Course: Introduction to the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh (2022)
Faculty Mentor: Robert Stockman
Editor’s Note: This was Phyllis’s first Wilmette Institute course. She is currently enrolled in her second (Shoghi Effendi: His Life and Ministry). The comments below are taken from her Learning Self-Assessment.
Gaining a deeper knowledge of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh has enabled me to better understand the degree of suffering He endured. Growing up I learned about Jesus’ suffering which was very real but not to the extent of Bahá’u’lláh’s prolonged suffering. Any ordinary person—as in anyone who is not a Manifestation of God—would not submit to the ordeals inflicted upon Bahá’u’lláh. Many individuals would abandon their objectives, but Manifestations of God have the task of transforming humanity.
I must continue my study of the Writings to increase my knowledge of the Faith beyond what has been general and superficial. I inherently knew that the principles were valid. Now I feel more profoundly the reality of the Faith; that, after reading these tablets and other materials, this is not a theoretical Manifestation of God the way I have thought of Jesus or Moses. This is truly something that has to have come directly from God. In fact, my conviction that there IS a God is strengthened. Bahá’u’lláh is truly supernatural, as in the definition of supernatural: “(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature”. Bahá’u’lláh can’t be explained by science or laws of nature; nor can He be explained by any previously known quality of human beings. He simply must be from God, because there is no other explanation.
I am amazed by the clarity of thought in the Writings. I am astounded that Bahá’u’lláh was so prolific even up to the end of his earthly life. I realize how little I know of the Writings, and that I need to educate myself so I can be an effective teacher of my Faith. I clearly have more work to do.