An Interesting Mormon Personality: Dentists Call Him Brother Jay


Architecture and the dental profession constitute an unlikely combination, but this unorthodox blending of occupations makes life interesting indeed for Jacinto Lambino Ledesma, a 37-year old Tarlaqueño from Paniqui, who holds a degree in Architecture (MLQ University, Class of 1966).

If one visits a dentist and sits snugly on a dental chair that somehow eases the fear and pain commonly associated with the ministrations of a dentist, there is a good chance that the patient is sitting on a functional Ledesma dental chair that has been designed with a lot of psychological factors thrown in.

He cannot fill a cavity or fit a dental brace and yet his name is now a by-word in the dental profession in this country, with about 500 satisfied practitioners and users of the Ledesma chair endorsing the product of a Mormon’s ingenuity.

Not one to sit on his laurels, Bro. Ledesma forged on by inventing the first hydraulic dental chair and unit with X-Ray, panoramic light and switchboard, earning the privilege to display his invention in the National Science Development Board pavilion during the last National Inventors Week.

Bro. Ledesma is married to Julieta Villanueva Bulan with whom he was sealed at the Salt Lake City Temple (see companion article, back page of this issue: Vignette). They have four children: Judith Marie 10, Joseph Jude 7, Jesus James 6, and Jerome John 5. It is interesting to note that the first names of all members of the family begin with the letter J, reflecting a partiality for the tenth letter of the alphabet which he cannot yet explain to this day.

His first contact with missionaries is a story by itself. Brother Jay, as he is fondly called, had just been from a religious mini-course which was then the fad in the early 70’s, and it was this opportunity to be inquisitive about Jesus Christ that led him to seek spiritual enlightenment. He found it when two missionaries (Elders Gleave and Johnson) knocked on his door before Christmas of 1971.

The first question the senior Elder asked was “Do you want to know more about Jesus Christ?”—a question which he coincidentally was asking himself a few minutes before the Elders came into his life. It was as if God directed the two Elders to knock on the door at a very precise and opportune moment.

On February 12, 1972, or two and a half months after that inspiring meeting, Bro. Ledesma was baptized by Elders Adrian Pulfer and Bartolomew Birkett at the Buendia chapel.

And life has never been the same ever since for the architect turned equipment manufacturer-inventor—and Mormon missionary, whose secret formula for success, as featured in the August 27, 1977 issue of Focus (a nationally circulated weekly magazine), is the belief that challenges in life can be met and surmounted with strong faith in God and self-discipline, coupled with self-confidence and a spirit of unselfishness—the use of one’s endowments to help others find fulfillment in their lives.