Agnes Baldwin Alexander

Hand of the Cause of God
Soft Cover

Agnes Alexander was the only Hand of the Cause of God to be mentioned in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. ‘Abdu’l-Baha wrote of her: "I declare by the Lord of Hosts that had this respected daughter founded an empire, that empire would not have been so great," and described her as "the daughter of the Kingdom, the beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection."

Her life spanned the closing epoch of the Apostolic Age of the Faith and the earliest epoch of the Formative Age, saw the erection of National Spiritual Assemblies in lands where she was once the lone Bahá’í, and also witnessed the birth of the long-promised era of the Universal House of Justice.

Two things guided her. The first was the direction given both to her personally and to the Baha’is collectively by ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. The second was her constant belief that things happen "if God wills" them to happen. She was an optimist, rarely acknowledging the negative side of things. She radiated love and kindliness everywhere she went and never spoke badly of others; consequently she was able to do many things others could not.

During her 70 years of service to the Faith of Baha’u’llah, Agnes Alexander opened Hawaii, Japan and Korea to the Baha’i Faith, travelled with Martha Root in China and served across the Pacific Ocean. At the age of 83, she served simultaneously on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Kyoto, the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the North East Asia and as a Hand of the Cause. A close friend wrote of her: "she was Japan’s real super-hero disguised as a little old lady."

This book is based on Agnes Alexander’s own accounts of the establishment of the Baha’i Faith in Hawaii and Japan, but more especially on the 40 years of research by Duane Troxel into her life – over 12,000 files of letters, photographs, audio and video interviews and a host of other previously unpublished materials. It was the task of author Earl Redman to distill these into this fascinating and readable story of an exceptional life.

Average rating 10 out of 10 ( based on 2 reviews )

If you want to be inspired

Review by Lucinda on 2/27/2023

After visiting Agnes' grave in Honolulu last year, I decided that I wanted to learn more about this remarkable woman. This book has not disappointed me. The book is based on records of her life, including the many letters she wrote to family and friends as well as her ongoing correspondence with 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. The authors did a great job weaving together the tapestry of her story. If you want to be inspired by an amazing Baha'i who spent her entire adult life in sacrificial, enthusiastic service to the Cause, I highly recommend this book. Agnes was a one-woman teaching machine who pioneered in numerous localities at a time when being a world traveler was quite daunting. She overcame so many obstacles (including a devastating earthquake in Japan) through prayer and by tapping into the deep well of her abiding faith.

A wonderful addition to our library

Review by Doris Dejwakh Rasmussen on 2/27/2023

This biography of Agnes Alexander is a wonderful addition to our library of bios of early Baha'i teachers. It quotes extensively from her letters, depicting the life of a woman who grew up in a missionary family in Hawaii, granddaughter of the some of the earliest protestant missionaries to settle there. Agnes grew up in this culture, traveling in 1900 to Europe, where she learned about the Baha'i Faith, first from a Mrs. Dixon in Italy, then from May Bolles in Paris. After becoming a Baha'i, she was constantly acting on guidance from her Lord. Back in Hawaii she established a Baha'i community, and later set her sights on Japan, Korea, and China. Thus even before the Tablets of the Divine Plan came to the North American believers, Agnes was already doing the teaching work, together with Martha Root, in those countries. This a very readable account of her life, and her 70 years of service to the Baha'i Faith, up till her passing on January first, 1971.

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By (author): Duane Troxel