Nathan Rutsten

Corinne True

Biography of the ‘Mother of the Temple’


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Few realize that the Hand of the Cause of God, Corinne True, long honoured for her major role in the erection of the first Bahá’í House of Worship in the Western Hemisphere, was not only ‘Mother of the Temple’ but, before all else, a mother, devoted to the care of husband and four daughters and four sons. Between 1892 and 1912 this close-knit, affectionate family was reduced in number, as death claimed its first-born child, then every son and their father too, leaving three daughters to support their mother in the remarkable services of the True family to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.It was in 1899, soon after the death of three-year-old Nathanael, that Corinne True encountered and accepted the Bahá’í Faith. Her first letter from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá brought understanding, resolve and hope, as did the fifty subsequent messages. For her He envisaged a continuous activity in rearing the Temple, and many a time hers was the creative and guiding voice. But there were other fields to which He called her: active defence of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, public teaching, the participation of women in the administration of the Faith. And thus her steadfast response contributed significantly to the evolution of the American Bahá’í Community.Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith, praised Corinne True as ‘truly a tower of strength in these days of stress and trial, worthy of the unquestioning confidence reposed in you by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.’