When it comes down to it, it’s an instruction booklet for life! That’s a tongue-in-cheek way to say it but, to me, it’s really all about the values and the virtues.

I have no fear. Because I pray and am dedicated to my life as a Baha’i, I know that Baha’u’llah has my back. I know that I’m safe and confirmed. ‘I lay all my affairs in Thy hand, Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.’

My first real experience with the Faith was at a youth conference, I think back in 2013. There were 400-500 youth at the time and there was a big focus on service and bringing service back to the communities where everyone lived. Prior to that, service was always something I had heard that people did begrudgingly… it was very exciting for me to see service in a very positive way and to feel like doing service was going to help somebody. After coming back from that, meeting more Baha’is and getting involved in the Junior Youth project, it gave me a very positive feeling I haven’t been able to find anywhere else in life.

I was 21 when I decided to ‘own it’ (my faith). I was more mature, in college and I was able to see clearly the banalities in society around me and I wanted to be the change, make a meaningful difference and surround myself with like-minded individuals looking to also work together regardless of their beliefs. We started having meaningful conversations while studying, sharing the Baha’i principles of oneness, equality of men and women, justice, of service to humanity. A Jehovah’s Witnesses friend I went to school with was recently in Chicago and remembered I had talked about the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois and went with her father because she remembered her Baha’i friend fondly and wanted to visit one of our sacred places. That was such a sweet realization to see how you can create a lasting impression on those around you and how they perceive what you believe in. It is also a great responsibility.

Growing up in a religious and racially diverse country, there has always been racial and religious tension that I have experienced. When I heard about the Baha’i Faith, someone shared that its main aim is to unite all the races and religions of the world. Since I had many friends from various religious and racial backgrounds, and being subjected to multiple instances of discrimination due to my religion and race, I thought this teaching of Baha’u’llah on unity would be able to solve these problems. While many might think this vision is utopian, there were no better solutions to combat this problem that not only plagued my community and the country but also the world.

 I was very grateful finding the Baha’i Faith. It brought new insights, purpose and motivation into my life. The vision of the Faith created in me the desire to be actively engaged in social action and become a better person. Being involved in building a better society, I met many inspiring people, young and old that changed my life.

My moment of truth was when I figured out that Baha’u’llah was really the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the past religions.

 For me, I think that one of the most powerful teachings of the Baha’i Faith has always been this: the fact that there is no difference between religions, that reality is one, and the fact that we believe and respect and love all the Prophets before Baha’u’llah and we also do not believe that we are the last religion or that Baha’u’llah is the last Prophet.

The principle of the Baha’i Faith that really changed my life is service… service really showed me how a spiritual education can change somebody’s goals in their life and how if, in a neighborhood, young people are thinking of others it really changes the neighborhood… when you serve other people, you build a spiritual bridge between hearts and that bridge is unbreakable.

 I feel more patient than I was before I started doing the [activities of the] Baha’i Faith. ‘He verily shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience.’ Like I have been waiting five whole days to go the library, and today my mom finally took me. If I had not been so patient, I don’t know that there would be ice cream waiting for me after school today.

I started studying the Baha’i Faith probably when I was 10… and I could reconcile it with my very hard scientific approach that I was taking to life… I really valued the mystical Writings of the Baha’i Faith and how much the Baha’i Faith spoke of the non-physical universe. Those were big aspects for me. It impacted me to the extent that I can’t fathom my world view without it.

Baha’u’llah changed or influenced my life in many ways but I think the most important thing that changed or helped me to see my purpose in life is to align my actions – my thoughts – to help to serve other people. When I was growing up, I was focusing only on my own life and the life of my family, my own growth and development, particularly the material aspect but you know, one of His teachings is to see everyone as one humanity, therefore we need to treat everyone, whatever colour or nationality or religion and so on as our brothers and sisters. So I see everyone and try to treat everyone I meet, thinking that they are my brothers. So I like to treat them fairly, as I would treat my siblings.

I began searching. At that time, I even began to say the prayer that Jesus gave us… ‘Our Father, Who art in Heaven…’ I started to say it every day, every day, every morning I said, ‘O God, guide me! Guide me!’ One day I met – I visited- a friend and I saw a book on his table, Thief in the Night, by William Sears, and I opened it and read two or three pages and told myself that I had found something really extraordinary… One year or so before, my step mother, who never became a Baha’i and who was killed during the genocide, brought home some Baha’i prayers. She loved these prayers but she never accepted the Baha’i Faith… One time I asked her, what does He say about Jesus Christ. She told me, ‘He says He is a Prophet like all the others.’ That wasn’t the right answer to me so I didn’t investigate any further. Two years later, when I was looking and I was tired of fighting myself… I found the Baha’i Faith and this time, I was really excited! But I was also afraid…afraid of losing my connection to Jesus Christ… so in searching this time…I read and I read all the books I could find in French and I think I was swept away by the beauty of the Writings.

The message of Baha’u’llah made me understand that there are two processes in the world today; I see clearly the forces of integration and disintegration shaping the future of our society.
That gives me hope when the situation looks hopeless. Because of Him I believe we can change the world.

I am a Baha’i from the Fiji islands. The best way that I can describe the Faith is that it is the one constant in my life. And the more I immerse myself into its Teachings and service with friends from all walks of life, the better I develop as an individual in the community that I am in, on a social and hopefully spiritual level.

The message of Baha’u’llah made me understand that there are two processes in the world today; I see clearly the forces of integration and disintegration shaping the future of our society.
That gives me hope when the situation looks hopeless. Because of Him I believe we can change the world.

Baha’u’llah brought me certitude about the purpose of my life. He made it clear to me that I had a mission to carry forward in my short existence here. Is there a greater gift you can receive in this life?

I learned to speak kindly and have a radiant heart, and prayers to sing.

All of a sudden, I realized that, in my search for truth, I had already jumped into the unknown only to find Him there holding me in His arms. I thank God every day for this.

The message of Baha’u’llah gave me a purpose and encouraged me to strive to be a better person every day.