“Divorced from the Institution of the Guardianship”
“Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship, the World Order of Baha’u’llah would be mutilated. . .” What did Shoghi Effendi mean by this?
Shoghi Effendi makes this pronouncement in his great expository letter “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah:”
Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. “In all the Divine Dispensations,” He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, “the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.” Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn. (The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148; hereafter, “Paragraph A”)
What does Shoghi Effendi mean by this? Does he mean, if there is ever not a living Guardian, the World Order of Baha’u’llah will be mutilated and all these unthinkable things will happen? Is the World Order mutilated right now, because Shoghi Effendi was not able to name a successor Guardian, and the Universal House of Justice functions as the Head of the Faith without the presence of a Guardian? Faithfulness to the Writings requires that we strive to understand exactly what he meant.