through a tree, the barrel of a gun and his adversary.
‘Abdu’l-Baha passed away in Haifa on 28 November, 1921, shortly after 1:00 AM.
In the land that we know as the Holy Land, in all its turbulent history of the last two thousand years, there had never been an event which could unite all its inhabitants of diverse faiths and origins and purposes, in a single expression of thought and feeling, as did the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Jews and Christians and Muslims and Druzes, of all persuasions and denominations; Arabs and Turks and Kurds and Armenians and other ethnic groups were united in mourning His passing, in being aware of a great loss they had suffered. (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 453)
Please visit the Baha’i Stories site for the following two accounts:
1. Less than five months before His ascension, ‘Abdu’l-Baha had beseeched God for release from this world
The first Baha’i national conference was held in Chicago on 26 November, 1907. Delegates from various local communities in America attended this event, including a dozen Baha’is from Chicago. It was held at the house of Corinne True. The purpose of this informal gathering was to choose a suitable site for the Temple. It should be noted that they didn’t visit the site in Wilmette where the Temple was eventually built. (‘The Baha’i World’, volume X, p.179; ‘The Baha’i Faith in America’, vol. 2, by Robert Stockman, p. 280)
November 1964: The Universal House of Justice arrives at two major decisions concerning the Hands of the Cause
In its November 1964 message to the Bahá'ís of the world, The Universal House of Justice announced that “after study of the sacred texts and hearing the views of the Hands of the Cause themselves, has arrived at the following decisions:
a. There is no way to appoint, or to legislate to make it possible to appoint, Hands of the Cause of God.
b. Responsibility for decisions on matters of general policy affecting the Institution of the Hands of the Cause, which was formerly exercised by the beloved Guardian, now devolves upon the Universal House of Justice as the supreme and central institution of the Faith to which all must turn.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986, p. 44)
Mulla Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardikani, who is known as Haji Amin or Amin-i-Ilahi, was born in about the year AH 1232 (AD 21 November 1816 -- 10 November 1817) in Ardikan, a small town near Yazd. At seventeen years of age he married into a family of Bábís of the town. He was persuaded to investigate the new religion and eventually, shortly after the martyrdom of the Báb, he declared his belief. When news of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh came, he accepted immediately and travelled throughout Iran meeting other Bábís and teaching them of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. After a time he became the assistant of Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi, Aminu'l-Bayan, who was the Trustee of the Huququ'lláh. He would travel about the country, earning his living by trading and also by acting as a writer for those who could not write. At the same time he collected the Huququ'lláh and any letters that the believers wished to forward to Bahá'u'lláh, and also distributed Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh when these were received. He came to 'Akká while Bahá'u'lláh was still imprisoned in the citadel and succeeded in establishing contact with the exiles. He was the first Bahá'í from the outside world to be able to meet Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká (in the Public Baths). He returned to 'Akká on several further occasions. When Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi was killed in 1880, Haji Abu'l-Hasan was appointed Trustee (Amin) of the Huququ'lláh. In 1891 he was imprisoned with Haji Akhund for three years in Tihran and Qazvin. In the time of 'Abdu'l-Bahá he continued his travels, visiting 'Akká and Haifa on several occasions. Towards the end of his life he resided in Tihran and Haji Ghulam-Rida, Amin-i-Amin, was appointed his assistant. He died in 1928 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi. (Balyuzi, ‘Eminent Baha’is in the Time of Baha’u’llah’, p. 263)
. The 'Right of God' -- a payment by believers instituted in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
November 1948: The first shipment of materials needed to erect the outer shell of the Báb's Sepulchre arrived in the port of Haifa -- over one hundred and fifty tons of cut, carved and polished marble and granite
The prospect was challenging. Only a very few ships would venture into mined waters unsafe for normal navigation; moreover, space was lacking, almost unavailable. We had to do much praying, because every avenue seemed blocked. Shipping agents were seeking any possibility but without immediate success. Only faith could have removed the difficulties….
A few days later another cablegram came, requesting the name of the steamer. The next day a ship was found and a telegraphic reply was sent to him [The Guardian], informing him that the first shipment would sail on the S.S. Norte, due to arrive in Haifa on 23 November 1948 - a record of incredible speed in accomplishing the work since the April day when Mr. Maxwell had signed the first contract! Over one hundred and fifty tons of cut, carved and polished marble and granite were shipped at this time, including the load of a second ship, the S.S. Campidoglio, which sailed almost in the wake of the first One. The Norte finally reached the port of Haifa on 28 November, with the Campidoglio following a few days later, as a true co-partner and escort in such a prodigious event.
