2. In her introductory remarks Rúhíyyih Khánum states: "one of our greatest problems was to ensure, all the year, every year, that a quorum of Hands was present in the Holy Land for our decisions. Within the first two years of our ministry two of the Custodians found they could not continue to serve in a permanent capacity at the World Centre, and in order to maintain our number at nine, it was necessary to select [not elect] two other Hands to replace them. . . During the period of our ministry we were grieved by the death of four of our fellow-Hands, two of whom were Custodians."