Without question, finding the Bahá'í Faith is THE MOST IMPORTANT discovery of my life and the most dramatic influence and shaper thereof. It has given my life meaning, purpose and assurance and the most important events in my life have stemmed from it. If you have not yet investigated this Faith I commend it to you wholeheartedly; not because I want to convert you but because I believe with all my heart that you could do no greater service to yourself and your family.
The following links are only going to be of interest to folk who already believe that Bahá'u'lláh is the Messenger of God for this age and have enrolled as Bahá'ís
Having investigated a number of religions and recognised their unity, decided that belief in God was enough and that it was when one starts labelling oneself that the trouble starts. Was interested in personal growth which led to learning Transcendental meditation (if it was good enough for the Beatles it was good enough for yours truly!), and for a time was happy that was all that was needed.
Whilst doing voluntary work, came across a reference in an A - Z (subsequently corrected) which read "Bahá'í Faith - Eastern Meditation Sect" followed by an address and phone number. When visiting meditation teacher in hospital (she had contracted TB), mentioned having come across "a new meditation group - the Baha'i Faith".
"No it isn't", quoth she.
"Yes it is" contradicted he".
"No it isn't", insisted she.
"How do you know?" enquired he,
"Because I am a Bahá'í" ... (she won the argument)
Jo Harding, for such it was, had only recently become a Bahá'í and had been wondering how best to introduce the Faith to her TM students. This A-Z reference (albeit erroneous) had effectively solved the problem and prodded her to share her exciting discovery. Having learned from Jo enough to excite interest and the details of a forthcoming public meeting, attended same. Was particularly struck by the diversity of the people and the fact that they were praising all the Prophets of God. Thought: "something that can bring this motley lot together under one roof in such harmony, bears looking into".
Fortuitously, the next public meeting had Mehrangiz Munsif as the speaker; her subject being, "Prayer And Meditation". A point she made was: "If you pray for guidance but don't meditate, it is like knocking at a door and then not waiting for an answer". Quoting the Guardian's "Dynamics of Prayer", as cited in "Principles of Bahá'í Administration", Mehrangiz stressed that, having received what one felt could be guidance, one then had to act.
Despite there being much in the Faith that could accept wholeheartedly - especially the concept of progressive revelation[endnote 3] as had already reached this conclusion - there were two major barriers: a firm belief in reincarnation, and the decision not to be "labelled". However, the more read about the Faith, the more fell in love with the teachings and the Central Figures. Having been particularly moved by Gloria Faizi's "The Baha'i Faith", reached stage where had to resort to prayer to resolve perplexity. Following Mehrangiz' advice and praying: "Dear Lord, how best can I serve thee?", meditated, and found the most persistent thought was: "Become a Baha'i". Recalling her words that one must then act, drove the 18 miles to the nearest Bahá'ís in Canterbury (Anne & Tony McCarthy) and declared my Faith on their doorstep in Feb 1974 (As I recollect, some four to eight weeks from first hearing of the Faith). It was the best decision of my life and I have not looked back since.