The sultanate was an institution of Islamic kingship, most particularly the dynasty of Ottoman rulers, who combined secular power with the religious leadership of the Sunni Muslim world by their claims to the Caliphate. The sultanate was abolished by the new Turkish republic on 1 November 1922, and the caliphate in 1924. These twin institutions were regarded by Shoghi Effendi as the 'arch-enemy' of the Baha'i Cause, (God Passes By, p. 407; and The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 173) and their collapse cited as an instance of Divine judgment.
The Caliphate was an Islamic institution established after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The Caliph, the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islam, came to be regarded also as the "Commander of the Faithful," and the protector of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. He became the leader of Sunni Muslims all over the world. By the 19th century, the title rested with the Ottoman rulers (Sultans). (Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’I Faith’, by Peter Smith; ‘God Passes by’, by Shoghi Effendi; and ‘The World Order of Baha'u'llah’, by Shoghi Effendi)
He was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1874 and was introduced to the Baha'i Faith in 1914. His major book, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, the first nine chapters of which he wrote during the First World War, was submitted to 'Abdu'l-Baha for approval. Dr. Esslemont visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in the Holy Land during 1919 to 1920 and following the passing of the Master in 1921 returned to the Holy Land in 1925 to undertake work for Shoghi Effendi. He died there in November 1925 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause. The book, ‘Baha’u’llah and the New Era’ has been translated into many languages and has become one of the most widely used of the introductory books to the Baha'i Faith. (Adapted from 'A Basic Baha’i Dictionary')
“O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being, and adorn them with that which befitteth them, not with images and effigies. Then, with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled with light.” (Baha’u’llah, the Kitab-i-Aqdas)
During the lifetime of Baha'u'llah, obeying this command was impossible because the Middle Eastern Baha'is were persecuted. In order to escape oppression, many Persian Baha'is fled north, to the lands that formed part of the Russian Empire. Situated twenty-five miles from the border of Iran was the town of 'Ishqabad, in the modern Turkmenistan. By the turn of the century a large and prosperous Baha'i community had developed there, protected by the tsarist government from persecution. In the autumn of 1902 the 'Ishqabad Baha'is set out to build the first House of Worship in the Baha'i world.
On 28 November 1902 they laid the cornerstone of the building. The 'Ishqabad Baha'is were in regular contact with the Chicago House of spirituality and on 29 November wrote a letter to them, mentioning the event. A second letter with more details followed on 10 December:
Louisa Aurora (Lua) Moore (Getsinger) was born on 1 November 1871. This was same day on which her father had been born and her parents married. (Adapted from, The Flame’, by William Sears and Robert Quigley, p. 17; and, ‘A Basic Baha’i Chronology’, by Glenn Cameron) (Please visit Baha'i Points of Interest for a special prayer revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha for Lua's passing)
November 1921: Shoghi Effendi accidentally saw the cable containing the devastating news of the passing of the Master
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Baha ascended Abha Kingdom. Inform friends.
Greatest Holy Leaf
Upon reading the cable Shoghi Effendi collapsed. Major Tudor Pole, in whose office Shoghi Effendi read the cable while he wasn’t there, upon his return found him, in a “state of collapse, dazed and bewildered by this catastrophic news.” He was taken to the home of Miss Grand, one of the London believers, and put to bed there for a few days. (Adapted from ‘The Guardian of the Baha’i Faith’, by Ruhiyyih Rabbani, p. 13)
November 1845: Article appears in London Times concerning the very initial persecution of the Bábis in Shiraz
The London Times of Wednesday, November 19th 1845, carried this item of news on its third page, taken from the Literary Gazette of the preceding Saturday:
MAHOMETAN SCHISM. -- A new sect has lately set itself up in Persia, at the head of which is a merchant who had returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca, and proclaimed himself a successor of the Prophet. The way they treat such matters at Shiraz appears in the following account (June 23): -- Four persons being heard repeating their profession of faith according to the form prescribed by the impostor, were apprehended, tried, and found guilty of unpardonable blasphemy. They were sentenced to lose their beards by fire being set to them. The sentence was put into execution with all the zeal and fanaticism becoming a true believer in Mahomet. Not deeming the loss of beards a sufficient punishment, they were further sentenced the next day, to have their faces blacked and exposed through the city. Each of them was led by a mirgazah[Mir-Ghadab] (executioner), who had made a hole in his nose and passed through it a string, which he sometimes pulled with such violence that the unfortunate fellows cried out alternately for mercy from the executioner and for vengeance from Heaven. It is the custom in Persia on such occasions for the executioners to collect money from the spectators, and particularly from the shopkeepers in the bazaar. In the evening when the pockets of the executioners were well filled with money, they led the unfortunate fellows to the city gate, and there turned them adrift…. (H.M. Balyuzi, The Báb - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 76)
The Second World Congress, called for by the Universal House of Justice, took place in November 1992, during the Holy Year, commemorating the centenary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah. It was held in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City -- the "City of the Covenant' -- and commemorated the centenary of the Covenant of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Nearly 30,000 Baha'is made it the largest ever Baha'i gathering, and the total number of Baha'is participating was increased enormously by satellite conferences, held simultaneously in Apia, Western Samoa; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; New Delhi, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Panama City, Panama; Bucharest, Romania; Moscow, Russia; and Singapore.
