14 January 2001
To the Conference Marking the Inauguration of the International Teaching Center Building
Dearly loved Friends,
We are filled with a sense of triumph as we reflect on the significance of the occupation by the International Teaching Center of its permanent seat on the Mountain of the Lord. This occasion marks the beginning of what future generations will regard as a splendid chapter in the annals of our Faith.
What joy that the Hands of the Cause of God ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan and ‘Alí-Muḥammad Varqá are able to participate in these proceedings! We acknowledge the great debt of gratitude owed to them and to the departed ones of their exalted rank for so much of what we have come to celebrate.
And how fitting it is that the Continental Counselors and their deputies from the five continents are here to witness such an auspicious beginning! The attendance of the Auxiliary Board members is so unusual a feature of the gathering that we are impelled to address our remarks particularly to them. Indeed, on no occasion in the past have the major constituents of the institution of the Counselors ever assembled in the Holy Land.