Insights Gained from the How to Study the Baha’i Writings Course

Lisa Smith of Chicago, Illinois, lists some of the things she learned in the Wilmette Institute’s most popular course, How to Study the Baha’i Writings.

Lisa SmithMy insights include the following:

  • Despite the constant and very challenging surroundings and difficulties facing Baha’u’llah and `Abdu’l-Baha, the miracle of divine revelation continued to pour forth.
  • Baha’u’llah and `Abdu’l-Baha did not live in an isolated state, far removed from the troubles of the world at the time. In fact, quite the reverse: They wrote about how each one of us can draw nearer to God and also about various solutions for humanity’s struggles.
  • The Baha’i writings have the threads of previous Holy Books woven through the Words. This connects all peoples of different spiritual traditions and backgrounds.

These are some of the areas of learning that I acquired during this course:

  • The discipline of study deadlines and working on one’s own.
  • Ensuring my participation in the group discussions.
  • The need to reflect and distill wide-ranging ideas and insights.
  • To read with comprehension
  • The computer skills required to post comments.

I also gained:

  • A feeling of awe at the power and vision of Baha’u’llah’s writings and the immense wisdom of `Abdu’l-Baha’s words.
  • I was inspired by the beauty of the words.
  • I was touched by the commitment of the mentors taking care of us during this course.
  • I was amazed at the different thoughts and insights of participants; always interesting and refreshing.

I now have:

  • A broader understanding of the context of these writings gives me more confidence when speaking to people about the Faith.
  • A better understanding of the special place held by these writings within the wider world of literature.
  • An excellent preparation for other online courses.
  • This course necessitated a general research into the political history and religious background of Iran at the time of Baha’u’llah and `Abdu’l-Baha.
  • When reading passages from the writings, I will be using a similar approach of analysis.
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