LESSON 7: Seeking the Knowledge of God
Through the ages, Messengers of God have appeared when we need them the most in order to guide us and give us more knowledge about God.
All the past Manifestations of God foretold the coming of the Day of God, a day when the peoples of the world would be united when wars and misery would disappear, and peace would be established on earth. Such prophecies, of course, point to the advent of Bahá’u’lláh. So potent is the measure of God’s bounty in this Day, and so excellent are the favors that are being showered upon humanity, that we have been blessed by two Manifestations of God, the Báb appearing only nine years before Bahá’u’lláh.
In seeking knowledge about God, we can read the Holy writings, ask questions, look at nature, and even explore spiritual concepts using science to help us figure stuff out.
We strive to obey the commandments of God, with our words and deeds. We pray to Him to guide us and bring us closer to Him.
Knowledge of God is intimately connected to love for Him
How do we get to know God?
- We know God through those Special Beings that He sends to humanity from time to time Who brings us His laws and teachings. These Special Beings come when humanity need help the most
- By listening to the Words of the Manifestation of God for today
- By studying His laws and teachings and applying them to our lives, we DRAW CLOSER TO GOD.
- By observing nature all around us
- By meditating, praying, and listening for the answer
Searching for God
Abdu’l-Baha explains that, when we look at the world, we see the signs of God’s perfections everywhere. As we think about His words and try to understand their meaning, we are able to see God’s tokens and signs all around us. The sun shines and gives light, warmth, and life to the world, reminding us of the love of God, without which we would perish. The rain falls on the earth just as the bounties of God are continuously showered upon our souls. A mountain rises towards the heavens calling to mind His majesty and grandeur.
When we start our search, we must purify our hearts,. We must open our hearts to the truth. We must not let “veils” get in the way of our search. Does anyone know what type of Veils could prevent us from finding God?
Here are a few examples:
- We think we know everything
- We think we are smarter than everyone else
- We are not detached
For lessons 8 and 9 we will continue to memorize the prayer below
O my Lord! Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink, and Thy pleasure my hope, and praise of Thee my action, and remembrance of Thee my companion, and the power of Thy sovereignty my succorer, and Thy habitation my home, and my dwelling-place the seat Thou hast sanctified from the limitationsBahá’u’lláh
imposed upon them who are shut out as by a veil from Thee. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.
This prayer is talking about feeding our spirit with God’s guidance, love and light. Having our actions praise of God and that God is our companion on the journey of our life. He is with us at all times- we are NEVER alone.
SEND A POSTCARD
The following ideas will help you formulate your introduction to the quotation for today’s lesson:
Throughout our lives, we strive to obey the commandments of God and to reflect in all our actions qualities such as love, justice, humility and generosity, praying to Him daily to guide us and to strengthen us. We are also dedicated to seeking knowledge of God and of His creation in all that we do. As our knowledge of God increases, so does our love for Him. But what does it mean to gain knowledge of God? We know God through those Special Beings that He sends to humanity from time to time Who bring us His laws and teachings. By listening to the words of the Manifestation of God for today, by studying His laws and teachings and applying them to our lives, we draw closer to God. Of course, we also have to learn more and more about God’s creation and do our best to study the universe and understand its workings. And as we do so, we see that every created thing speaks to us of God’s greatness and glory.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains that, when we look at the world, we see the signs of God’s perfections everywhere. As we reflect on His words and try to understand their meaning, we are able to discern God’s tokens and signs all around us. The sun shines and gives light, warmth and life to the world, reminding us of the love of God, without which we would perish. The rain falls on the earth just as the bounties of God are continuously showered upon our souls. A mountain rises towards the heavens calling to mind His majesty and grandeur. To help us remember the importance of acquiring knowledge, especially knowledge of God, let us memorize the following quotation:
The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enableBAHÁ’U’LLÁH
him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence
MEANING OF WORDS
The room was very dark, so Nina lit a candle. The purpose of a candle is to give light
The teacher gave the students some exercises to help them improve their mathematical skills. The purpose of the exercises was to strengthen the students’ ability to add and subtract.
Only good teamwork will enable us to get the job done on time
Ming’s family had to take a train for 3 days and then a bus for 2 more in order to reach their ancestral village. Only after several days of travel by train and by bus did they attain their destination.
The farmers decided that a fence was needed to stop their cattle (cows) from going onto the road. They worked together in building the fence and, through diligence and cooperation, attained their goal.
Whenever the king enters the room, his subjects bow down before him. His subjects bow in His presence.
