"The dead are not perfect without us, neither are we without them. We have a mission to perform for and in their behalf; we have a certain work to do in order to liberate those who, because of the ignorance and the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed while here, are unprepared for eternal life; we have to open the door for them, by performing ordinances which they cannot perform for themselves and which are essential to their release fro the 'prison-house' to come forth and live according to God in the spirit and be judged according to men in the flesh."
--Joseph F. Smith, April 11, 1878 J. D., 19:264
"To my mind, there isn't anything to great and so glorious in this world as to labor for the salvation of the living and for the redemption of the dead."
-- Joseph F. Smith YWJ 23:130, January 1912
"The work for our dead . . . l should not be neglected. We should avail ourselves of those sacred and potent ordinances of the gospel which have been revealed as essential to the happiness, salvation and redemption of those who have lived in this world when they could not learn the gospel and have died without the knowledge of it and are not waiting for us; their children, who are living in an age when these, ordinances can be performed, to do this work necessary for their release from the prison-house. Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in thespirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.
-- Joseph F. Smith CR, p. 6, October 1916