The promised Day of God is come! He Who is the Manifestation of the Adored One hath been established upon the throne of His name, the All-Loving, and the sun of His bounty hath cast its rays upon the seeing and seen alike.
This Wronged One hath frequented no school, neither hath He attended the controversies of the learned. By My life! Not of Mine own volition have I revealed Myself, but God, of His own choosing, hath manifested Me
BAHÁ’U’LLÁH:From the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
We, verily, believe in Him Who, in the person of the Báb, hath been sent down by the Will of the one true God, the King of Kings, the All-Praised
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
One night, in a dream, these exalted words were heard on every side: ‘Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy Pen. Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety. Erelong will God raise up the treasures of the earth—men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him
Lesson 1 to 3 is about the nature of prayer. Abdu’l-Baha tells us that prayer is a “conversation with God”.
We already mentioned that when we pray, we speak to God. When we love another, our greatest wish is to be close to the one we love and to express the love he feels.
To understand the nature of prayer and why we pray, we would need to also look at the effects of prayer. We can ask God for things that we want, and He will answer our prayers in accordance with Divine wisdom.
We can pray for things related to the specific circumstances of our lives and for the development of spiritual qualities, both in ourselves and in others.
We must understand that prayer is not just a time for us to make requests of God. Remember that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us, “In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven. . . .”
O Lord! I am a child; enable me to grow beneath the shadow of Thy loving kindness. I am a tender plant; cause me to be nurtured through the outpourings of the clouds of Thy bounty. I am a sapling of the garden of love; make me into a fruitful tree. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful, and Thou art the All-Loving, the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing.
God’s Manifestations are like perfect Mirrors reflecting God’s attributes
God’s Manifestations illumine human hearts with the Knowledge of God
The promise of universal peace made by all the Manifestations of God has been fulfilled in the Person of Baha’u’llah.
Grade 3 has more information to deliver than previous classes. The format, while similar in layout, will have concepts delivered in the welcome section and then the stories will highlight the topic of that lesson such as a particular Manifestation.
The opening devotions will set the tone for the time you will spend together with your students and will serve as a spiritual preparation for learning. By the third grade, the children may be eager to organize this portion of the class themselves, so after the first session of the year, you could ask a few students to plan the opening devotions for each of the subsequent class periods.
We suggest one particular prayer that the children might learn by heart in this set
Introducing The Principal Theme
The aim of the three lessons in this set is to impress upon the children that seeking knowledge of God should be the central concern of their lives and that His Manifestations shine the light of His knowledge on the world of humanity, guiding it and helping it to advance, materially and spiritually.
This first lesson should enhance the children’s understanding of the truth that God’s Manifestations are the source of our knowledge of that which is good, for these special Beings reflect, to the utmost perfection, all of His names and attributes.
You may want to dedicate some time during to reminding the children of what they have done and learned together over the last two years.
This is an opportunity for you to express great joy at noting the progress they have made. You can shower them with praise, which will in no way be empty, for they have surely advanced well in their efforts to acquire spiritual qualities and develop a character befitting their nobility.
You could then ask them to name as many qualities as they are able, encouraging them to think of all their friends in the class and seeing how the qualities of love, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and so forth are reflected in them and in their actions.
This review should prepare the way for you to pose a question that will introduce the children not only to this first set of lessons but to all three sets in this grade:
“How do we know about all these wonderful qualities we should develop?
How did we learn, for example, that we must be truthful, loving and kind?
You could guide the conversation that ensues along these lines:
“It is correct to say that we learned about these fundamental truths from our parents and our teachers. But who taught them? And who taught the ones that taught them? If we keep asking this question, we finally see that in every region of the world people heard about these truths from the Manifestations of God. In the same way that we have studied quotations from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the Manifestation of God for today, people throughout time have read and heard the words of earlier Manifestations of God. The names of some of these Manifestations may be familiar to you. Abraham is one. Can you name some others?”
You could help your students to mention Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muḥammad, as well as the Báb.
Now you could move the conversation towards the theme of these lessons in this set.