Mike and Emily, both in their 30s, recently registered their declaration on www.bahai.us. While filling out the form, he shared the following about his search.
My wife and I are looking for something that we can share. We are really into the environment, family, friends, community, and need a practice we can share with community we can feel loved by and we can love. . . . We have very little money so tithing is a hindrance. I'm a former Catholic but have dabbled in Buddhism and Indian traditions. She's more liberal in her beliefs.
In speaking with Mike, more was learned about his spiritual journey as told by a nearby Bahai.
Mike grew up Catholic and heard about the Faith during a world religion class in high school approximately 15 years ago. His teacher, a Baptist, "scoffed" at the Baha'i Faith according to Mike, but this planted the spark of curiosity and commitment to investigate further at some point. Two years ago, Mike met a Bahai in a chemistry class - he thought the Bahai was a "cool guy" and learned more about the Faith through him, though the two eventually lost touch. One year ago, Mike and his wife were talking about their priorities in advance of starting a family, which inspired them to renew their research online. They found that all the Baha'i teachings resonated with them. Eventually they re-kindled their relationship with the Bahai from chemistry class, and his wife, who loaned them Bahai books and materials. They also attended an informal talk on the Bahai Faith.
Emily too shared more about how she first learned about the Bahai Faith.
Emily was not raised in a formal religion, but considers herself a "spiritual seeker." She learned about the Faith from a college instructor, and found his "way of being in the world" very inspiring. She attended one of his lectures about "inspiring people," which included vignettes about Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. Emily then approached her teacher and asked if he was a Baha'i (he was). They had a conversation about the Faith, which Emily has found to be an "underlying source of strength" in her life from that time forward. Emily's instructor recommended the book, "Baha'u'llah and the New Era," which both she and Mike read. After finishing the book, Emily said, "I can live by this!"
Emily shares that she and her husband are both service-oriented and are attracted to the component of service to humanity. She is currently in graduate school . . . and looks at her career choice as a path of service. We talked about the life of Baha'u'llah, the laws, and community life.
Both Mike and Emily are now enrolled members in the Bahai Faith.