Portals to Freedom

Soft Cover
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Portals to Freedom is an intimate portrait of one of the most significant religious figures in recent history, 'Abdu'l-Bahá-- the son and appointed successor of the Prophet of the Baha'i Faith. Author Howard Colby Ives offers us a remarkably candid and honest description of his own personal spiritual search as a Unitarian minister struggling with questions of faith and spirituality. His search ultimately led him to a discovery of the Baha'i Faith just a short time before 'Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in North America in 1912 on a quest to share the teachings and vision of his father with the people of the West.

In Portals we get not only Ives's personal reflections and inner struggles, but a fascinating eyewitness account of the words and actions of one who has been described by his Prophet-father as "the Mystery of God," is considered by Baha'is to be the perfect exemplar of the Faith's teachings, and who emerged from a lifetime of exile at the hands of the Ottoman Empire to travel tirelessly and share the Faith's message of unity in a profound and loving manner that touched the hearts of all with whom He came in contact.
Average rating 10 out of 10 ( based on 4 reviews )

One of my favorites

Review by Amy on 10/3/2023

I absolutely loved reading this book! Howard Colby Ives is a fantastic writer, and I was pleased to find many of the stories of 'Abdu'l-Baha I learned as a child came from this book. Mr. Ives' spiritual journey is so compelling, that I have several copies of this book to gift to others--especially some of my clergy friends who often find themselves wondering the same questions that he did. I also find myself re-reading this book when I'm struggling in my spirituality. Definitely recommend for both seekers and long-time Baha'is.

Perfect for Seekers!

Review by Kim Mennillo on 10/3/2023

Portals to Freedom by Howard Colby Ives is a wonderful resource for seekers and believers alike. His story will resonate with anyone who is struggling spiritually, as I did, with who to believe or what to believe in. Mr. Ives describes in profound detail his own inner turmoil upon meeting ‘Abdu’l-Baha and hearing him speak, his moments of certainty, followed quickly by resistance and doubt. He grappled with his feelings so mightily because he was a Christian pastor, and to accept another faith seemed impossible if not downright sacrilege. I was deeply moved by the fable he wrote to help a struggling friend that spoke to these concerns and how, after meeting ‘Abdu’l-Baha, he knew he had found his spiritual home, his path to God. Ives had attained His purpose in life; never again did he waver once he accepted the Baha’i Faith. Ultimately, he abandoned his ministerial career and traveled throughout the United States to teach Baha’u’llah’s message. Howard Colby Ives’ story made such an impression on me that after reading Portals to Freedom I was inspired to combine the words of his fable with Appalachian and Gospel songs. The songs are interspersed with the fable’s verses and played on a lap dulcimer. I titled it, “In the Grip of God,” the words Ives used to explain his feelings as he wavered between excitement, questioning, doubt, and finally acceptance and great joy.

Portals to Freedom

Review by robert on 9/19/2019

it's been a long time, since I read this book, but just thinking about it has the tears flowing. I love this book... so conversational, so relatable, so readable... nothing is too much trouble and there is always time...

Wonderful book!

Review by Jackie Carter on 3/23/2018

This was one of the first books ever read on the faith alongside Release the Sun by William Sears over 50 years ago! As a 20 year old student nurse and a Christian! I was inquisitive about a faith I had never heard of before. So my adventure started with the story of The Bab and an introduction to The Master and His travels in America. I loved both books and the spiritual journey I took with Howard Colby Ives still remains with me! It may seem a little old fashioned by today's standards but it tells of one man's search for an ageless truth and to me it is as relevant now as it was then.

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