Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Mahmud: May 14 — Lake Mohonk Peace Conference

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Mahmud's Diary
May 14, 1912
Lake Mohonk New Paltz, NY

As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was invited to Lake Mohonk, the venue for the conference of the International Peace Society, He made preparations to leave. This conference was the greatest of all the peace conferences in America. It was held in a most ideal location and many dignitaries and delegates from various countries had been invited to attend. Lake Mohonk is four hours away from New York by train. At the train station special landaus were waiting to take the guests to the conference site. The Master took one of these and went to the Hotel Lake Mohonk. He praised the beauty of the place and the scenic grandeur of the route as His carriage drove for about an hour amidst green valleys, wooded hills, woodlands, waterfalls and natural springs. The conference was to last for three days. Each day two long sessions were held in the spacious hall of the hotel facing the lake, the hall having been especially built for the conference.

On the first evening, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s name was at the head of the program. All the members and delegates were anxious to hear His address. The president [of the International Peace Society, Mr. Smiley] introduced the Master with the utmost respect and glowing words of praise. Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stood and spoke. A new spirit and a new excitement seemed to prevail over the gathering. During the day most of the delegates had been engaged in materialistic issues. The highest level that their discussions had reached, was the issue of the international unity of countries, and the problems of the United States of America. In the evening, however, they found themselves puzzled when they heard the eloquent, elegant address from the Master concerning the unity of all people, the reformation of the whole world and the Manifestation of the Greatest Name which would bring about the oneness of the world of humanity and the promulgation of the teachings of universal peace. He spoke for about 20 minutes, the time allotted to Him in the program. According to the custom of the West, the audience applauded for a long time when He ceased speaking. They requested that He continue but because He was tired He apologized and with a gesture of His hand bestowed kindness on all. One by one, dignitaries and delegates from many countries came to shake His hand. Some of them embraced Him and expressed their thanks. The president again stood, offered thanks and spoke with great reverence on the importance of the teachings, praising and commending ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on behalf of the audience. Mr. Smiley’s wife then gave the Master a pendant especially made for the peace conference and thanked Him most joyfully.

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