Given the rapid decline of moral standards in the world at large, the Universal
House of Justice considers it both necessary and timely that we increase our
understanding of, and adherence to the standard of a chaste and holy life that is
upheld in the Baha'f Teachings. We are encouraged to study and familiari se
ourselves with the guidance contained in these extracts, and to endeavour
strenuously to exemplify these noble standards in our personal lives.
As the range of activities and projects in which the Baha'I community engages
continues to expand and diversify, it is vital that the moral and ethical teachings
of our Faith be neither overlooked nor mistakenly regarded as being of less
importance than our social, administrative and metaphysical teachings. Indeed,
Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, stressed that "Too much emphasis
is often laid on the social and economie aspects of the Teachings; but the moral
aspect cannot be over-emphasised."
In the current climate of social and moral decline, when, in the world at large,
corruption, hypocrisy and compromise are endemic, and where words,
unsupported by actions, have lost their value, the followers of Baha'u'Ilah are
challenged to become "Baha'Is in character as well as in belief", to strive
determinedly to exemplify the Baha'f standard, to become distinguished for their
moral excellence, and, by the quality of their individuallives and the nature of their
Baha'f community life to demonstrate the vitalizing power of the Cause not only
to bring peace, security and true spiritual happiness to the individual heart, but to
transform society as well. Shoghi Effendi repeatedly emphasised the importance of
the force of example. A letter written on his behalf states "His constant hope is
that the believers will conduct themselves, individually and in their Baha'I
Community life, in such manner as to attract the attention of others to the Cause.
The world is not only starving for lofty principles and ideals, it is above all,
starving for a shining example which the Baha'Is can and must provide."
The general principles contained in this compilation make clear our personal
responsibilities and the standards to which we must strive, whatever our social and
cultural circumstances. "A Chaste and Holy Life" will be we1comed by all who
seek to understand and fulfil their role as bearers of the name of God in this Day