Fifteen-year-old Grant has decided to host a weekly gathering for his friends and peers. He has invited them over and is a little nervous about how everything will go, but after the group explore the Universal House of Justice's statement that young people represent a "vast reservoir of energy and talent that can be devoted to the advancement of spiritual and material civilization," everyone seems committed to participating in the group.
As the group meets from week to week, it studies the fascinating and inspiring stories of some early heroes and heroines of the Baha'i Faith: William Sears, Dorothy Baker, Martha Root, Louis Gregory, Fred Mortensen, and more. The stories of these well-known and highly respected Baha'is are sometimes surprising. Grant and his friends discover that many of these early figures went through long and difficult journeys before they became spiritually devoted, self-sacrificing individuals on fire with love for the Baha'i Faith. The participants in this youth gathering look at the many remarkable virtues these exemplary Baha'is demonstrated, learn what it means to practice these admirable qualities in daily life, and discover how they can cultivate and reveal these diamonds, or virtues, in their own lives. They recognize what it means to live out one's faith in action and service to the community and come to understand that they themselves can be important agents of change in the world.
Jenina S Lepard is a psychotherapist in private practice. She has taught youth classes on spiritual and moral education for children and youth in numerous settings, including culturally diverse community centers. She is also keenly interested in the issue of attaining interracial unity in America and has served as a race unity trainer and workshop presenter in a variety of settings. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons.