Spiritual Assemblies - taking problems to

As you know, there can be many reasons for Assemblies not to respond to the believers. Undoubtedly, in some cases, it is because the friends and the Assemblies are struggling with issues on the frontier of their spiritual growth. Such a process can lead to tremendous development on both the individual and the collective levels. Sometimes we can facilitate this process of spiritual growth for individuals, and of maturation for Local and National Assemblies, by viewing these situations not as a problem but as opportunities for development. Taking part in this process should be a source of joy to us since we are, in effect, helping to build the kingdom of God on Earth. Nevertheless, patience is needed, particularly when it involves a subject that is close to our hearts, and when it seems that progress on the matter is lagging or has ceased entirely. We must maintain our confidence that the divinely ordained administrative system given to us by Bahá’u’lláh, and the inspiration of the Creative Word, will enable us to rise to these challenges.

From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 25 October, 1994

Wherever one finds misfunctioning in a Bahá’í community, it can be traced to a failure to follow properly the laws, principles and methods laid down in the Writings. The overcoming of such shortcomings is part of the learning process in which all Bahá’ís are involved. The continual aim of the institutions of the Bahá’í community--whether it be through the operation of summer schools and training institutes, through the development of the Nineteen Day Feasts and National Conventions, or through day-to-day interaction among the friends--is to empower the individual believers so that they will learn how to live their lives with increasing knowledge, wisdom, unity and fruitfulness in conformity with the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í Administrative Order, 18 July, 2000