ANSWERS FOR MORMON SEEKERS


Some Answers to Questions Mormon Seekers Frequently Have About The Bahá'í Faith

Q. How could Bahá'u'lláh be the Spirit of Truth, or Holy Ghost, when the Holy Ghost must remain a Spirit or He cannot dwell in us?

A. What is impossible with God? Mormons believe that "One Day" the Holy Ghost will live a mortal life on Earth in order to gain a physical body. We simply say "He has done so already" and His name is Bahá'u'lláh.

Q. What does the Bahá'í Faith say about Jesus Christ?

A.The Holy Writings call Jesus Christ was "the very Savior of Man" (PUP, p.62), the "Lord of the Visible and Invisible" (GWB 57,#23), the "Lord of all being" (GWB 55,#23), the "WORD of God" (SWA 20:1), the "Son of God" (SAQ 63, WOB 105) Who was born of a literal virgin and the Holy Ghost (LG #1637), whose death on the Cross infused a fresh capacity into all Creation, Who healed the sick, caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, and Whose death and techings sanctified the soul of the sinner (GWB 85-86).

PUP Promulgation of Universal Peace
GWB Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah
SWA Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha
SAW Some Answered Questions
LG Lights of Guidance

Q. How could Bahá'u'lláh be the Son of Man when D&C 49:22 says that the Lord will not come as a woman nor as a man who travels upon the earth?

A. By "earth" is meant the ground; not "planet" Earth. Baha'u'llah road horses since before He could walk, and His legs became very bowed; making walking difficult. Because of His bowed legs, He stood only five feet tall. So, He travelled by horse or by covered wagon called a "Hodah"; not traveling "on the earth (ground)".

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that Jesus will return as well be descending from a cloud and landing upon the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem?

A. Bahá'ís interpret the word "cloud" as a metaphor to mean a "human body". Just as a "cloud" hides the Sun, so human bodies ("cloud") hide the WORD of God. When the Bible says of Jesus that "He cometh with clouds" the meaning is not that He will come riding upon clouds in the sky, nor He will come on a cloudy day, but rather "He cometh (returns) with clouds (new bodies)". Or, in other words, the WORD of God shall "return" with a new name and in a new body born of a woman.

Baha'u'llah never visited Jerusalem, but His Firstborn Son 'Abdu'l-Baha (awb-dull baw-HAW) did.

Q. Is Bahá'u'lláh the reincarnation of Jesus Christ?

A. No! He is the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost Who dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism to the Cross.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in reincarnation?

A. No! Human souls do not return to this material planet. However, some Bahá'ís believe that human souls live mortal lives on other material planets (one mortal life per planet), but this is NOT Accepted Doctrine (what every Bahá'í must believe), but Personal Belief (personal opinion).

Some believe that the Souls of the Prophets and Chosen Ones are not "human" and thus can "return". Mollah Husayn Bushrú'í, the first Disciple of The Báb, claimed to be the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad. Tahirih, the first female follower of The Báb, claimed to be the "return" of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. The Báb Himself claimed to be the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi; a young boy who "disappeared" (probably falling down a well) around 847 A.D.

Many early Western Bahá'ís believed that 'Abdu'l-Baha was the "return" of Jesus, such as JOhn Getsinger, who wrote:

"Abbas is heir and Master of the Kikngdom. He was on earth 1900 years ago as the Nazarene." (Notes at Acca, p.24)
Thorton Chase, the first American Baha'i, wrote:
"He has come again the Kingdom of the Father." (Before Abraham Was, I AM, p.12)
Phoebe Hearst wrote:
"He 'Abdu'l-Baha is the Son of God, and the Spirit of His Father in is Him." (p.258)
Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, the Shi'ite Muslim Seer who had visions and prophesied of the coming of The Báb, taught that the Souls of the Manifestations of God and the Chosen Ones were not human but Divine, and thus could "return" in every Dispensation.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in Eternal Marriage?

A. 'Abdu'l-Bahá (awb-dull baw-HAW), the Firstborn Son of Baha'u'llah, taught a doctrine He called "eternal union". He taught that if a Baha'i couple become "one" both physically and spiritually, and if both reached "an exalted state" of spirituality in this life, then they could achieve eternal union thoughout all the Worlds of God and their relationship with each other would be "everlasting".

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that God is a resurrected Exalted Man as do Mormons?

A. The Essence of God (ALLÁH) is Unknowable. Not a Man. Not a Spirit. Not this. Not that. But, the Manifestations of God are (to date) always Perfect Men. Bahá'u'lláh referred to Himself as "The Father" and "The Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)". In the Bible, and in The Book of Mormon, it is the Holy Spirit who "begets" Jesus. Therefore, He has the right to the title of "The Father".

Do Bahá'ís believe that God is the Father of our spirits, and in a Heavenly Mother?

A. There is no literally "begetting" like men do! Our spirits/souls were "created" by God, but it was not a sexual process. There is no Bahá'í Doctrine of a "Heavenly Mother". However, there is a Being called "The Maid of Heaven" Who is identified as a Manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who was "begotten by the Spirit of Bahá". We don't know Who She is. Some speculate She is Fatimah (daughter of Muhammad). Others say She is Mary mother of Jesus. Others say She is a "poetic literary device" used by Bahá'u'lláh to describe His "realization" that He was the Promised One. We don't know.

Q. Do Bah´'ís believe they can become Gods and Goddesses and create their own planets and rule over them as Mormons do?

A. No! The Faith teaches there is only ONE GOD (as The Book of Mormon itself teaches); so men and women cannot become gods and goddesses. Some believe that human souls can eventually become Divine Souls (i.e. Manifestations of God), but others do not. Each Manifestation of God has a dual-station: He is both "God" and "servant".

There is nothing in the Holy Writings (Bahá'í Scriptures) about Believers creating their own planets and ruling over them. However, according to the Holy Qu'ran (which we believe is the infallible Word of God), the Mo'men (Faithful) shall inherit "Gardens of Eden" with rivers flowing underneath, and be "wed" and have their Mo'men (Faithful) relatives and children with them, recliding upon thrones, eating delicioius fruits, drinking delicious nectar, and being served by Hooreezz (female servants) and Ghoollawmzz (male servants) for all eternity.

Most Bahá'ís would interpret the Qur'anic depictions of Paradise and Hell-fire as "metaphors" of something we cannot yet comprehend; just as a child in the womb cannot yet comprehend our world.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that they will beget spirit-children in the Afterlife as Mormons do?

A. No. There is nothing in the Holy Writings about the begetting of children, spirit-children or otherwise, in the Afterlife. The Holy Qur'an says that the Mo'men (Faithful) will be "wed" and have their children with them, but we do not know if this means their earthly children will be with them in Paradise, or they will beget "new" children in Paradise.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in baptism and other Gospel ordinances?

A. 'Abdu'l-Baha taught that water-baptism is no longer necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. All that is necessary is the "Baptism of Fire"; otherwise known as the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". This comes not through any earthly ordinance, but from being born again via the Holy Spirit. Those who walk the Path of Holiness are the most likely to be born again, but there is no rite or ritual or ordinance that makes one "born again".

By "being born again" the Bahá'í understanding is that the Holy Spirit transforms one's human soul into an angelic soul. At death, the angelic soul enters into Malakut (maw-law-koot); which is the Angelic Realm.

The Bahá'í "Heaven" looks like this:

Héhút (Realm of the Essence of God/ALLÁH)
+++++++++++Impassible Barrier+++++++++++
Láhút (Realm of the Names/Attributes of God/The Abhá Paradise)
Jabárút (Realm of the Powerful Ones/Paradise)
Malákút (Realm of the Angels/Spirit-World)

Some Bahá'ís believe that human souls can enter Láhút (The Abhá Paradise), but others believe that human souls can never enter that Realm. Not even the Manifestations of God can enter the Realm of the Essence of God (ALLÁH).

Q. Do Baha'is believe in a literal Hell where the Sun burns our skin and there are demons which torment us for all eternity?

A. No. Most Baha'is view "Heaven" and "Hell" as "closeness to God" and "aloftness from God" and do not go beyond that. "Heaven" and "Hell" are viewed as "metaphors" that of things we cannot possible understand until we die. Most Baha'is do not speculate on what "Heaven" or "Hell" will be like; other than to say that "Heaven" will be pleasant and "Hell" will not be pleasant.

Baha'u'llah referred to the material/physical realm (Naw-Soot) as "the Netherworld" and "demons" referred to wicked men that exist in our world (dimension):

"O servants! This nether world is the abode of demons: Guard yourselves from approaching them. By demons is meant those wayward souls who, with the burden of their evil deeds, slumber in the chambers of oblivion. Their sleep is preferable to their wakefulness, and their death is better than their life." (The Tablet of Unity 4:7)
Some Baha'is accept The Earth-is-Hell View in which Násút (naw-soot), our dimension, is "Hell"; the place where the Sun burns our skin, and where we experience pain, sorrow, injustice, fear, anxiety, depression, disease, deformity, injustice, ageing, and death. The place where wicked men ("demons") kill, rape, steal, injure, deceive, oppress the poor, and use us as pawns for their wars. But The Earth-is-Hell View is not Accepted Doctrine. In this View, "Heaven" are the Spirtiual Realms (Dimensions) and "Hell" is the Physical Realm (Dimension). If we are not "born again" in this life, then we must "return" to the Physical Realm; not on this planet, but another; to one again "die" (the second death). But if we are "born again" in this life, then at death the Spiritual Realms (which surround us unseen) became apparent to us.

There is no "eternal" unending Hell in Baha'i teachings! All souls come from God, and all return unto Him. Some faster than others. Some less painfully than others. But we shall all return unto Him.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in three degrees of glory in heaven as the Mormons do?

A. The Holy Writings do mention the Spiritual Realms (listed above), and there are four of them; two or three that human souls can access "if" the Holy Spirit transforms their human souls into angelic souls (Malakut), or powerful souls (Jabarut), or Divine Souls (Lahut). But no "Soul" no matter how powerful and exalted can ever enter the Realm of the Essence of God (Hehut); because only the Divine Essence can dwell in that Realm. In Realm is called ALLÁH; Who is not a Person, not a Soul, not a Spirit, not "This" and not "That". The Essence of God is completely Unknowable and beyond all possible explanations.

Q. How can the Qur'an be true when it says that God has no consort (wife) and no Son, and the New Testament calls Jesus the "Son of God"?

A. Jesus is NOT the "Son of ALLÁH"; Who is the Divine Essence and not a Person. Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost; Who is "Jehovah" of the Old Testament. The Name "Jehovah" is from the Hebrew Y-H-W-H (the pronunciation of these four Hebrew letters has been lost). But YHWH means "The Self-Existing"; which is One of the 99 Names/Attributes of ALLÁH in the Qu'ran. Jesus is the Son of Jehovah; not the Son of ALLÁH.

ALLÁH (The Divine Essence)
|
Jehovah (the Father)
|
Jesus (the Son)

The Father is the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Truth, as it says in a revelation to Joseph Smith:

"Ye were in the beginning with the Father, Who is Spirit, even the Spirit of Truth." (D&C 93:23)
In the Lectures on Faith (once the "Doctrine" in the Book of Doctrine of Covenants, but removed from the D&C in 1904), Jesus is identified as the "Son of Jehovah". But, today, Mormon leaders teach that Jesus is Jehovah incarnate; the opposite of what Joseph Smith taught.

Q. But The Brethren (Mormon leaders) have taught us that Jesus is the Son of God the Father, not the Son of the Holy Ghost. Are they wrong?

A. The Brethren (Mormon leaders) have also taught in the past:

1) Negroes are the cursed children of Cain, and a black skin is the "mark" of the curse. They were "less valiant" in the pre-earth 'War in Heaven' when they fought as spirits against Lucifer. Negroes will not hold the Priesthood or enter Mormon Temples until after the Mllennium is over then the Curse of Cain upon the Negro race shall be removed.