Emilio’s parents asked him to take his little sister out of the room because they did not want to carry on their discussion in her presence.
MEMORIZATION AID FOR QUOTE
PICTURES TO REMEMBER THE QUOTE HERE
A Story About Mirza Abu’l-Fadl Becoming a Baha’i
This is the story of how Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, one of the early believers in the time of Bahau’llah, became a Bahai. Mirza Abu’l-Fadl was very well-known for his penetrating insight, his wealth of knowledge, and his ability to understand and explain complex spiritual ideas. In his youth, he studied in depth such subjects as mathematics, astronomy (the study of the stars), philosophy, and the Arabic language, which he mastered in addition to his native Persian language.
When he was still a young man, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl became a professor at one of the oldest universities in Tihran, the capital of Iran. This is the story of how he, while in that city, gained knowledge beyond any he had acquired in all his broad studies– knowledge of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, the Manifestation of God for this day.
One afternoon, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl and a few of his companions set out on donkeys to visit the countryside. On their way out of the city, one of the donkeys lost a shoe, and the party called at the nearest blacksmith’s shop to help.
Does anyone know what a blacksmith is?
When the blacksmith, who had very little formal education, saw Mirza Abu’l-Fadl’s long beard and large turban, in that country those were considered symbols of his vast learning, he asked whether the scholarly man might be willing to answer a question that had perplexed the blacksmith for some time.
Before I tell you the rest of the story, it is important to know that when a Messenger of God comes to the world, His Teachings are pure and bring life to the souls, but over time, people change the words, and bring in ideas and traditions that are not taught by the Messengers of God themselves.
This is what had happened at the time that Mirza Abu’l-Fadl was meeting the blacksmith.
So, the blacksmith asked Mirza Abu’l-Fadl,
“Is it true,” began the blacksmith, referring to an old written religious tradition- one of those that had become changed by human beings-
“Is it true that each drop of rain is accompanied by an angel from heaven, and that this angel brings down the rain to the ground?”
“This is true,” Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded, for it had long been believed by the people in that region that this was so- and remember that He had not yet become a Bahai.
After a pause, the blacksmith begged to be allowed another question, to which Mirza Abu’l-Fadl gave his assent.
“Is it true,” the blacksmith asked once more,
“that if there is a dog in a house no angel will ever visit that house?”
Again, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl responded in the affirmative, saying YES, for this too was a belief held by those who followed these written traditions.
“In that case,” commented the blacksmith, arriving at his point,
“no rain should ever fall on a house where a dog is kept.”
Mirza Abu’l-Fadl had no answer. He left the shop embarrassed and angry, for he had been stumped by a blacksmith with no formal schooling!
Mirza Abu’l-Fadl had learned from his companions that the blacksmith was a Bahai. Now, it happened that he and the blacksmith shared a mutual friend, a local draper who had a shop in the bazaar that Mirza Abu’l-Fadl would sometimes visit. When the draper, who was also a Bahai, heard about the incident at the blacksmith’s, he invited Mirza Abu’l-Fadl to take part in some discussions. He accepted the invitation, and the meeting was arranged. In that meeting, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl posed numerous questions and raised many objections.
Each one was answered in such simple terms and in such a wise manner that Mirza Abu’l-Fadl found himself at a loss, for he had thought he could easily prove wrong the Bahai beliefs.
For several months Mirza Abu’l-Fadl continued to meet many different Bahais, some of them quite scholarly themselves.
Finally, forever unable to deny the proofs offered by the followers of Baha’u’llah, he turned his heart in earnest to God and begged to be shown the truth.
Soon, he was overwhelmed with the truth of Baha’u’llah’s mission, and became, after nearly a year of protest, a staunch and steadfast believer and an avid teacher of the Cause.
The story of how Mirza Abu’l-Fadl came to recognize the truth of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation shows us how important it is to acquire knowledge not only through the study of God’s creation but also through His Manifestation in the day in which we live.
Draw any part of the story
DRAMA / GAMES
The activities that follow will help the children continue developing the skills and abilities of creative drama.
Ask your students to stand in their imaginary squares. As you did in the previous lesson, have the children stand about 5 feet apart and imagine that they are in their own squares. Ask them to walk along the border of his/her imaginary square. Ask children to: raise up your arms and stretching from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers, reach towards the sky. Now you are going to relax and let your arms and head hang freely. Repeat this several times.
