I became a Bahá’í in 1976. I was teaching at a community college and heard about the Bahá’í Faith from one of my students. As she told me about the Faith, and as I read the books she lent me, I realized it was everything I already believed. I was impressed by the friendliness and fellowship of Bahá’ís I met at firesides and at a Bahá’í New Year’s celebration. In my heart I knew the Faith was right and that I was a Bahá’í.
The full story of my spiritual journey and how I found the Bahá’í Faith is given in my memoir. (B.L.M.)
While I was still a Catholic nun, I had a dream of millions of sheep as far as the eye could see, all pounding past me in a great rush from right to left. On my left and His right (to me indicating that I was also one of the sheep that Jesus referred to as being on His right at Judgement Day), I heard His voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd (who had said, “I know Mine, and Mine know Me”). He, Jesus—or His return in Baha’u’llah as I later believed—was pointing to a few of the sheep saying, “There’s one. There’s one.” For reasons of physical and mental health, after a few years, I left the convent and forgot all about the dream. For five years, I was confused and spiritually lost until I experienced what Maslow describes as a transcendent, transforming awakening in the actualization process and what I call, like Moses, my Burning Bush. I quote from my autobiography, Nuns Don’t Cry:
“As a lover of Jesus, I recognized Him in His new attire when I met the truth of Baha’u’llah in the Book of Certitude. I recognized Him in His forty-year intense suffering for this truth in prison, in beatings, in forced marches and numerous exiles. I recognized Him finally in His fulfilment of prophecy as the offspring of Abraham through Katura, the blessing of the Persian emperors, Cyrus and Darius, for their rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem, and in His final place of worship near Elijah’s cave on Isaiah’s mountain of God.” (G.L.G.)
A long time ago I saw a small advertisement in a California paper that advertised the Bahá’í Faith. I didn’t know why, but the word “Bahá’í” stayed with me. In the mid nineties I was working for a couple of Bahá’ís and started asking questions. While all questions were answered—was invited to firesides, talked with others—I was never pressured in any way to ‘convert’. Rather I was encouraged to seek the truth, to investigate for myself what the truth is. Then I was asked to participate in a multimedia project telling the story of Bahá’u’lláh’s life (The Promise of All Ages). This work gave me a unique opportunity to learn about His life and, at the end of it, I was a believer. Not only because I know that Baha’u’lláh is who He says He is, but also because the values and writings of the Faith have the power to calm my fears, give me hope, an understanding ‘what the world is coming to’ and why, and answers to some complicated questions nobody could answer before. I have found an anchor for my spiritual beliefs and a religion where my actions and sincerity are measured and judged by God and Bahá’u’lláh alone. (M.H.)
I made the comment recently that I was a Bahá’í long before I ever heard the word. I grew up in a Mennonite church that I still love going to. Though I do not imagine that I gave my parents and the church enough credit as a younger person, I recognize now that the spiritual lessons that I learned there will always remain an integral part of who I am. All the same, there remained for me a question that was never answered to my satisfaction, namely, what about everyone else? What about those Buddhists, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Jews, etc. that live lives so in line with my own understanding of Christ’s teaching? Above everything else, I believe that it was the Bahá’í recognition of the Oneness of Religion, the belief that we are all of one God, which drew me to it. In classic North American fashion, I spent years looking for something that was wrong with the Bahá’í Faith…I have since given up on that mission. For me, everything about it is right. (R.W.)