What are Auxiliary Board Members in the Baha'i Faith
Two Auxiliary Boards - the Protection Board and Propagation Board
The beloved Guardian's message of October 1957 clearly indicates that the two Auxiliary Boards must have distinct but complementary functions. In that message he charges the Protection Board with 'the specific duty of watching over the security of the Faith' and says that the duty of the Propagation Board would 'henceforth be exclusively concerned with assisting the prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan.'
It must also be borne in mind that these twin agencies derive their complementary functions from one and the same source, are interrelated, and their members act as 'deputies', 'assistants' and 'advisers' of the Hands of the Cause of God, and, now, the Continental Boards of Counsellors. It is further clear that Shoghi Effendi was reluctant to specify in too great detail matters related to the functioning of the Auxiliary Boards, preferring to leave such things to be worked out in the light of experience.
Many of the Functions of Members of the Two Boards and Assemblies Are Held in Common
The Universal House of Justice has written that:
In implementing their functions, the members of the two Auxiliary Boards will often be promoting the same thing; moreover, many of their functions are held in common especially in the areas of consolidation and deepening, and it is left to each Board of Counsellors to determine the range of responsibility assigned to each Auxiliary Board member so that in the circumstances of each area maximum collaboration is achieved. Experience has shown that good results can usually be obtained when the Counsellors consult upon these matters with their Auxiliary Board members.
It should, furthermore, be remembered that these self-same functions are being carried out by the Assemblies, National and Local, and their committees, which have at this time the great responsibility for actually executing the teaching plans and for administering, consolidating and protecting the Bahá'í communities. The Auxiliary Board members should thus watch carefully that their work reinforces and complements that of the administrative institutions.
Protection Board Members' Responsibilities
The need to protect the Faith from the attacks of its enemies is not generally appreciated by the friends because such attacks, particularly in the West, have so far been intermittent. However, we know that these attacks will increase and will become concerted and universal. The writings of our Faith clearly foreshadow not only an intensification of the machinations of internal enemies, whether religious or secular, as our beloved Faith pursues its onward march towards ultimate victory. Therefore, in the light of the warnings of Shoghi Effendi, the Auxiliary Boards for Protection should keep 'constantly' a 'watchful eye' on those 'who are known to be enemies or to have been put out of the Faith', discreetly 'investigate' their activities, warn intelligently the friends of the opposition inevitably to come, explain how each crisis in God's Faith has always proved to be a blessing in disguise, prepare them for the 'dire contests' which are 'destined to range the Army of Light against the forces of darkness', and, when the influence of the enemies spreads and reaches their fold, the members of these Auxiliary Boards should be alert to their schemes to 'dampen the zeal and sap the loyalty' of the believers and, by adopting 'wise and effective measures', counteract these schemes and arrest the spread of their influence. Above all, the members of the Protection Boards should concentrate on deepening the friends' knowledge of the Covenant and increasing their love and loyalty to it, on clearly and frankly answering, in conformity with the teachings, whatever questions may trouble any of the believers, on fostering the spiritual profundity and strength of their Faith and certitude, and on promoting whatever will increase the spirit of loving unity in Bahá'í communities. - The Universal House of Justice
Propagation Board Members' Responsibilities
The primary tasks of the Propagation Boards, however, are to direct the believers' attention to the goals of whatever plans have been placed before them, to stimulate and assist them to promote the teaching work in the fields of proclamation, expansion, consolidation and pioneering, to encourage contributions to the funds, and to act as standard-bearers of the teachers of the Faith, leading them to new achievements in the diffusion of God's Message to their fellow human beings. - The Universal House of Justice