Is a restoration necessary if the crop doesn't fail?
I've given some thought to the kingdom of God in light of the parables contained in the gospel according to St. Mark. Mark is the only gospel that speaks of the seed that has power in itself to grow. (Mark 4:26-29 These verses are also used in one of my favorite Thanksgiving songs.) I believe that Jesus was the sower who brought the seeds of the gospel, seeds of the kingdom of God. These seeds have been growing into the kingdom of God since they were cast and how the seed as sprouted and grown we do not understand. The plant has brought forth first the blade and then the ear. When the full corn or fruit appears it will be time for the harvest. Revelation 14:15-20 takes up this analogy and speaks of the time when the ripened earth will be harvested. The parable of the mustard seed shows the kingdom of God starting from the smallest of seeds and from the time it is planted, it grows to become greater than all the herbs, providing shade for the birds of the sky.
These parables don't mention a drought that kills the seed or the plant, thus requiring another planting. There is no hint of a crop failure. Sure, in another parable, some seeds fall on rocky or poor soil and are eaten by birds or sprout and die not having adequate roots. But some seeds do fall on fertile soil and grow until the time of harvest bringing forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some an hundred.
I think the parable of the wheat and the tares further supports these other kingdom of God parables (only found in Matthew 13:24-30: Matthew calls the 'kingdom of God' the 'kingdom of heaven' in true Jewish fashion to avoid using the sacred name of God). The good seed was planted in a field but the tares sown by an enemy didn't prevent the good seed from growing and bringing forth fruit. The tares were allowed to grow with the wheat and not plucked up so as not to kill the young wheat with the tares. The tares are gathered up at the time of harvest to be burned while the wheat is gathered into the barn. I believe the kingdom of God has been near to us since the time of Christ. God has allowed the wheat and tares to grow together and has not done anything that would aturing wheat. The tares didn't overpower the wheat crop necessitating plowing the tares under and planting a new crop. Christ himself said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church he established. Both wheat and tares have been growing side by side for nearly 2,000 years. I hope that the time for harvest is near.
I did a search on the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven and I was surprised to find how similar sections 6, 11, 12, and 14, verses 1-5 of the D&C were:
"A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men. Behold, I am God; give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my word. Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God. Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God. Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you".
No wonder our pioneer forefathers thought the end was near. The harvest preceded the winepress, the last seven plagues and other last events including the binding of Satan, the first resurrection, judgment and the second coming of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of St. John the Divine. According to St. Mark, the harvest occurs immediately when the fruit is brought forth. All the fruit that was alive on the earth when this section was recorded died without being harvested - there are no stories of two being in the field and one being taken with the other left behind. Maybe the time of harvest was not in the 19th or 20th centuries and may not be for some time until the far distant future. We can still hope for an early harvest and hope to be part of that harvest home celebration.