One of the questions I have had throughout my life is why Heavenly Father would want to have so many children, then put us through this testing process that would make it so so many would not be able to return to live with Him again. It seemed strange to me. But the older I get the more I realize the Plan of Salvation is much more encompassing that I understand; it will reach out and save more spirit children than I previously supposed.
This morning as I was reading my scriptures this verse jumped out at me as evidence of that:
"And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day." (2 Nephi 33:12, emphasis added)
If the prophet Nephi could write that, especially knowing the behavior of his own brothers, then I feel greatly comforted. That special verse also reminded me of this famous quote, which is well worth sharing and repeating often:
Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “You parents of the wilful and the wayward! Don’t give them up. Don’t cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours—long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of knowledge brings the fulness of accountability. Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend. …
“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1929, p. 110.)
(I know 2 Ne. 33:12 wasn't a scripture about harvesting or sowing, but I think I will let it be the Scripture of the Day anyway.)