Interview with a Baha’i (Katherine Danner)
What is the Bahá’í Faith?
The Bahá’í Faith is an independent world religion founded in 1842 by Bahá’u’lláh (baha-oo-lah), who declared himself to be the Manifestation of God for this dispensation.
Bahá’u’lláh taught about progressive revelation and that all religions are all one in the same faith but vary according to the historical era and culture in which the religion was manifested. Bahá’u’lláh taught that Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad, The Bab and Bahá’u’lláh were all Manifestations of the same one God each coming to renew spiritual truths to the peoples of the world. So in reality, there is only really one faith, but many different names.
The purpose of the Baha’i Faith is to unite the people of all the world into one universal cause as Bahá’u’lláh says, “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens,” and “Ye are all the leaves of one tree, and the drops of one ocean.” Baha’u’llah was imprisoned and exiled for 40 years of his life and through his ministry. Although never schooled, throughout these 40 years, Baha’u’llah has revealed approximately 1,500 holy books (not yet all translated) to the people of the world, to herald in the new world order. There are approximately six million members worldwide, and the Baha’i faith is the second most widespread religion in the world.
How/when did you become a Bahá’í ?
My Mom became Bahá’í when I was only five years old, so I grew up near the faith and its teachings instilled in me from a very young age. Although you can “officially” declare yourself a Bahá’í when you are 15 years old, I did not declare until I was 21 years old. We believe that anyone can be a Bahá’í if they simply believe in Bahá’u’lláh (founder of the Bahá’í faith, recognized as a Manifestation of God,) to be who He declared He was, which was the “Promised One of all religions;” even if they have never heard of him. But to make it “official,” a person simply signs a declaration card agreeing in your belief of Bahá’u’lláh and to abide by his laws.
How would you define spirituality?
While religion can fit into a box, spirituality is the light of the heart, the intelligence of the mind, and the power of the soul.
Is it difficult being Bahá’í in Utah?
Yes and no. No because it is benefical to live in Utah as a Bahá’í because the dominant LDS religion in Utah believes and accepts the same standards and values as the Bahá’í Faith. In this aspect I am grateful because I honor and admire clean living and the LDS standard is in accordance with my own belief as a Bahá’í. Other times it is extremely difficult being a Bahá’í in that nobody really knows what it is. I have experienced troubles within dating as the greatest trial of being in a different faith. As Bahá’í it is not neccesary to marry within the faith, as we are encouraged over and over again to “consort with the peoples of all religions with spirituality and fragrance.” However, that is not always true with other religions, so yes – this aspect is extremely detrimental to my social life along with dating and relationships.