2) God the Father and His spirit-daughter Mary were husband and wife, and the Father begot Jesus with Mary in the same way that mortal men beget mortal fathers (The Heavenly Incest Doctrine)

3) Men will never land on the Moon.

4) The Sun and Moon are inhabited just as the Earth is.

5) The Lost Tribes are dwelling at the North Polar regions.

6) Temple will be built in Jackson County, Missouri, before all those living in 1832 have died (no temple has been built by the LDS Church in Jackson County to date).

Where they wrong about these doctrines?

Remember, Joseph Smith was at best a "Seer"; a fallible Revelator. Baha'u'llah was the Holy Ghost incarnate: the One Who inspired the Prophets and Seers.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that Hell is a literal place and that Satan is a literal being?

A. They do not believe that Hell is a "place" but a "condition of the soul". One's soul is "in Hell" or "in Heaven" already! In the Seen World (our world) this can be "veiled" from us. But in the Unseen World, "Heaven" or "Hell" shall become apparent to us. But Heaven and Hell are not "places" anymore than if we were dreaming we are on a beach in Hawaii and then say "I am on a beach in Hawaii" or if we are dreaming we are in a Siberian Ghulag and then say "I am in Siberia". The dreamer is not on a beach, nor are they in Siberia. The Unseen World has various Realms (Dimensions) but these are not "places" but "conditions". There is no such thing as "place" in the Unseen World; the Spiritual Realms which surround us.

As far as "Satan" goes, the Bahá'ís do not believe he is a personal being outside of ourselves. "Satan" is a symbol of our "lower nature" (ego). Each of us has a higher-nature and a lower-nature. Satan (adversary) refers to the lower-nature of man. Some might say, "The Collective Unconsciousness of Mankind". Satan is real (our lower-nature is real), but just not just "one person" but rather our own "ego". There are as many "satans" as their are people.

Q. Does the Baha'i Faith have any Priesthood?

A. The Mormon term "Priesthood" means something very different than the way Bahá'ís use that term. The Bahá'í term means a professional learned class that instructs the unlearned masses what to believe about God. The Mormon term means "the divine authority of God to act in His name on Earth with the authority to perform saving ordinances and to preach the Gospel". The Faith is not a "Church" and thus has no Gospel ordinances, and thus no need for a Priesthood to perform such ordinances.

The Faith has no "Priesthood" (meaning special class that stands between God and the Believer), but an "Administrative Order" to which both men and women belong except for the Universal House of Justice--the Governing Body of the Faith worldwide--which is all male.

Q. Where is the Universal House of Justice, and why is it all male?

A. The "House" is not a building, but a council of nine men elected by Baha'i delegates every five years. They are not Prophets nor Seers, but they are believed to be "unders the shadow" of Baha'u'llah. The House meets in "The Seat of the Universal House of Justice" (which is a building) at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.

Why is the House all male? Because Bahá'u'lláh commanded it that way. We have no other reason to give you than that.

Q. Do Bahá'ís practice the Sacrament?

A. The Faith has no Gospel ordinances. No baptisms. No sacraments. No Endowments. No sealings. No priesthood. But, there is a "Feast" that Believers attend every 19 days. This is not a rite or ritual, but rather simply a time to fellowship with other Believers.

Q. Do Bahá'ís see Jesus as merely a Prophet; just one among nine Prophets?

A. Each Manifestation of God has a dual-station: that of "GOD" and that of "servant of God". Jesus also had a dual-station like the Other Manifestations of God. A Bahá'í named Mr. Meakin once asked 'Abdu'l-Baha about the station of Jesus among the Prophets:

'Abdu'l-Bahá: "Jesus is the Perfect Mirror, in which the bounties and Perfections of God are reflected. Jesus is not separate from God, since His is the perfection of Divine Knowledge."

Mr. Meakin asked: "Are not all the Prophets Manifestations reflecting the Word?"

'Abdu'l-Bahá: "Yes, but the Word as reflected in Jesus has a special meaning. The Sun shines in all the months, but in July it is brightest." (Pilgrim's Notes of Loius G. Gregory, p.10)

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that a black skin is a sign of a curse of God as Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders taught from 1848 until 1978?

A. No. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explained long ago that a black skin was a protection from the harsh rays of the Sun where the rays of the Sun were most harsh; near the Equator. Long after He said that, science had confirmed this truth: people with white skin came from climates with little sunlight, and people with dark skin came from climates with very strong constant sunlight. A black skin is not a sign of any curse by God, but rather a protection of the skin from the Ultra-violet rays of the Sun.

Q. What does the Bahá'í Faith teach about The Book of Mormon?

A. The only official comment is from Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith. He was asked if The Book of Mormon was history or not. He replied "that was a matter for historians to pass upon." (High Endeavors, No.93).

Bahá'ís cannot accept The Book of Mormon as "infallible Scripture" because even the title-page of The Book of Mormon says that it contains "the mistakes of men". Bahá'ís accept the Torah (five books of Moses), the Injil (the four Gospels), the Holy Qur'an (holy book of Islaam), and the Holy Writings of the Central Figures (The Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá) as Infallible Scripture. Other works, by Prophets or Seers, may be "inspired" but they are not considered to be "infallible" and thus are not "Scripture" in the Bahá'í Faith.

A book written by Prophet or Seer need not be "historical" in order to be inspired of God. Even Charles Penrose, a Mormon apostle and 1st Counsellor in the First Presidency, wrote in 1921 (while he was in the First Presidency) the following:

"The story [of Jonah] is one of those parables common in the writing of the time....It does not matter whether that is actually the case or not, the purpose and intent of the book are excellent and have several grand lessons. It is of little significance whether Jonah was real individual or one chosen [as a character] by the writer of the book to write what is set forth therein." (quoted in BYU: A House of Faith, 1985 p.50)
Mormons who have become Bahá'ís: some of them believe The Book of Mormon is history. Some believe it was an "inspired prophetic parable" about the future of America. Still others believe it is a work of fiction; written by Solomon Spaulding, or Sidney Rigdon, or even Joseph Smith himself; for pious or impious purposes. All of these views are accepted in the Faith as "Personal Belief". A Bahá'í can have a "Personal Belief" and even share it with others; as long as they do not present that Personal Belief as Accepted Doctrine nor try to "force" their Personal Belief upon other Bahá'ís.

Bahá'ís may read and even quote from the writings of Seers. The Bhagavad-Gita (a Hindu holy book) was written by a Seer, and Bahá'ís can quote from it; even in Bahá'í meetings. However, it is not accepted as Infallible Scripture; because it was written by a Seer, and not a Prophet. Seers are fallible Revelators. Prophets are infallible Revelators.

Q. Do I have to believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer in order to become a Bahá'í?

A. No! Some Mormons join the Faith and say: "Joseph Smith prophesied of Bahá'u'lláh in the captacity of a Seer!" and other Mormons join the Faith and say: "Joseph Smith was a fraud who invented his own religion!" Both views are acceptable as Personal Belief. Neither is Accepted Doctrine. Bahá'ís are forbidden by Holy Law from arguing about religion; even with other Bahá'ís. Bahá'ís who believe that Joseph Smith was a true Seer (pro-Smithers) can meet and discuss how he prophesied of Bahá'u'lláh in the capacity of a Seer.

Bahá'ís who believe that Joseph Smith was a religious fraud (anti-Smithers) can also meet and discuss that personal belief with those who believe likewise But, these groups cannot argue with each other nor try to force their personal beliefs upon the other group. Either group can publish books or articles, and give lectures. But there can be no debates or arguing with the other group. Pro-Smithers and Anti-Smithers cannot discuss Joseph Smith or Mormonism with each other in the same room! This would cause argument, and debate, and hurt feelings, and insults. This is not tolerated in the Faith. Love and unity is cherished beyond all other things. Live and let live. If Bahá'í "A" begins to debate or argue with Bahá'í "B" then Bahá'í "B" is obligated to immediately leave the presence of Bahá'í "A". This is the only way that peace and unity can be maintained.

Most Bahá'ís have "no opinion" regarding Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. The only Accepted Doctrine in the Faith is:

1) Joseph Smith is not considered to be a "Prophet" (i.e. an Infallible Revelator)

2) The Book of Mormon is not recognized as "Scripture" (i.e. Infallible Scripture)

Other than that, Bahá'ís have free to hold opposing views as long as they do not debate, argue, or try to "force their personal views upon others.

Q. How can The Book of Mormon be true, and yet a non-historical "parable"?

A. Most Bible scholars believe that The Book of Jonah (Jonah and the Whale), The Book of Job (which is an ancient poem), and The Book of Esther are not "historical" but "inspired stories". Many Bible scholars do not believe that the Garden of Eden story is "historical" but rather a "parable". Some Bahá'ís who were formerly Mormon believe that The Book of Mormon is not "historical" but rather an inspired prophetic parable about the future of America. In other words:

1) The Nephites (nee-fights) represent the white race in the Americas.

2) The Lamanites (lay-man-nights) represent the "dark" races in the Americas.

3) God allows the Lamanites (dark races) to "utterly destroy" the Nephites (white race) exactly 400 years after Jesus visits them because the Nephites had become "proud of their skins" and because they had forgotten God and practiced "whoredoms" and became very nationalistic and militaristic and materialistic.

3) 'Abdu'l-Bahá (awb-dull baw-HAW) visited America (and Canada) in the year 1912. Many of the early Western Baha'is believed He was the "return" of Jesus. When He got off His ship in Boston, a Syrian woman came up to Him and said:

"I confess that in Thee I have recognized the Son of God and Jesus Christ Himself." (God Passes By 19:24)
But 'Abdu'l-Baha refused to be known by the title of "Christ"; saying that He was only to be known by the title "Servant of Glory".

4) If one adds 400 years to the year 1912 one comes to 2312 A.D. At that time, the white race of the Americas will be--like the Nephites in The Book of Mormon--a very small minority. Will their fate be the same as the Nephites?

This view is called "The Book of Mormon As Prophetic Parable" View. Again, this view is a Personal Belief, and in no way, shape, or form is it to be considered Accepted Doctrine in the Faith.

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the reincarnation of Jesus?

A. We cannot say that! But we do know that Jesus was the WORD of God incarnate (John 1:1-2,14). The WORD of God is not one of His Names/Attributes, but the "Be!" when God said "Be!" and created the Cosmos. "Jesus Christ" was a combination of two Divine Beings: the Father (Spirit of Truth) and the Son (The WORD of God). The Spirit of Truth returned in Muhammad, The Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh.

Bahá'u'lláh wrote of His Son 'Abdu'l-Bahá as:

"A WORD which God hath adorned with the ornament of His Own Self, and made It Sovereign over the earth and all there is therein." (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.135)
Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that the Garden of Eden Story is literal history, or do they believe in divinely-guided Evolution?

A. The Faith teaches that Adam existed, and He was a Manifestation of God. 'Abdu'l-Bahá taught that by "Adam" the spirit of Adam is meant, and by "Eve" the soul of Adam is meant. There are various schools of interpretation as to what 'Abdu'l-Bahá meant by this.

'Abdu'l-Bahá also taught that Adam had no mother and no father. Again, how His explantions are "interpreted" varies.

'Abdu'l-Bahá also taught that "Man" once resembled a fish and lived in the ocean, and that "Man" once lived in the trees. He also taught that "Man" did not evolve from the animals! Most Bahá'ís interpret this to mean that "Man" had a parallel evolution with animals. In other words, the species known as "Man" once resembled bacteria, once resembled fish, once resembled Lemors, once resembled apes, but never "evolved" from these species. This is sometimes called "Parallel Evolution" or "Co-Evolution".

The Man called "Adam"--apparently--was a special creation by God, and did not "evolve" nor was He born of a woman. One school of thought says that Adam was an Angel with an ethereal body who, upon eating material fruit, became "mortal" like us. But this is Personal Belief, and not Accepted Doctrine.

