conquering oneself

Grabbed this wonderful quote from Melody on Facebook. (Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing much more than a few borrowed Facebook statuses starting in December, along with some other fairly significant changes.) Shoghi Effendi would know plenty about conquering the self, of course, having spent several years doing just that after he learned that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had named him to be the Guardian in His Will and Testament. I feel like I’ve been working on this myself for so long, and wish I was a little further along in my self-conquering work, but then don’t we all?

‘Now,’ he said, ‘Every Bahá’í in the world, every person in the world, has to do exactly that same thing. Whether you’re a Hand of the Cause, whether you’re a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, whether you’re a member of a national Assembly, whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re a pioneer, whether you’re a administrator, regardless of what you are, with anything in the Cause, every Bahá’í must fight with himself and conquer himself. And when he has conquered himself, them he becomes a true instrument for the service of the Cause of God. And not until then! This is what every Bahá’i in the world should know.’

And this one of the main things I want you to get out of this talk tonight. The Guardian’s instructions that every individual must fight with himself, must conquer himself, must overcome his lower nature, must overcome his self, and turn himself over to God, so that the Holy Spirit can function through you. For when the Holy Spirit functions through you, then you will gain victory after victory. Because the Holy Spirit is the creative aspect of God and it cannot do other than win victories and make successes for the Cause.

Extract from a talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas,
transcribed from a recording made in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 31, 1958

3 thoughts on “conquering oneself

  1. Hi there! Here’s what comes right before the quote you posted…

    He (Shoghi Effendi) said ‘I had in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would give me the honor of . . . calling together the great conclave which would elect the Universal House of Justice. And I thought in His Will and Testament that that was probably what He was instructing be done.’

    “‘But,’ he said, ‘instead of that I found that I was appointed the Guardian of the Cause of God. . . . I didn’t want to be the Guardian of the Cause. [In the] first place, I didn’t think that I was worthy. Next place, I didn’t want to face these responsibilities. . . . I didn’t want to be the Guardian. I knew what it meant. I knew that my life as a human being was over.’ He said ‘I didn’t want it and I didn’t want to face it.’

    “‘So . . . remember I left the Holy Land, and I went up into the mountains of Switzerland, and I fought with myself until I conquered myself. Then I came back and I turned myself over to God and I was the Guardian.’

    • Hi!

      I was hoping to find out where that extract is pulled from? I mean, I understand that it’s from a talk in Johannesburg, but would you happen to know if is it published in any texts?


      • Hi Nadeem,
        I looked around, and I’m not sure if the talk has been published anywhere in its entirety. The part that Sebastien and I quoted above, however, has been published as part of the book “Youth Can Move the World” by Melanie Smith and Paul Lample, which you can download from Palabra Publications. The quote’s on page 33 of that book.

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