Learning what seekers want: Spiritual searches and their motivation

When seekers investigate the Faith through the national Bahá’í Web presence (www.bahai.us or the Facebook page) or the 800-22UNITE phone line, the friends who work to connect them with local communities often find their motivations instantly touching and endearing. Among recent examples:

  • A seeker in a small community in the Atlantic States wrote, “I’ve prayed for guidance and God has sent me to you. I’ve never heard about you from any other source.”
  • Another, from the Northeastern States, shared: “I love the Bahá’í prayers and the emphasis on unity and acceptance. It seems that what other religions preach the Bahá’í Faith practices.”
  • Yet another, from the Great Lakes States, enthused: “If the world was filled with Bahá’ís, or friends of Bahá’ís, it would be a much safer, happier, and educated world in which to live.”

Two others found themselves investigating the Faith through an inspiration that seemed less conventional, even as it pointed them to a positive path.

They were researching tattoos. (While the friends are generally discouraged from use of Bahá’í sacred writings or symbols in tattoos, there’s no doubting the sincerity of these spiritual searches.)  

One seeker, from a remote area in California, was interested in designs based on the number nine. His Web search about spiritual connections with that number eventually led him to the Bahá’í website. When a seeker response coordinator contacted him in the fall, he noted that he knew of a distant relative who is a Bahá’í. He was attracted enough to the teachings that he had already shared information with others, and was hoping to make connections with Bahá’í communities for himself as well as his two children.

Another tattoo-oriented inquirer in the Great Lakes States came across the Bahá’í website while looking for spiritual text. Her search over the years, as recounted to a seeker response coordinator, had led from her Christian upbringing to Islam to disconnection from any faith community. She especially appreciated the principles of the oneness of humanity and progressive revelation. On her way to being confirmed as a Bahá’í she accepted a number of books and attended Bahá’í devotions not far from her locality. She has been invited to take part in a study circle.

To read or share teaching stories visit http://teaching.bahai.us

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