Phoebe Hearst had invited ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to her mansion near Pleasanton, the ‘Hacienda’, and on October 13, Helen Goodall provided her car and her Bahá’í chauffeur to take Him there. He spent considerable time in the nursery examining some of the rare specimens. He asked that seeds from some be sent to the Holy Land for use around the Shrines of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
Mrs. Hearst had not spoken openly to her relatives about the Faith, but at this time she encouraged ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to speak about the teachings of the Cause. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá promptly gave an overview of the Faith and its principles. When he finished, Mrs. Hearst told stories of her time in ‘Akka.
When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was about to leave the next day, He called for all the servants of the household, the maids, cooks, orderlies and the butler. He thanked each one for the services and gave each two guineas. This act of generosity and majesty left Mrs. Hearst’s wealthy guests humbled. Mrs. Hearst asked to be allowed to accompany Him back to San Francisco and He gave His assent, using the time to tell her:
“The Cause of God is sanctified from all political power and worldly affairs. Among the divine teachings are trustworthiness, detachment and sanctity. So if you should see a man coveting property and evincing greed toward the wealth of others, know that he is not of the people of Bahá. The people of Bahá are they who, should they happen to come upon a valley of gold and silver, would pass by it like lighting in utter disregard.”