Adam Bauer of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of Juneau.

Adam Bauer of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of Juneau.

Living and Growing: Embracing progress while honoring Our roots

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Áakʼw Ḵwáan, the original inhabitants of Lingít Aaní. We pay respect to the Áakʼw Ḵwáan elders, both past and present, and honor the spiritual wisdom they bring to our society.

The Bahá’í Faith guides us to balance our appreciation of the past with the pursuit of progress for our future. As Bahá’u’lláh wrote, “The Earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” This quote highlights the interconnections of humanity and serves as a reminder of the importance of unity and understanding. In the Bahá’í Faith, we honor the wisdom found in all major religions, acknowledging their contributions to humanity’s spiritual growth and development. Bahá’u’lláh encouraged us saying, “O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.” By appreciating our diverse spiritual heritage, we create a strong foundation for our ongoing journey towards an enlightened future.

According to the Bahá’í Faith, the primary purpose of religion is to promote unity and harmony among people, foster spiritual growth and development, and create a just and equitable society. Bahá’u’lláh emphasized that religion should serve as a unifying force, bringing people of different backgrounds and beliefs together in the pursuit of common goals.

He wrote, “The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s Holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world… The religion of God and His divine law are the most potent instruments and the surest of all means for the dawning of the light of unity amongst men. The progress of the world, the development of nations, the tranquility of peoples, and the peace of all who dwell on Earth are among the principles and ordinances of God.” In this way, religion is seen as a means of cultivating love, compassion, and understanding among individuals and communities, ultimately leading to the betterment of society as a whole.

In accordance with the fundamental calling of religion, “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings emphasize the importance of embracing change and progress. As we recognize that religious truth is not static but evolves over time, we must remain open to new revelations and adapt to the needs of a changing world. By fostering a spirit of unity and collaboration, we can work together to build a more just, peaceful, and harmonious society. In the words of James 2:14-26, “Faith without works is dead,” reminding us that it is through our collective actions and commitment to divine will that we can bring forth a future guided by divine vision.

In Juneau, our local Bahá’í community works together to create a welcoming environment that cherishes our shared past while actively pursuing a brighter future. We strive to apply Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings in our daily lives, cultivating a sense of unity and understanding among people of all backgrounds.

As we move forward, let us continue to honor the wisdom of our spiritual ancestors while embracing the possibilities of our ever-evolving world. By finding this balance, we can foster growth and unity within our community and contribute to a more harmonious future for all.

• Adam Bauer is the secretary of Local Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of Juneau. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Saturday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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