November 1907: Representatives from various parts of America meet in Chicago to initiate the “stupendous undertaking” of erecting a House of Worship
… inspired by the example set by their fellow-disciples in Ishqabad, who had already commenced the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Bahá'í world, and afire with the desire to demonstrate, in a tangible and befitting manner, the quality of their faith and devotion, the Bahá'ís of Chicago, having petitioned 'Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to erect a House of Worship, and secured, in a Tablet revealed in June 1903, His ready and enthusiastic approval, arose, despite the smallness of their numbers and their limited resources, to initiate an enterprise which must rank as the greatest single contribution which the Bahá'ís of America, and indeed of the West, have as yet made to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. The subsequent encouragement given them by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and the contributions raised by various Assemblies decided the members of this Assembly to invite representatives of their fellow-believers in various parts of the country to meet in Chicago for the initiation of the stupendous undertaking they had conceived. On November 26, 1907, the assembled representatives, convened for that purpose, appointed a committee of nine to locate a suitable site for the proposed Temple. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 261)
November 1898: ‘Abdu’l-Baha ends the period of mourning for Baha’u’llah by opening His tomb to pilgrims for the first time
This event which took place on 13 November 1898 was in commemoration of the arrival of Ibrahim Kheiralla(Khayru’llah) to Akka on 11 November 1898 – “the same year that this precious Trust [the precious remains of the Báb] reached the shores of the Holy Land and was delivered into the hands of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He, accompanied by Dr. Ibrahim Khayru'llah, whom He had already honored with the titles of "Baha's Peter," "The Second Columbus" and "Conqueror of America," drove to the recently purchased site which had been blessed and selected by Bahá'u'lláh on Mt. Carmel, and there laid, with His own hands, the foundation-stone of the edifice, the construction of which He, a few months later, was to commence. About that same time, the marble sarcophagus, designed to receive the body of the Báb, an offering of love from the Bahá'ís of Rangoon, had, at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's suggestion, been completed and shipped to Haifa.” (God Passes By, p. 274)
November 1849: The Báb sends His representative to make a pilgrimage on His behalf to the graves of Quddus and Mulla Husayn
"The Báb was heart-broken," His amanuensis, Siyyid Husayn-i-'Aziz, subsequently related, "at the receipt of this unexpected intelligence. [the news of the tragic fate which had befallen the heroes of Tabarsi] He was crushed with grief, a grief that stilled His voice and silenced His pen. For nine days He refused to meet any of His friends. I myself, though His close and constant attendant, was refused admittance. Whatever meat or drink we offered Him, He was disinclined to touch. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and expressions of anguish dropped unceasingly from His lips. I could hear Him, from behind the curtain, give vent to His feelings of sadness as He communed, in the privacy of His cell, with His Beloved. I attempted to jot down the effusions of His sorrow as they poured forth from His wounded heart. Suspecting that I was attempting to preserve the lamentations He uttered, He bade me destroy whatever I had recorded. Nothing remains of the moans and cries with which that heavy-laden heart sought to relieve itself of the pangs that had seized it. For a period of five months He languished, immersed in an ocean of despondency and sorrow."
