November 2, 1912, Chicago
At Mrs. True's home
[He (‘Abdu’l-Baha) then went to Mrs. True's home where the friends had gathered for consultation. They asked Him about the duties of a board of consultation. He said:]
The first duty of the members is to be in harmony and unity among themselves, for this will bear good results. If there is no unity or -- God forbid! -- if it becomes the cause of differences, then of course its non-existence is better than its existence. If Assemblies of consultation or the general meetings of the friends become the cause of ill feelings, they must be abandoned.
How pleased I was with the believers in California who said, `We do not want any board of consultation because it would lead to striving for leadership and power and will become the cause of differences. Now, praise be to God!, we are serving as much as we can, having no other thought than the diffusion of the divine fragrances.'
Then, when the unity of the members has been achieved, their second duty is to recite verses and prayers in a state of contriteness and spiritual awareness so that they will feel themselves to be in the presence of God.
Third, their thoughts and discussions must be directed to the teaching of the Cause of God in all areas and regions. They must arise with all their strength for this great matter and make the necessary arrangements and prepare for the teaching of the Cause.
Fourth, they must be occupied and concerned with rendering help to the poor, the needy and the sick.
Fifth, they must improve and administer the affairs of the believers and other matters.
The Master spoke on similar topics and the meeting concluded in an extraordinary spirit of happiness among the friends.
- 'Abdu'l-Baha (Words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Chicago, November 2, 1912, recorded by Mahmud Zarqani; ‘Mahmud’s Diary’)