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Monday, December 26, 2011

Why "Raising The Bahr?"

I chose the name "Raising The Bahr" for my blog (and homeschool) based on a message from Elder M. Russell Ballard given during the priesthood session of the October 2002 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, "in which he challenged the young men of the Church to become the greatest generation of missionaries. He announced that the bar for the minimum standard of missionary service had been raised. He instructed the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood to prepare themselves more vigorously to reach this new and higher minimum standard. He also gave instructions to fathers, bishops, and stake presidents about helping young men prepare to serve full-time missions.  (See “The Greatest Generation of Missionaries,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 46–49.)

"In his concluding remarks at that same priesthood session, President Hinckley commented on Elder Ballard’s talk. He said: 'Elder Ballard has spoken to you concerning missionaries. I wish to endorse what he said. I hope that our young men, and our young women, will rise to the challenge he has set forth. We must raise the bar on the worthiness and qualifications of those who go into the world as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ' (“To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 57).

"Soon afterward, in a letter dated December 11, 2002, the First Presidency instructed Church leaders about the principles of eligibility for full-time missionary service. The instructions stated: 'Full-time missionary service is a privilege for those who are called through inspiration by the President of the Church. Bishops and stake presidents have the serious responsibility to identify worthy, qualified members who are spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared for this sacred service and who can be recommended without reservation. Those individuals not able to meet the physical, mental, and emotional demands of full-time missionary work are honorably excused and should not be recommended. They may be called to serve in other rewarding capacities.'

"The bar was raised by the leaders of the Church, and now the minimum standard for participating in missionary work is absolute moral worthiness; physical health and strength; intellectual, social, and emotional development. In every high-jumping competition there is a minimum height at which the competition starts. The high jumper cannot ask to start at a lower height. In the same way, you should not expect the standards to be lowered to allow you to serve a mission. If you want to be a missionary, you must be able to clear the minimum standards.

"But once you reach those minimum standards, shouldn’t you try to keep raising the bar? I ask you the same question I asked my son many years ago: 'If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?' My challenge to you is to recognize that a minimum standard exists—and you must reach it to serve as a full-time missionary—but don’t stop there. The greatest generation of missionaries will not reach its full potential unless it keeps raising the bar ("Raising The Bar," Elder L. Tom Perry, emphasis mine)."

Our last name is Bahr (pronounced "bar"), so it seemed a very fitting name/title, considering that I am choosing to home educate our children in order to "raise the bar" of their education (among myriad other reasons - look for a post in the future about why we homeschool) as well as raise God loving, righteous, compassionate, ambassadors of the truth.  It reminds me daily of the responsibility the Lord has placed directly onto my shoulders as a mother in Zion to continue each day trying to improve and to do a little bit better than I did yesterday.  It encourages me to look to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for constant help in bettering myself.  I need constant help, courage, inspiration, energy.  :)

The purpose of this blog is to help me in the perpetual learning process of becoming perfect.  It will hopefully serve me in the form of accountability as I share, out loud, the changes I feel compelled to seek in my life.  I hope it will be a springboard of new inspiration, encouragement, and support, for you and me alike.  I wish to create a safe place for us to gather to uplift and inspire and encourage each other.  There will be no place for putting each other (or ourselves) down.  I am sharing this blog for my own personal growth, so realize that I will be sharing from my own personal perspective just what I am doing in my own life and why.  This is not a place for you to judge me or each other.  We all have our own journey to forge in this life.  I will share my own experiences and what works (and probably what does not work, as I'm sure we will encounter difficulties along the way! ;) ) for me and my family.  You are welcome to take from it what works for you and yours and leave the rest.  :)  You are the steward for your family.  Don't ever do anything without consulting first, your Father in Heaven.  He has a plan for you and will help you to figure it out piece by piece, step by step, here a little, there a little.  He loves you and wants to help you on your journey.  My God bless us all on this journey of life.


  1. Thank you Colleen. :) I'm excited too. ;) I'll be adding one tomorrow about one of my new year's goals.

  2. Hi Heather! I think I'm going to have a goal of writing at least once a week. I know if I try to do more than that right now (after December) I'll probably (definitely) get behind with the kids schooling and chores that need to be done. :)

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  4. Crystal, I love the principle of Raising the Bar! In fact this past semester I made it the theme for my department and all my students. I used President Kim B. Clark’s devotional address ( as my backdrop. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I'll have to go read that devotional right now! It's funny that Kim Clark is who you received your inspiration from for the same theme, because he is Luke's uncle. I can't wait to read his address. Thank you so much for sharing the link!

  6. Mike, I read that talk and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really loved this quote from Elder Eyering: "The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground, away from the path of physical and spiritual danger. His upward path will require us to climb. My mother used to say to me when I complained that things were hard, “If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.”" Wow. That sure puts life into perspective now; doesn't it? :O) If you're on the right path, it will be uphill! Yay for mountain climbing! :O)