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Did The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do anything that violated the tax laws of the United States of America by maintaining an investment fund?

As I am both a lawyer (California State Bar #166048) and a CPA (Hawaii CPA 5825) and a tithe-paying member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who formerly served as a bishop with access to and discretionary authority to spend the funds of said Church, I’m going here to ask and answer the question posed by a former member and employee of the Church as described by the Washington Post on December 16, 2019.The Church has recently responded here—-> How the Church of Jesus Christ Uses Tithes and DonationsIs it inappropriate or illegal for the Church to maintain a corporation devoted to holding investments, which corporation does not regularly pay out its income?Absolutely not!In the United States of America, an organization with a charitable purpose can organize under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) 501(c)(3) and be exempt from Federal Income tax as well as receive donations that persons can deduct, according to various rules, from their personal taxes. There are two kinds of organizations that qualify for this kind of treatment under this law—private foundations and public charities—and one must review IRC 509(a)(1) in order to understand that so long as the organization has broad public support, it will not be considered a private foundation but a public charity.That it is supported by its sixteen million members well qualifies The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a public charity and I’m quite sure the Internal Revenue Service will agree.The “whistleblower” invites the uninformed to join him in his misapplication of the Internal Revenue Code. He claims, without support, that this fund is subject to the rules of a private foundation while at the same time fully acknowledging that the fund is owned by and operated under authority of the Church.Because the Church is a public charity, anything—anything at all—owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exempt from taxation so long as the funds are used to advance the charitable purposes of the organization. From IRC 503(c)(3):[exemption from taxation applies to] “Corporations organized for the exclusive purpose of holding title to property, collecting income therefrom, and turning over the entire amount thereof, less expenses, to an organization which itself is exempt under this section. Rules similar to the rules of subparagraph (G) of paragraph (25) shall apply for purposes of this paragraph.”Therefore, Ensign Peak Advisors, Inc., and any property it holds, manages or controls is fully tax-exempt under law. It is free to apply its property to any Church purpose, even the bailout of a problematic investment or the steady and purposeful accumulation of capital. The Church is managed by brilliant and dedicated men and women—but even they make mistakes on occasion. God is our parent and He is a perfect parent, which means He allows His children to make mistakes and learn from them to do better in the future. It would do us no good whatsoever to have a God who dictated every move, financially or otherwise.Our whistleblower is going to be frustrated if he thinks there is any merit to his tax arguments as there is not.Any reasonably well-informed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows exactly how their tithing is being used.We pay tithing because we believe that 10% of our money doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to God. By voluntarily recognizing that fact, we give God the ability to bless us—an ability God acknowledges He cannot exercise without our first being obedient to the command. This isn’t some idiosyncratic doctrine that Broadway can mock—it’s good old-fashioned Old Testament, King James Version:8 ¶ Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3I wrote a lengthy answer to a similar question regarding Church finances over two years ago—here it is: J. Brian Watkins's answer to How much money does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have?There is no “secrecy” about Church finances. Polite and well-mannered individuals understand that persons are entitled to privacy in their personal financial affairs. The finances of the Church are private and I’m comfortable that the finances of the Church are in good hands.Ironically, those who complain are those who refuse to donate. Why should they have a voice in Church affairs? Churches do a world of good and if you don’t like their tax-free status, go complain to your representatives in Congress, don’t write hateful diatribes against people whose beliefs differ from yours. Just do your own thing and be happy.Church President Gordon B. Hinckley explained to the assembled membership, which meets together twice-yearly in a General Conference via internet, video, satellite and other links, that the Church made a decision years ago to invest a portion of every year’s donations and business income. He further explained why the Church was going to develop property in downtown Salt Lake City into a shopping mall. This was done completely in the open and explained to the entire assembled membership.The Condition of the ChurchSaid President Hinckley in April 2003 (see above link)Faith in the payment of tithes and offerings increases despite the straitened economic circumstances in which we find ourselves. We are able to go forward with the building of meetinghouses and temples, with our vast education program, with the very many activities which are conditioned upon the tithing income of the Church. I promise you that we will not put the Church in debt.President Hinckley and his associates came of age during the Great Depression. It left an indelible mark upon them—the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abhor debt, they will not incur it save in the most extreme need.Accordingly, since about 1981—to the best of my knowledge—the Church has invested a portion of its annual tithing and business income. Recent revelations indicate that this strategy has not only been successful, it has been incredibly successful.Bear in mind that we believe that Jesus Christ directs this Church—accordingly, our leaders do not make changes lightly or without years of thoughtful consideration.It does not surprise me that our investments have now risen to levels that capture public attention—it should not surprise any member of the Church.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does pay taxes. Lots of taxes.The exemption afforded by United States Federal Income Tax laws does not apply to everything the Church does. Indeed, the Church’s own statement makes clear that the Church pays taxes on all kinds of things. For example, if we are running a shopping mall as an investment, the rent we receive is fully taxable.Worldwide, the Church and its affiliated entities pay applicable taxes and other governmental levies. In the United States, where churches and other nonprofit organizations are generally exempt from federal and state income tax, the Church pays taxes on any income it derives from revenue-producing activities that are regularly carried on and are not substantially related to its tax-exempt purposes. Church-affiliated entities that are organized as for-profit corporations pay regular federal and state corporate income taxes on their net income. The Church and its affiliated entities also pay property taxes on property that is not used for religious, educational or charitable purposes, including taxes on undeveloped land and properties held for investment or commercial purposes. Government fees, levies and assessments are paid in connection with the development of Church property. The Church also pays federal and state employer taxes and withholds and remits employee payroll taxes. Where applicable, the Church and its affiliated entities pay state and local sales and use taxes. Church Finances and a Growing Global FaithThe Polynesian Cultural Center, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ, pays taxes to Hawaii despite the fact that it exists solely to help employ the students of Brigham Young University Hawaii, where I work. It is the number one cash attraction in the entire State of Hawaii. See, e.g. J. Brian Watkins's answer to Why is the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?Where the Church operates businesses, such as its City Creek Mall, it pays regular taxes on the income it generates—just like every other business. The reason we operate those businesses is because when you have billions of dollars you don’t simply keep them under the mattress—you put them to work. The IRS is well aware of the Church’s obedience to tax law and that will be yet another reason why Ensign Peak Advisors, Inc. will not bother them. When you obey law for years, if a question arises about your conduct, the assumption will be in your favor. Have people already forgotten that East Germany allowed our members to exit that walled-off country to attend the temple and serve missions precisely because these members came back voluntarily?We choose as a Church to conduct our operations within the ability of the interest on our principal to cover costs. This insures that our operations will never lack funding, even if the cash donations of members were unavailable. Indeed, the Church could feed every one of its members if need be—and it feeds many non-members as well. Bear in mind that the Ensign Peak Advisors, Inc. fund primarily holds cash and marketable securities. A well-balanced portfolio contains much more than that.And, again, there are no secrets here. President Hinckley said about Church investments,"We have felt that good farms, over a long period, represent a safe investment, where the assets of the church may be preserved and enhanced," Hinckley said, "while at the same time they are available as an agricultural resource to feed people, should there come a time of need." LDS CHURCH REAL-ESTATE HOLDINGS INCLUDE FARMS, RANCHES, BUILDINGSNobody need fear reprisals by the IRS—nothing about the transactions detailed in the wryly named “Letter to an IRS Director” is improper in any way. Save the fact that the gentleman who made these disclosures cynically used whistleblower statutes to evade the non-disclosure agreement he most certainly signed as a condition of working with Church funds. Who would hire this man to manage their funds now? Attorneys know that the importance of keeping the confidences of their client far exceed any personal considerations—can a person charged with assisting in the stewardship of billions of dollars of donated funds be trusted after shenanigans like this report?In fact, I suspect that this “whistleblower” knows full well that the Church is within the scope of the tax laws—the snide and mocking tone of the report speaks for itself. This whole charade is simply a chance to get some media attention for a critic of The Church of Jesus Christ who wishes only to oppose and hinder the Church. Nothing about his bitter screed indicates anything improper or inappropriate about the usage of the funds at issue. There are, indeed, certain facts regarding improper usage of funds donated to a charity that would gain the prompt attention of authorities, but none of them are at issue in this case.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized as a corporation sole. This intriguing type of corporate entity has its roots in England; for example, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a corporation sole who holds title to the properties of the Church of England. Literally every penny of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, every building, every square foot of land, every cow on every ranch, is owned by the corporation sole and directed by authority of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a man who cannot call himself to that position. Corporation sole - Wikipedia That the entire Church is under the control of its current President—now Russell M. Nelson—is not grounds for defeating the definition of a public charity.Supposing the Church of Jesus Christ is sitting on $100 billion—and I suspect that number is woefully understated—then who better to be in control of it than a former surgeon trained to make precise and life-or-death decisions under extreme time pressures, a man who admirably balanced a scientific, medical, Church and family career. President Nelson, the father of ten, is flanked in his responsibilities by a former Law School Dean, University President and Utah Supreme Court Justice, Dallin H. Oaks, and a former University President and tenured professor of business from Stanford University, Henry B. Eyring. I trust them with God’s money—they will be told what to do when the need arises, until then, they will save it up and invest it wisely.Let’s emphasize this: Nobody can put themselves into a position of responsibility in the Church of Jesus Christ. All of its leaders were selected by others.Any argument that Church leaders are acting for their own personal gain fails to acknowledge that these leaders were required to give up their often extremely lucrative professions and careers to become subordinates devoted to carrying out the directives of the President of the Church. President Nelson was an equal vote in a council of Twelve Apostles for over 30 years before he ascended to the Presidency by simply surviving the next senior Apostle, who happened to be three years younger. Members of the Church know who has power over life and death and God chooses the man that will control the billions of dollars now at issue.These men virtually live on airplanes and get only a few weeks of break every year to spend with families. President Nelson's global ministry to continue in southeast Asia All are required to live in Salt Lake City despite the fact that their families may reside in Germany, Brazil or elsewhere. The most senior of them do not ever retire—they serve until death. Hardly a position that would entice a person bent on living large with the donations of others. They do not act selfishly—in fact, President Nelson is as busy training and teaching his future successors as he is visiting members of the Church all over the world.So if someone brings up the Church and points to recent media reports, please spread the word that the members of the Church know full well where their tithing is going and they approve. If they don’t, then they don’t pay tithing. Tithing is a voluntary act—there is no coercion. There is no violation of tax law or any law inherent in the Church’s investment strategies and actions.Do you wish to benefit from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?If so, stop some of our missionaries. Ask them to teach you. If you already hold strong religious views, then ask them to help you with some onerous project you have been putting off. You’ll find we can muster thousands of people when need arises, you need only ask for help and it will be given. WWJD? Mormon Helping Hands spread out through Big Bend to aid Hurricane Michael recoveryOr, if your organization needs help, go here. We have a website designed to facilitate assistance to good causes. JustServeJust come to Church and see what we are about. Wear Sunday Best—white shirt and tie for a man, dress for a woman—and come and sit there. You won’t be asked to donate anything, you won’t be asked to do anything, we get lots of visitors—they are always welcome. You can find your congregation here: Meetinghouse Locator | LDS Maps

Why should I vote or not vote for Narendra Modi in 2019 elections?

