Thornton Chase, the First Western Baha'i, in his Study
Copyright © 2010 Baha'i National Archives, Wilmette, Used With Permission

Words and Deeds

From the Writings of Baha'u'llah

O servant of God!  The day of deeds hath come: Now is not the time for words.
(Baha'u'llah, Tabernacle of Unity, paragraph 5.5 p. 73)

Beware, O people of Baha, lest ye walk in the ways of them whose words differ from their deeds. Strive that ye may be enabled to manifest to the peoples of the earth the signs of God, and to mirror forth His commandments. Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, for the professions of most men, be they high or low, differ from their conduct
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah CXXXIX, p. 305)

Whoso ariseth among you to teach the Cause of his Lord, let him, before all else, teach his own self, that his speech may attract the hearts of them that hear him. Unless he teacheth his own self, the words of his mouth will not influence the heart of the seeker. Take heed, O people, lest ye be of them that give good counsel to others but forget to follow it themselves. The words of such as these, and beyond the words the realities of all things, and beyond these realities the angels that are nigh unto God, bring against them the accusation of falsehood.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 277)

O people!  Words must be supported by deeds, for deeds are the true test of words.  Without the former, the latter can never quench the thirst of the yearning soul, nor unlock the portals of vision before the eyes of the blind. The Lord of celestial wisdom saith:  A harsh word is even as a sword thrust; a gentle word as milk. The latter leadeth the children of men unto knowledge and conferreth upon them true distinction.
(Baha'u'llah, Tabernacle of Unity, paragraph 1.13, pp. 8-9)

O servants! ... Words must be followed by deeds.  Whoso accepteth the words of the Friend is in truth a man of deeds; otherwise a dead carcass is verily of greater worth.
(Baha'u'llah, Tabernacle of Unity, paragraph 4.9, page 69)

It behoveth the people of Baha to render the Lord victorious through the power of their utterance and to admonish the people by their goodly deeds and character, inasmuch as deeds exert greater influence than words.
(Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 57)

Indeed one's righteous deeds testify to the truth of one's words.
(Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 91)

The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.
(Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 156)

O brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning
(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words, #5)

Guidance hath ever been given by words, and now it is given by deeds. Every one must show forth deeds that are pure and holy, for words are the property of all alike, whereas such deeds as these belong only to Our loved ones. Strive then with heart and soul to distinguish yourselves by your deeds. In this wise We counsel you in this holy and resplendent tablet.

(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words #76)

Words must be followed by deeds; words without deeds are as bees that yield no honey, as trees that bear no fruit....

(Baha'u'llah, The Bahá'í World 1926-1928, Volume II, pp. 62-63, translated by Shoghi Effendi)


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