A few Bahá'ís believe that Adam may refer to the Prophet/Phaorah Aye (the father of Nefertiti) of ancient Egypt, and Eve to Khiyah his wife. But this is only speculation. We really don't know Who Adam was. But we know He existed on this planet as a Manifestation of God.

Many of the explanations of 'Abdu'l-Bahá are ambiguous, and not easily undestood. He never fully and clearly "explained" many of His replies, and thus Bahá'ís are left to their own devises to try to reconcile them.

Q. Is the Faith governed by a Living Prophet?

A. Yes. The Bahá'í Faith is governed by Bahá'u'lláh, Who is the One Who inspired all the Prophets and Seers. HE IS LIVING! The Spirit of Baha'u'llah is the Holy Spirit, and HE is ALIVE more than you or I! He is the Spirit of Truth. His Spirit "overshadows" the Universal House of Justice; which is not a "building" but a "council" of nine men elected every five years. "The House" (as it is known) governs the Faith worldwide. None of the Members of The House are considered to be Prophets nor even Seers. Yet, the House itself (not a building, but a council of nine men) are "under the shadow" of Bahá'u'lláh, and divinely-inspired in their collective decisions.

Q. Could the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also be a Living Prophet?

A. In Bahá'í terminology, a "Prophet" is an Infallibe Revelator. Is the President of the LDS Church "infallible"? If he is not, then he is not a "Prophet" in the Bahá'í sense of that term. He may be a "Seer" if he truly "sees" Angels. Does the current President of the LDS Church "see" Angels? If so, why does he keep it a secret or does he publish accounts of those divine visions. Joseph Smith never kept his visions of angels a secret, but always published his accounts.

Q. How can there be TWO true Churches? How can the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Baha'i Faith BOTH be TRUE at the same time?

A. How could John the Baptist and Jesus both be true Prophets at the same time? The lesser (John) was raised up to prepare the way for the greater (Jesus). Early Mormon leaders in Utah all declared that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" were two separate and district organizations, and that "The Church" was raised up to prepare the way for "The Kingdom". They preached sermons in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, in General Conference, all declaring that "The Kingdom" would be established somewhere on earth in the year 1891, and that it would start out very small, like a mustard seed, but eventually grow to include all nations on Earth.

When the year 1891 came and went, and Mormon leaders did not see "The Kingdom" being established, they concluded that the LORD had delayed His coming! Today, Mormon leaders declare that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" mean the very same thing!

But..."The Kingdom" was established in the year 1891, by the Son of Man Who appeared in red garments, in the place and in the year Joseph Smith expected Him to appear! Bahá'u'lláh wrote:

"The Voice of the Son of Man is calling aloud from the sacred veil: 'Here am I, here am I, O God, My God!' The Father hath come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom of God is fulfilled." (The Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p.104)

The Kingdom started out very small, like a mustard seed, but it will eventually consume all nations in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

Q. Bahá'ís speak of a New World Order. Is this not the kingdom of the coming Anti-Christ?

A. Shoghi Effendi (shaw-khee ef-fen-dee), the grandson of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and the infallible Guardian of the Faith, spoke of the "New World Order" replacing the "Old World Order". We see this prophecy being fulfilled. Forces outside of the Faith have been working on the New World Order for some time. But the "New World Order" would not be an end-in-itself. The New World Order will eventually be replaced by "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh"; otherwise known as:

*The Millennium
*The Millennial Kingdom
*The Kingdom of Christ
*The Kingdom of God and His Laws
*The 1000-year Reign of Christ on Earth

Many "Anti-Christs" will come--not just one--and they will go. But, ultimately, the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh will be established and bring preace and justice to the Earth for a thousand years.

Q: How can Bahá'u'lláh be the return of Christ when the signs in the heavens have not yet occurred?

A: Mormons are taught that before Jesus Christ can return, certain "signs in the heavens" must occur; including:

*The Sun becoming dark.

*The Moon turning to blood.

*The Stars falling from heaven.

Many Baha'is believe these "signs" have already occurred.

The Sun becoming black is known as "The Dark Day" and that occurred on May 19th, 1780; when the Sun became black all over North American, and the Moon appeared blood red on that night.

Jesus said that before the coming of "the Son of Man" there would be certain 'signs in the heavens':

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Mattew 24:29)
Jesus was referring to prophecies of the prophet Joel, who wrote:
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." (Joel 2:31)
The Apostle John, in his Book of Revelations, 6th chapter, wrote:
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." (Revelation 6:12-13)
Most Christians believe that these 'signs' have not yet occurred. A few Christians, the Seventh-day Adventists, and a few others, believe they already have occurred. Adventist author Glen Walker has written:
"These are the opening signs announcing that Jesus would come again soon. First the earth shook mightily--this was commonly called the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755. It was the most terrible earthquake every recorded. It involved most of Europe and Africa and even reach America, Great Britain, and Ireland. It covered more than four million square miles. Next came the great dark day. The Great Dark Day of May 19, 1780. Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. Joel prophesied "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Joel 2:31. After midnight the darkness disappeared and the moon, when first seen, had the appearance of blood. Next was a vision of the stars falling as thick and fast as late-ripening figs fall from a tree when shaken by a strong wind. Read in history books about the fulfillment of this great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833." (Project Lighthouse, Lesson 15, pp.4-5 online)
The "Night of the Falling Stars" took place on November 13th 1833. Joseph Smith himself believed that Nov. 13th was the fulfillment of the Matthew 24 signs! In his journal for that day he wrote:
"About 4 o'clock a.m., I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door, and calling me to arise and behold the signs in the heavens. I arose, and, to my great joy, beheld the starts fall from haven like a snow of hailstones; a literal fulfillment of the word of God, as recorded in the Scriptures, and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand." (History of the Church 1:439)
Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt wrote:
"About 2 o'clock in the morning, we were called up by the cry of signs in the heavens. We arose, and to our great astonishment all the firmament seemed involved in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expance had been hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Thousands of bright meteors were shooting through space in every direction, with long trains of light following in their course. This lasted for several hours, and was only closed by the dawn of the rising sun. Every heart was filled with joy at this majestic display of signs and wonders, showing the near approach of the coming of the Son of Man." (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p.110)
According to Mormon writer Philo Dibble, Joseph prophesied (praw-feh-side) of the Night of the Falling Stars over a month beforehand. Philo Dibble wrote:
"On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland [Ohio] sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that 'Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven.' Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to the natural man, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet. On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock... and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith's prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled. Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled. The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as 'the night of the falling of the stars.' He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of 'a false prophet.' The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word. After that event the unbeliever sought the company of any Latter-day Saint. He even enticed Mormon children to keep him company at his house. Not long afterwards, too, he sent for Joseph and Hyrum to come to his house, which they did, but with no noticeable results, for I believe he never received the gospel." (Philo Dibble, "Recollections," JI 27:23)
Clearly, Mormon leaders used to believe that the "signs in the heavens" (Sun becoming black as sackcloth, moon turning to blood, stars falling from heaven) had all occurred by the year 1833. But, Mormon leaders today see the "signs in the heavens" as something that has not yet occurred and will not occur until sometime in the unforeseen future. But Bahá'ís know these signs all appeared before the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in 1863.

The Church has changed. Early Mormon leaders believed that "The Church" was set up to "prepare the way" for "The Kingdom"; which would be established somewhere on earth in the year 1891. Today, Mormon leaders teach that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" is the very same thing. Why'd they change?

Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in the physical resurrection of Christ?

A. No. Most Bahá'ís believe that the resurrection of Christ is "mere metaphor" of His teachings being "resurrected" after three days in the Tomb of Doubt; based upon some ambiguous comments of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the book Some Answered Questions. This is called the "Metaphor Only" view of the Resurrection of Christ. In other words, Jesus died and was buried and remains buried, but His disciples and teachings were "dead" for three days and nights, but became revived when Mary Magdalene told the disciples that while Jesus was dead, His Spirit still lived. Thos who adhere to this view believe the Gospel accounts of His resurrection are non-historical "parables" and never actually happened.

Also in that book, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said that the disciples "saw Christ living, helping and protecting them" after His death (SAQ 106-7). This had led some Bahá'ís to believe that the disciples saw Christ in "divine visions" after His death. In other words, they saw His "ethereal body" and not His physical body. This is called the "Spiritual Body View" of the resurrection of Christ. They saw His "spiritual body" after His death and not His physical body.

Bahá'ís do not believe in the resurrection of the "physical body". Dust returns to dust. But men and women also have an "ethereal body"; which, at death, is released from the physical body like a bird is released from a cage.

The ascension of Christ into a cloud on the top of the Mount of Olives was not a "physical" event. It was a vision the Disciples were having; like Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. Visions are literal and historical, but they are not physical events.

Q. If Jesus' physical body was never raised, then why was the tomb empty, and why did Jesus show His wounds to Thomas, and how could Jesus eat fish and honeycomb after His death?

A. According to an ancient Christian Gospel called The Gospel of Peter, several hours before the disciples came to the tomb and found it empty, two "men in white" appeared at the tomb and removed the physical body of Jesus. What they did with it, we are not informed. This would emplain why the tomb was empty when Mary Magdalene, and later Peter and John, searched it.

According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the dead exist in a "Bardo" (trasitional) body for 49 days after death, and this Bardo body has all the wounds and scars of the recently dead physical body. Perhaps this is why Jesus still had wounds in His hands, feet, and side, that He showed to Thomas.

According to The Book of Tobit, which is in all Catholic Bibles (voted out of the Old Testment by Protestants in the 16th century), the Angel Rafael appears to Tobit, and eats fish with him:

1 And as they went on their journey, they came in the evening to the river Tigris, and they lodged there.
2 And when the young man went down to wash himself, a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him.
3 Then the angel said unto him, Take the fish. And the young man laid hold of the fish, and drew it to land. 4 To whom the angel said, Open the fish, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely.
5 So the young man did as the angel commanded him; and when they had roasted the fish, they did eat it: then they both went on their way, till they drew near to Ecbatane. (Book of Tobit chapter 6)
Angels can eat, but they do not have physical bodies.

The Holy Qur'an says that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary "in the form of a perfect man":

"Thus she kept herself in seclusion from people. Then We sent to her Our Spirit, and it appeared before her in the form of a perfect man." (Qu'ran 19:17)
Apparently Ethereal Bodies "look" just like physical bodies, but they are not. The Ethereal Body is not a "spirit" but is something in-between spirit and physical body. It can only be seen in visions.

Even if a physical body can be raised from the dead (such as Lazarus), physical bodies always turn back into dust. But the soul is eternal.

Q. Did The Báb or Bahá'u'lláh perform any supernatural miracles?

A. Yes! In 1846 The Báb was having dinner with a number of His disciples, and a man asked Him to help his wife conceive; for they wanted a child but the woman was barren. The Báb told the man to tell his wife to eat from His plate. She did so, and was soon pregnant with a girl-child who would later be the wife of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the grand-mother of Shoghi Effendi. There are more miracles, including how 750 bullets severed the ropes which held The Báb bound in Tabriz, Iran, in 1850.

There is a book, written in Persian, that has many accounts of the miracles of Bahá'u'lláh, but 'Abdu'l-Bahá apparently did not this book published; fearing the Bahá'ís would use it as "proof" that He was a true Prophet. Why? Because accounts of miracles can be faked; as is the case in India among some so-called "gurus" who use magicians tricks to deceive the ignorant. Some tele-vangelists in America have also been accused of false "miracles". 'Abdu'l-Bah&aacuite; didn't want the Bahá'ís using the miracles of Bahá'u'lláh as "proof". He wanted the Word of Bahá'u'lláh to be the only "proof" that He is the Spirit of Truth; not any accounts of miracles. Come hear His Words being recited in prayer, and you will know for yourself.