101 reasons I am voting for Modi governmentSwachh Bharat Mission - Grameen:“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi. On 2nd October 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement. The campaign aims to achieve the vision of a ‘Clean India’ by 2nd October 2019.As a part of SBM-Grameen, India witnessed toilet building and expansion in rural areas like never before and is on the verge to achieve 100% sanitation coverage by Oct 2, 2019. One noticeable aspect here is, as a part of Swachh Suverkshan Grameen (by Minister of drinking water and sanitation), the centre also keeping a close tab on actual usage of toilets and carrying out mass social drives to promote construction and usage of toilets.Swachh Iconic Places: Ministry of drinking water and sanitation has taken up a multi-stakeholder initiative focusing on cleaning up 100 places across India that are “iconic” due to their heritage, religious and/or cultural significance. The goal of the Initiative is to improve the cleanliness conditions at these places to a distinctly higher level. This initiative is in partnership with Ministries of Urban Development, Tourism and Culture with MDWS being the nodal ministry. Some of the iconic sites from the first phase are Taj Mahal, Mata Vaishnav Devi, Kamakhya Temple, Ajmer Sharif.Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - Urban: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)India's many of the megacities have been plagued by pollution mainly due to exploding population, unplanned expansion, lack of and mismanagement of funds by urban local bodies. This government has played a pro-active role by first ensuring mass construction of toilets as they did for rural areas.Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - Urban: Another big role, the government has been playing is in infrastructure building, financial facilitation of various agencies and urban local bodies and timely, accurate, competitive survey of cities by giving them star ratings. Many cities have come out as big success stories in these four years. Indore, Bhopal, Pune, Chandigarh, Bilaspur are notable mentions. Some of the success stories: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) success stories.Swachh survekshan: Government has come up with the annual rankings of different cities based on their performance in various cleanliness indicators. Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh has emerged as the cleanest cities of India. While this is just a ranking, it has started a healthy competition among municipal corporations and governments of the state. Also, its a good indicator of progress (or lack of progress for the dirtiest cities of the country).Namami Gange Program: Carried out by National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, the current government has given a big push for cleaner, sustainable, uninterrupted flow of the lifeline of our country, Ganga. Rs 20,000 crore has been approved by the central government for the same. Nitin Gadkari has made big promises about the cleaning of the river and its tributaries by Dec 2019. They have already made some big progress and are certainly going in the right direction. Namai Gange youtube.Namami Gange Achievements:1. Creating Sewerage Treatment Capacity:- 63 sewerage management projects under implementation in the States of Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.12 new sewerage management Projects Launched in these states.Work is under construction for creating Sewerage capacity of 1187.33 (MLD).Hybrid Annuity PPP Model based two projects has been initiated for Jagjeetpur, Haridwar and Ramanna, Varanasi.2. Creating River-Front Development:-28 River-Front Development projects and 33 Entry level Projects for construction, modernization and renovation of 182 Ghats and 118 crematoria has been initiated.3. River Surface Cleaning:-River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River and its disposal are afoot and pushed into service at 11 locations.4. Bio-Diversity Conservation:- Several Bio-Diversity conservation projects are namely: Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation, Fish and Fishery Conservation in Ganga River, Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Education Programme has been initiated. 5 Bio-Diversity center’s at Dehradun, Narora, Allahabad, Varanasi and Barrackpore has been developed for restoration of identified priority species.5. Afforestation:- Forestry interventions for Ganga through Wildlife Institute of India; Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute and Centre for Environment Education has been initiated.Forestry interventions for Ganga has been executed as per the Detailed Project Report prepared by Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for a period of 5 years (2016-2021) at project cost of Rs.2300 Crores. Work has been commenced in 7 districts of Uttarakahnd for medicinal plants.6. Public Awareness:- A series of activities such as events, workshops, seminars and conferences and numerous IEC activities were organized to make a strong pitch for public outreach and community participation in the programme. Various awareness activities through rallies, campaigns, exhibitions, shram daan, cleanliness drives, competitions, plantation drives and development and distribution of resource materials were organized and for wider publicity the mass mediums such as TV/Radio, print media advertisements, advertorials, featured articles and advertorials were published. Gange Theme song was released widely and played on digital media to enhance the visibility of the programme. NMCG ensured presence at Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube etc.7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring:- Real Time Effluent Monitoring Stations (EMS) has been installed in 572 out of 760 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs). Closure notice have been issued to 135 GPIs so far and others have been given deadlines for compliance to stipulated norms and for installations of online EMS.8. Ganga Gram:- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) identified 1674 Gram Panchayats situated on the bank of River Ganga in 5 State (Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,Bihar,Jharkhand,West Bengal). Rs. 578 Crores has been released to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) for construction of toilets in 1674 Gram Panchayats of 5 Ganga Basin States. Out of the targeted 15, 27,105 units, MoDWS has completed construction of 8, 53,397 toilets. Consortium of 7 IITs has been engaged in the preparation of Ganga River basin Plan and 65 villages has been adopted by 13 IITs to develop as model villages. UNDP has been engaged as the executing agency for rural sanitation programme and to develop Jharkhand as a model State at an estimated cost of Rs. 127 Crore.Various programs at work, pictures after transformation of ghats:Effluent treatment at Kanpur. Kanpur: No untreated industrial, household waste to flow into GangaSome environmentalists suggest too radical and naive measures for cleaning Ganga. While all those measures sounding idealistic on papers and talks may have a huge deterrent to millions of people living on its banks. Creating proper infrastructure, tightening norms and preventing no untreated water to drain into Ganga and its tributaries are the first important steps and this government is actually moving forward in the right direction. Though they were a bit slow in starting years {till Uma Bharti was the minister}.Massive infrastructure construction: Modi believes in infrastructure development as a big part of social and economic development. As a Gujrat CM also, he had given special importance to infrastructure building and as PM of India, he again has given massive thrust to infrastructure. Be it roads, development of ports, bridges, infra development in remote areas of north-east, development of airports, railway tracks, bullet train approval, GIFT city, Statue of Unity, etc. I will be describing some of these developments in the next points.Sagarmala: Ministry of Shipping. India has a massive coastline of 7500km and modernisation of ports, improving connectivity is one of the obvious ways to go for giving massive thrust to our economy. Interestingly, this project's idea was originally mooted during the Vajpayee government in 2003 and was cleared by the Modi government in 2015.As part of Sagarmala Programme, more than 604 projects (Cost: Rs. 8.8 Lacs Cr.) have been identified for implementation, during 2015-2035, across the areas of port modernization & new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialization and coastal community development. As of 30-Sep-2018, a total of 522 projects (costing around Rs. 4.32 Lac Crore) were under various stages of implementation, development and completion.Bharatmala: Focusing on improving national road connectivity, quality, removing bottlenecks {north-east, Himalayan states}, freight connectivity are some of the main objectives of this project. A whopping 34,800km! of roads are to be constructed by 2022. Under NHDP, budget: Rs.5,35,000 crore.The speed of road construction:Development of the North-East: North-eastern states have been neglected for years by previous governments. Reason being rough topography (high cost for development projects), lower population implying lower seats and hence lower returns on votes. However, the Modi government has infused north-eastern states with massive infrastructural projects. I am listing a few of them.Bogibeel bridge: India's longest railroad bridge: India's first fully welded steel-concrete bridge capable of withstanding earthquakes of 8 on the Richter scale completed in Assam.Pakyong airport: Sikkim's first airport, it's a greenfield airport, a structural marvel considering the topography of the location and providing much-needed connectivity to the people of Sikkim and to the travellers visiting Sikkim, in turn boosting the economy of the state.Speeding road construction and connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh is topographically very challenging and has poor road connectivity. With China building its infrastructure on the other side, connectivity and logistics development in Arunachal becomes particularly important. Road network in Arunachal has increased from 1804 to 2885km in last 4 years. This involved building bridges and roads on some of the most challenging topographies.There are multiple projects either completed, in the process of completion or planned for the north-eastern states. The pace of these projects is much faster than the previous governments.Arunachal Pradesh on the rail map: Apart from the road constructions, Modi government has brought Arunachal Pradesh on the railway map of India with India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge — the 4.94-km long Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra. The government is also aiming for converting all meter-gauge tracks in the northeastern states to broad-gauge. In Arunachal, the Centre has started a location survey to connect Tawang, Aalo, Pasighat with broad gauge railway networks.Gujrat International Finance Tech City (GIFT city): GIFT photo gallery This city is envisioned to be India's Hong Kong emerging as a world-class centre for financial services.Statue of Unity: have been many cries over this statue but I just loved the fact that first time, proper recognition is given to Sardar Patel, the man because of whom united India exists today. Also, the statue itself apart from being the world's tallest is also equipped with world-class infrastructure and amenities. Sardar Patel Rashtriya Ekta trust earned total Rs.2,10,47,325 in last 10 days! And this is just from the tickets. Imagine the boost in economy and tourism for the locals of the region. I am really looking forward to my visit to this statue. Earnings of Sardar Patel statueDelhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor: A mammoth $100bn mega-project that will massively boost our economy and infrastructure. You might be noticing a pattern now. Japan will be aiding India technically and financially in this project.Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project: Japan giving helping hands to India in yet another dream project. Now, why bullet train? Why not? India is the fastest growing economy in the world. Yes, we have a large population of people below the poverty line but poverty isn't eliminated by distributing money (socialist policies). And time has come for India to adopt the next generation of high-speed trains.The project is estimated to cost ₹1.1 lakh crore (US$15 billion). The cost includes interest during construction and import duties. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) agreed to fund 81% of the total project cost ₹88,087 crore (US$12 billion), through a 50-year loan at an interest rate of 0.1% with a moratorium on repayments up to 15 years and the remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. 20% of the components used on the corridor will be supplied by Japan, and manufactured in India. (Source: Wikipedia).Mumbai trans-harbour link, Shivaji memorial: This will be country’s longest sea bridge at 22.5 km. It will connect Mumbai’s eastern suburbs with the mainland across the harbour through a 16.5 km sea bridge and a viaduct. The project will cost around Rs18,000 crore and completed by 2019. It will connect Sewri in central-east Mumbai with Nhava Seva across the harbour. The government is also building a Rs 3600 crore grand memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Mumbai (on the lines of Statue of Unity).Setu Bharatam Project: This project aims to ensure highways without railway crossings by 2019 and an overhaul of 1500 British-era bridges. Total budget: 50,800 crores.Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna: This project aims to connect 100 of the 676 district headquarters in the country with world-class highways (total length: over 6,600km, cost: 60,000 crores).Chardham-highway project: The Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna, or the Chardham highway development project, is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas. The project’s main objective is to develop around 900 km of national highways. These highways will be built in Uttarakhand at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.The highest bridge in the world on Chenab: The tallest bridge in the world is under construction at Doda over the Chenab river (359m over the river) with an estimated cost of Rs 1198 crore.Inland waterways: PM Modi recently inaugurated India's first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and received the country's first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata. This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 53.6918 billion, which will be equally shared between the Government of India and the World Bank. India has a large potential for cargo transportation through waterways. This is the first step towards utilizing that potential.UDAN: Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagarik- RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ministry of Civil Aviation) is aimed at developing airports of tier 2 and tier 3 cities and improving flight connectivities. Airports and flights at such cities have been on a big rise. The number of aircraft jumped 38% to 548 in December 2017 from 395 in 2014 and 50 aircraft are being added every year. Total passengers travelling trough planes have surpassed the total passengers travelling through AC coaches of the Indian Railways!Solar projects: Even the most biased Modi haters have praised Narendra Modi for pushing for solar projects in India. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has said that the government has invested over $42bn in renewable energy in the last 4 years. Globally, India ranks fourth in wind, fifth in renewable power and sixth in the solar power installed capacity, respectively. Solar energy capacity has increased by over 8 times from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 22 GW and the winds energy capacity increased by 1.6 times from 21 GW in 2014 to 34 GW. India in on track to achieve 100GW installation of solar power by 2022. The government has also come up with innovative schemes such as Kusum yojana where solar powered water pumps are installed in the agricultural fields at a highly subsidised price.Ujala scheme: LED bulbs: The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All was launched in 2015 with a target of replacing 77 cr incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. To nullify the high-cost of LEDs that acted as a barrier previously in the adoption of energy efficient systems, the scheme was implemented to set up phase wise LED distribution across the nation to provide people with affordable LED bulbs and energy efficient appliances. The objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness of using efficient equipment that will reduce electricity bills and preserve the environment.Every grid-connected consumer having a metered connection from their respective Electricity Distribution Company can get LED bulbs at about 40% of the market price under the Ujala scheme. Currently, 32,38,29,279 LEDs have been distributed under this scheme.FAME: Electric vehicles are the future. The pollution problems of megacities such as Delhi, Mumbai can be solved by electric vehicles (and more reliance on renewable sources for electricity production). While I would personally like the government to incentivize (or even spend themselves) more on building the charging stations infrastructure and subsidizing and even reducing customs on imported electric vehicles and bicycles. Imported bicycles are still taxed heavily which is really unfortunate.The FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in 2015 to incentivize the production and promotion of eco-friendly vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The main thrust of FAME is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. Vehicles in most segments – two wheelers, three wheelers, electric and hybrid cars and electric buses obtained the subsidy benefit of the scheme.Green Urban Transport Scheme: To reduce carbon footprint as committed under the Paris agreement, the government has launched this scheme with the support of Rs 25000 crore. This scheme is set to encourage transport along a low carbon path to provide a sustainable and measurable reduction in pollution and provide a permanent sustainable framework for urban mobility projects at various levels. The government has also set an ambitious target of achieving 175GW of electricity from renewable sources, reduce dependence on fossil fuels.Ethanol blending, biofuels: India meets more than 80% of its oil demands through imports. Not only does oil cost India large sums of foreign exchange but oil also is a major source of air pollutants. Ethanol blending is aimed at reducing India's import dependence on oil with the added benefits of lower pollutant levels (as ethanol burns cleaner than petrol).India has huge biofuel potential as it generates huge masses of agricultural wastes. National policy on biofuel is aimed at mainstreaming of biofuels and, therefore, envisions a central role for it in the energy and transportation sectors of the country in the coming decades. The Policy will bring about accelerated development and promotion of the cultivation, production and use of biofuels to increasingly substitute petrol and diesel for transport and be used in stationary and other applications while contributing to energy security, climate change mitigation,apart from creating new employment opportunities and leading to environmentally sustainable development.This could be a potential source of side income for farmers as well as reducing the incidence of stubble burning and release of air pollutants.Startup India: (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) Key points: 10,000 crore startup funding pool, reduction in patent registration fees, Improved Bankruptcy Code, to ensure a 90-day exit window, freedom from mystifying inspections for first 3 years of operation, Freedom from Capital Gain Tax for first 3 of operation, freedom from tax for first 3 years of operation, self-certification compliance, create an Innovation hub, under the Atal Innovation Mission, to target 500k schools, and involve 1m children in innovation-related programmes, new schemes to provide IPR protection to startup firms, encourage entrepreneurship within the country, promote India across the world as a start-up hub.Make in India: (Ministry of Finance) Probably, one of the most talked about and well-recognised government initiative. It has given a big thrust to Indian manufacturing.Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy, was launched by the Government of India on 25 September 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India and also increase their investment. As per the current policy, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted in all 25 sectors, except for Space industry (74%), defence industry (49%) and Media of India (26%). Japan and India had also announced a US$12 billion "Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility" fund to push investment.After the launch, India received investment commitments worth ₹16.40 lakh crore (US$230 billion) and investment inquiries worth ₹1.5 lakh crore (US$21 billion) between September 2014 to February 2016. As a result, India emerged as the top destination globally in 2015 for foreign direct investment (FDI), surpassing the USA and China, with US$60.1 billion FDI. Several states launched their own Make in India initiatives, such as "Make in Odisha", Vibrant Gujarat, "Happening Haryana" and "Magnetic Maharashtra". India received US $60 billion FDI in FY 2016-17.Combined with other initiatives by the end of 2017, India rose 42 places on Ease of doing business index, 32 places World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, and 19 notches in the Logistics Performance Index.This initiative converges, synergies and enables other important Government of India schemes, such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, Bharat Broadband Network, Digital India.(Source: Wikipedia)Digital India: (Ministry of electronics and information technology) India has been undergoing massive digitization since the very start of Modi government. The main aim of this program is to provide rural connectivity and ensure digital benefits to poor and underprivileged sections of the society as well. 1,23,489 Gram Panchayats have now been connected with broadband services through Bharat Net project.As of 31 December 2018, India had a population of 130 crore people (1.3 billion), 123 crore (1.23 billion) Aadhaar digital biometric identity cards, 121 crore (1.21 billion) mobile phones, 44.6 crore (4460 million) smartphones, 56 crore (560 million) internet users up from 481 million people (35% of the country's total population) in December 2017, and 51 per cent growth in e-commerce.Jan Dhan Yojana: (Department of financial services, Ministry of Finance)PMJDY is a National Mission on Financial Inclusion encompassing an integrated approach to bring about comprehensive financial inclusion of all the households in the country. The plan envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility. In addition, the beneficiaries would get RuPay Debit card having inbuilt accident insurance cover of र 1 lakh. The plan also envisages channelling all Government benefits (from Centre / State / Local Body) to the beneficiaries accounts and pushing the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the Union Government. The technological issues like poor connectivity, online transactions will be addressed. Mobile transactions through telecom operators and their established centres as Cash Out Points are also planned to be used for Financial Inclusion under the Scheme.Under this scheme, 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened on inauguration day. The Guinness Book of World Records recognised this achievement, stating: "The most bank accounts opened in one week as a part of the financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014". By 27 June 2018, over 31 crores (318 million) bank accounts were opened and over ₹792 billion (US$12 billion) were deposited under the scheme. Near 6 lakh crore rupees of benefits have been directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries saving thousands of crores of rupees and corruption in the manual transfer of money under DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer).Atal Pension Yojana: (Ministry of Finance)Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. As of May 2015, only 20% of India's population has any kind of pension scheme, this scheme aims to increase the number. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive the fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would be based on the age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, the minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of a fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government.The government would provide (i) fixed pension guarantee for the subscribers; (ii)would co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to eligible subscribers; and (iii) would also reimburse the promotional and development activities including an incentive to the contribution collection agencies to encourage people to join the APY.Source doc: APY details.Skill India: National Skill Development Corporation under the guidance of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has introduced an initiative which allows aspirant candidates to register for skill training/learning and employment opportunities through the online portal. The aim is to train 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. It includes various initiatives such as "National Skill Development Mission", "National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015", "Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)" and the "Skill Loan scheme".Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation)Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY) with an aim to uplift the urban poor folks by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development. Keeping in view the objective of Make in India, Skill Development is essential for socio-economic betterment. The government of India has provisioned Rs.500 crore for the scheme. The scheme is the integration of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) and National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Under the scheme urban areas extends the coverage to all the 4041 statutory cities and towns, thereby covering almost the entire urban population. Currently, all the urban poverty alleviating programmes covered only 790 towns and cities.Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana: The Vision of DDU-GKY is to "Transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce". It aims to target youth, in the age group of 15–35 years. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth. A corpus of Rs 1,500 crore is aimed at enhancing the employability of rural youth. Under this programme, disbursements would be made through a digital voucher directly into the student’s bank account as part of the government's skill development initiative.SAUBHAGYA: For years, politicians promise electricity in their manifestoes. Modi government is on the verge of achieving 100% electrification (of all the households) in the country. Isolated and remote areas which are inaccessible by grid are electrified by solar power. President praises govt’s marquee schemes such as Ujjwala, SaubhagyaHousing for all: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Rural Development_Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is an initiative by the Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022. It has two components: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY-U) for the urban poor and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) (PMAY-G and also PMAY-R) for the rural poor. This scheme is converged with other schemes to ensure houses have a toilet, Saubhagya Yojana electricity connection, Ujjwala Yojana LPG gas connection, access to drinking water and Jan Dhan banking facilities, etc. Cumulative total number of funded houses approved thus far is 39,25,240 in the urban area including the subsumed RAY scheme and completion of construction of 5 million rural houses by March 2018 and 10 million rural houses by March 2019. Total houses completed under this scheme till now is 1,53,00,000. Another commendable initiative in the housing and real estate sector is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. Unregulated real estate sector creates a bubble in the economy where real estate prices go skyrocket and consumers are exploited by the builders and developers. It was common for builders to delay the construction, increase the prices, do not meet the standards in safety and other standards. RERA act has put in various checks to protect consumer's interests. The act is also aimed to push investments in the real estate sector. This is one of the important steps taken by the government to address problems in the real estate sector which common Indians generally are unaware of.AMURAT: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)The purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to (i) ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection; (ii) increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks); and (iii) reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).This is an infrastructural building scheme targetting cities with a population greater than 100,000.AMRUT scheme, the pace of basic development of cities.SMART cities mission: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)Smart City Mission, is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable. Total funding of the project is ₹98000 crores.These 100 cities will be developed as model areas based on an area development plan, which is expected to have a rub-off effect on other parts of the city, and nearby cities and towns. Cities will be selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities will compete in a countrywide competition to obtain the benefits from this mission. As of January 2018, 99 cities have been selected to be upgraded as part of the Smart Cities Mission after they defeated other cities in the Ristorante La Pescheria - Isola Pescatori - Lago Maggiore is a five-year program in which, except for West Bengal, all of the Indian states and Union territories are participating by nominating at least one city for the Smart Cities challenge. Financial aid will be given by the central and state governments between 2017-2022 to the cities, and the mission will start showing results from 2022 onwards. How Naya Raipur Is Emerging as One of the Most Well-Planned Smart Cities in India.Naya Raipur (Atal Nagar), though Naya Raipur has been in the making before this scheme.POSHAN: (Ministry of Women and Child development)POSHAN abhiyaan is India's flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence. POSHAN dashboardMission Indradhanush: The ultimate goal of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women. The Government has identified 201 high focus districts across 28 states in the country that have the highest number of partially immunized and unimmunized children.Earlier the increase in full immunization coverage was 1% per year which has increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of Mission Indradhanush. Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been conducted till August 2017 and more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated.To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017. Through this programme, the Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme/UIP. The special drive will focus on improving immunisation coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunisation to more than 90% by December 2018. The achievement of full immunisation under Mission Indradhanush to at least 90% coverage was to be achieved by 2020 earlier. With the launch of IMI, the achievement of the target has now been advanced.PMJAY: Ayushman Bharat: (NHA: National Health Authority)This is the single largest government-sponsored healthcare insurance scheme in the world covering 10 crore Indian families (50 crore individuals). The scheme offers an insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. This is probably one of the top 5 groundbreaking schemes of the present government as out of pocket expenditure on healthcare is one of the biggest contributors to poverty in India. The ease of using the scheme is also fairly simple. Once the eligible individuals have been issued the e-cards, they can avail healthcare benefits in the registered hospitals. Apart from Delhi, Telangana and now Chhattisgarh, all states have implemented this scheme. Stupid CMs of these states not implementing this scheme due to anti-Modi bias. Kejriwal wants the name of the scheme to be Mukhya Mantri Aam Aadmi Swasthya Bima Yojana in Delhi, then only he will implement this scheme. Ayushman Bharat Scheme: Name game stalls implementation in DelhiUjjwala Scheme: Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. Total 6,29,18,784 connections have been provided till now under this scheme.Khelo India: (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports) India has a great potential in sports. While our cricket teams are doing well, we are performing way below our potentials in other sports (especially Olympic sports) such as athletics, football, swimming, etc. The reason being good sportsmen require world-class infrastructure, nutrition, coaching and regular competition to compete at the top of the international level. This can't happen overnight. This will require a shift in Indian culture as well as the government to see sports as another venue of employment and make the positions of at least the top sportsmen as good as that of a top government official. There are some positive signs and some Indian athletes have made their names at the top of international competitions (Hima Das, Dipa Karmakar, P. V. Sindhu, strong Badmintion, wrestling, Boxing teams).The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation. Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: (Ministry of Women and Child Development) Unfortunately, India has seen an alarming decline in Child Sex Ratio from 2001 to 2011 census (927 to 918). This is mainly due to gender bias and preference of a male child over females in some parts of India. This is one awful aspect of our society which needs to addressed immediately. Although there are strict laws against female foeticide (abortion of female children), many doctors still perform these operations secretly. Objectives of this scheme are to Prevent gender biased sex-selective elimination Ensure survival & protection of the girl child Ensure education of the girl childTriple Talaq Bill: In 1985, the Supreme Court gave a historic judgement in favour of Shah Bano where his husband was to provide for the maintenance of his aggrieved divorced wife (a right which was already available to non-Muslim women). However, the then Rajiv Gandhi government in the pursuit of appeasing Muslim vote banks enacted a law which overruled the Supreme Court judgement and the maintenance of divorced Muslim women fell on to her family members.About 30 years later, the Supreme Court gave another historic judgement wherein it banned the practice of Triple Talaq terming it as unIslamic and against basic human rights. Once again, Mulsim boards were unhappy with the decision and political parties (which are used to appeasing Muslim vote banks) started opposing the decision. Modi government, however, acted swiftly and has passed the Triple Talaq bill (making Triple Talaq offendable) in Lok Sabha. However, opposition parties have stalled the bill in Rajya Sabha as of now. Imagine a Congress government (with the coalition of Left in the centre). No such bill would have been introduced in the parliament for sure. Minority and vote bank appeasement has hit such a low that parties are willing to go against the basic human rights of the citizens. What they don't realize is that a large proportion of Muslims (especially women) are in favour of the bill. Political parties seriously underestimate the wisdom of the Indian citizens and always try to play on the emotional aspects of the voters.Improvement in Indian Railways: I will share some of my own objective views at this point. I am a regular commuter and I have been travelling through Indian railways quite frequently (at least twice in 4 months) since the last 10 years. I didn't had a good impression of Indian railways and railway stations, especially the sleeper class and cleanliness and hygiene of the platforms. After 2014, railways have undergone significant positive transformations. I have travelled on sleeper and AC coaches and to be fair, cleanliness and hygiene of sleeper classes have improved massively. Now, I don't hesitate much before booking my ticket in sleeper classes. Also, cleanliness of railway stations has improved by miles and there is free wifi in most of the big stations (not needed though due to JIO revolution).If we compare the status of Railways under the UPA government and under NDA government, we come across sharp differences between the two. Indian Railways did track laying work, which includes laying new tracks, doubling the existing lines, and converting narrow gauge to broad gauge, 11.5% faster during the NDA’s initial three-year rule than the Congress-led UPA government. The Railways has laid 7,666 km of tracks during 2014-17 (NDA’s rule), which is 794 km more than the UPA’s between 2009-12. Therefore, a considerable change has been brought under the NDA led government.Indian Railways under Modi government.However, that doesn't mean Indian railways is suddenly world class and all our problems are solved. Indian railway is suffering from immense pressure in terms of quantities of trains and freight traffic. And to please people and meet regional demands and an increasing number of passengers, the number of trains keep on increasing. Also, unfortunately, there have been some big train accidents in these past 5 years (although few of them seem to be due to potential sabotage by anti-national elements/terrorists). Indian railways are facing a tough challenge to meet the increasing demands of passengers, modernise its services all while improving punctuality and efficiency. These challenges can be met by infrastructure building and lesser political interference (remember Lalu, Mamta as railway ministers?). I am hopeful of the current government and railway minister compared to any railway minister we had in the past decade.Piyush Goyal on QuoraPiyush Goyal's answer to "What has Modi government done for the improvement of Indian railways?"Doubling farmers income: It doesn't matter how well a government does in finance, external affairs, economy, infrastructure; until and unless a government doesn't please farmers, they will lose elections. Agriculture in India is facing some serious challenges. We have a problem of having too many people involved in a sector that is volatile and unpredictable. Also, the return of profits on agricultural products isn't very lucrative to the actual farmers (due to the problem of middlemen and lack of proper market, Mandi for farmers to directly sell their produce). Previous governments and many state governments (including BJP) have employed the tactic of appeasing farmers by offering loan waivers (which is a terrible idea as said by Raghuram Rajan and Narendra Modi himself).The policy-making of the present government for the agricultural has undergone a significant shift wherein the government is trying to find sustainable ways to relieve the distress farmers and also to maintain and boost the growth in the agricultural sector. The present government has announced that it will take the necessary steps and reforms to double the farmer's income by 2022-23 (compared to 2015-16). Few committees have been appointed and studies are been conducted as to how this could be achieved.The sources of growth in output and income can be put in four categories. a)Development initiatives including the infrastructure b)Technology c)Policies and d)institutional mechanismsThe quantitative framework for doubling farmers income has identified seven sources of growth. These are: a)Increase in productivity of crops b)Increase in production of livestock c)Improvement in efficiency of input use (cost saving) d)Increase in crop intensity e)Diversification towards high-value crops f)Improved price realization by farmers g) A shift of cultivators to non-farm jobsReport of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ IncomeSoil health card: (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer's welfare)Launched in 2015, the scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country.  