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Satisfying a Thirst for Deeper Understanding

Nov 30, 2020

Course:  Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation: A Systematic Survey (2020)
Faculty: Robert Stockman, Nima Rafiei

Editor’s Note: Maggie McClellan is a new WI student. She posted this Learning Self Assessment at the close of the above-mentioned course. Her faculty mentor was Rob Stockman, and she took the course with a friend, Julie Gilmour, whose Self Assessment has also been published. [See “Rich Rewards” from Systematic Survey.]


Thank you very much, Robert and Nima, for facilitating this wonderful course. And thank you fellow students who posted to the forum! I found your thoughts, insights, and questions very helpful and enlightening.

My personal learning plan was the opposite of extensive. I merely hoped to make it through the course—and to move on from week to week on time. I have learned a lot and found the whole experience very inspiring. I regret I was not able to post to the forum more regularly. A conflict arose on Sundays so I had to stop participating in the live class, which I enjoyed. 

There are many terms in the Writings and references to things of Islam that I understood for the first time. I think I am still absorbing the content—and I hope, as I work through my project that I will solidify my learning and will have a visual record of that learning (selected words, images, a quote to memorize from each Tablet/epistle/book) that I can refer to—and in so doing internalize the information.

I would say my concentration for studying the Writings has received a boost. The very helpful commentaries gave me an idea of what to expect in the various readings, and with that preparation, I found the experience of studying the Writings less overwhelming than in the past.

My thirst to gain a deeper understanding of the Writings and the circumstances in which they were revealed has increased. My grasp of the immensity of the Revelation and the speed and volume regarding their revelation has deepened, but at the same time having the timelines and the comparisons of texts has given me a feeling that I can access more without the familiar degree of overwhelm.

The Writings we studied confirm and heighten rather than change my beliefs and values. My respect and love for Bahá’u’lláh and better understanding of what He suffered and sacrificed only increases the more I study His words and His life.

I have had insights from the class to offer in my Ruhi study circle, and in conversations with other Bahá’ís. I hope any gain in understanding will reflect an improved ability to teach the Faith and support others in the journey of learning. I plan to take more courses and to continue on this path of growth.

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