Ask students to stand in a circle. Choose one child to be the “investigator” and tell him/her to leave the area where the class is being held. Now choose another child to be the “initiator”. Explain to the children that this child will lead the group in a series of simple movements. For example, he or she may do several circles with the left arm, several with the right arm, then bend down and touch the ground several times, and so on. The rest of the children should try to follow the movements so quickly and so closely that the “investigator” is unable to discover who the “initiator” is. Are you ready? Ok- have the investigator come and stand in the middle of the circle. Can he/she discover the “initator”? Once the child has guessed correctly, repeat the exercise, choosing a new child to be the “investigator” and another to be the “initiator”. If time allows, repeat the game several times so that every child can be the “investigator” or the “initiator” at least once.
Now we are going to move on to an activity that relates to the theme of today’s lesson- the importance of seeking knowledge, particularly knowledge of God. In all created things, we see the signs of God. I am going to ask you to act out, in turn, different things we see in nature. Each of you are going to have a turn to act something out, while the rest of the class guess what it is. I will come and whisper in your ear the thing from nature that you are going to act out- one at a time and the class will then get a chance to guess as you act it out.
When we are going in search of anything, we have an idea of what we are looking for. Sometimes we find it and sometimes we don’t. Other times, we are surprised, and even please by what else we find. The process is one of learning and joy. It is the same when we clear our hearts and start our spiritual search.
Today we will do a physical search of our immediate environment.
Lessons 7, 8, and 9 will also be in one lapbook. For lesson 7 we will make an I Spy component. Because we want the I Spy comment to be housed in the lapbook, we will use a ziplock bag (not a bottle). The items I choose are all elements of the story of how Mirza Adu’l-Fadl became Baha’i. The printable is here.
I used velcro to attach the bag to the lapbook for safekeeping and it allows the children to remove the bag and play with friends. You can glue it down and make it permanent.
- You will need my printable items Here
- A ziplock bag
- a filler material like rice, I am using small styrofoam balls from the dollar store
- The bag topper is optional
Note that I did not use all the images myself as I wanted a variety of textures.
- For raindrops, I used a small clear glass stone
- I use wooden angels and houses
- I stamped and colored in a dog
- I use a free printable from here to make mini books
- Mirza Adu’l-Fadl is described as wearing a turban and has a beard, you can put these in using black fabric or wool for a beard and a turban cut from any material.
Old Version of Lapbook
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE OLD VERSION OF LAPBOOK FOR LESSON 7
- GRADE 2 LESSON 7 LAPBOOK PDF
- ANY DRAWING THAT WAS DONE IN THE CRAFT SECTION
- A FILE FOLDER FOR EACH CHILD
- THE PHOTO OF THE 9 MESSENGERS AND THEIR SYMBOLS FOR THE POPUP CARD
- MARKERS, GLUE ETC.
In the Lapbook PDF are the following activities to do:
- A possible front page to color. One partially colored in.
- Pocket to hold the memorization cards to learn the prayer The cards are in colored and black and white if someone prefers to color in themselves
- Shutter fold book to remember the concept of this lesson
- The story from this lesson on Mirza Abu’l-Fadl Becoming a Baha’i cut out, to stack and staple together then the child’s summary for each sean can be written
- tab booklet to draw and write about your search
- Nine mini popups to match messengers and symbols
- Petal book with the house of worship, filling in under the flap where they are located or any other information.
- 2 versions for memorizing the quote, a flap book version and an accordion version with an envelope
- a wheel to turn and display the process of searching
- A prayer graphic to print out and use wherever you choose.
- “Can you find this” activity
Note that any activity that was completed in this lesson can be added to the lap book. The lapbooks can be completed during the week and do not need to be done in class.
DOWNLOAD COMPONENTS HERE
I Spy Bottle
Use the I SPY activity in the simple lapbook as a craft. You can use the ziplock bag or a jar
Become ‘Knights of Knowledge’ in search of truth and answers…
This activity was suggested by kids. Here is a site with a cute shield to make and a video
Baha’i House of Worship.
These Houses of Worship are open to everyone to come and say prayers. All the religious texts are found here for anyone to read. Draw your house of worship: If you were commissioned to build the next House of Worship, what would it look like?
DRAW SCENES FROM THE STORY
Brilliant Star Magazine
Review the quotation from today’s lesson, and then remind the children of the qualities of trustworthiness and radiance and the quotations they memorized in Grade 1:
Supremely lofty will be thy station, if thou remainest steadfast in the Cause of thy LordBaháʼu’lláh
Know that thy true adornment consisteth in the love of God and in thy detachment from all save Him . . .Baháʼu’lláh
BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
STORY: IS THERE A GOD