The Soil Health Cards provide information to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil along with the recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.This government website provides some interesting data obtained through this scheme such as a map of the Nitrogen content of soil in the country. Soil Health CardNational mission for sustainable agriculture: (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)The agriculture sector is the most adversely affected sector due to climate change. At this time, it's not enough just to boost agricultural productivity in the short run. We have to look for ways to adopt sustainable agricultural practices. NMSA is a step towards sustainable agriculture mission. Following are schemes under NMSARainfed Area Development (RAD): RAD is being implemented by RFS Division; Soil Health Management (SHM): SHM is being implemented by INM Division; Sub Mission on Agro-Forestry (SMAF): SMAF is being implemented by NRM Division; Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): PKVY is being implemented by INM Division; Soil and Land Use Survey of India (SLUSI): Being implemented by RFS Division; National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA): Being implemented by RFS Division; Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER): Being implemented by INM Division; National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF): Being implemented by INM Division; Central Fertilizer Quality Control and Training Institute (CFQC&TI): implemented by INM DivisionNeem Coated Urea: (National Fertilizers Limited) This scheme is initiated to regulate the use of urea, enhance the availability of nitrogen to the crop and reduce the cost of fertilizer application.  NCU slows down the release of fertilizer and makes it available to the crop in an effective manner. The entire quantity of domestically manufactured and imported urea is now neem coated. It reduces the cost of cultivation and improves soil health management. Production and distribution of Neem Coated Urea almost doubled in the year 2015-16.National FertilizersPradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY): (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop' in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.Micro irrigation: targets and achievementsParamparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana: The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), launched in 2015, is an extendedcomponent of Soil Health Management (SHM) under the Centrally SponsoredScheme (CSS), National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). PKVY aims atsupporting and promoting organic farming, in turn resulting in the improvement of soil health. In his 2016 budget speech the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley came out strongly in support of the implementation of the scheme. According to the scheme, farmers will be encouraged to form groups or clusters and take to organic farming methods over large areas in the country. To avail the scheme, each cluster or group must have 50 farmers willing to take up organic farming under the PKVY and possess a total area of at least 50 acres. Each farmer enrolling in the scheme will be provided INR 20,000 per acre by the government spread over three years time. This fund can be utilized for obtaining organic seed, harvesting of the crops, and transporting the produce to the local markets. The aim is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about five lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming. The government also intends to cover certification costs and promote organic farming through the use of traditional resources. Organic food, thus produced will be linked with modern marketing tools and local markets. The northeastern states of India shall be in special focus and the government shall step up efforts to connect the organic produce in these parts with both domestic and export markets. A sum of INR 412 crore has been allocated by the government to implement the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana in the financial year 2016-17.National Agriculture Market: (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. Agriculture marketing is administered by the States as per their agri-marketing regulations, under which, the State is divided into several market areas, each of which is administered by a separate Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) which imposes its own marketing regulation (including fees). This fragmentation of markets, even within the State, hinders the free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another and multiple handling of agri-produce and multiple levels of mandi charges ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer.NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes uniformity, streamlining of procedures across the integrated markets, removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promotes real-time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply, promotes transparency in auction process, and access to a nationwide market for the farmer, with prices commensurate with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce and at more reasonable prices to the consumer.Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana: (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)This scheme is aimed at supporting farmers in case of crop failure, disaster or post-harvest losses. In 2017 Kharif season, 34,776,055 farmers were insured under this scheme and 13,793,975 farmers benefitted from the scheme where claims worth 17,210 crore rupees were paid. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) aims at supporting sustainable production in the agriculture sector by way of -providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events -stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming -encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices -ensuring the flow of credit to the agriculture sector; which will contribute to food security, crop diversification and enhancing growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector besides protecting farmers from production risks.Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna: (Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer's welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare)The government announced a fixed yearly income for small and marginal farmers. This scheme will benefit about 12 crore farmers who have 2 Hectare land. Under the scheme, income support of Rs.6000/- per year in three equal instalments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. The benefit under this yojna will be given retrospectively from December 2018. Rs. 75000 crore allotted for this scheme (100% centrally funded). This is a shift from loan waiver policies (which are clearly not healthy for our country's economy). This kind of scheme has been fairly successful in states such as Odisha.Pradhanmantri Shramyogi Maan-Dhan Yojna: Launched in this year's budget, it's a mega Pension Yojna. It is expected to be the largest in the World. It is for the unorganised sector (which is much larger than the organised sector in India) and organised workers who earn up to Rs. 15000 monthly income. A fixed pension amount of Rs 3000 per month will be given after 60 years of age. They will have to pay a minimum contribution of Rs 55 starting from age of 18 (an equal amount will be contributed by the government towards the premium). Minimum premium means if 29 years old person enters into it, he will have to pay only Rs. 100 per month. Rs. 500 crore for this scheme.MUDRA: (Ministry of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises)MSME sector is the backbone of India's GDP growth. Not only does it contribute to a large percentage of Indian export, but it also employs the largest section of the Indian population after agriculture. MUDRA scheme is aimed at infusing capital to deserved entrepreneurs, boost the economy and create jobs.Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through this portal. Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely 'Shishu', 'Kishore' and 'Tarun' to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary microunit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth.MSME ministry is implementing various schemes: MSME schemesPlanning commission to NITI Aayog:(National Institute for Transforming India) Many of the policies and schemes I have described are results of NITI Aayog's ideas, research and planning. While it is similar in role to the erstwhile Planning commission, they are some key structural improvements. The biggest improvement is the role of states. NITI aayog's governing council also includes chief ministers of states while Planning commission was all central body. NITI Aayog serves as a knowledge hub of internal as well as external resources; serving as a repository of good governance best practices, and a Think Tank offering domain knowledge as well as strategic expertise to all levels of government. NITI Aayog is also a collaborative platform facilitating implementation; by monitoring progress, plugging gaps and bringing together various ministries at the Centre and in States, in the joint pursuit of developmental goals. A lot of indexes and ranks (such as the performance of aspirational districts) are published by NITI Aayog. This page on statistics is very informative. NITI Aayog: statistics.Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE): The RISE scheme will be financed via a restructured higher education financing agency (HEFA) that is functioning for the last two months as a non-banking financial company. It aims to lend low-cost funds to government higher educational institutions. Presently, HEFA is looking to raise Rs20,000 crore and Budget announcement hiked this number to Rs1 trillion. While HEFA was granted a budgetary allocation of Rs250 crore in the fiscal year 2018, in FY19, the lending body will be provided with a budget of Rs2,750 crore.Institute of eminence: (MHRD) IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IISc Banglore are among the public sector institutes selected under this scheme.It is expected that the above-selected Institutions will come up in the top 500 of the world ranking in 10 years and in top 100 of the world ranking eventually over time. To achieve the top world ranking, these Institutions shall be provided with greater autonomy to admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students; to recruit foreign faculty upto25% of faculty strength; to offer online courses up to 20% of its programmes; to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking Institutions without permission of UGC; free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction; flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree; complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, among others.Each public Institution selected as ‘Institution of Eminence’ will get financialassistance up to Rs. 1000 Crore over a period of five years under this scheme.Foreign policy & International relations: Foreign policy has been one of the biggest highlights of the Modi government. Both Modi and Sushma Swaraj have played big parts in uplifting India's image in the world. Modi is talked about on the same level as Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe. He has very good relations with Putin, Trump, Shinzo Abe, Benjamin Netanyahu, and even Arab and Iran leaders. His speeches in Wembley, Madison Square garden were brilliant and projected India to the world in ways which had not been done after Vajpayee. Modi managed to play well with Left (Macron, Merkel) and Right (Trump, Netanyahu) all while acting like a neutral central figure. His government also managed to expose Pakistan's state-funded terrorism (Pakistan currently on the grey list of FATF regarding terror financing) on a global level, while also going toe to toe with China at Doklam making them back off from their aggressive strategy. I will list some of the successes of India's foreign policies.International Day Of Yoga:"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day."— Narendra Modi, UN General AssemblyYoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Today it is practised in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga.International Solar Alliance: It is the first UN-based organisation initiated by India and having its headquarters in India (Gurugram).The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 121 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. now extended to all members of UN. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. This initiative was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium, in which he referred to sunshine countries as Suryaputra ("Sons of the Sun"). The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the alliance and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.India-Russia:The strongest and most consistent ally of India, Russia's partnership with India has only gotten better since 2014, especially in defence. Despite USA's constant warnings, India is buying the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. The first-ever TriServices exercise –‘INDRA 2017’ took place in Vladivostok from October 19 to 29, 2017. Around 1,000 Indian servicemen and two naval ships took part in the Exercise along with more than a thousand Russian Servicemen. The exercise focused on Counter-terror operations. Joint India-Russia Airforce exercise ‘Avia Indra’ took place in Lipetsk from September 17-28, 2018.Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation.Intensifying the trade and economic relations has been identified as a priority by both the leaders. In December 2014, the leaders of the two countries set a target of US$30 billion bilateral trade by 2025. Russian investments in India in 2017 has reached USD 18bn and India’s total investment in Russia so far is USD 13bn. The overall investment target of USD 30 bn that were set for 2025 has already been reached. The investment target has been raised from USD 30bn to USD 50bn by 2025 during the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit in October 2018.More details on India-Russia relations: Embassy of India, Moscow, bilateral relations: India-Russia.India-USA: It seems like the USA has finally come to its senses that it is India they should be backing in South Asia (and not Pakistan). Also, India is the only potential power in South Asia that can counter PRC (Peoples Republic of China). Unlike others such as China (allies with Russia), Israel (allies with the USA), India is one of the few countries who have good relations with the USA and Russia at the same time. US politics and world politics took an interesting turn with the revolutionary election of Donald Trump. Trump on the surface seems to be an admirer of Modi. This funny clip from Trump's campaign will give you an idea: Abki Baar Trump Sarkar.US is India’s largest trading partner in goods and services. The overall India-US bilateral trade in goods and services has increased from US$ 114 billion in 2016 to US$ 126 billion in 2017.USA, India, Japan, Australia (QUAD) have been cooperating in the Indo-Pacific region maritime security and free trade. But the main aim of this group is to counter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu visited the USA on 8-9 September 2018 to deliver an address at the 2nd World Hindu Conference held in Chicago.India-Pakistan: This page of Indian embassy of Pakistan summarizes Indian-Pakistan relations in nicer words: High commission of India-Pakistan: India-Pak relations.Narendra Modi played a masterstroke even before becoming PM by inviting all the leaders of SAARC countries (including Nawaz Sharif) in his oath-taking ceremony. His message was clear: "We are ready for dialogue if you can get your act and Army together." We all know this was never going to happen. Modi most probably knew it too. However, he wanted the ball to be in Pak's court. And Pak army as usual massively increased ceasefire violations across LoC in Kashmir. Indian Army was replying strongly and more freely under Modi and search and kill operations in Kashmir intensified (elaborated further under Kashmir situation point). Also, India continuously exposed Pakistan's support for terrorism at various international level summits. Finally, FATF (Financial Action Task Force) put Pakistan in greylist due to its suspicious acts of terror funding. Another highlight was India taking Pakistan to International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav whom the Pakistani army & government have falsely framed in a spying case and awarded death penalty without even giving him a proper defence.If you breed terrorism, terrorists will ultimately bite you also. Pakistan witnessed major terror attacks including a cowardly attack at a school in Peshawar. That should have forced them to take strong actions against all kinds of terrorism. But else, trained terrorists in PoK executed a series of terror attacks in Pathankot and Uri. The second attack was the tipping point, the whole nation was angry. The government gave a green light to surgical strikes. And Indian army in a series of surgical strikes destroyed multiple terror bases in PoK killing dozens of terrorist without a single casualty (Uri: The surgical strike is an excellent movie on the same). After that, India-Pakistan relations strained even worse which is a good thing as we don't want anything to do with a nation whose Army and intelligence is constantly planning evil against my nation (to hell with Aman ki Aasha). Pakistan's funding by the USA also saw major setbacks. Now, Pakistan is heavily reliant on China for investments, funding, international support. And China is using Pakistan for its belt and road initiative and giving huge loans to Pakistan (which obviously they won't be able to pay, going into a debt trap, a strategy China has been employing against many smaller nations). Things aren't looking so good for Pakistan (considering even a bigger moron in Imran Khan is their new PM). I don't have anything against Pakistani citizens (I wish to visit sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro someday) and I really do wish peace and prosperity for them. However, their government and army's biggest point of interest is their hatred for India. This government finally is acting in a tit for tat manner, working smartly in various fronts to isolate Pakistan and also not hesitating in a strong attacking (defensive offence as termed by Ajit Doval) response across LoC.Edit: After writing the above section on India-Pak