December 6, 2014

Louis Gregory’s vision and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s interpretation

Louis G. Gregory was one of the first African-Americans in the United States to embrace the Baha'i Faith. He was later named a Hand of the Cause of God posthumously by Shoghi Effendi. Louis made a pilgrimage in May of 1911 to meet 'Abdu'l-Baha and visit the Holy Shrines. He wrote a journal of his experiences on pilgrimage. Below is an excerpt from his journal:

Soon after accepting the Revelation the writer [Louis Gregory] had a vision (Joel 2-28). Baha'u'llah was seen with head bent gently forward. His right arm was extended and from His right side flowed four layers of mellow golden light, each layer containing numberless spirals and beautiful figures. The light was of uniform brightness. This vision soon vanished and I found myself turning into a street in which some enemies of the Cause of God were menacing the believers. I raised my right hand above my head and shouted, "It is all true! Mine eyes have seen the Glory!" 

'Abdu'l-Baha explained. "There are four classes of people. The first is those who have accepted the teachings and occupy themselves spreading the Glad Tidings. The second is those who are good believers, but make no effort to guide others. The third is those who have heard the Message of the Kingdom but have not accepted it. The fourth is those who have not yet heard of this Revelation. As to the contention of those who deny and oppose, you have already had experience enough to know what this means." 
(Louis Gregory, ‘A Heavenly Vista, The Pilgrimage of Louis Gregory’)