Named by Shoghi Effendi as a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Baha, she will also be known to posterity as the originator of the concept of the first universal platform in America, which, during its first 33 years, developed into the Green Acre school and conference center (comprising some 200 acres along the banks of the Piscataqua River in Eliot, Maine, four miles up from the sea and opposite the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire). One writer said of her in 1928, "She stands as the actual fulfiller of Emerson in terms of applied influence" and "The roll of speakers who have taken part in the Green Acre Conferences represent well-nigh the flower of modem liberal thought." It was typical of her vision that when opening the center on 4 July 1894 she raised, at the end of the ceremony, a flag of world peace. Two years after the opening, she found and embraced the Faith. She went immediately to see 'Abdu'l-Baha in 'Akka to offer her services to Him. The letters He addressed to her during subsequent years continued to guide her in her work. When He came to America in 1912, He spent a week in August at Green Acre (although Sarah herself was by this time confined to a sanitarium in Portsmouth, which she left for a few hours to welcome Him). Green Acre continues to flourish and develop as a Baha'i school, thereby fulfilling the vision of this remarkable woman and in accordance with the guidance given by 'Abdu'l-Baha in its earliest days.
November 1918: Martha Root writes to ‘Abdu’l-Baha about her desire to travel the world on behalf of the Faith
Martha committed her thoughts to paper as easily as most humans breathe and frequently sent them off to 'Abdu'l-Baha in Haifa. On 7 November 1918 she wrote to Him of her desire to travel the world on behalf of the Faith. This was a source of joy to 'Abdu'l-Baha. In His response He replied, "My hope from the blessings of His Holiness Baha'u'llah is that thou mayest forget rest and composure and like unto a swift-flying bird, thou mayest reproduce the melody of the Kingdom and engage in songs and music in the best of tunes." If Martha needed incitement or additional stimulus for her already strong desires to travel and teach, the Master provided it with His colorful directives. It was like a clarion call, a trumpet blast, for He added: "All ears are alert for the summons to the Most Great Peace. It is therefore better for thee to travel now around the world, if this is conveniently possible, and roar out the call of the Divine Kingdom. Thou shalt witness great results and extraordinary confirmations." (Adapted from ‘Martha Root Lioness at the Threshold’, by Garis, p. 87)
He was an educator, author and, in the words of Shoghi Effendi, the "establisher and promoter" of the Baha'i Administrative Order in the Cradle of the Faith. Born in Sabzivar, Khurusan, Persia, in 1905, when he was but five years old his father became the first Baha'i in the family, followed immediately by his mother and grandmother. In 1914 he moved with his family to 'Ishqabad, Russia, and attended the elementary Baha'i boys' school, where, on his graduation at age 14, he was asked to teach the children of the first grade. He did this until 1922, when he began his secondary education. This was completed in 1925, and he went to work as principal of the Baha'i schools for a year prior to going on to the University of Moscow (where he graduated in psychology and education). Always active in the Faith, he traveled widely throughout the Caucasus region even while young and also taught in Leningrad and other Russian cities. In 1930 he was expelled from the Soviet Union for his participation in Baha'i activities, an event which seems only to have strengthened his resolve, because from that time forward he immersed himself totally in the administrative affairs of the Faith.
In November 1950 the Guardian sent cables inviting the first of that group who later became members of the International Bahá'í Council to come to Haifa. Like almost everything he did, first it began to dawn and later the sun of the finished concept rose above the horizon. When Lutfu'llah Hakim (the first to arrive), Jessie and Ethel Revell, followed by Amelia Collins and Mason Remey were all gathered at table one day in the Western Pilgrim House, with Gladys Weeden and her husband Ben who were already living there, the Guardian announced to us his intention of constituting, out of that group, an International Council, we were all overcome by the unprecedented nature of this step he was taking and the infinite bounty it conferred upon those present as well as the entire Bahá'í world. It was not, however, until January 9, 1951 that he released this news through an historic cable: "Proclaim National Assemblies East West- weighty epoch making decision formation first International Bahá'í Council forerunner supreme administrative institution destined emerge fullness time within precincts beneath shadow World Spiritual Centre Faith already established twin cities 'Akká Haifa." (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, p. 109)
The Times of London carries an item on the arrest and torture of Quddus, Mulla Sadiq-i-Khurasani, Mulla ‘Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani and Mulla Abu-Talib in Shriraz in June. This is the first known printed reference to the Revelation. A similar article is printed on 19 November. (A Basic Baha’i Chronology by Glenn Cameron and Wendi Momen)
One of the pioneers of the Baha'i Cause in the western world, Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg, passed away at her home in London on November 17, 1930, crowned with age and the service of the Master. The end was peaceful for this devoted servant of 'Abdu’l-Baha whom He knew and loved so well and to whose devotion and untiring labors He had often paid priceless tribute by voice and pen.
