Wednesday, October 2, 2013

“I . . . accepted that He had already come.”

Patrick, a 20 year old student at a local university, recently registered his declaration online. In his own words, though English is his “third language,” he shares how he learned about the Bahai Faith and his search for a religion that fits with his beliefs. 
I was involved in a lot of problems when I was in high school; stealing, vandalizing, fighting, and disrespecting the school staff. To find a solution [I wanted] to distance myself from these problems.  I started to look into religion, as one of the most influential people in my life guided me [to do]. For instance, I started with Islam for the reason that the most respectful students in my school were Muslim. I was raised as a Catholic, but I never agreed with their teaching, so Islam was the only religion that I saw as an answer. Months after studying Islam, I started to regard myself as a Muslim, and for those months, I was never again caught in any of the trouble I previously faced. But I could not ever become a Muslim because of my religious philosophy. I always believed that there is only one God, and that all the major religion prophets are His messengers, and because of geographical and cultural differences, there messages had to be taught differently.  I also could not spiritually become a Muslim because I do not tolerate gender discrimination as I believe in unity of humanity. For instance, I started Googling for the most peaceful religion, and especially religions that have doctrines similar to my beliefs. During my search, I found the Baha'i Faith. I understood and accepted that [H]e had already came.
After reading about [the] Baha’i Faith, I stopped my research. I felt something that I had never experienced before. Something [that is] hard to explain. I was so surprised that there is a religion that shares some of my beliefs, and for that moment, I knew that Baha'i was the answer. I always believed in unity of religion and humanity, which was what distanced me from being a Catholic. I also believe that God cannot be fully understood by humans, and able for us to create an image of [H]im. I also always believed that there would be another messenger after Jesus (a modern prophet), and after learning about Bahá'u'lla[h] I understood and accepted that [H]e had already came, which is the reason I believe that [H]e is the most recent Manifestation of God, and therefore we must accept and follow the law for humanity that was given to [H]im, for us to follow.

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