Q. What does the Baha'i Faith say about homosexuality?

A. Baha'u'llah wrote that there are certain practices He called "Satanic deeds". These deeds retard the progress of the soul in the Afterlife, and Baha'is are to avoid them. Among these deeds are:

*Zina (translated "adultery": any hetero-sex outside of legal marriage which includes adultery and fornication)
*Liwat (translated "sodomy": male homo-sex of any kind)
*Sihaqaq (translated "lechery": female homo-sex of any kind)

Baha'u'llah wrote:

"Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful. By the righteousness of God! Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth satanic deeds, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue." (Kitab-i-Aqdas 107:49)
The Holy Writings do not tell us "why" these "satanic deeds" retard the progress of the soul, nor do the Writings tell us "why" some people are "apparently" born homosexual. We obey Baha'u'llah because He is the Spirit of Truth, and we believe He is from God and God knows better than we do.

Baha'is do not "confess" to priests or bishops. As long as a Baha'i keeps his or her private sexual life absolutely private then that is between them and God. However, if their private life becomes public knowledge, and they are found to be violating a Law of Baha'u'llah in regards to sexual conduct, they can have their Baha'i voting rights removed. Repeated violations can mean being "declared" a Covenant-Breaker; which means official shunning by other Believers for life.

All the Holy Writings have not yet been translated. Perhaps new translations will contain clues as to why some people are born gay (or feel they are born gay), and why even the most "loving" monogamous homosexual relationships are still damaging to the soul. Until then, we must trust Baha'u'llah on this and every other issue. If we cannot trust Him, then we are not truly Baha'is.

Q. Do Baha'is believe in plural marriage (polygamy), and can Baha'is be polygamists?

A. Under the Holy Law in the time of Christ polygamy was allowed, and this was true under the dispensation of Muhammad; Who had eleven wives and authorized Muslims to take up to four wives. Baha'u'llah Himself had three wives; which was legal under the Law of God at the time.

But Bahá'u'lláh wrote in His "Most Holy Book" (Kitab-i-Aqdas) in 1874 "do not go beyond two" and to treat them with perfect equality. His Son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, interpreted this to mean monogamy; since a man cannot treat two wives with perfect equality.

Some have speculated that the phrase "do not go beyond two" means do not divorce more than once. Others speculate it means that if a wife becomes barren or goes insane, a man can marry again without giving up his legal responsibilities to his first wife (such as providing for her care). But these are just speculations. The Universal House of Justice will one day make a "decision" on this matter, and it is believed they are "under the shadow" of the Holy Spirit; so their collective decision will be inspired of God.

Polyamists who wish to become Baha'is are told not to divorce or abandone their wives, but they are forbidden to take additional wives once they become Baha'is. Also, they must teach their children that Baha'u'llah has forbidden plural marriage (except perhaps in very rare cases---which cases will eventually be decided by the Universal House of Justice).

Q. Does the Baha'i Faith have any 'Thou shalt Nots'?

A. Yes! Here is an "unofficial" list of "Thou shalt Nots" in the Faith:

*Thou shalt not marry before the age of 15.
Thou shalt not marry without the consent of all living parents.
*Thou shalt not commit zina, nor liwat, nor sihaqaq.
*Thou shalt not engage in free love or polygamy.
*Thou shalt not backbite nor gossip.
*Thou shalt not argue about religion.
*Thou shalt not join political parties nor engage in partisan politics.
*Thou shalt not protest the government.
*Thou shalt not belong to other churches or religions while a Believer.
*Thou shalt not belong to the Masonic Lodge.
*Thou shalt not kill except in self-defence.
*Thou shalt not perform nor have and abortion merely because the child is unwanted.
*Thou shalt not belong to the combat-arms wing of the military.
*Thou shalt not bear false witness.
*Thou shalt not make a living from begging.
*Thou shalt not wear your hair over your ears (males only).
*Thou shalt not shave your head (if you have hair on it)
*Thou shalt not thrust your hand into the common bowl
*Thou shalt not keep your household furniture for more than 19 years.
*Thou shalt not deny your are a Baha'i in order to avoid persecution.

The Laws of Baha'u'llah are called His "Ordinances".

Believers who cannot abide by the Ordinances are not "Baha'is" but Hypocrites and should resign from the Faith. Baha'u'llah wrote;

"The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His 331 laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other." (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p.15)
Q. If I become a Baha'i, what sort of things will I be doing?

A. The Believer has nine basic obligations:

1* Reciting the Daily Obligatory Prayer once every 24 hours while facing Bahjí (the Holy Shrine of Baha'u'llah)
2* Reciting the Zikr ("Remembrance" of God) daily by saying ALLÁH'U'ABHÁ ("God is Most High") 95 times; with or without using prayer beads.
*3 Greeting others Believers by saying ALLAH'U'ABHA.
4* Obeying the Ordinances of Baha'u'llah; which include the marriage and sexual laws, laws regarding cleanliness and home furnishings, laws regarding proper dress and etiquette, laws of inheritance, laws regarding the payment of "The Right of God" (i.e. tithing), laws regarding not working (if possible) on the Nine Holy Days, and other laws such as abstaining from gambling, alcohol, and all forms of illegal drugs (smoking is allowed but discouraged)
5* Voting in Baha'i Elections locally and nationally.
6* Teaching the Faith to Non-Believers either by becoming a Pioneer or a Travel-Teacher or appointing a deputy to teach on our behalf.
7* Obeying the Universal House of Justice and its deputies.
8* Going on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines if you can afford to and are in good health and you are over the age of 15 but under the age of 70.
9* Fasting during the daylight hours during the the Baha'i month of 'Ala (19 days) if you are in good health, not traveling, not pregnant, over the age of 15 and under the age of 70.

Baha'is are encouraged to attend a 19-Day Feast with other Believers on the first day of every Baha'i month, but this is not obligatory. The Baha'i Year is divided into 19 months with 19 days each.

Baha'is greet each other by saying ALLÁH'U'ABHÁ ("GOD IS MOST HIGH"). This ia a greeting between Believers only. Seekers should greet Baha'is by saying: "Pleased to meet you!" or "How do you do?"

When you greet a Baha'i at a meeting say: "How do you do? My name is ___________ and I'm a Seeker!"

The Baha'is refer to each other as "The Friends".

Q. Do Baha'is celebrate Christmas?

A. The Believers do not celebrate any holidays except for the Nine Holy Days, and Christmas is not one of them. However, to be a Believer one must be at least 15 years old. Children under 15 are not considered to be Believers; although they are allowed to attend Bahá'í Sunday Schools and Feasts.

Baha'is have a "Christmas" like celebration that lasts for 4 or 5 days (February 26th to March 1st) which are called "Ayyam-i-H´" ("The Days of H") where presents are exchanged. The Arabic letter "H" (Ha) is the fifth letter, and there are 4 or 5 days in Ayyam-i-Ha; 4 in regular years, and 5 in leap years.

The Baha'i Faith teaches "the Independent Investigation of Truth". Most Baha'i parents encourage their children to study other religions, and make up their own mind what religion they wish to be; instead of blindly following the religion of their parents.

Q. Does the Faith have any Temples or temple-rites?

A. The Faith has "Houses of Worship" and these are sometimes referred to as "Temples". But they are not temples in the Mormon sense of the word. They are open to the public, and there are no rites (secret or otherwise) in them. Believers gather to hear the Holy Writings recited and to medidate. You might compare Baha'i Houses of Worship to "Celestial Rooms" in Mormon Temples; where worshippers sit in silence and meditate in the hopes of receiving divine inspiration such as answers to prayers, etc.

There is a Baha'i Pilgrimage Rite to the Holy Shrines (tombs) of The Bab and Baha'u'llah in the Holy Land. These include the reciting of specific prayers at specific times and places and the circummabulation (i.e. "walking around") the Shrines in a specific manner. The Rite is for Baha'i Pilgrims only, but is is not secret as is the Mormon Endowment Ceremony.

Q. Do Baha'is really believe that the Endowment Ceremony as authored by Joseph Smith points to Baha'u'llah?

A. No! There is no such teaching in the Faith. This author (Aenon E. Moss) believes so; as Personal Belief. Baha'u'llah sat behind white veils in Akka Palestine. Baha'i pilgrims had to wash and anoint themselves, done white clothing, take off their shows, and (because of assassination attempts) know certain "signs and tokens" before the veil was parted and they could enter His Presence. I do not believe this is "mere coincidence". Joseph Smith formed the Endowment Cermony for his Holy Order which he planned to take with him to Palestine, so they would be prepared to meet "the Son of Man" when He came in "red apparel" in the year 1891.

All Mormons who have been through the Endowment Ceremony know that there are "four marks" on the veil. These four sacred (and secret) marks are symbols to Mormons. The symbols are considered too sacred to discuss outside of Mormon Temples. But I believe each "mark" or symbol represents a letter in Arabic:

B(BA)....H(HA).....U(OH)......L(LA)

The Arabic "B" resembles a compass. The "H" resembles a Mason's square. The "U" resembles a navel. And the "L" resembles a knee. He who has eyes, let him see.

I believe Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer who was preparing his Holy Order to "recognize" Baha'u'llah when He appeared, and used symbols from the Masonic Lodge to do this.

Q. How can you believe that Joseph Smith was a true Seer when science had proven that American Indians have no Jewish DNA, and that Joseph Smith lied about being a polygamist?

A. To become a Baha'i you are NOT required to accept Joseph Smith as an inspired Seer! That is not required of you. I personally believe he was. Prophets are Infallible Revelators. Seers are as "fallible" and as sinful as any other human being. Take the example of David, who killed Uriah so he could hide his adultery with Uriah's wife--who bore King Solomon.

And take for example the Apostle Paul, who had a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. He was arrested and brought before the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin), and was asked if he was a Christian. To avoid being killed he replied he was "a Pharisee, and the son of a Pharisee" (Acts ?????). Seers are sinful, and sometimes cowardly, but they are still Seers.

Baha'is are not required to believe that The Book of Mormon is historical, or even an inspired parable. But I do beleive it is an inspired prophetic parable; like the Book of Jonah or the Bhagavad Gita. But that is my own personal belief. You need not share it.

I bear you my testimony that I believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Q. Is there "one book" that Seekers can read and pray about in order to discover if the Bahá'í Faith is true or not?

A. No. To determine if the Bahá'í Faith is true or not, one must "hear" the Words of Bahá'u'lláh being recited by a Believer. This occurs during the openning of any Bahá'í meeting. When one hears the Prayers of Bahá'u'lláh being recited (read out-loud), then His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) will tell your spirit that He is the Spirit of Truth. Your spirit will reocognize His Words as being those of the Spirit of Truth. That is the "way" you will know. The more in-tune with the Holy Spirit the Seeker is, the easier it will be for him or her to recognize this.

You are invited to attend a Public Information Meeting (called a "Seekers Meeting" or a "Fireside" or a "Devotional") about the Faith near your home. If you live in the Continental United States (the 48 States) just call the following number toll-free anytime day or night and say: "I want to attend a Public Meeting about the Faith!":

1-800-228-6483

Seekers Meetings are 60 to 90 minutes in length. They begin with the reciting of prayers by a Believers (takes about 3 minutes). Then a DVD about the Faith is often shown. Then there is a Quesion and Answer Period. Then there is the serving of refreshments. Dress is casual. No donations are asked for, and none can be accepted. There is no cost. If you need a ride, please ask for one.

Free Bahá'í liteture can be mailed to your home. Just go to www.bahai.us/contact and fill-in the online request form. Your name/address will never be sold or used for any other purpose than this.

The Bahá'í Faith has no missionaries. Nobody will come to your home to teach you about the Faith. Free literature can be mailed to your home, but no Bahá'í missionaries will ever knock on your door. To discover if Bahá'u'lláh is the Spirit of Truth or not, you must attend a Seekers Meeting, and hear the Words of Bahá'u'lláh being recited by a Believer.

GO IN PEACE!