Known and loved by all the members of the Holy Family in Haifa where she had visited for months at a time in the earlier stages of the outpouring of the Baha’i spirit from the East to Europe and America, Miss Rosenberg played no small part in the adaptation of the Baha'i Message to the western mind. Ever modest and unassuming the full value of her work in this capacity seldom appeared on the surface but those who knew her well and were in close touch with her activities were and are well aware of the great assistance she gave to the Master and how valuable was the help she rendered in the translation and transcribing of some of the outstanding works through which the truths of the Baha'i Message were made known to the peoples of the western hemisphere.
Arriving in Spokane, Washington, in the latter part of November , Jinab-i-Fadil several times addressed a newly established group known as “Constructive Thinking for Direct Help.” Following this, addresses were given at the Business Women’s Club, the Truth Church, Young People’s Forum, Roosevelt School, and daily meetings at the Baha’i Assembly room in the Kuhn Building. The Spokane friends report a great increase of interest in the Cause as the result of these lectures. (Baha’i News, March 1925) (See Worldwide Community of Baha'u'llah for some pictures)
Cable 26 November 1972:
WITH GRATEFUL JOYOUS HEARTS ANNOUNCE ENTIRE BAHÁ'Í WORLD ADOPTION PROFOUNDLY SIGNIFICANT STEP IN UNFOLDMENT MISSION SUPREME ORGAN BAHÁ'Í WORLD COMMONWEALTH THROUGH FORMULATION CONSTITUTION UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE. AFTER OFFERING HUMBLE PRAYERS GRATITUDE ON DAY COVENANT AT THREE SACRED THRESHOLDS BAHJI HAIFA MEMBERS GATHERED COUNCIL CHAMBER PRECINCTS HOUSE BLESSED MASTER APPENDED THEIR SIGNATURES FIXED SEAL ON INSTRUMENT ENVISAGED WRITINGS BELOVED GUARDIAN HAILED BY HIM AS MOST GREAT LAW FAITH BAHÁ'U'LLÁH.+F268 FULLY ASSURED MEASURE JUST TAKEN WILL FURTHER REINFORCE TIES BINDING WORLD CENTRE TO NATIONAL LOCAL COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT WORLD RELEASE FRESH ENERGIES INCREASE ENTHUSIASM CONFIDENCE VALIANT WORKERS HIS DIVINE VINEYARD LABOURING ASSIDUOUSLY BRING MANKIND UNDER SHELTER HIS ALL-GLORIOUS COVENANT. (Signed) THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE (Baha’i News, January 1973) (Please visit Baha'i Talks, Messages and Articles for a talk by Ali Nakhjavani on the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice)
Born into a Hawaiian Christian missionary family in 1875, Agnes became a Baha'i during a visit to Italy in 1900. She returned to Hawaii in December 1901 as the first Baha'i on the islands, and become instrumental in the growth of a Baha'i community there. After the deaths of her parents she moved to the American mainland, and then, at the request of 'Abdu'l-Baha, moved to Japan, reaching there in November 1914. She worked with George Augur and his wife to establish a Baha'i community, spending much of the rest of her life in Japan. Agnex Alexander was also the first Baha’i to present the Baha'i teachings in Korea (1921). Shoghi Effendi appointed her a Hand of the Cause on 27 March 1957. She died in Hawaii in 1971. (Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith’, by Peter Smith)
In October 1973, the Universal House of Justice gave the “Continental Board of Counsellors the discretion to authorize individual Auxiliary Board members to appoint assistants … The exact nature of the duties and the duration of the appointment of the assistants is also left to each Continental Board to decide for itself. Their aims should be to activate and encourage Local Spiritual Assemblies, to call the attention of Local Spiritual Assembly members to the importance of holding regular meetings, to encourage local communities to meet for the Nineteen Day Feasts and Holy Days, to help deepen their fellow-believers' understanding of the Teachings, and generally to assist the Auxiliary Board members in the discharge of their duties. Appointments may be made for a limited period, such as a year or two, with the possibility of reappointment. Believers can serve at the same time both as assistants to Auxiliary Board members and on administrative institutions.” (The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986)