24 Elders’ Identity

The 24 Elder’s Identity Revealed in Guardian Joel B. Marangella’s 2008 Ridvan Letter

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá Some Answered Questions, p. 57 )


I feel that the time has now come on this auspicious occasion to call attention to a significant letter that Shoghi Effendi wrote to Mrs. George R. True on July 22, 1943, that was published in the November 1944 issue of United States Bahá’íi News, No. 171. She had apparently asked him about the twenty-four elders mentioned in the Book of Revelation, only nineteen of whom, as you know, have been identified to date, as the Bab and the eighteen Letters of the Living. The following is quoted from his letter to her:

“Regarding the four and twenty elders: The Master in a Tablet, stated that they were the Báb, the eighteen Letters of the Living, and five others who would be known in the future. So far, we do not know who these five others are.”

Who in the future would be qualified to identify the remaining five elders, other than a Guardian of the Faith? It will be obvious in my identification of them below, that neither Shoghi Effendi nor Mason Remey had been in a position to name these five remaining elders during their respective ministries and for this reason, it has now become, at long last, my inestimable privilege to do so.

We find the following wonderful prediction in the Book of Revelation:

“There in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne sat One [the Lord of the Covenant] whose appearance was like the gleam of jasper and cornelian; and round the throne was a rainbow, bright as an emerald. In a circle about this throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on them sat twenty-four elders, robed in white and wearing crowns of gold.” (The New English Bible)

The remaining five elders are:

‘Abdu’l-Bahá — Center of the Covenant.

Bahíyyíh Khánum — The Greatest Holy Leaf.

Shoghi Effendi — First Guardian of the Cause of God.

Martha Root — Preeminent teacher.

Charles Mason Remey — Second Guardian of the Cause of God.

With loving Ridván greetings, Faithfully your brother in El Abhá,

Joel Bray Marangella

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