A Sequence of Firesides - III - Exposition (5)

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For the purpose is more than simply proclaim
That God has spoken again, in a new Name,
Or to agree upon the new social teachings
Rather it is gradually reaching
‘Unqualified acceptance of whatever
Hath been ordained by Bahá’u’lláh’.1 Let us endeavor
To confirm and deepen this new belief2
Until it is really strong, able to stand the grief
That tests will bring, as indeed they must,
When the new believer is finally thrust
Into the life of a Bahá’í community3.
Were it the very model of love and unity
The new member might be overcome,
Feel unworthy and to shame succumb,
In a community beneath its high calling
The tests would be just as appalling.

In either case the strength that’s needed
Will be achieved when the guidance is heeded
When each new believer is sheltered and confirmed
In the fireside gathering until they’ve learned
In Bahá’u’lláh their whole trust to place
To open their heart and receive God’s grace.

To heed not the weakness and frailty4
Of themselves or of the community
But to fix their gaze on the Almighty
And be assured of ultimate victory.

Thus was established the fireside principle5
To permit and encourage the individual
To teach in their own home, on their own initiative
To adopt a personal goal to use the most effective6
Teaching medium so far found
And leave their efforts with success crowned.

Once in every month, at the very least7
One time or more, between each feast
It need not be weekly, or always the same day,
But the duty is clear, patience and persistence the way
To achieve the result we ardently desire,
Each year, one soul to set afire8
With the love of God, and His Greatest Name
And so reach our highest aim.

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