Where is your Baha’i Church? Where is your Baha’i Temple?
In Alaska we do not yet have a Baha’i House of Worship. However, in the short history of our Faith around the world, Baha’is have built our Houses of Worship on every continent on planet Earth.
In North America, the Baha’i House of Worship is in Wilmette, Illinois, which is part of the greater Chicago area. It is a very beautiful white building and a major tourist attraction.
The official name of a Baha’i House of Worship is Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, which translates into English as Dawning Place of the Mention of God. The simplest way to refer to it is the Baha’i House of Worship.
Each one is round, has a dome, and nine doors, symbolizing people coming from all Faiths and no Faiths. Each is surrounded by beautiful and colorful flower gardens.
Services are quite simple — prayers and spiritual readings and hymns without musical accompaniment (only human voices). And there are no sermons and no preaching.
This also describes devotional programs where there are yet no Baha’i Houses of Worship. Here is Alaska, Baha’is meet in homes and in public buildings. A few communities have Baha’i Centers, such as the one in Anchorage.
The dome of the Wilmette Baha’i House of Worship has nine sentences by Baha’u’llah — they are inscribed under the great dome and over the nine doors. These nine quotes are:
1. All the Prophets of God proclaim the same faith; 2. Religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold; 3. Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch; 4. So powerful is unity’s light that it can illumine the whole earth; 5. Consort with the followers of all religions with friendliness; 6. O Son of Being! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee; 7. O Son of Being! Walk in My statutes for love of Me; 8. Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home reunion with Me; 9. The light of a good character surpasseth the light of the sun.
In Alaska we do not yet have a Baha’i House of Worship. When we do, Alaskans will welcome people of all Faiths and no Faiths to pray and meditate inside and in the gardens. Of course, it will be surrounded by beautiful and colorful flower gardens.
And, God willing, I hope (I plan) to live long enough to pray in the Alaska Baha’i House of Worship.
A resident of Wasilla, Rosemary Vavrin is retired by from her media and educational careers.