relations, an unfortunate incident happened in Pulwama where 40+ CRPF Indian soldiers were martyred in a jihadi suicide bombing terrorist attack. Pakistan based terror outfit- Jais-e-Mohammad (JeM) took responsibility. The whole nation was sad, angry and wanted a stern response to Pakistan (not just a limited surgical strike). The government first took away MFN (Most Favored Nation) status from Pakistan, imposing duties of 200% on goods coming from Pakistan. India also declared that it will divert the waters of three rivers (Ravi, Beas, Sutlej) for its own use (still within the limits of Indus water treaty). Almost the entire world (including China) was with India this time and the pressure was on Pakistan to take action against terrorists. As usual, Pakistan instead resorted to protecting terrorists, shifting them from LoC fearing another surgical strike.India went a step ahead this time. On 26th February, between 3:45 and 3:55 am, Indian Air Force carried out a series of operations, dropping explosives of around 1000kgs, destroying multiple terrorist camps at Balakot, Muzaffarabad, Chakoti. The strike that made the biggest headlines was Balakot because Balakot is inside the main Pakistani territory (and not PoK which is legally a part of India). This is not an easy task. It was carried within 13 days of Pulwama attacks. Pakistan was alert this time around. Still, IAF managed to finish off a few hundred terrorists (exact numbers unknown as Pak is obviously covering up the incident). This strike was carried out on terrorist camps avoiding civilian and military casualties. The next day, Pakistan foolishly tried to air-attack Indian military bases in Kashmir but was chased away by IAF piolets. A MIG-21 piolet Abhinandan shooting down an advanced F-16 plane of PAF. His plane, however, crashed in PoK and he was captured and harassed by Pakistani citizens and army. However, due to the Geneva convention and fear of India declaring PAF's attack as an act of war, the Pakistani government quickly said that they are releasing Abhinandan, the next day.Three big conclusions can be drawn from these whole series of incidents.Indian Army, Airforce and Navy (along with the intelligence) are badass and if they are allowed to do their jobs with proper resources and without political interference, they will finish their tasks without any doubt (even Pakistanis know this). Modi is one strong, nationalist leader. There is no doubt that his leadership is one of the reasons why IAF could carry out such bold operation and such international pressure could be mounted on Pakistan where even OIC (Organization of Islamic countries) invited Sushma Swaraj as chief guest despite the protest of Pakistan. The third conclusion is that many of the opposition parties and lefty, pseudo-liberal morons can stoop to any level just to oppose Modi. While the whole world was supporting the Indian government on this issue, these morons were busy trying to find anything to weaken India's case because Narendra Modi is the prime minister(one stupid website even published a piece of fake news regarding caste of martyrs, another moronic media house displayed the details of the family of Abhinandan Varthaman).This is obviously not the end of India-Pak saga and I hope the Indian government have learnt their lessons and formulate a long term anti-Pak policy (economic, international, military, etc.). At this moment in time, only the Modi government is capable of carrying out such a policy of defensive-offensive mode in the larger interest of our nation. How to tackle Pakistan by Ajit Doval India National Security Adviser.India-China (Doklam): Many people consider China to be the biggest threat to India. Many however see India as the powerhouse that can counter China in South Asia. In fact, for this very reason, the USA can't afford to have bad relations with India. China has been flexing its muscles and the Chinese Communist Party is very-very ambitious and greedy (usual for a communist dictator regime). China has a very cunning way of giving big loans to smaller countries, which those countries fail to repay (they even struggle with the interests), then forcing those countries into serving all sorts of Chinese purposes (leasing a port for Chinese navy, e.g. Hambantota port, Sri Lanka). This is part of China's string of pearls strategy.To counter the string of pearls, India has been making strategic ties with multiple countries and island nations. Some of these are Assumption islands in Seychelles, Agalega islands (Mauritius), Chahbahar port (Iran), QUAD navy exercises in the Indian ocean, ties with Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.India is the one South Asian country that is not backing down from the CCP's bullying tactics. The best example of this was the Doklam situation. People's Liberation Army of Chinese Communist Party (yes, the army is affiliated to CCP, not China) started building roads in the Doklam plateau which belongs to Bhutan. Also, the plateau is at a strategic location and road could have been a potential threat to Indian security. Anyways, obliging the friendship agreement between India and Bhutan, the Indian army confronted the Chinese intrusions. There was intense face-off for months. CCP's state-run media houses started publishing war-threats against India hoping that India would back down due to these threats. India didn't. Meanwhile, Modi met Xi Jinping at G20 summit and both agreed to send their delegates for talks about the Doklam issue. After a series of talks, CCP's army retrieved and stopped its construction and then, Indian army also retrieved from the plateau. Excellent video explaining the situation with light humour: Who won the India/China border war, China Uncensored.One area, however, where China has a massive edge is in the trade. India has the largest trade deficit with China (nearly $51.72 billion). But that is the case with almost any other country in the world. Most of the countries have huge trade deficits with China due to low manufacturing, SEZ and development of manufacturing hubs such as Shenzen. However, the Chinese manufacturing boom has reached its peak growth rate (increasing wages in China though due to communist rule and little human rights and labour laws, it's way easier and cheaper to manufacture iPhones in China). India has a chance to at least start reducing the trade deficit by boosting Make in India initiatives (Samsung Inaugurates World’s Largest Mobile Factory in India).The world is facing two big problems which will shape the geopolitics in the coming years. First is the refugee, immigration crisis leading to unrest in many countries (especially in Europe) and second is the CCP's aggressive policies and how countries especially the Chinese neighbours tackle these aggressive policies. India in such times has shown a way by not backing down to the Chinese tactics and protesting Belt and Road initiative. At the same time, India is not cutting off trade ties and still a partner of Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank, Shanghai corporation, BRICS and other such major international institutions.India-Israel: Israel has been the most reliable and true friend of India since independence. It was Israel (along with Russia) who always backed India in wars against Pakistan (despite the USA openly supporting Pak). Israel was also supportive of India in the Kargil war. This is because Israel truly understands India's situation with a terror breeding neighbour state (Pakistan). Despite being such a small nation, Israel has emerged as the leading centre of innovation in defence, agriculture, all kinds of technology possible. It is only in the best interests of India to learn from Israel and adapt their solutions to some of our own problems (agriculture, terrorists). Despite all this Israeli support, no Indian PM had ever visited Israel (because of the soft corner of Muslims for Palestine). Modi however, acknowledging the Israeli support became the first Indian PM to pay a visit to Israel. In return, Israeli PM Mr Benjamin Netanyahu made a very warm, eventful visit to India leading to further strengthening of Indo-Israel ties.Some areas of cooperation between the two countries are listed below.India and Israel have a bilateral agreement for cooperation in agriculture. India has benefited from Israeli expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, protected cultivation, orchard and canopy management, nursery management, micro-irrigation and post-harvest management particularly in Haryana and Maharashtra. Israeli drip irrigation technologies and products are now widely used in India. Some Israeli companies and experts are providing expertise to manage and improve dairy farming in India through their expertise in high milk yield.India imports critical defence technologies from Israel. There are regular exchanges between the armed forces. There is cooperation on security issues, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Since 2015, IPS officer trainees have been visiting the Israel National Police Academy every year for a one-week long foreign exposure training at the end of their training in the National Police Academy, Hyderabad.More details: Indian embassy, Israel.Other countries:Modi made visits to numerous countries one after another. What you might not know is the fact that the number of visits by Modi was, in fact, similar in numbers to the number of visits made by former PM Manmohan Singh. Modi's foreign trips bringing better dividends than Manmohan.The reason you remember Modi's foreign trips are because of course they are more recent and secondly, they are more impactful, way more impactful than any Indian PM has ever managed. You think about his speeches at jam-packed Madison Square Garden, Wembley or him receiving 27 standing ovations in his 52 minutes speech in the US Senate. Some of the achievements of this government I could think of over the top of my head are resolving decade-old border issues with Bangladesh, rescuing Indians and some other nationals from war-torn Yemen (Operation Raahat), Modi receiving the highest civilian awards in Afganistan (The Amir Amanullah Khan Award) and Saudi Arabia (Abdulaziz Al Saud Award), and more recently, the prestigious Seoul Peace prize (South Korea). Each of these foreign trips also benefitted India in numerous deals and negotiations (details of which require comprehensive research and outside the scope of this article). You can be a big Modi hater but you can't deny the fact that he has presented India as an emerging global power and make people of the world talk about India in a positive way that was not seen during 10 years of Manmohan era. That's the personality of Modi and what he brings to the table. He is making friends with the leaders of Russia, Israel, USA, Japan, Suadi, Afganistan, France, etc. Name a leader in the world who can do that (apart from neutral nations like Switzerland).Internal Security & Defense: As a trusted man of the Prime Minister, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been given the authority to lead the way to shape and bring up to speed India’s national security architecture. I have already touched upon Modi government's success in Doklam and giving befitting reply Pakistan sponsored terrorism in previous points. Other success includes calmer North-east, declining Naxal influence (details in a later point), no major terrorist attack on civilians and faster, transparent procurement of defence equipment (explained in a later point) and thrust to indigenous defence manufacturing under 'Make in India".This is an excellent review of the Modi government's policy in the defence and security sector by Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain: Four Years Of Modi Government: India’s Security SectorKashmir situation: On the surface, if you do a naive analysis, you will conclude that there has been an increase in the insurgency in the valley with the coming of Modi government. However, if you truly understand the Kashmir problem, this would come to you as no surprise. See, roots of the Kashmir problem are in the Islamic radicalization, Pakistan funded jihadists and articles 370 and 35A. With the coming of Modi into power, it was easier for Pakistan and separatists to radicalize more people in the valley. The thing is, a large number of Muslims still think that Modi is anti-Muslims (with a little more research, they could find out that Muslims are way more prosperous in Gujrat than at West Bengal, Kerala). Also, the failure of BJP-PDP alliance meant a political vacuum in the valley for long durations. Another reason for unrests in the valley is the stern actions of security forces this time around (as they have the full backing of the central government now). There have been many crackdowns on separatist leaders and their fishy finances (funding from Pakistan, Saudi). Recently, the government banned another fishy and most possibly a terror breeding organization Jamaat-e-Islami and Rs 52 crore in cash has been recovered just from their Srinagar offices! In a country where a large majority of political parties lack the spine to take actions against any fishy Islamic organizations (for Muslim vote appeasement), the agencies under this government are going after these organizations and their finances one after the another. And fishy Islamic organizations (and their strong financial network) are at the centre of all the nonsense that is going on in the Kashmir valley (you don't hear about stone pelting in Ladakh or Jammu, do you). Opinion: The Islamic aspect of the Kashmir problemNaxalism: I am from Chhattisgarh (a native Chhattisgarhi) and one of the stupidest assumptions amongst many people I have come across is that Chhattisgarh is a Naxalite state. Wrong. Chhattisgarh is very much like the other states of India. There are small pockets of areas (mostly forests) in few districts (Sukma, Dantewada, Bastar) where Naxalism is still a menace. Major portions and people of Chhattisgarh aren't under any kind of Naxal influence. In fact, Bastar, Dantewada is one of the major tourist hotspots of the state. Naxalism has its roots in Maoism. If anyone has ever done even 15-minute half-decent research on Mao, they would instantly know that this isn't a good thing. Whatever Maoists are up to can't be good. However, Naxalism has many sympathizers and supporters in our universities, media, politics. And the people who have to ultimately suffer are the villagers and security personnel of our country. Thankfully, areas of influence of Naxalites are shrinking day by day. Maoist influence shrinks: Centre removes 44 districts from affected lists.The centre has also launched various schemes targeting development of Naxal affected districts, such as aspirational district program and Eklavya schools.Sukma ambush: Improving connectivity is the only way to reach out to naxal affected villagers.Defence procurements and manufacturing: India is the largest importer of arms and ammunition in the world. It's not something to be proud of. For years, governments have neglected R&D and indigenous manufacturing of defence products. Modi government has given a big boost to the indigenous defence manufacturing through Make in India. AK-203 rifles to be Made in India in partnership with a Russian Company.Also, the defence procurements over the years have been slow and plagued by long negotiations, corruption scandals leading to a depletion of the squadrons of Air Force to 32 (ideally, it should be 42). The Defence Acquisition Council has been taking swift decisions in most cases for procurement of necessary types of equipment and services. It is to be noted that one can't just restore 32 squadrons to 42 squadrons within a year or two. It will take a long time (probably another 10 years), to restore our squadron strength to 42 as buying, manufacturing and maintaining fighter jets aren't as simple and there are various constraints (speed of productions, changing requirements of IAF, high cost, the constraint of the budget, retirement of existing planes, etc.). Some of the notable acquisitions, approved by the council ar Rafale fighter aircraft from France, S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.OROP:Income tax slab raised to Rs. 5 lakh: This was announced in this year's budget wherein income tax relief has been increased to Rs. 5 lakh (a welcomed and much-awaited announcement for years).Inflation under control:Inflation rate over the years (includes a projection for the future)Now, analyzing economic parameters aren't that straightforward. I mean I can't give 100% credit of this controlled inflation to the central government. A good amount of credit also goes to RBI for striking a balance between various interest rates. The global economy also plays a big part. However, one incident is worth mentioning. A few months back, petrol and diesel prices caught fire. Everyone from the opposition started criticizing the government and even called for a Bharat Bandh. This all played out for about a few weeks and then, everyone just forgot about the issue and moved on. What actually happened? The petrol and diesel prices got under control. The central government reduced excise duty by Rs 2.5 and all of the BJP ruled states reduced their taxes by the same amount (on the advice of FM) in between. The government took swift steps it could to control the prices which isn't one can say about a lot of other governments (AAP in Delhi, Mamta in WB didn't cut down on taxes even during high prices).How Modi reduced Petrol Prices in India is a great success story.GDP & economic growth: Notably, in the last four years, since the election of Narendra Modi to power in 2014, India has beaten four big economies to secure its position as the world’s sixth largest economy, piping France last year, the World Bank said in a recent report. India to overtake United Kingdom as 5th largest economy in 2019: Three key things to know.A steady GDP growth rate[/caption]India is the fastest growing trillion dollar economy in the world. Modi government has brought in various economic reforms and measures (demonetization, GST, digitization, ease of doing business, startups, credits, etc. all explained in later points). Many of these measures take time to reflect into the macroeconomic parameters (e.g. GST). Even, then the economic growth rate has been steady and strong and will remain so according to various projections even though the world might experience an economic slowdown.Fiscal discipline: In very simple terms, the reduced fiscal deficit means a stable economy, controlled inflation, less payment of interests (waste of tax money). The state of a healthy economy is very much dependent on fiscal consolidation by the government. Many times, governments spend money recklessly on policies and schemes which may not have any long-lasting returns. For example, loan waivers. But for spending money higher than their incomes, governments borrow money from various means (bonds, loans). For borrowed money, they obviously have to pay interests. This is a vicious debt trap which many countries have fallen to (Sri Lanka, Greece, Venezuela and India in the past). Other effects include high inflation, high credit interest rates by banks, volatility in the market. Modi government has been praised by many economists for maintaining fiscal discipline much better than the previous governments. Finance ministry is targetting a fiscal deficit of less than 2.5% of the GDP by 2022-23.Fiscal deficit of India over the years as % of GDPDemonetization: Probably the most talked about and the most misunderstood policy of Modi government was demonetization. Before going into the details of demonetization, I would like to share some of my personal opinions regarding some cries that were spread by some journalists and some of my friends on facebook. The cries were that demonetization caused the common Indian public so much inconvenience while the rich, corrupt people got away with their money by eventually making them white and depositing them into the Indian banks. Firstly, these cries that some people make don't reflect the opinion of the masses. From so many people that I met during the waiting lines outside ATMs or after the whole exercise, the majority of the people were united in this exercise. I have never seen such a large number of Indians cooperating so beautifully outside the ATM lines. A big kudos also go to the thousands of bank employees who worked so hard during the whole exercise. My point, the majority of the public and bank employees were willing to sacrifice their convenience for a few months in the fight for black money and corruption. Demonetization had some negative effects especially in businesses heavily reliant on cash (such as real estate). It also had a negative effect on the informal sector. However, the number of income taxpayers increased by 25% in just one year. Digital transactions multiplied many times. Crores of fake currencies circulated in our economy (mostly by terrorists from across borders) became useless. Also, since the majority of the cash returned back to the banks, they have now a better account of incomes of various bank accounts. Money returning to banks doesn't mean it's automatically becoming white. It means easier jobs for Income Tax departments, EDs to crackdown on the black money. This guy has a very interesting alternative theory on why demonetization was done by the government: Yashas Shukla's answer to ""99.3% demonetised notes came back, concedes Reserve Bank of India" Does this mean that Modi's demonetisation did nothing for India?"Was Demonetization the crown jewel of Modi government's economic policy? No.Could demonetization have been planned better? Yes.Was it a complete failure? No.Was it a complete success? No.What I liked about the exercise was the intent of the government to take bold, decisive steps and the support it got from the masses. This is a divided issue where economists are split in their assessments. I am kind of in the middle where I see both the achievements and failures (mostly short term) of the move.GST (Goods & Service Tax): If demonetization was a misunderstood policy of the government, GST is the un-understood policy of the government. More than Rs. 18 lakh crore collected through GST. Before explaining GST in brief, it is important to note that GST implementation was inevitable in the Indian economy. It's is step forward in unification and simplification of taxes that has been in the planning for more than a decade since the later years of the Vajpayee government. I don't know why it took so long. But eventually, the Modi government went ahead with the GST (with the support of the states and other political parties).GST is often termed as one nation one tax. It is because it will subsume and merge various indirect taxes imposed by centre and states. Prominent central taxes that are merged are CENVAT, Service tax, additional and special customs duty, central surcharge, central cess and additional excise duty. Similarly, prominent state-level taxes like state-level VAT, entertainment tax, luxury tax, taxes on gambling and lottery, entry tax, octroi etc are be subsumed. Every decision regarding GST is made by GST council which has a representation of the centre and states. GST explained in detail.What's the benefit of GST?GST is the biggest reform in the Indian economy after 1991. Many saw GST as a disruptive measure for the Indian economy. However, the tax collections and compliance by the merchants have been promising. Also, many advanced economies such as New Zealand have suffered bigger shocks in the past due to GST implementation. Compared that to India and the Indian economy has been adopting decently to the GST era. Also, the GST council makes necessary changes from time to time depending upon the feedback and needs of the consumers and merchants.Insolvency & Bankruptcy code: A common Indian may not understand the importance of the IBC code. But this code has played a big role in India's improvement in ease of doing business rankings.The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code is a one-stop solution for resolving insolvencies which were a long process and did not offer an economically viable arrangement. A strong insolvency framework where the cost and the time incurred is minimised in attaining liquidation has been long overdue in India. The code will be able to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business a less cumbersome process.Fugitive economic offenders act: Some of the economic offenders made big headlines in the past 5 years by leaving the country to escape the jurisdiction of our agencies and court. Despite this, there was no proper law to confiscate the property of these offenders for resolving their loans and taxes. Fugitive economic offenders act is that law which has been passed recently by the parliament. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 is an Act of the Parliament of India that seeks to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders that evade prosecution by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Economic offences with a value of more than Rs 100 crores, which are listed in the schedule of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, come under the purview of this law. Recently, on 5 January 2019, Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has declared Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender. His properties can now be confiscated by the government. Also, the bungalow of Nirav Modi was destroyed as it violated various environmental guidelines. Things aren't looking so good for these offenders, especially if their properties are based in India. Nirav Modi runs away in London taxi after British journalist asks him about his fraud.Ease of doing business: The economic conditions of independent India wasn’t always good, especially till 1991. We were one of the poorest countries at the time of independence. We had the potential to be the next superpower because of our geographic, demographic strengths. But our leaders crippled our economy by socialist policies (which has been worldwide failure latest victim being Venezuela). "Garibi Hatao" was the cry for every election for decades. PSUs were running on huge losses. The country hardly had any foreign exchange when our government was kind of forced to liberalise our economy in 1991. However, our government and bureaucracy still have many elements of the archaic, socialist, regulatory, corrupt and business disruptive policies.This government made many significant and big reforms (such as digitization, ease of getting government/environment clearances in timely manners, insolvency code, ease of credit, permit for construction, etc.). These reforms started showing their results and India made the biggest jumps (improvements) in ease of doing business rankings. Meaning, it is comparatively much easier to open and operate businesses in India. However, India has still a long way to go and the government is aiming for under 50 rank within a few years.India no longer home to the largest number of poor people in the world: We are so bombarded by negative news by media outlets (especially leftist media) all the time with overanalysis (and misleading) of government policies and writing long essays (just like this one) on issues without making any sense. However, this point is to appreciate the fact that extreme poverty (number of people living on less than $1.90 a day) in India is falling at a very high rate (306 million in 2011 to 70 million in late 2018). That's from 25% of the population to less than 3% of the population today. Extreme poverty in India is falling fast!A steady government with economic reforms, DBT (direct benefit transfer), Jan Dhan, MUDRA, ease of doing business and other policies I described above will certainly maintain (if not increase) this rate of poverty drop for the next 4-5 years.Proper respect and recognition to Subhash Chandra Bose and INA: If you ask an average person that "How did India got freedom?" They will probably tell you, because of Gandhi. Wrong. Gandhi had a big role in uniting India and he was without a doubt the biggest mass leader of that era. However, the reason Britishers had to leave India so rushedly after second world war is because of the shrewd politics of Netaji and the role played by INA soldiers in making even the soldiers of the British Army, Navy and Airforce go for mutiny. The public trials of INA soldiers that time created a huge wave of sympathy for them and Congress, Hindu Mahasabha, RSS, CPI, and even Muslim League were with INA and against Britishers. You can say that Netaji's tactics and sympathy created by INA soldiers gave a knockout blow to the British empire. Despite such a big contribution to the Indian freedom struggle, Netaji has been ignored by the governments for years in every forms possible (naming of stadiums, schemes, history books).Finally, when Modi came to power, India had a prime minister who was a true admirer and was inspired by Netaji.Is Narendra Modi really interested in Netaji? (Views of Anuj Dhar author, the go-to man to know anything about Netaji).As Anuj mentioned in the video that Modi was interested in Netaji long before he became India's PM. The government declassified 100 files related to Netaji.Netaji files.Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined a flag-hoisting ceremony on Oct 21, 2018, to mark the 75th anniversary of 'Azad Hind Government' headed by Subhash Chandra Bose. Netaji was again remembered in Modi's visit to Andaman and Nicobar islands (Saheed and Swaraj dweep as named by Netaji). Also, for the first time, INA soldiers took part in this republic day parade. For me, Lokmanya Tilak (pioneer of Swaraj and mass movements in India), Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji S. C. Bose were the three biggest and revolutionary freedom fighters against the Britishers. Finally, the government is recognizing the legacy of Netaji.Ram Janmabhoomi, Ayodhya: We all know what is the stance of BJP vs rest of the parties on Ram temple in Ayodhya. Hindus are demanding Ram temple at a site which has been established by Archaeological Survey of India, originally as a site of a temple (or temple like structure). Now, people will say, "But that was history, why do you want to do what Babur did again?" My answer to this is, thousands of temples were destroyed in India due to Islamic invasions. Hindus aren't demanding temple at every location. This particular temple was important as it is regarded as the birthplace of Lord Ram. Also, Babur was a racist Islamic invader. He hated Indian culture and Indians (he bragged about these things himself). Baburi Mosque was the symbol of that hate (although destruction of the mosque was a mistake and made this issue much worse). Even many Muslims want to help Hindu community rebuild the temple and Hindus want to build a mosque for Muslims at another location. That is the ideal solution. However, Sunni board and mullahs are creating a lot of problems and lawyers from Congress and other opposition parties are supporting them in their cases (vote bank politics). Supreme Court has set a mediation board (which will probably fail). After these efforts by the Supreme Court, only the central government can build the temple as the land legally belongs to the government and we all know which party takes pride in Indian culture and will go ahead with the Ram temple in Ayodhya.Minimum Government, Maximum Governance: This starts from the top with a lesser number of ministers. Minimum Government, Maximum Governance: Narendra Modi.A citizen friendly and accountable administration is the focus of the Government. A series of steps to achieve this goal have been initiated. These include simplification of procedures, identification and deletion of archaic laws/rules, identification and shortening of various forms, leveraging technology to bring in transparency in public interface and a robust public grievance redress system. Promotion of Self-Certification in place of affidavits and attestation by Gazetted Officers is one important step in this regard. This greatly reduces the time and effort on the part of both the citizen as well as the Government officials.Leveraging the power of information technology brings with it the advantage of transparency and speed. One of the focus areas of Government is to reduce the decision making layers to the minimum while allowing for faster means of information sharing/dissemination.The Government has launched a website [email protected] for this purpose. This is a citizen-centric platform to empower people to connect with the Government and contribute towards good governance.These and some other steps by the government had positive impacts on the ease of doing business in our country.Competent, uncorrupt ministers: We are so used to nepotism and favouritism in politics. I mean look at even the distant family members of the Yadav family (both Mulayam and Lalu), Gandhi family and friends, Karunanidhi, etc. Rabri Devi was CM of Bihar. This was the standard of Indian politics. This government has competent ministers none of whom have faced any kind of corruption charges. I will be describing some of the important ministers in the next few points.Rajnath Singh: He has M.Sc. in Physics and he was a Physics lecturer early in his career. He is a veteran of Indian politics being in charge of various ministries under Vajpayee government, UP CM, president of BJP. He was in charge of the Home Ministry and apart from many initiatives, the one which I would like to mention is "Bharat ke Veer."Sushma Swaraj: She was a former Supreme Court lawyer. I have been a fan of her speeches since the time of Vajpayee government when I was 8-12 years old and I used to watch Doordarshan news almost daily. She was called India's 'best-loved politician' by wall street journal. If not Modi, then she could easily have been the PM. The foreign ministry was one of the best performing ministries of GOI and Sushma was at the epicentre of it. Sadly, this was her last political innings and she won't be contesting elections now. My best wishes to her.Mindblowing facts about Sushma Swaraj by Vishal Kaul, Quora.Arun Jaitley: Another highly qualified, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India. Finance Ministry was probably the most dynamic ministry in the last 5 years bringing so many changes all while maintaining steady growth, controlled inflation, fiscal discipline. Despite the economic slowdown in the World Economy, the Indian economy is projected to grow at a steady, solid rate and some credit of this also goes to the Finance minister of this government.Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal, Manohar Parrikar etc.: Nirmala Sitharaman joined BJP only in 2006 and 11 years later, only because of her abilities and competence, she became the first female Defence minister of India.Mr Piyush Goyal is the 2018 Carnot Prize Recipient for distinguished contributions to energy policy. He has served on the boards of SBI and Banks of Baroda.Suresh Prabhu is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Since 1996, Prabhu has been a repeatedly elected Member of Parliament from Rajapur Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra.Manohar Parrikar now CM of Goa, is a distinguished alumn of IIT Bombay.Ministers under these government had proven track records and shown their competence with time. Compare that to ministers of the previous government and there is a difference of day and night. It's not even close.Worst opposition in years:That is one scary picture. Democracy is about choices. In the end, ultimately you have to choose between the candidates. I don't have a problem with the fact that Rahul Gandhi is dumb. My problem with RG is that he is a liar. And when an idiot starts lying, things get messy and dangerous. He peddles lies of all kinds, lies like Rafale scam (against National Security), lies about China-Doklam, stupid statements against India's foreign policy (which are then used by enemy countries against India). He doesn't have any kind of understanding of the weight of issues. He has no idea how policies and governments work. His constituency, Amethi is one of the most backward constituencies. The sad truth is, it is highly likely that one day, he will be India's PM unless Congress is out of power for the next 30 years.The dangerous thing is Rahul Gandhi is probably the best amongst these lot (except maybe Chandrababu).There are many incidents when these politicians stooped to new lows just to be on the opposite side of Modi. Be it surgical strikes, India-China Doklam standoff or the anti-nationals of JNU (Kanhaiya Kumar chargesheeted).Indians, however, are getting smarter, united and people like Kanhaiya, Dhruv Rathee, Kunal Kamra are employed only because Modi is in the power. You tell me a profit-making, successful company (NDTV's TRPs are down) that will hire an unqualified, useless PhD like Kanhaiya whose thesis appeared in a black-listed journal. Kanhaiya Kumar’s PhD thesis appears in a journal internationally blacklisted as a ‘predatory journal’.And then, there is the biggest fool of them all, Mr Kejriwal. You thought Donald Trump is a trolling politician. Kejriwal is on whole another level. He is like an Ekta Kapoor serial star saying all sorts of meaningless nonsense with emotional drama. Recently, he accused PM Modi of sacrificing lives of CRPF soldiers in Pulwama to win 300 seats in Lok Sabha. That is an utterly disgusting, irresponsible statement from a CM. I hope people of Delhi throw him out in the next elections.Modi: the most complete politician: A glimpse at PM Modi's scheduleHard working, charismatic, a natural leader, statesman, modern, culturally rooted, incorruptible, selfless, strong, smart, experienced. India once had a leader with all these qualities and they voted him out of power in 2004. It was such a shame (MMS's first term wasn't so bad though). This time, India has a chance to re-elect the leader India needs and deserves. You know what you're going to get. A hard-working leader who wouldn't waste a day even in his second term.Conclusion: This is not a comprehensive analysis of the Modi government's policies and achievements. I have missed out a lot of schemes. This, however, was an attempt to make you realize a pattern that I noticed while going through schemes and government policies. Firstly, government policies are suddenly working at a much faster speed. Be it infrastructural projects, social schemes or defence projects. Secondly, we have had a strong, decisive government who didn't hesitate to take strong actions against terrorists, taking a stance against China, etc. Thirdly, this government is maintaining fiscal discipline and also bringing out innovative reforms and solutions such as Digital India, Ayushman Bharat, Jan-Dhan, GST. The thing is, these schemes worked. Do I think this government was perfect? Of course not. The government made some bad decisions (such as reversing the Supreme Court's order on SC/ST act). However, overall, I was more than satisfied with the government and its performances given the challenges we faced as a country in forms of bad loans, slowing world economy, terrorists, China, Pakistan, etc.This well oiled, well-functioning government with its new way of functioning is a breath of fresh air which not only instils a sense of confidence in India's future but also a sense of pride and belief that we can achieve impossible targets if we continue working hard in the right directions.I am voting for Modi government.Excerpts from my blog: 101 reasons I am voting for Modi government in 2019

How can I deal with spending Thanksgiving with my wife's family who are strong members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? I feel out-of-place since I'm not LDS and they frown upon me for this reason and avoid me.

