The Universal House of Justice has referred to mankind’s heightening awareness of the spiritual impulse that animates human life: “One clearly sees an increasing receptivity to His all-pervasive and resplendent Spirit.” (9 January 2001)
Evidence of such receptivity comes to us in the form of a steady stream of stories from all over the country, like this one from in the Southeast region about a new believer whose journey began as an atheist, and who later came to believe “there’s something greater”:
I spoke with ____ (who is 19 years old) for about 30 minutes. He was an atheist but was feeling that there's something greater. He looked into Hinduism and Buddhism, and came across the Bahá’í Faith online. He was particularly drawn to the concepts of the equality of men and women and universal education. We covered the first few sections of Anna's presentation. He asked about the afterlife, and if Bahá’ís have a similar view of the "judgment day" as Christians. I'm going to e-mail him with some resources and local contacts.
Here is an account in the South Central region, shared by a college student raised atheist, who is now a new believer on her spiritual journey:
I was looking for a religion to call my own. My mom, who is not Bahá’í herself but knows Bahá’ís, recommended this religion to me. I looked in to it, and… principles like the independent search for truth and the harmony of science and religion, these are the things that appealed to me. I was raised an atheist and most recently I have been a Unitarian Universalist. I now believe that I have found religion and theology. I officially converted to the Bahá’í Faith…. I hope to grow closer to God as I continue my spiritual journey.
A young man in the Northeast region recently joined the Faith after having studied on his own, with encouragement from his spiritual adviser -- a Catholic priest. His story is told by a Bahá’í who recognized his sincerity and his desire to be an active member in the community:
He has been studying the Faith for a year on his own; he made a trip to visit the Bahá’í Temple in Wilmette and was "wowed" as he put it. And after much soul searching and consultation with his spiritual adviser (a Catholic priest who has encouraged him in his search) he has declared his faith in Bahá'u'lláh. He accepts Bahá'u'lláh without reservation. He acknowledges he has a lot to learn and was very excited about joining Ruhi study circles to study with a small group. He is a teacher in a Catholic private school where the faculty includes adherents to all the major religions. I found [him] to be sincere and very much wanting to become an active Bahá’í.
Regarding this new believer in the Central region, “the more she read, the more she wanted”:
Five years ago, _____ explained, she didn't know there were people who believed as she did. When Googling, she came across the Bahá’í Faith. As she first read about it, she was bewildered. She had been looking for a religion for more than 2 years. The more she read, the more she wanted to be part of the unity. She was drawn to the Prophets, each being recognized unlike the religions she had come in contact with through her life. Born & raised a Methodist, living in a [predominately] Catholic town, knowing Hindus and having a best friend who was Muslim, [she] realized all these religions only recognized one Messenger of God. [She] is excited about Pilgrimage and beginning Book 1, [and she] already explained the Bahá’í Faith to a World Religion professor at _____ University where she attends.