Please return this booklet to the Believer who gave it to you so other Seekers may read it. Thank you. A.E.M.
<head> <hr> <center> <img src="bahaimormon.jpg"> <br><h2> Answers to Questions Mormon Seekers Frequently Have About The Bahá'í Faith</h2> </center> <p> <b>Q. How could Bahá'u'lláh be the Spirit of Truth, or Holy Ghost, when the Holy Ghost must remain a Spirit or He cannot dwell in us?</b><p> A. What is impossible with God? Mormons believe that "One Day" the Holy Ghost will live a mortal life on Earth in order to gain a physical body. We simply say "He has done so already" and His name is Bahá'u'lláh.<p> <b>Q. What does the Bahá'í Faith say about Jesus Christ?</b><p> A.The Holy Writings call Jesus Christ was "the very Savior of Man" (PUP, p.62), the "Lord of the Visible and Invisible" (GWB 57,#23), the "Lord of all being" (GWB 55,#23), the "WORD of God" (SWA 20:1), the "Son of God" (SAQ 63, WOB 105) Who was born of a literal virgin and the Holy Ghost (LG #1637), whose death on the Cross infused a fresh capacity into all Creation, Who healed the sick, caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, and Whose death and techings sanctified the soul of the sinner (GWB 85-86).<p> <font size="2"> PUP <i>Promulgation of Universal Peace</i><br> GWB <i>Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah</i><br> SWA <i>Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha</i><br> SAW <i>Some Answered Questions</i><br> LG <i>Lights of Guidance</i> </font> <p> <font size="4"> <b>Q. How could Bahá'u'lláh be the Son of Man when D&C 49:22 says that the Lord will not come as a woman nor as a man who travels upon the earth?</b><p> A. By "earth" is meant the ground; not "planet" Earth. Baha'u'llah road horses since before He could walk, and His legs became very bowed; making walking difficult. Because of His bowed legs, He stood only five feet tall. So, He travelled by horse or by covered wagon called a "Hodah"; not traveling "on the earth (ground)".<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that Jesus will return as well be descending from a cloud and landing upon the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem?</b><p> A. Bahá'ís interpret the word "cloud" as a metaphor to mean a "human body". Just as a "cloud" hides the Sun, so human bodies ("cloud") hide the WORD of God. When the Bible says of Jesus that "He cometh with clouds" the meaning is not that He will come riding upon clouds in the sky, nor He will come on a cloudy day, but rather "He cometh (returns) with clouds (new bodies)". Or, in other words, the WORD of God shall "return" with a new name and in a new body born of a woman.<p> Baha'u'llah never visited Jerusalem, but His Firstborn Son 'Abdu'l-Baha (awb-dull baw-HAW) did.<p> <b>Q. Is Bahá'u'lláh the reincarnation of Jesus Christ?</b><p> A. No! He is the Incarnation of the Holy Ghost Who dwelt "in" Jesus from His baptism to the Cross.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in reincarnation?</b><p> A. No! Human souls do not return to this material planet. However, some Bahá'ís believe that human souls live mortal lives on <i>other</i> material planets (one mortal life per planet), but this is NOT Accepted Doctrine (what every Bahá'í must believe), but Personal Belief (personal opinion).<p> Some believe that the Souls of the Prophets and Chosen Ones are not "human" and thus can "return". Mollah Husayn Bushrú'í, the first Disciple of The Báb, claimed to be the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad. Tahirih, the first female follower of The Báb, claimed to be the "return" of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. The Báb Himself claimed to be the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi; a young boy who "disappeared" (probably falling down a well) around 847 A.D. <p> Many early Western Bahá'ís believed that 'Abdu'l-Baha was the "return" of Jesus, such as JOhn Getsinger, who wrote: <blockquote> "Abbas is heir and Master of the Kikngdom. He was on earth 1900 years ago as the Nazarene." (Notes at Acca, p.24) </blockquote> Thorton Chase, the first American Baha'i, wrote: <blockquote> "He has come again the Kingdom of the Father." (<i>Before Abraham Was, I AM</i>, p.12) </blockquote> Phoebe Hearst wrote: <blockquote> "He 'Abdu'l-Baha is the Son of God, and the Spirit of His Father in is Him." (p.258) </blockquote> Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, the Shi'ite Muslim Seer who had visions and prophesied of the coming of The Báb, taught that the Souls of the Manifestations of God and the Chosen Ones were not human but Divine, and thus could "return" in every Dispensation.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in Eternal Marriage?</b><p> A. 'Abdu'l-Bahá (awb-dull baw-HAW), the Firstborn Son of Baha'u'llah, taught a doctrine He called "eternal union". He taught that if a Baha'i couple become "one" both physically and spiritually, and if both reached "an exalted state" of spirituality in this life, then they could achieve <b>eternal union</b> thoughout all the Worlds of God and their relationship with each other would be "everlasting".<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that God is a resurrected Exalted Man as do Mormons?</b><p> A. The Essence of God (ALLÁH) is Unknowable. Not a Man. Not a Spirit. Not this. Not that. But, the Manifestations of God are (to date) always Perfect Men. Bahá'u'lláh referred to Himself as "The Father" and "The Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)". In the Bible, and in The Book of Mormon, it is the Holy Spirit who "begets" Jesus. Therefore, He has the right to the title of "The Father".<p> <b>Do Bahá'ís believe that God is the Father of our spirits, and in a Heavenly Mother?</b><p> A. There is no literally "begetting" like men do! Our spirits/souls were "created" by God, but it was not a sexual process. There is no Bahá'í Doctrine of a "Heavenly Mother". However, there is a Being called "The Maid of Heaven" Who is identified as a Manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who was "begotten by the Spirit of Bahá". We don't know Who She is. Some speculate She is Fatimah (daughter of Muhammad). Others say She is Mary mother of Jesus. Others say She is a "poetic literary device" used by Bahá'u'lláh to describe His "realization" that He was the Promised One. We don't know.<p> <b>Q. Do Bah´'ís believe they can become Gods and Goddesses and create their own planets and rule over them as Mormons do?</b><p> A. No! The Faith teaches there is only ONE GOD (as The Book of Mormon itself teaches); so men and women cannot become gods and goddesses. Some believe that human souls can eventually become Divine Souls (i.e. Manifestations of God), but others do not. Each Manifestation of God has a dual-station: He is both "God" and "servant".<p> There is nothing in the Holy Writings (Bahá'í Scriptures) about Believers creating their own planets and ruling over them. However, according to the Holy Qu'ran (which we believe is the infallible Word of God), the Mo'men (Faithful) shall inherit "Gardens of Eden" with rivers flowing underneath, and be "wed" and have their Mo'men (Faithful) relatives and children with them, recliding upon thrones, eating delicioius fruits, drinking delicious nectar, and being served by Hooreezz (female servants) and Ghoollawmzz (male servants) for all eternity.<p> Most Bahá'ís would interpret the Qur'anic depictions of Paradise and Hell-fire as "metaphors" of something we cannot yet comprehend; just as a child in the womb cannot yet comprehend our world.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that they will beget spirit-children in the Afterlife as Mormons do?</b><p> A. No. There is nothing in the Holy Writings about the begetting of children, spirit-children or otherwise, in the Afterlife. The Holy Qur'an says that the Mo'men (Faithful) will be "wed" and have their children with them, but we do not know if this means their earthly children will be with them in Paradise, or they will beget "new" children in Paradise.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in baptism and other Gospel ordinances?</b><p> A. 'Abdu'l-Baha taught that water-baptism is no longer necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. All that is necessary is the "Baptism of Fire"; otherwise known as the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". This comes not through any earthly ordinance, but from being <b>born again</b> via the Holy Spirit. Those who walk the <b>Path of Holiness</b> are the most likely to be <b>born again</b>, but there is no rite or ritual or ordinance that makes one "born again".<p> By "being born again" the Bahá'í understanding is that the Holy Spirit transforms one's human soul into an angelic soul. At death, the angelic soul enters into Malakut (maw-law-koot); which is the Angelic Realm.<p> The Bahá'í "Heaven" looks like this:<p> <center> Héhút (Realm of the Essence of God/ALLÁH)<br> +++++++++++Impassible Barrier+++++++++++<br> Láhút (Realm of the Names/Attributes of God/The Abhá Paradise)<br> Jabárút (Realm of the Powerful Ones/Paradise)<br> Malákút (Realm of the Angels/Spirit-World)<br> </center> <p> Some Bahá'ís believe that human souls can enter Láhút (The Abhá Paradise), but others believe that human souls can never enter that Realm. Not even the Manifestations of God can enter the Realm of the Essence of God (ALLÁH).<p> <b>Q. Do Baha'is believe in a literal Hell where the Sun burns our skin and there are demons which torment us for all eternity?</b><p> A. No. Most Baha'is view "Heaven" and "Hell" as "closeness to God" and "aloftness from God" and do not go beyond that. "Heaven" and "Hell" are viewed as "metaphors" that of things we cannot possible understand until we die. Most Baha'is do not speculate on what "Heaven" or "Hell" will be like; other than to say that "Heaven" will be pleasant and "Hell" will not be pleasant.<p> Baha'u'llah referred to the material/physical realm (Naw-Soot) as "the Netherworld" and "demons" referred to wicked men that exist in our world (dimension).<p> Some Baha'is accept "The Earth-is-Hell View" in which Násút (naw-soot), our dimension, is "Hell"; the place where the Sun burns our skin, and where we experience pain, sorrow, injustice, fear, anxiety, depression, disease, deformity, injustice, ageing, and death. The place where wicked men ("demons") kill, rape, steal, injure, deceive, oppress the poor, and use us as pawns for their wars. But The Earth-is-Hell View is not Accepted Doctrine. In this View, "Heaven" are the Spirtiual Realms (Dimensions) and "Hell" is the Physical Realm (Dimension). If we are not "born again" in this life, then we must "return" to the Physical Realm; not on this planet, but another; to one again "die" (the second death). But if we are "born again" in this life, then at death the Spiritual Realms (which surround us unseen) became apparent to us.<p> There is no "eternal" unending Hell in Baha'i teachings! All souls come from God, and all return unto Him. Some faster than others. Some less painfully than others. But we shall all return unto Him.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in three degrees of glory in heaven as the Mormons do?</b><p> A. The Holy Writings do mention the Spiritual Realms (listed above), and there are four of them; two or three that human souls can access "if" the Holy Spirit transforms their human souls into angelic souls, or powerful souls, or Divine Souls.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that Hell is a literal place and that Satan is a literal being?</b><p> A. They do not believe that Hell is a "place" but a "condition of the soul". One's soul is "in Hell" or "in Heaven" already! In the Seen World (our world) this can be "veiled" from us. But in the Unseen World, "Heaven" or "Hell" shall become apparent to us. But Heaven and Hell are not "places" anymore than if we were dreaming we are on a beach in Hawaii and then say "I am on a beach in Hawaii" or if we are dreaming we are in a Siberian Ghulag and then say "I am in Siberia". The dreamer is not on a beach, nor are they in Siberia. The Unseen World has various Realms (Dimensions) but these are not "places" but "conditions". There is no such thing as "place" in the Unseen World; the Spiritual Realms which surround us.<p> As far as "Satan" goes, the Bahá'ís do not believe he is a personal being outside of ourselves. "Satan" is a symbol of our "lower nature" (ego). Each of us has a higher-nature and a lower-nature. Satan (adversary) refers to the lower-nature of man. Some might say, "The Collective Unconsciousness of Mankind". Satan is <b>real</b> (our lower-nature is real), but just not just "one person" but rather our own "ego". There are as many "satans" as their are people. <p> <b>Q. Does the Baha'i Faith have any Priesthood?</b><p> A. The Mormon term "Priesthood" means something very different than the way Bahá'ís use that term. The Bahá'í term means a professional learned class that instructs the unlearned masses what to believe about God. The Mormon term means "the divine authority of God to act in His name on Earth with the authority to perform saving ordinances and to preach the Gospel". <u>The Faith is not a "Church"</u> and thus has no Gospel ordinances, and thus no need for a Priesthood to perform such ordinances.<p> The Faith has no "Priesthood" (meaning special class that stands between God and the Believer), but an "Administrative Order" to which both men and women belong except for the Universal House of Justice--the Governing Body of the Faith worldwide--which is all male.<p> <b>Q. Where is the Universal House of Justice, and why is it all male?