Shoghi Effendi was a very remarkable young man, and of course, he just worshipped ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. And when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá passed away, the whole world became dark for him. All light had gone out. When he returned to the Holy Land, he had in mind from the things which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had said to him, (and I am now telling you what he said), “that I had in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would give me the honor of calling the great conclave, calling together the great conclave which would elect the Universal House of Justice. And I had thought in His Will and Testament, that that probably was what He was instructing to be done.” But, he said, “Instead of that, I found that I had been appointed as the Guardian of the Cause of God,” and he said, “I didn’t want to be the Guardian of the Cause. In the first place, I didn’t think I was worthy. The next days, I didn’t want to face these responsibilities. I think he talked one night along these lines when you were there, John, I‘m not sure, but he went into this on other times, too, in great detail. He said, “I didn’t want to be the Guardian. I knew what it meant. I knew that my life as a human being was over. I didn’t want it, and I didn’t want to face it, so as you remember, I left, remember, I left the Holy Land, and I went up in the mountains of Switzerland, and I fought with myself until I conquered myself. Then I came back and I turned myself over to God, and I was the Guardian. Now,” he said, “every Bahá’í in the world, every person in the world, has to do the exactly the same thing, whether you’re a Hand of the Cause, or whether you’re a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, or whether you’re a member of a National Assembly, whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re a pioneer, whether you’re an administrator, or whatever you are in the Cause, every Bahá’I must fight with himself and conquer himself. And when he’s conquered himself, then he becomes a true instrument for service to the Cause of God. And not until that. And he won’t achieve his great success until he has done it, and this is what every Bahá’I in the world should know.
(In the Days of the Guardian – a Talk by Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958)