New Book: Agnes Baldwin Alexander
Agnes Alexander was the only Hand of the Cause of God to be mentioned in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote of her: ‘I declare by the Lord of Hosts that had this respected daughter founded an empire, that empire would not have been so great’, and described her as ‘the daughter of the Kingdom, the beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection’.
Her life spanned the closing epoch of the Apostolic Age of the Faith and the earliest epoch of the Formative Age, saw the erection of National Spiritual Assemblies in lands where she was once the lone Bahá’í, and also witnessed the birth of the long-promised era of the Universal House of Justice.
Two things guided her. The first was the direction given both to her personally and to the Bahá’ís collectively by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. The second was her constant belief that things happen ‘if God wills’ them to happen. She was an optimist, rarely acknowledging the negative side of things. She radiated love and kindliness everywhere she went and never spoke badly of others; consequently she was able to do many things others could not.
During her 70 years of service to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, Agnes Alexander opened Hawaii, Japan and Korea to the Bahá’í Faith, travelled with Martha Root in China and served across the Pacific Ocean. At the age of 83, she served simultaneously on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Kyoto, the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the North East Asia and as a Hand of the Cause. A close friend wrote of her: ‘she was Japan’s real super-hero disguised as a little old lady’.
This book is based on Agnes Alexander’s own accounts of the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith in Hawaii and Japan, but more especially on the 40 years of research by Duane Troxel into her life – over 12,000 files of letters, photographs, audio and video interviews and a host of other previously unpublished materials. It was the task of author Earl Redman to distill these into this fascinating and readable story of an exceptional life.