</b><p> A. The "House" is not a building, but a council of nine men elected by Baha'i delegates every five years. They are not Prophets nor Seers, but they are believed to be "unders the shadow" of Baha'u'llah. The House meets in "The Seat of the Universal House of Justice" (which is a building) at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel. <p> Why is the House all male? Because Bahá'u'lláh commanded it that way. We have no other reason to give you than that.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís practice the Sacrament?</b><p> A. The Faith has no Gospel ordinances. No baptisms. No sacraments. No Endowments. No sealings. No priesthood. But, there is a "Feast" that Believers attend every 19 days. This is not a rite or ritual, but rather simply a time to fellowship with other Believers.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís see Jesus as merely a Prophet; just one among nine Prophets?</b><p> A. Each Manifestation of God has a dual-station: that of "GOD" and that of "servant of God". Jesus also had a dual-station like the Other Manifestations of God. A Bahá'í named Mr. Meakin once asked 'Abdu'l-Baha about the station of Jesus among the Prophets:<p> 'Abdu'l-Bahá: "Jesus is the Perfect Mirror, in which the bounties and Perfections of God are reflected. Jesus is not separate from God, since His is the perfection of Divine Knowledge."<p> Mr. Meakin asked: "Are not all the Prophets Manifestations reflecting the Word?"<p> 'Abdu'l-Bahá: "Yes, but the Word as reflected in Jesus has a special meaning. The Sun shines in all the months, but in July it is brightest." (Pilgrim's Notes of Loius G. Gregory, p.10)<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that a black skin is a sign of a curse of God as Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders taught from 1848 until 1978?</b><p> A. No. 'Abdu'l-Bahá explained long ago that a black skin was a protection from the harsh rays of the Sun where the rays of the Sun were most harsh; near the Equator. Long after He said that, science had confirmed this truth: people with white skin came from climates with little sunlight, and people with dark skin came from climates with very strong constant sunlight. A black skin is not a sign of any curse by God, but rather a protection of the skin from the Ultra-violet rays of the Sun.<p> <b>Q. What does the Bahá'í Faith teach about The Book of Mormon?</b><p> A. The only official comment is from Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith. He was asked if The Book of Mormon was history or not. He replied "that was a matter for historians to pass upon." (<i>High Endeavors</i>, No.93).<p> Bahá'ís cannot accept The Book of Mormon as "infallible Scripture" because even the title-page of The Book of Mormon says that it contains "the mistakes of men". Bahá'ís accept the Torah (five books of Moses), the Injil (the four Gospels), the Holy Qur'an (holy book of Islaam), and the Holy Writings of the Central Figures (The Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá) as Infallible Scripture. Other works, by Prophets or Seers, may be "inspired" but they are not considered to be "infallible" and thus are not "Scripture" in the Bahá'í Faith.<p> A book written by Prophet or Seer need not be "historical" in order to be inspired of God. Even Charles Penrose, a Mormon apostle and 1st Counsellor in the First Presidency, wrote in 1921 (while he was in the First Presidency) the following: <blockquote> "The story [of Jonah] is one of those parables common in the writing of the time....It does not matter whether that is actually the case or not, the purpose and intent of the book are excellent and have several grand lessons. It is of little significance whether Jonah was real individual or one chosen [as a character] by the writer of the book to write what is set forth therein." (quoted in <i>BYU: A House of Faith</i>, 1985 p.50) </blockquote> Mormons who have become Bahá'ís: some of them believe The Book of Mormon is history. Some believe it was an "inspired prophetic parable" about the future of America. Still others believe it is a work of fiction; written by Solomon Spaulding, or Sidney Rigdon, or even Joseph Smith himself; for pious or impious purposes. All of these views are accepted in the Faith as "Personal Belief". A Bahá'í can have a "Personal Belief" and even share it with others; as long as they do not present that Personal Belief as Accepted Doctrine nor try to "force" their Personal Belief upon other Bahá'ís.<p> Bahá'ís may read and even quote from the writings of Seers. The Bhagavad-Gita (a Hindu holy book) was written by a Seer, and Bahá'ís can quote from it; even in Bahá'í meetings. However, it is not accepted as Infallible Scripture; because it was written by a Seer, and not a Prophet. Seers are <i>fallible</i> Revelators. Prophets are <i>infallible</i> Revelators.<p> <b>Q. Do I have to believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer in order to become a Bahá'í?</b><p> A. No! Some Mormons join the Faith and say: "Joseph Smith prophesied of Bahá'u'lláh in the captacity of a Seer!" and other Mormons join the Faith and say: "Joseph Smith was a fraud who invented his own religion!" <b>Both views are acceptable as Personal Belief</b>. Neither is Accepted Doctrine. Bahá'ís are forbidden by Holy Law from arguing about religion; even with other Bahá'ís. Bahá'ís who believe that Joseph Smith was a true Seer (pro-Smithers) can meet and discuss how he prophesied of Bahá'u'lláh <i>in the capacity of a Seer</i>.<p> Bahá'ís who believe that Joseph Smith was a religious fraud (anti-Smithers) can also meet and discuss that personal belief with those who believe likewise But, these groups cannot argue with each other nor try to force their personal beliefs upon the other group. Either group can publish books or articles, and give lectures. But there can be no debates or arguing with the other group. Pro-Smithers and Anti-Smithers cannot discuss Joseph Smith or Mormonism with each other in the same room! This would cause argument, and debate, and hurt feelings, and insults. This is not tolerated in the Faith. Love and unity is cherished beyond all other things. Live and let live. If Bahá'í "A" begins to debate or argue with Bahá'í "B" then Bahá'í "B" is obligated to immediately leave the presence of Bahá'í "A". This is the only way that peace and unity can be maintained.<p> Most Bahá'ís have "no opinion" regarding Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. The only Accepted Doctrine in the Faith is:<p> 1) Joseph Smith is not considered to be a "Prophet" (i.e. an Infallible Revelator)<p> 2) The Book of Mormon is not recognized as "Scripture" (i.e. Infallible Scripture)<p> Other than that, Bahá'ís have free to hold opposing views as long as they do not debate, argue, or try to "force their personal views upon others.<p> <b>Q. How can The Book of Mormon be true, and yet a non-historical "parable"?</b><p> A. Most Bible scholars believe that The Book of Jonah (Jonah and the Whale), The Book of Job (which is an ancient poem), and The Book of Esther are not "historical" but "inspired stories". Many Bible scholars do not believe that the Garden of Eden story is "historical" but rather a "parable". Some Bahá'ís who were formerly Mormon believe that The Book of Mormon is not "historical" but rather <b>an inspired prophetic parable</b> about the future of America. In other words:<p> 1) The Nephites (nee-fights) represent the white race in the Americas.<p> 2) The Lamanites (lay-man-nights) represent the "dark" races in the Americas.<p> 3) God allows the Lamanites (dark races) to "utterly destroy" the Nephites (white race) exactly <b>400 years after Jesus visits them</b> because the Nephites had become "proud of their skins" and because they had forgotten God and practiced "whoredoms" and became very nationalistic and militaristic and <b>materialistic</b>.<p> 3) 'Abdu'l-Bahá (awb-dull baw-HAW) visited America (and Canada) in the year 1912. Many of the early Western Baha'is believed He was the "return" of Jesus. When He got off His ship in Boston, a Syrian woman came up to Him and said: <blockquote> "I confess that in Thee I have recognized the Son of God and Jesus Christ Himself." (<i>God Passes By</i> 19:24) </blockquote> But 'Abdu'l-Baha refused to be known by the title of "Christ"; saying that He was only to be known by the title "Servant of Glory".<p> 4) If one adds 400 years to the year <b>1912</b> one comes to <b>2312 A.D.</b> At that time, the white race of the Americas will be--like the Nephites in The Book of Mormon--a very small minority. Will their fate be the same as the Nephites?<p> This view is called "The Book of Mormon As Prophetic Parable" View. Again, this view is a Personal Belief, and <i>in no way, shape, or form</i> is it to be considered Accepted Doctrine in the Faith.<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that 'Abdu'l-Bahá is the reincarnation of Jesus?</b><p> A. We cannot say that! But we do know that Jesus was the WORD of God incarnate (John 1:1-2,14). The WORD of God is not one of His Names/Attributes, but the "Be!" when God said "Be!" and created the Cosmos. "Jesus Christ" was a combination of two Divine Beings: the Father (Spirit of Truth) and the Son (The WORD of God). The Spirit of Truth returned in Muhammad, The Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh.<p> Bahá'u'lláh wrote of His Son 'Abdu'l-Bahá as: <blockquote> "A WORD which God hath adorned with the ornament of His Own Self, and made It Sovereign over the earth and all there is therein." (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.135) </blockquote> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe that the Garden of Eden Story is literal history, or do they believe in divinely-guided Evolution?</b><p> A. The Faith teaches that Adam existed, and He was a Manifestation of God. 'Abdu'l-Bahá taught that by "Adam" the spirit of Adam is meant, and by "Eve" the soul of Adam is meant. There are various schools of interpretation as to what 'Abdu'l-Bahá meant by this.<p> 'Abdu'l-Bahá also taught that Adam had no mother and no father. Again, how His explantions are "interpreted" varies.<p> 'Abdu'l-Bahá also taught that "Man" once resembled a fish and lived in the ocean, and that "Man" once lived in the trees. He also taught that "Man" did not evolve from the animals! Most Bahá'ís interpret this to mean that "Man" had a <i>parallel evolution</i> with animals. In other words, the species known as "Man" once resembled bacteria, once resembled fish, once resembled Lemors, once resembled apes, but never "evolved" from these species. This is sometimes called "Parallel Evolution" or "Co-Evolution".<p> The Man called "Adam"--apparently--was a special creation by God, and did not "evolve" nor was He born of a woman. One school of thought says that Adam was an Angel with an ethereal body who, upon eating material fruit, became "mortal" like us. But this is Personal Belief, and not Accepted Doctrine.<p> A few Bahá'ís believe that Adam may refer to the Prophet/Phaorah Aye (the father of Nefertiti) of ancient Egypt, and Eve to Khiyah his wife. But this is only speculation. We really don't know Who Adam was. But we know He existed on this planet as a Manifestation of God.<p> Many of the explanations of 'Abdu'l-Bahá are ambiguous, and not easily undestood. He never fully and clearly "explained" many of His replies, and thus Bahá'ís are left to their own devises to try to reconcile them.<p> <b>Q. Is the Faith governed by a Living Prophet?</b><p> A. Yes. The Bahá'í Faith is governed by Bahá'u'lláh, Who is the One Who inspired all the Prophets and Seers. HE IS LIVING! The Spirit of Baha'u'llah is the Holy Spirit, and HE is ALIVE more than you or I! He is the Spirit of Truth. His Spirit "overshadows" the Universal House of Justice; which is not a "building" but a "council" of nine men elected every five years. "The House" (as it is known) governs the Faith worldwide. None of the Members of The House are considered to be Prophets nor even Seers. Yet, the House itself (not a building, but a council of nine men) are "under the shadow" of Bahá'u'lláh, and divinely-inspired in their collective decisions.<p> <b>Q. Could the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also be a Living Prophet?</b><p> A. In Bahá'í terminology, a "Prophet" is an Infallibe Revelator. Is the President of the LDS Church "infallible"? If he is not, then he is not a "Prophet" in the Bahá'í sense of that term. He may be a "Seer" if he truly "sees" Angels. <b>Does the current President of the LDS Church "see" Angels?</b> If so, why does he keep it a secret or does he publish accounts of those divine visions. Joseph Smith never kept his visions of angels a secret, but always published his accounts.<p> <b>Q. How can there be TWO true Churches? How can the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Baha'i Faith BOTH be TRUE at the same time?</b><p> A. How could John the Baptist and Jesus both be true Prophets at the same time? The lesser (John) was raised up to prepare the way for the greater (Jesus). Early Mormon leaders in Utah all declared that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" were <u>two separate and district organizations</u>, and that "The Church" was raised up to <b>prepare the way</b> for "The Kingdom". They preached sermons in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, in General Conference, all declaring that "The Kingdom" would be established somewhere on earth in <b>the year 1891</b>, and that it would start out very small, like a mustard seed, but eventually grow to include all nations on Earth.<p> When the year 1891 came and went, and Mormon leaders did not see "The Kingdom" being established, they concluded that the LORD had delayed His coming! Today, Mormon leaders declare that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" mean the very same thing!