I don’t like answering Anonymous questions because they are often bait questions by trolls.You have 4 good answers, and 3 horse dung answers.With this type of question it doesn’t take long for the apostates and “anti-Mormon/Mormon-bashers” to come flying out of the woodwork in a fit of acerbic vitriol.I will answer the questions from a number of perspectives.It is Black Friday already here in Sydney Australia, so this is not much help for Thanksgiving USA 2020.PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:(1) Do you love your wife? Not the having sex like rabbits erotic love of our 20s and 30s, but the love that has you get down on your knees in prayer together when one of your children is dying? (This has happened to my wife and me twice. In such moments, sex and orgasms don’t even come into your mind)(2) What do you love about your wife? Is she kind, loving, respectful, a good mother to your children? Do you think that the way her parents raised her provided the foundation on which these values are built?(3) Do you respect your wife?(4) Do you you trust your wife explicitly AND implicitly?(5) Does your wife set a good example of the Christian life or does she shove religion down your throat while behaving as a hypocrite?(6) According to Carl Jung’s theory of projection, we project our own weaknesses and imperfections onto other people so that they are always the problem. Are you doing this?(7) Do you have self-worth, self-respect, self-esteem, and self-compassion. Jesus said, “Love they neighbour as thyself.” When we don’t love ourself, it is difficult to love others.(8) Joyce Meyer has stated, “We are commanded to love each other, but we are not going to always like each other.”(9) In the practise of Mindfulness, nobody can make us feel anything that we don’t want to feel. We can observe our thoughts and decide which ones we will entertain, and which ones we will reject and not think about. The thoughts we reject can be compartmentalised and put in a box on a shelf until we are ready or not ready to deal with them. In fact we can choose to leave our thoughts on the shelf and never consider them again.(10) The greatest ruination of marriage is not “sexual incompatibility” or attitudes toward money. It is the relationship with parents-in-law. Because they are the parents of your wife, they will almost always take her side if she goes outside of the marriage to resolve conflict. As Cameron points out, this is a phenomenon relevant to all marriages and is not restricted to marriages where common values such as those adopted from religion are the foundation for a happy marriage.(11) Are you an Introvert? When Carl Jung wrote Psychological Types in 1921 (English Translation 1923) he stated that Introversion and Extraversion are “attitudes”. Hans J. Eysenck proposed in the 1960s that Introversion and Extraversion were neurophysiological in origin. In 1999 it was proven that Eysenck was correct (TIME Almanac 2000). Introverts tend to have a small group of intimate friends, are happy with their own company, and give out psychic energy to other people. Thus social events can be quite draining.A SIMPLE TEST TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE AN INTROVERTExtraverts on the other hand, are super-social creatures, the life of the party. They have a wide range of friends, and draw in psychic energy from other people. Socially, Extraverts are more desired in Western cultures.In the Big Five Personality Traits, Extraversion is one of the traits measured. The higher the Extraversion score, the more socially adept you are considered to be.CULTS:Ted McCartin·July 3Elder/Lay Minister in the Church of Jesus Christ.As a Mormon, what makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?THAT WE ARE A “CULT”. What is a cult? Southern Baptist Minister Dr Lynn Ridenhour speaks about his theological training at university. One of the first courses he undertook was about cults, which included The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”). One day he decided to do a most heretical thing: read The Book of Mormon. He states in one of his YouTube videos that as soon as he began to read 1 Nephi 1:1, “I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents…” he was instantly converted by the power of the Holy Spirit. Dr Ridenhour then went on to preach The Book of Mormon alongside the Bible for more than 30 years, stating that The Book of Mormon is for ALL Christian denominations, and that Third Nephi is “the fifth Gospel” (it is Fourth Nephi in the RLDS/Community of Christ Book of Mormon) .Fortunately, I studied some Sociology at university, and have several books on the subject on my bookshelf. One day I was deliberating on the subject of cults. Combining my intellectual study with pondering and prayer, I came to this conclusion:Every person who belongs to an organisation, whether formal or informal, which practices “social engineering” belongs to a cult.You, dear reader, belong to at least one cult: Yourself!You are a formal organisation of cells, molecules, and elements. You think and you behave. You dream. You have ideas. You have emotions. The French philosopher/mathematician René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.”Some other cults to which you might belong: · A family; · A hobby group; · A high school; · A College/University Fraternity or Sorority; · An Alumni association; · A trade union; · An insurance company for your insurance policies; · An employer who has “Vision Statements” and “Mission Statements”; · A group within a business organisation e.g., Sales, Marketing, Production, Purchasing and Supply, Accounts. · A group within an organisation’s hierarchical structure: leading hand, foreperson, supervisor, low level management, middle management, executive management, senior executive management, board of directors; · Supporter of a sporting team or teams e.g., I support: the NRL teams South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers, while most of my sons support other teams; in Rugby Union I follow the Aotearoa New Zealand All Blacks (until the Wallabies and the Waratahs remember how to play to win again, but as I have ancestors from New Zealand as well as friends, I can rightfully support the All Blacks); the Australian women’s Netball team (the Diamonds), the Cricket team (who were called the Southern Stars until 2017), the Soccer/Football team (the Matildas), the Basketball team (the Opals), the field hockey team (the Hockeyroos), etc.; · The music artists I like: Elvis, Roy Orbison, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, John Fogerty, Neil Diamond, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Petula Clark, Adele, Hayley Westenra, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, ABBA (I have Swedish ancestors so don’t knock it); · The group of musicians who play the same musical instrument as you; · People in the same trade or profession as you; · People who like the same TV shows as you do; · People who like the same genre(s) of movies you do; · People who like the same genre(s) of books you do; · People who like the same genre(s) of music you do; · People who attend the same Church as you do; · People who are Atheists and New Atheists; · People who were/are Philanthropists, such as Robert Owen, Andrew Carnegie, Robert Woodruff, Bill and Melinda Gates, etc. · The cult of Apple; · The cult of the “Barefoot Investor”. · The cult of dog lovers; · The cult of dog breeders; · The cult of cat lovers; · The cult of cat breeders; · The cult of bird lovers; · The cult of bird breeders; · The cult of Trekkies (you would be surprised at how many physical scientists are Star Trek fans); · The cult of the MCU; · The cult of DC superhero comics; · The cult of both MCU and DC (which is me); · The cult of Comic-con; · The cult of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); · The cult of the Enneagram.The list is not exhaustive, but you should get the picture.Everybody belongs to at least one cult (i.e., Yourself) and various sub-cults. Thus, not all cults are automatically “evil” because they have unorthodox beliefs.I spent four (4) years searching for the “poison” in the Kool-Aid, which is supposed to exist in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not only is there NO poison in the Kool-Aid, there is NO Kool-Aid!Michael Hickenbotham, former Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1967-200…Answered ThuCult is a derogatory term used today for organizations most people see as dangerous. See:Michael Hickenbotham's answer to Is Mormonism properly defined as a cult?According to NXIVM - WikipediaNXIVM (/ˈnɛksiəm/ NEKS-ee-əm) is a self-proclaimed American multi-level marketing company[2] based in Clifton Park, New York, a suburb of Albany, which has offered personal and professional development seminars through its "Executive Success Programs" of large-group awareness training.[3] The company has been widely described as a cult,[4] and is alleged to have been a recruiting platform for a secret society (variously called "DOS" or "The Vow") in which women were branded and forced into sexual slavery.Compare that to: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - WikipediaThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that considers itself to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in the United States in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries.[7] In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States,[8] with over 6.5 million members there as of January 2018.[9] It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the early 19th century period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.Adherents, often referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons", view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion.[10][11] Church theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ,[12] though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ significantly from mainstream Christianity. The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts:[13] the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, and other works believed to be written by ancient prophets (including the Book of Mormon). Because of some of the doctrinal differences, Catholic, Orthodox, and several Protestant churches consider the church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity.[14] Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet, seer, and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can also receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives.[15] The president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations, known as wards. Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead the wards. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12,[16][17] may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood, but occupy leadership roles in some church organizations.[18] Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health, fasting, and Sabbath observance, and contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing. The church also teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, confirmation, the sacrament (holy communion), priesthood ordination, endowment, and celestial marriage—all of which are of great significance to church members.[19] In August 2018, the church's president, Russell M. Nelson, asked members of the church and others to cease using the terms "LDS", "Mormon", and "Mormonism" to refer to the church, its membership, or its belief system, and instead to call the church by its full and official name.[20][21]The fruit of Latter-day Saint prophets and the Church are: a. A strong faith in God and his Son, Jesus Christ, and their divinity (1st Article of Faith; 2 Nephi 25:23, 25, 26, 28; 31:18, 21) b. Church members who believe in Christ's sacrificial atonement and are striving to follow in his footsteps (1 Pet. 2:21; 2 Nephi 2:7; 31:16; 3rd and 13th Article of Faith) c. A membership that is unified in its beliefs and doctrines (1 Cor. 1:10; Mosiah 18:21) d. Members who are rearing strong, loving families (D&C 68:25-28; Mosiah 4:14-15) e. Members who believe in the power of God to do miracles today (7th Article of Faith; D&C 35:8-9) f. Members who have a love for the scriptures and are striving to live by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God (8th Article of Faith; Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4; Moroni 7:25; D&C 1:29-32) g. Members who are a law-abiding people (12th Article of Faith; D&C 101:76-101) h. Members who give unselfishly not only tithes and offerings but also of their time and talents to further the Lord's work (D&C 64; Mosiah 18:8-9) i. A well educated Church (D&C 88:118; 90:15; 93:36; 109:7) j. A healthy people who abstain from using alcohol, tobacco, and other substances harmful to their bodies (1 Cor. 6:19; D&C 89) k. Members who are clean in speech (D&C 63:61-64) l. A missionary Church (Matt 28:19; D&C 1; 4; 18) m. A people who are actively participating in service to the community, state, and nation (D&C 134) n. A Church that insists that its members obey all of the Ten Commandments including keeping the Sabbath day holy (D&C 59; 68:29) o. A people who practice charity for those both inside and outside the LDS Church (D&C 121:45; 2 Cor. 9:7) p. Members who actively participate in Church services and leadership most often without monetary compensation (D&C 84:103-110) q. A belief in the importance of temples and in salvation for our ancestors (D&C 124:22-44; 127; 128) r. A belief that all people are spiritual brothers and sisters and children of our Heavenly Father (D&C 93) and as such have great worth to God and the potential to become like him (Matt. 5:48; 1 Jn. 3:2; D&C 132:19-20) s. A belief in the Holy Ghost's power to witness and justify (D&C 46) t. Members who believe in the biblical standards of morality, marriage, and family and oppose abortion and all sexual sins (D&C 42:18-25) u. A Church, which accepts truth from any source whether secular or religious (D&C 93:23-40) v. A Church which has a rational claim to the divine authority given by the Savior (D&C 13; Jos. Smith-Hist. 1:68-75) w. An organization, which is led through revelation from Jesus Christ and thus holds that the Savior is the head and foundation of the Church (Helaman 5:12) x. A Church which is founded upon apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20) y. Members who covenant with God and strive to honor those covenants (Mosiah 18:10, 13; Doctrine and Covenants 22:1, 3; Doctrine and Covenants 132:4, 6-7, 15, 18-19, 26-27, 41-42, 51) z. Members who renew their covenants on a weekly basis (Moroni 4-5; D&C 20) There are no similarities that I see.Toby Dillon, Ward Technology and Family History ConsultantAnswered ThuI recently watched the CNN video of Pastor Jeffries explaining why he calls me church a cult, and, well, it's disingenuous. “A theological cult,” he says, instead of a “sociological cult.” That's the answer to this question, from his own mouth, and I lead with that because if you will ponder this, with a dictionary, you will see that it is nothing but fluff. A cult is what you call a group you don't agree with. In that sense, there is no difference. But the Nxivm group did more than just share some unpopular ideas and spin in circles and fall down. They broke laws, and that is why their leaders were arrested and tried and convicted. It's why Joseph Smith was similarly arrested and tried and convicted of running an unlicensed bank, and John Wycliffe for translating the Bible into English and publishing it, and any number of other reformers in their times. Breaking the law has consequences. But from an outsider's view, they might not see much difference unless it is brought to their attention. People call the Catholic Church a cult, too. To the ignorant, all colors are brown. Those who undertake to find the differences, I think, will notice that true disciples of Christ try to help others, and put their money where their mouth is. Looking at the humanitarian work these churches have done, often together, compared to, say, Heaven's Gate or Nxivm, can provide a useful measuring stick as to the social usefulness of the group.Bob Smith, studied Archaeology & Egyptian at Hebrew University of JerusalemAnswered ThuAnti-Mormons do not always declare the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to be a cult. Some are very fair-minded, and seek to disagree without being disagreeable. Unlike multi-level marketing (MLM) and Ponzi schemes such as NXIVM, Scientology, and some notorious televangelists, the LDS Church does not require any payments or labor. LDS Church policy is that it is better to give than to receive, and the LDS Church does far more charitable giving per capita than any other religious organization. The LDS Church subsidizes a vast educational system. It also seeks to find jobs for anyone, not just members. The LDS Church does not hound and persecute former members, instead preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world, and welcoming all who wish to repent of their sins, be baptized, and to find fellowship with the Saints of God.Brett Williams, *sigh* New Religious MovementsAnswered Thu“Cult” is a weasel word. NXIVM was a narrow, focused, leader-obsessed vangardist movement. It is better described in terms that Dr Alexandra Stein uses to describe similar points of view across the political spectrum. Brighamite Mormonism is in the range of the Southern Baptist Convention (which is why the Southern Baptists like to call them a cult). I think both groups are harmful but I don’t think they are outside the normal range of harmful groups we tolerate as a matter of course in everyday life. Mormonism in New York, Ohio, Missouri and Nauvoo, and in Utah up through the end of the civil war? Yes, you can make those comparisons to NXIVM in various ways, including the secret societies and sexual exploitation. The Brighamite branch now? They’re competing in the Southern Baptist space.Walt Nicholes, Retired from commercial workAnswered ThuAnyone who declares the “LDS” church to be a cult, either does not know what a cult really is, and/or doesn’t know much about the “LDS” church itself. It is a matter of ignorance.Sorry, but that is all I have time for right now. Also, my arm is in a sling from a shoulder replacement operation and I am in the pain from hell and am not supposed to be typing for another 7 weeks.ADDENDUM: LATTER-DAY SAINTS OBLIGATIONS TO THE LORD IN GRATITUDE FOR HIS ATONING SACRIFICE:We grow in the gospel “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little and there a little, growing in grace and truth until coming to a fullness of the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Isaiah 28:10; 2 Peter 3:18)Latter-day Saint baptismal covenants are more comprehensive than what is often taught. The first four on the list are those most focused on, though there actually ten (10) in all.1.Bear one another’s burdens that they may be light;2.Mourn with those that mourn (although funerals are often a celebration of a person’s life nowadays rather the morbid affairs of past centuries), the shortest verse in the Bible, referring to the death of Lazarus, is: “Jesus wept.” John 11:353.Stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death;4.We will serve Him and keep His commandments;5.We will preach repentance and faith on the Lord;6.There will be no contention one with another, but that [we will] should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having [our] hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.7.We will observe the Sabbath day, and keep it holy;8.Every day [we will] give thanks to the Lord [our] God;9.One day in every week…was set apart [so] that [we] should gather …together to teach the people, and to worship the Lord [our] God;10.Impart to one another both temporally and spiritually according to [people’s] needs and…wants.5.3 Next, President David O. McKay stated, “Every member a missionary.” This is consistent with Item 5 of our Baptismal Covenants.It is our duty - apart from anything else - to invite all to come unto Christ.Question: Why would the true church of Jesus Christ be comprised of only a small percentage of the population of the Earth?Christ specifically mentioned to His followers that they were the "salt of the earth"No matter how many member of the Church there may be at any time in history, it appears that being the smaller number among a larger population has long been the problem of the Gospel. This may be why Christ specifically mentioned to His followers that they were the "salt of the earth." To modern English speakers, that idiom is used to mean good, average people, but that wasn't what Christ meant. He was speaking to very few who believed him. Those who believed were to do for the earth what salt does to a pot of stew or soup. A little seasoning nevertheless plays an important part.Luke 13:20-21: And again he said, Wherefore unto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.Christ never answered the specific question of why there were so few believers, but he did tell those few believers that they played an important role and that few would find his true path to salvation (Matthew 7:14; 1 Nephi 8:20 (19-24); 3 Nephi 27: 33; Doctrine and Covenants 22:4 (1-4); 43:7)An angel showed Nephi a vision of the last days and the Church numbers were described as few in comparison to the rest of the worldIn 1 Nephi 14:12, an angel shows Nephi a vision of the last days and the Church numbers were described as few in comparison to the rest of the world. There's no reason to believe that Latter-day Saints will ever outnumber the largest religions based on this vision. Remember that when the gospel is finally preached in the entire world, the Second Coming will occur and the end of the current condition will follow. Latter-day Saints believe that all mankind will have an opportunity to hear the Gospel but that most of the population of the Earth will hear it in the Spirit World. Those who had no opportunity to hear it in mortality will have that opportunity then. When you consider the small minority of the earth's population throughout all of history that even knew about Jesus Christ, it should not surprise us that many in our day will not hear about Him either. Latter-day Saints believe that God is just and is concerned about all of His children. He will see to it that all mankind are taught and judged justly.Many of the goals of the Plan of Salvation are achieved even without being a member of the ChurchAmong the most important "purposes of life" according to the Plan of Salvation are the following:·Receiving a physical body.·Experiencing trials, pain, and other challenges, and having the opportunity to try to overcome them.·Experiencing joy and happiness.·Developing Christlike attributes.Developing Christ-like attributes is vital to our eternal happiness and development, and living a mortal life accelerates us along that path. All of these experiences are perfectly and regularly attainable without being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, they are perfectly attainable without even being a Christian. For some, they are even attainable without believing in God.That being said, there are tangible and extremely advantageous benefits to being a member of the LDS Church, and more specifically of knowing and understanding why we are here. Those advantages, though, are not necessary for a successful experience in mortality. The saving ordinances and covenants we make through proper priesthood authority accelerate and magnify our purposes for being here, and eventually, they will be available to all people whether in mortality or post-mortality [if they are willing to accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer] . In the meantime, billions of people are here living out the plan of salvation with a bit of ignorance about it, but happily and successfully nonetheless.© 2019 FAIRMormonWhen I met Jesus with three of His Angels, each Angel testified to me of the same thing, according to the Law of Witnesses that the Lord would establish His Word through the mouth of two or three witnesses - 2 Corinthians 13:1.Of the many things they told me, I will only share these eleven (11) things:1. Jesus’s Atonement was for the Salvation of ALL humankind, contrary to the teaching of Calvin that it was a selective Atonement for the predestined elect (see “John Calvin’s Position on the Atonement” by Paul Helm at �John Calvin's Position on the Atonement� by Paul Helm,2. That the doctrine of the universal priesthood of the believers was NOT supported by the scripture used to support the doctrine (1 Peter 2:9), so that everybody who believes that they hold the priesthood just because they have been baptized is in error, (1 Peter 2:9 -109 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy).The Holy Spirit inspired Martin Luther when he concluded that the husband/father is a Priest to his family, and that the wife/mother is a Priestess to her Family. Luther is in agreement with Latter-day Saint doctrine.However, because Luther was constrained and restrained by sola scriptura, he had to have a scripture in the Bible to support his inspiration. 1 Peter 2:9 is not it, and you are unlikely to find a supporting scripture in the Bible for this doctrine.3. We are not to revile against revilers (1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.; 1 Peter 2:1-3, 12-23 1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:)4. Revilers go to Hell i.e., the Spirit Prison - 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.)5. That Grace is not unmerited or undeserved by Christians (Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ 2 Nephi 23-26: 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.)·We are Justified by Grace (Doctrine and Covenants 20:30)·We are Justified by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God (Romans 5:9)·We are Sanctified by Grace (Doctrine and Covenants 20:31)·We are Sanctified by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God (Hebrews 13:12)·We are saved by Grace through Faith (Ephesians 2:8);·Faith without Works is dead (James 2:26);·Be ye doers of the word, and not just hearers only… (James 1:22);·If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15);·Martin Luther taught – correctly – that we should spend our life in repentance (Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized every one of you”; Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted”; Acts 26:20 “turn to God, and do work meet for repentance”); and·And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)·Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. (3 Nephi 15:9)·But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)Calvin’s teaching about Grace is this: “By his obedience, however, Christ truly acquired and merited grace for us with his Father. Many passages of Scripture surely and firmly attest this. I take it to be a commonplace that if Christ made satisfaction for our sins, if he paid the penalty owed by us, if he appeased God by his obedience — in short, if as a righteous man he suffered for unrighteous men — then he acquired salvation for us by his righteousness, which is tantamount to deserving it.”[7][7] Institutes, II.xvii.3.It is for the Gentiles and the Heathens that Grace is a most precious gift, unmerited and undeserved in the sense that they may have had little or no Godly commandments to follow during their Earth life.This is why I call the Grace of Jesus Christ “miraculous”. We cannot begin to comprehend His great love for us, His suffering in Gethsemane, His suffering and persecution on the way to the Cross, and His suffering and death upon the Cross.Calvin’s view is this, “In the second place Calvin teaches that Christ redeems by satisfying divine justice in a way that is mysterious and not fully comprehensible. It is mysterious because the God whose justice Christ satisfies is the God whose love is expressed in Christ’s mission. The explanation of this mystery is to be sought in the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians. There, after Paul has taught us that we were chosen in Christ, he adds at the same time that we acquired favour in the same Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5). How did God begin to embrace with his favour those whom he had loved before the creation of the world? Only in that he revealed his love when he was reconciled to us by Christ’s blood.”[8][8] Institutes, II.vxii.2.Summary: Tim Perrine, CCEL Staff WriterPublished first in 1536, the Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's magnum opus. Extremely important for the Protestant Reformation, the Institutes has remained important for Protestant theology for almost five centuries. Written to "aid those who desire to be instructed in the doctrine of salvation," the Institutes, which follows the ordering of the Apostle's Creed, has four parts. The first part examines God the Father; the second part, the Son; the third part, the Holy Spirit; and the fourth part, the Church. Through these four parts, it explores both "knowledge of God" and "knowledge of ourselves" with profound theological insight, challenging and informing all the while. Thus, for either the recent convert or the long-time believer, for the inquisitive beginner or the serious scholar, John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion is a rewarding book worthy of study!This copy of the Institutes of the Christian Religion was translated into English by Henry Beveridge (who died in 1929) and was first published in 1845. for download as a PDF, Microsoft Word html with markup, MP3 Audiobook, ePub, Kindle eBookIsaiah 55:8-98 ¶ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Charles Darwin still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver, and later recollected that at the time of publication On the Origin of Species (1859) he was convinced of the existence of God as a First Cause and deserved to be called a theist. This view subsequently fluctuated, and he continued to explore conscientious doubts, without forming fixed opinions on certain religious matters.Darwin continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the local church, but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church. Though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he responded that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a god, and that generally "an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind."“I never was an atheist. Trying to understand the mind of God is like a dog trying to understand the mind of [Sir Isaac] Newton.”As an Agnostic, he went as far as saying, “Science has nothing to do with Christ, except insofar as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.” Tuesday 31/03/2020The red hardy hibiscus on the back cover symbolises to me:·The Atonement from The Fall by shedding the blood of The Lamb of God;·We are sanctified by His blood;·We are justified by His blood;·Our garments become unspotted and are washed white by His blood.·The green leaves symbolise the eternity of the Kingdom of Heaven.·The yellow anthers symbolise the Light of Christ and His everlasting glory.6. That the Lord’s true Church is organized for the perfecting of the saints (Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-16 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.The New Testament tells of other Priesthood offices which are necessary:Bishops and Deacons: Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-13;Elders: Acts 14:23, Acts 15:6, 1 Timothy 5: 17, Titus 1:5.Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has all of the Priesthood offices necessary for “the perfection of the saints”;7. The great work of the Lord’s Millennial reign will be Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinance work for our deceased relatives and ancestors.8. Also, all that are righteous according to the Law which they have been given will be on the Earth during the Lord’s Millennial Reign: people of all Christian denominations, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. Those who have had no Law, cannot be judged by the Law, and are subject entirely to the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ.9. Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation is for ALL of His children. We need to repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer if we want to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven at the highest levels, for the Lord said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” (See John 14:2). Those who accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Redeemer will be spiritual “sons” and “daughters” of the Lord, and be heirs with Him of all that the Father has.10. There is no private interpretation of prophecy in scripture, for prophecy came not by the will of man but by holy men of God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20–21). The Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the Prophets. (Amos 3:7) Very few Christian denominations claim to have living Prophets to receive the will and word of The Lord. Not even the Pope claims to be a Prophet.11. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains the ‘fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ”, and fills in many of the gaps in our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation which have been lost from the Bible.Other Christians claim there is no NEW revelation and The Bible is a closed canon. Sola scriptura is Intellectualism as opposed to Inspirationism from The Lord/Holy Spirit.The Lord tells us not to cast our pearls of great price before swine and dogs. Nevertheless, as I stated previously, the Lord said, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren [and sisters].” Luke 22:32Joseph Smith Jr saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove not far from his home in the Spring of 1820.Colton Burpo, 3 years and 10 months old, had an out-of-body experience while on the operating table for a ruptured appendix and abdominal ulcer. He went to the Celestial Kingdom, the highest degree of Heaven. His experience is available in the book and Sony DVD Heaven is for Real. While in Heaven, Colton saw God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as three separate and distinct personages. He sat on Jesus's lap.Therefore, there are three modern day public witnesses of a Resurrected Jesus Christ: Joseph Smith Jr, Colton Burpo, and me.From the three (3) visions of the Spirit World I have received, people have a different attitude when they are on the other side of the Veil. While it is true that the sins we have not repented of in this life will be brought to a bright and perfect remembrance, not all sinners are going to end up in Hell/The Spirit Prison. Through the Grace of Jesus Christ, His mercy and Charity i.e., His Pure Love, He will allow those of us who have not committed a serious sin to work out our repentance in Paradise.I have never seen an unembodied consciousness, as Buddhists believe, and there is no reincarnation, (even Scientologists believe in reincarnation), so there are many who have been waiting to be reincarnated who are in Paradise, but refuse to accept that that is where they will stay until the Resurrection.Whom should I believe? Jesus Christ and His three Angels, or the writings of other Christians based on Intellectualism in interpreting The Bible, rather than the Inspirationism of the revelations of the Holy Ghost? And which version of the Bible in the English language is the most correct? I have used the King James Version (KJV: 1769) as that is the canonized version used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The one exception to the KJV is the quote from Dr James Emery White, who uses the NIV.The canonized version of Joseph Smith’s First Vision is correct, because not only do I have the testimony of the Holy Ghost, but also it accords with my own personal experiences.For example, when Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke says that an Angel appeared. Luke 22:41-44 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.There is no Angel in the Kingdom of Heaven with Priesthood powerful enough to bless and strengthen the Son of God. Jehovah/Jesus Christ is as perfect as our and His Heavenly Father is. The Priesthood is the Lord’s Priesthood: it is The Holy Priesthood After The Order of The Son Of God. To avoid vain repetition of the Lord’s name, the Lord changed the name to the Melchizedek Priesthood.Melchizedek was Noah’s son Shem. When Jehovah confused the languages of the people after the attempt to build the Tower of Babel, only Shem and his wife were righteous in their family, and that is why their language was changed. His family repented and eventually inhabited Salem. After Abraham paid his tithing to Melchizedek and was ordained a High Priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood, Melchizedek’s people were translated and taken up to Heaven to live in the city of Enoch.In my vision of the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, Heavenly Father blessed the Lord to strengthen Him by the laying on of hands. If Heavenly Father was a spirit, He would not have been able to place His hands on the Lord’s head. Heavenly Father has a spiritual body i.e., a glorified resurrected immortal body of flesh and bone but no blood.When Jesus says, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” it is because the Lord looks just like His Heavenly Father. Jesus had hair similar in colour and length to the actor Joe Lando, who plays Byron Sully in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I do not know what colour eyes He has because His eyes were closed as His Father blessed Him.However, every time I watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (her Cheyenne name), there is something familiar about Sully’s eyes: they are piercing, loving, gentle and sincere. I always think of the Lord when I see Joe Lando’s eyes. I do not know why, because Joe looks nothing like the Lord.Without His glory, Heavenly Father has white skin. Our spirits are white when we die and go to the Spirit World. It is reasonable to assume that in the Resurrection we will all be white skinned, which may be hard for some to discern because of the other person’s brighter glory.When the Lord appeared to me with His three Angels, He was about my height i.e., 182 centimeters or six feet. I could not see His facial features clearly because of His glory.My friend those are the reasons why you should play nice with your wife’s family.

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