Change is an evolutionary process requiring patience with one’s self and others, loving education and the passage of time as the believers deepen their knowledge of the principles of the Faith, gradually discard long-held traditional attitudes and progressively conform their lives to the unifying teachings of the Cause.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 620)
Commonly held and pervasive patterns of thought are part of the character of any society. Ways of thinking about life that are common to a culture - its well-worn mental habits - have a deep influence on what a society does and how its people act. For example, a society that holds the belief that life is a competitive struggle for existence will organize it economy, its educational system, its social services and its provision for security in very different ways from a society that holds the belief that mutual service and reciprocity are essential characteristics of living beings. The conviction that humans are merely sophisticated animals leads to principles of commerce, government, and law that are very different from those that flow from the conviction that human beings have a capacity to reflect the qualities of God, which can only unfold through a conscious act of will. Ideas - bad ones as well as good ones - are expressed in the structures and patterns of a society.
(Hooper C. Dunbar, Forces of Our Time, p. 27)
How vast the number of the loved and chosen ones of God who have lamented and moaned by day and by night that haply a sweet and fragrant breeze might blow from the court of His good-pleasure and dispel altogether the loathsome and foul-smelling odours from the world.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 177)
It is evident therefore that counterfeit and spurious religious teaching, antiquated forms of belief and ancestral imitations which are at variance with the foundation of divine reality must also pass away and be reformed. They must be abandoned and new conditions be recognized. The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion. Nay, it is true that they are the cause of enmity and conducive to strife in the world of humanity; war and bloodshed proceed from them and the oneness of mankind finds no recognition in their observance. Therefore it is our duty in this radiant century to investigate the essentials of divine religion, seek the realities underlying the oneness of the world of humanity and discover the source of fellowship and agreement which will unite mankind in the heavenly bond of love. This unity is the radiance of eternity, the divine spirituality, the effulgence of God and the bounty of the Kingdom. We must investigate the divine source of these heavenly bestowals and adhere unto them steadfastly. For if we remain fettered and restricted by human inventions and dogmas, day by day the world of mankind will be degraded, day by day warfare and strife will increase and satanic forces converge toward the destruction of the human race.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 228)
Know ye that God will not, in this day, accept your thoughts, nor your remembrance of Him, nor your turning towards Him, nor your devotions, nor your vigilance, unless ye be made new in the estimation of this Servant, could ye but perceive it.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 102)
Note thou carefully that in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 52)
Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 252-253)
O Lord, Thou hast said in Thy manifest Book and in Thy great Glad Tidings with explicit statement: “God does not change that which a people have, until they change what is within themselves.” “And when they forgot God, He made them forget themselves.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 407)
Since change, ever more rapid change, is a constant characteristic of life at this time, and since our growth, size and external relations demand much of us, our community must be ready to adapt. In a sense this means that the community must become more adept at accommodating a wide range of actions without losing concentration on the primary objectives of teaching, namely, expansion and consolidation. A unity in diversity of actions is called for, a condition in which different individuals will concentrate on different activities, appreciating the salutary effect of the aggregate on the growth and development of the Faith, because each person cannot do everything and all persons cannot do the same thing. This understanding is important to the maturity which, by the many demands being made upon it, the community is being forced to attain.
(Universal House of Justice, Promoting Entry by Troops, p. 16)
The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 27)
Too sudden and abrupt a change is, indeed, harmful.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 425)
We also see in the vegetable kingdom that the original species of the genus do not change and alter, but the form, color and bulk will change and alter, or even progress.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 193)
We try to change, to let the Power of God help recreate us make us true Bahá’ís in deed as well as in belief. But the process is slow, sometimes it never happened the individual does not try hard enough. But these cause us suffering and are a test to us in our fellow-believers, most especially if we love him and have been their teacher!
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 75)