As a youth, you are in the transition between child and adulthood. Life becomes more complex as you grow in capacity and responsibility.

Featured Story: Friendships and Dating

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I found dating very difficult as a teenager. I wanted to fit in and be appreciated by boys, but the ones I liked never seemed to like me…

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Featured Movie: Easy A

In this movie comedy about trying to use gossip to your advantage, Olive feels anonymous in her high school. That changes when she tells a lie about losing her virginity to impress some friends. Someone hears the lie and starts spreading it around the school.

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Featured Book: Rules of the Road

This novel follows Jenna Boller, an awkward sixteen-year-old who has a great job at Gladstone Shoe Store. Jenna has a younger sister, an alcoholic father, and a hard working mother.

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This transition will bring new thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Your world will grow beyond yourself and your family to include friends and communities of your own choosing. You will form your own worldview. Choice will become a growing part of your life. The choices you make during this time will establish your foundation for adulthood and influence your life for years to come.

Bahá’í teachings and principles can help you reach your potential during this exciting period. According to Bahá’í writings, a key part of life’s purpose is to develop spiritual qualities. These include generosity, intelligence, compassion, courage, perseverance, and reverence. Bahá’í principles, prayers, meditation, and community can assist you in achieving these spiritual qualities that will lead to a fulfilling and spiritually satisfying life.

A central focus to the Bahá’í Faith is unity. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expresses how important unity should be in our lives when he says “Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness.”

Achieving spiritual qualities can be challenging. In life, you will constantly be changing and growing. Your situation, your family, and the environment will influence this process which is also influenced by the choices you make. The Bahá’í principle of independent investigation of the truth means that we are each responsible for our own beliefs and our own actions. Anyone can take control of how they react to their circumstances and positively affect their direction.

Bahá’u’lláh emphasize the importance of moderation when he says “In all circumstances they should conduct themselves with moderation.” Moderation is important to balancing the influences in your life. Valuing other’s opinions more than your own can be harmful in the long-term. Focusing too much on belongings can erode character. The period of youth is when you learn to balance family, friend, and cultural pressures with your own beliefs. Finding balance with moderation can lead to greater happiness, satisfaction, and personal growth.

This website covers how to have enriching experiences during your youth as a Bahá’í and overcome challenges that you may face. The Bahá’í Faith can be an incredible resource for support and guidance. It can help you grow into the person you want to be by providing purpose, perspective, direction, focus, optimism, meaning, morality, appreciation for the good in the world, and protection from unnecessary challenges.

About

The Illumine website is primarily for Bahá’í youth (12-21 years old) growing up in the United States. It is also for their parents and community members. The teen years are some of the most exciting times of life. It includes increased freedoms and explorations of new thoughts and actions. Meeting new people and gaining more freedom opens up the wonders of the world. Unfortunately, some of the challenges youth face can feel overwhelming and stressful rather than empowering and liberating. Every day, youth confront expectations of behavior that challenge the Bahá’í principles and beliefs.

Growing up in the United States has its challenges. While everyone has challenges, Bahá’í youth are likely to face some specific types. During youth is when the desire to fit in and friends’ opinions start to have more influence in your life. And since Bahá’í communities are small and have few Bahá’í youth, not having a group of friends who share your beliefs can feel lonely and isolating.

You are not alone in this exciting, often challenging period of your life. Bahá’ís around the country are experiencing similar transitions, and many Bahá’ís have already grown through this stage of life. Illumine shows how Bahá’í principles can assist with the transition to adulthood and shares the knowledge and experience of those who have already grown into Bahá’í adults.

This website seeks to encourage and guide Bahá’í youth so they may see the Bahá’í Faith as an invaluable aid in living a meaningful, rewarding, and happy life. Whether you learn through your own first-hand experiences, through others’ experiences, or through Bahá’í writings, you must determine which beliefs will guide your life.

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