4. The Guardian

The Báb paved the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh; Bahá’u’lláh brought the teachings of the new age; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá exemplified the teachings and offered interpretations and clarifications. One major task remained: the building of Bahá’u’lláh’s Administrative Order. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá passed away in 1921, and in His Will and Testament appointed Shoghi Effendi, His grandson, the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. Shoghi Effendi served the new Revelation in many ways. Perhaps his most significant contribution was to fashion the Bahá’í administration, to form and offer a model of Bahá’u’lláh’s social order.

During his time as the Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi nourished Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Order, which matured at an ever-increasing pace. The Bahá’í community reached the point of embodying in itself the chief components of Bahá’u’lláh’s new World Order, setting a pattern for the world’s future Order. Further, the twin tasks of interpretation and revelation reached their final phase of evolution. Only the expansion or execution of the Plan remained to continue under the guiding hands of a supreme institution—one whose powers and responsibilities Bahá’u’lláh Himself had specified.

One reason the Bahá’í Faith has remained undivided is this: both Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left a will appointing the one to serve after them.219

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