Eduardo Balderas

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Eduardo Balderas (14 September 1907 – 1989) was the leading translator of Latter-day Saint scripture and other materials into Spanish. He served as the chief Spanish translator for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) for almost 50 years. Along with Rey Pratt, Balderas was also most responsible for translating the hymns of LDS Church into Spanish.

Balderas was born in Mexico City to José Apolinar Balderas and María Centeno. His family moved to Torreón, México, when he was a young child. They later moved to El Paso, Texas. It was in El Paso in 1918 that the family joined the LDS Church.[1] Balderas married Rhea Ross, a native of Payson, Utah.

In 1934, Balderas was brought on by Antoine R. Ivins to help in translating the Doctrine and Covenants into Spanish. This project was completed in 1948. By the same time Balderas had completed the translation of the Pearl of Great Price into Spanish on his own; this was completed under church assignment, but he was the only person on the project. In 1939, Balderas became the first person employed full-time by the LDS Church as a translator.[2] He also worked on the first translation of the temple Endowment ceremony into a language other than English, specifically Spanish, in cooperation with Antoine R. Ivins.[3] In 1961 Balderas helped Marion G. Romney improve his abilities in Spanish, so he could more effectively function as the area supervisor for the Church in Mexico.[4] Balderas was still working as a translator for the Church in 1974, also giving lessons on how to use the Church's Liahona magazine in a church lesson.[5]

Besides his work as a translator, Balderas also wrote articles in English for church publications about the translation process and also about the success of the Spanish-language sessions at the Mesa Arizona Temple. He wrote an article on translating the scriptures into Spanish that was published in the Ensign in September 1972. The previous month, Balderas had served as Church President Harold B. Lee's interpreter at the Mexico Area Conference of the church.[6] Balderas also wrote "A Brief History of the Mexican Mission, 1874-1936" which was published in the Spanish Liahona in August 1956.[7]

Among his other church assignments were service as a stake patriarch and as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. He served as an officiator in the Mesa Arizona Temple as well, helping there during excursions of Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints.


  1. Conrey Bryson, “Saints at ‘the Pass’,” Ensign, Dec. 1991, 67–68.
  2. Justus Ernst, “‘Every Man … in His Own Language’,” Ensign, July 1974, 23.
  3. The Mesa Arizona Temple.
  4. Howard, F. Burton. Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988) p. 207
  5. “Relief Society Conference Emphasizes Spirit of Compassion,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 130.
  6. Jay M. Todd, “The Remarkable Mexico City Area Conference,” Ensign, Nov. 1972, 89.
  7. Jack McAllister, “The Unlikely Daniel Webster Jones: First Spanish Translations from the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Aug. 1981, 50.