<p> But..."The Kingdom" was established in the year 1891, by the Son of Man Who appeared in <b>red garments</b>, in the place and in the year Joseph Smith expected Him to appear! Bahá'u'lláh wrote: <blockquote> "The Voice of <b>the Son of Man</b> is calling aloud from the sacred veil: 'Here am I, here am I, O God, My God!' The Father hath come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom of God is fulfilled." (The Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p.104)<p> </blockquote> The Kingdom started out very small, like a mustard seed, but it will eventually consume all nations in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.<p> <b>Q. Bahá'ís speak of a New World Order. Is this not the kingdom of the coming Anti-Christ?</b><p> A. Shoghi Effendi (shaw-khee ef-fen-dee), the grandson of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and the infallible Guardian of the Faith, spoke of the "New World Order" replacing the "Old World Order". We see this prophecy being fulfilled. Forces outside of the Faith have been working on the New World Order for some time. But the "New World Order" would not be an end-in-itself. The New World Order will eventually be replaced by "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh"; otherwise known as:<p> *The Millennium<br> *The Millennial Kingdom<br> *The Kingdom of Christ<br> *The Kingdom of God and His Laws<br> *The 1000-year Reign of Christ on Earth<p> <center> <img src="WOB.gif"><br> <h2>The World Order of Baha'u'llah will be the Kingdom of God on this planet.</h2> </center> <p> Many "Anti-Christs" will come--not just one--and they will go. But, ultimately, the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh will be established and bring preace and justice to the Earth for a thousand years.<p> <b> Q: How can Bahá'u'lláh be the return of Christ when the signs in the heavens have not yet occurred?</b><p> A: Mormons are taught that before Jesus Christ can return, certain "signs in the heavens" must occur; including:<p> *The Sun becoming dark.<p> *The Moon turning to blood.<p> *The Stars falling from heaven.<p> Many Baha'is believe these "signs" have already occurred.<p> The Sun becoming black is known as "The Dark Day" and that occurred on May 19th, 1780; when the Sun became black all over North American, and the Moon appeared blood red on that night.<p> Jesus said that before the coming of "the Son of Man" there would be certain 'signs in the heavens': <blockquote> "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Mattew 24:29) </blockquote> Jesus was referring to prophecies of the prophet Joel, who wrote: <blockquote> "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." (Joel 2:31) </blockquote> The Apostle John, in his Book of Revelations, 6th chapter, wrote: <blockquote> "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." (Revelation 6:12-13) </blockquote> Most Christians believe that these 'signs' have not yet occurred. A few Christians, the Seventh-day Adventists, and a few others, believe they already have occurred. Adventist author Glen Walker has written: <blockquote> "These are the opening signs announcing that Jesus would come again soon. First the earth shook mightily--this was commonly called the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755. It was the most terrible earthquake every recorded. It involved most of Europe and Africa and even reach America, Great Britain, and Ireland. It covered more than four million square miles. Next came the great dark day. The Great Dark Day of May 19, 1780. Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. Joel prophesied "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Joel 2:31. After midnight the darkness disappeared and <b>the moon, when first seen, had the appearance of blood</b>. Next was a vision of the stars falling as thick and fast as late-ripening figs fall from a tree when shaken by a strong wind. Read in history books about the fulfillment of this great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833." (Project Lighthouse, Lesson 15, pp.4-5 online) </blockquote> The "Night of the Falling Stars" took place on November 13th 1833. Joseph Smith himself believed that Nov. 13th was the fulfillment of the Matthew 24 signs! In his journal for that day he wrote: <blockquote> "About 4 o'clock a.m., I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door, and calling me to arise and behold the signs in the heavens. I arose, and, to my great joy, beheld the starts fall from haven like a snow of hailstones; a literal fulfillment of the word of God, as recorded in the Scriptures, and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand." (History of the Church 1:439) </blockquote> Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt wrote: <blockquote> "About 2 o'clock in the morning, we were called up by the cry of signs in the heavens. We arose, and to our great astonishment all the firmament seemed involved in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expance had been hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Thousands of bright meteors were shooting through space in every direction, with long trains of light following in their course. This lasted for several hours, and was only closed by the dawn of the rising sun. Every heart was filled with joy at this majestic display of signs and wonders, showing the near approach of the coming of the Son of Man." (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p.110) </blockquote> According to Mormon writer Philo Dibble, Joseph prophesied (praw-feh-side) of the Night of the Falling Stars over a month beforehand. Philo Dibble wrote: <blockquote> <img src="nightofthefallingstars.jpg" align="left">"On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland [Ohio] sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that<b> 'Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven.'</b> Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to <b>the natural man</b>, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet. On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock... and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith's prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled. Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, <b>There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled.</b> The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as 'the night of the falling of the stars.' He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of 'a false prophet.' The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word. After that event the unbeliever sought the company of any Latter-day Saint. He even enticed Mormon children to keep him company at his house. Not long afterwards, too, he sent for Joseph and Hyrum to come to his house, which they did, but with no noticeable results, for I believe he never received the gospel." (Philo Dibble, "Recollections," JI 27:23) </blockquote> Clearly, Mormon leaders <u>used to believe</u> that the "signs in the heavens" (Sun becoming black as sackcloth, moon turning to blood, stars falling from heaven) had all occurred by the year 1833. But, Mormon leaders <I>today</I> see the "signs in the heavens" as something that has not yet occurred and will not occur until sometime in the unforeseen future. But Bahá'ís know these signs all appeared before the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in 1863.<p> The Church has changed. Early Mormon leaders believed that "The Church" was set up to "prepare the way" for "The Kingdom"; which would be established somewhere on earth in the year 1891. Today, Mormon leaders teach that "The Church" and "The Kingdom" is the very same thing. Why'd they change?<p> <b>Q. Do Bahá'ís believe in the physical resurrection of Christ?</b><p> A. No. Most Bahá'ís believe that the resurrection of Christ is "mere metaphor" of His teachings being "resurrected" after three days in the Tomb of Doubt; based upon some ambiguous comments of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the book <i>Some Answered Questions</i>. This is called the "Metaphor Only" view of the Resurrection of Christ. In other words, Jesus died and was buried and remains buried, but His disciples and teachings were "dead" for three days and nights, but became revived when Mary Magdalene told the disciples that while Jesus was dead, His Spirit still lived. Thos who adhere to this view believe the Gospel accounts of His resurrection are non-historical "parables" and never actually happened.<p> Also in that book, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said that the disciples "saw Christ living, helping and protecting them" after His death (SAQ 106-7). This had led some Bahá'ís to believe that the disciples saw Christ in "divine visions" after His death. In other words, they saw His "ethereal body" and not His physical body. This is called the "Spiritual Body View" of the resurrection of Christ. They saw His "spiritual body" after His death and not His physical body.<p> Bahá'ís do not believe in the resurrection of the "physical body". Dust returns to dust. But men and women also have an "ethereal body"; which, at death, is released from the physical body like a bird is released from a cage.<p> The ascension of Christ into a cloud on the top of the Mount of Olives was not a "physical" event. It was a vision the Disciples were having; like Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. Visions are literal and historical, but they are not physical events.<p> <b>Q. If Jesus' physical body was never raised, then why was the tomb empty, and why did Jesus show His wounds to Thomas, and how could Jesus eat fish and honeycomb after His death?</b><p> A. According to an ancient Christian Gospel called <i>The Gospel of Peter</i>, several hours before the disciples came to the tomb and found it empty, two "men in white" appeared at the tomb and removed the physical body of Jesus. What they did with it, we are not informed. This would emplain why the tomb was empty when Mary Magdalene, and later Peter and John, searched it.<p> According to the Tibetan <i>Book of the Dead</i>, the dead exist in a "Bardo" (trasitional) body for 49 days after death, and this Bardo body has all the wounds and scars of the recently dead physical body. Perhaps this is why Jesus still had wounds in His hands, feet, and side, that He showed to Thomas.<p> According to <i>The Book of Tobit</i>, which is in all Catholic Bibles (voted out of the Old Testment by Protestants in the 16th century), the Angel Rafael appears to Tobit, and eats fish with him: <blockquote> 1 And as they went on their journey, they came in the evening to the river Tigris, and they lodged there.<br> 2 And when the young man went down to wash himself, a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him. <br> 3 Then the angel said unto him, Take the fish. And the young man laid hold of the fish, and drew it to land. 4 To whom the angel said, Open the fish, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely. <br> 5 So the young man did as the angel commanded him; and when they had roasted the fish, <b>they did eat it</b>: then they both went on their way, till they drew near to Ecbatane. (Book of Tobit chapter 6) </blockquote> Angels can eat, but they do not have physical bodies.<p> The Holy Qur'an says that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary "in the form of a perfect man": <blokquote> "Thus she kept herself in seclusion from people. Then We sent to her Our Spirit, and it appeared before her in the form of a perfect man." (Qu'ran 19:17) </blockquote> Apparently Ethereal Bodies "look" just like physical bodies, but they are not. The Ethereal Body is not a "spirit" but is something in-between spirit and physical body. It can only be seen in visions.<p> Even if a physical body can be raised from the dead (such as Lazarus), physical bodies always turn back into dust. But the soul is eternal.<p> <b>Q. Did The Báb or Bahá'u'lláh perform any supernatural miracles?</b><p> A. Yes! In 1846 The Báb was having dinner with a number of His disciples, and a man asked Him to help his wife conceive; for they wanted a child but the woman was barren. The Báb told the man to tell his wife to eat from His plate. She did so, and was soon pregnant with a girl-child who would later be the wife of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the grand-mother of Shoghi Effendi. There are more miracles, including how 750 bullets severed the ropes which held The Báb bound in Tabriz, Iran, in 1850.<p> There is a book, written in Persian, that has many accounts of the miracles of Bahá'u'lláh, but 'Abdu'l-Bahá apparently did not this book published; fearing the Bahá'ís would use it as "proof" that He was a true Prophet. Why? Because accounts of miracles can be faked; as is the case in India among some so-called "gurus" who use magicians tricks to deceive the ignorant. Some tele-vangelists in America have also been accused of false "miracles". 'Abdu'l-Bah&aacuite; didn't want the Bahá'ís using the miracles of Bahá'u'lláh as "proof". He wanted the <b>Word of Bahá'u'lláh</b> to be the only "proof" that He is the Spirit of Truth; not any accounts of miracles. Come <b>hear His Words being recited in prayer</b>, and you will know for yourself.<p> <b>Q. What does the Baha'i Faith say about homosexuality?</b><p> A. Baha'u'llah wrote that there are certain practices He called "Satanic deeds". These deeds retard the progress of the soul in the Afterlife, and Baha'is are to avoid them. Among these deeds are:<p> *Zina (translated "adultery": any hetero-sex outside of legal marriage which includes adultery and fornication)<br> *Liwat (translated "sodomy": male homo-sex of any kind)<br> *Sihaqaq (translated "lechery": female homo-sex of any kind)<p> Baha'u'llah wrote: <blockquote> "<b>Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery</b>. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful. By the righteousness of God! Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth <b>satanic deeds</b>, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue." (<i>Kitab-i-Aqdas</i> 107:49) </blockquote> The Holy Writings do not tell us "why" these "satanic deeds" retard the progress of the soul, nor do the Writings tell us "why" some people are "apparently" born homosexual. We obey Baha'u'llah because He is the Spirit of Truth, and we believe He is from God and God knows better than we do.<p> Baha'is do not "confess" to priests or bishops. As long as a Baha'i keeps his or her private sexual life <i>absolutely private</i> then that is between them and God. However, if their private life becomes public knowledge, and they are found to be violating a Law of Baha'u'llah in regards to sexual conduct, they can have their Baha'i voting rights removed. Repeated violations can mean being "declared" a Covenant-Breaker; which means official shunning by other Believers for life.<p> All the Holy Writings have not yet been translated. Perhaps new translations will contain clues as to why some people are born gay (or feel they are born gay), and why even the most "loving" monogamous homosexual relationships are still damaging to the soul. Until then, we must trust Baha'u'llah on this and every other issue. If we cannot trust Him, then we are not truly Baha'is.<p> <b>Q. Do Baha'is believe in plural marriage (polygamy), and can Baha'is be polygamists?</b><p> A. Under the Holy Law in the time of Christ polygamy was allowed, and this was true under the dispensation of Muhammad; Who had eleven wives and authorized Muslims to take up to four wives. Baha'u'llah Himself had three wives; which was legal under the Law of God at the time.<p> But Bahá'u'lláh wrote in His "Most Holy Book" (Kitab-i-Aqdas) in 1874 "do not go beyond two" and to treat them with perfect equality. His Son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, interpreted this to mean monogamy; since a man cannot treat two wives with perfect equality.<p> Some have speculated that the phrase "do not go beyond two" means do not divorce more than once. Others speculate it means that if a wife becomes barren or goes insane, a man can marry again without giving up his legal responsibilities to his first wife (such as providing for her care). But these are just speculations. The Universal House of Justice will one day make a "decision" on this matter, and it is believed they are "under the shadow" of the Holy Spirit; so their collective decision will be inspired of God.<p> Polyamists who wish to become Baha'is are told not to divorce or abandone their wives, but they are forbidden to take additional wives once they become Baha'is. Also, they must teach their children that Baha'u'llah has forbidden plural marriage (except perhaps in very rare cases---which cases will eventually be decided by the Universal House of Justice).<p> <b>Q. Does the Baha'i Faith have any 'Thou shalt Nots'?</b><p> A. Yes! Here is an "unofficial" list of "Thou shalt Nots" in the Faith:<p> *Thou shalt not marry before the age of 15.<br> Thou shalt not marry without the consent of all living parents.<br> *Thou shalt not commit zina, nor liwat, nor sihaqaq.<br> *Thou shalt not engage in free love or polygamy.<br> *Thou shalt not backbite nor gossip.<br> *Thou shalt not argue about religion.<br> *Thou shalt not join political parties nor engage in partisan politics.<br> *Thou shalt not protest the government.<br> *Thou shalt not belong to other churches or religions while a Believer.<br> *Thou shalt not belong to the Masonic Lodge.<br> *Thou shalt not kill except in self-defence.<br> *Thou shalt not perform nor have and abortion merely because the child is unwanted.<br> *Thou shalt not belong to the combat-arms wing of the military.<br> *Thou shalt not bear false witness.<br> *Thou shalt not make a living from begging.<br> *Thou shalt not wear your hair over your ears (males only).<br> *Thou shalt not shave your head (if you have hair on it)<br> *Thou shalt not thrust your hand into the common bowl<br> *Thou shalt not keep your household furniture for more than 19 years.<br> *Thou shalt not deny your are a Baha'i in order to avoid persecution.<p> The Laws of Baha'u'llah are called His "Ordinances".<p> Believers who cannot abide by the Ordinances are not "Baha'is" but Hypocrites and should resign from the Faith. Baha'u'llah wrote; <blockquote> "The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His 331 laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to <b>observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world</b>. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other." (<i>Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah</i>, p.15) </blockquote> <b>Q. If I become a Baha'i, what sort of things will I be doing?</b><p> A. A Believer has nine basic obligations:<p> 1* <u>Reciting the Daily Obligatory Prayer</u> once every 24 hours while facing Bahjí (the Holy Shrine of Baha'u'llah)<br> 2* <u>Reciting the Zikr</u> ("Remembrance" of God) daily by saying ALLÁH'U'ABHÁ ("God is Most High") 95 times; with or without using prayer beads.<br> *3 <u>Greeting others Believers</u> by saying ALLAH'U'ABHA.<br> 4* <u>Obeying the Ordinances of Baha'u'llah</u>; which include the marriage and sexual laws, laws regarding cleanliness and home furnishings, laws regarding proper dress and etiquette, laws of inheritance, laws regarding the payment of "The Right of God" (i.e. tithing), laws regarding not working (if possible) on the Nine Holy Days, and other laws such as abstaining from gambling, alcohol, and all forms of illegal drugs (smoking is allowed but discouraged)<br> 5* <u>Voting in Baha'i Elections</u> locally and nationally.<br> 6* <u>Teaching the Faith to Non-Believers</u> either by becoming a Pioneer or a Travel-Teacher or appointing a deputy to teach on our behalf.<br> 7* <u>Obeying the Universal House of Justice</u> and its deputies.<br> 8* <u>Going on a Pilgrimage</u> to the Holy Shrines if you can afford to and are in good health and you are over the age of 15 but under the age of 70.<br> 9* <u>Fasting</u> during the daylight hours during the the Baha'i month of 'Ala (19 days) if you are in good health, not traveling, not pregnant, over the age of 15 and under the age of 70.<p> Baha'is are encouraged to attend a <b>19-Day Feast</b> with other Believers on the first day of every Baha'i month, but this is not obligatory. The Baha'i Year is divided into 19 months with 19 days each.<p> Baha'is greet each other by saying ALLÁH'U'ABHÁ ("GOD IS MOST HIGH"). This ia a greeting between Believers only. Seekers should greet Baha'is by saying: "Pleased to meet you!" or "How do you do?"<p> When you greet a Baha'i at a meeting say: "How do you do? My name is ___________ and I'm a Seeker!"<p> The Baha'is refer to each other as "The Friends".<p> <b>Q. Do Baha'is celebrate Christmas?</b><p> A. The Believers do not celebrate any holidays except for the Nine Holy Days, and Christmas is not one of them. However, to be a Believer one must be at least 15 years old. Children under 15 are not considered to be Believers; although they are allowed to attend Bahá'í Sunday Schools and Feasts.<p> Baha'is have a "Christmas" like celebration that lasts for Five Days (??????????) which are called "Ayyam-i-H´" ("The Days of H") where presents are exchanged.<p> The Baha'i Faith teaches "the Independent Investigation of Truth". Most Baha'i parents encourage their children to study other religions, and make up their own mind what religion they wish to be; instead of blindly following the religion of their parents.<p> <b>Q. Does the Faith have any Temples or temple-rites?</b><p> A. The Faith has "Houses of Worship" and these are sometimes referred to as "Temples". But they are not temples in the Mormon sense of the word. They are open to the public, and there are no rites (secret or otherwise) in them. Believers gather to hear the Holy Writings recited and to medidate. You might compare Baha'i Houses of Worship to "Celestial Rooms" in Mormon Temples; where worshippers sit in silence and meditate in the hopes of receiving divine inspiration such as answers to prayers, etc.<p> There is a Baha'i Pilgrimage Rite to the Holy Shrines (tombs) of The Bab and Baha'u'llah in the Holy Land. These include the reciting of specific prayers at specific times and places and the circummabulation (i.e. "walking around") the Shrines in a specific manner. The Rite is for Baha'i Pilgrims only, but is is not secret as is the Mormon Endowment Ceremony.<p> <b>Q. Do Baha'is really believe that the Endowment Ceremony as authored by Joseph Smith points to Baha'u'llah?</b><p> A. No! There is no such teaching in the Faith. This author (Aenon E. Moss) believes so; as Personal Belief. Baha'u'llah sat behind white veils in Akka Palestine. Baha'i pilgrims had to wash and anoint themselves, done white clothing, take off their shows, and (because of assassination attempts) know certain "signs and tokens" before the veil was parted and they could enter His Presence. I do not believe this is "mere coincidence". Joseph Smith formed the Endowment Cermony for his Holy Order which he planned to take with him to Palestine, so they would be prepared to meet "the Son of Man" when He came in "red apparel" in the year 1891.<p> All Mormons who have been through the Endowment Ceremony know that there are "four marks" on the veil. These four sacred (and secret) marks are symbols to Mormons. The symbols are considered too sacred to discuss outside of Mormon Temples. But I believe each "mark" or symbol represents a letter in Arabic:<p> <center> <h2>B(BA)....H(HA).....U(OH)......L(LA)</h2> </center> <p> The Arabic "B" resembles a compass. The "H" resembles a Mason's square. The "U" resembles a navel. And the "L" resembles a knee. He who has eyes, let him see. <p> I believe Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer who was preparing his Holy Order to "recognize" Baha'u'llah when He appeared, and used symbols from the Masonic Lodge to do this.<p> <bb>Q. How can you believe that Joseph Smith was a true Seer when science had proven that American Indians have no Jewish DNA, and that Joseph Smith lied about being a polygamist?</b><p> A. To become a Baha'i you are NOT required to accept Joseph Smith as an inspired Seer! That is not required of you. I personally believe he was. Prophets are Infallible Revelators. Seers are as "fallible" and as sinful as any other human being. Take the example of David, who killed Uriah so he could hide his adultery with Uriah's wife--who bore King Solomon.<p> And take for example the Apostle Paul, who had a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. He was arrested and brought before the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin), and was asked if he was a Christian. To avoid being killed he replied he was "a Pharisee, and the son of a Pharisee" (Acts ?????). Seers are sinful, and sometimes cowardly, but they are still Seers.<p> Baha'is are not required to believe that The Book of Mormon is historical, or even an inspired parable. But I do beleive it is an inspired prophetic parable; like the Book of Jonah or the Bhagavad Gita. But that is my own personal belief. You need not share it.<p> I bear you my testimony that I believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired Seer who prophesied of Baha'u'llah in the capacity of a Seer. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.<p> <b>Q. Is there "one book" that Seekers can read and pray about in order to discover if the Bahá'í Faith is true or not?</b><p> A. No. To determine if the Bahá'í Faith is true or not, one must <u>"hear" the Words of Bahá'u'lláh being recited by a Believer</u>. This occurs during the openning of any Bahá'í meeting. When one hears the Prayers of Bahá'u'lláh being recited (read out-loud), then His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) will tell your spirit that He is the Spirit of Truth. Your spirit will reocognize His Words as being those of the Spirit of Truth. That is the "way" you will know. The more in-tune with the Holy Spirit the Seeker is, the easier it will be for him or her to recognize this.<p> You are invited to attend a Public Information Meeting (called a "Seekers Meeting" or a "Fireside" or a "Devotional") about the Faith near your home. If you live in the Continental United States (the 48 States) just call the following number toll-free anytime day or night and say: "I want to attend a Public Meeting about the Faith!":<p> <center> <h1>1-800-228-6483</h1> </center> <p> Seekers Meetings are 60 to 90 minutes in length. They begin with the reciting of prayers by a Believers (takes about 3 minutes). Then a DVD about the Faith is often shown. Then there is a Quesion and Answer Period. Then there is the serving of refreshments. Dress is casual. No donations are asked for, and none can be accepted. There is no cost. If you need a ride, please ask for one.<p> Free Bahá'í liteture can be mailed to your home. Just go to www.bahai.us/contact and fill-in the online request form. Your name/address will never be sold or used for any other purpose than this.<p> The Bahá'í Faith has no missionaries. Nobody will come to your home to teach you about the Faith. Free literature can be mailed to your home, but no Bahá'í missionaries will ever knock on your door. To discover if Bahá'u'lláh is the Spirit of Truth or not, you must attend a Seekers Meeting, and <u>hear the Words of Bahá'u'lláh being recited by a Believer</u>.<p> <h1>GO IN PEACE!</h1> <hr> Please return this booklet to the Believer who gave it to you so other Seekers may read it. Thank you. A.E.M. <hr> <title> <head><!--'"-->
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