John H. Groberg
|John H. Groberg|
|First Quorum of the Seventy|
|April 3, 1976– October 1, 2005|
|End reason||Granted general authority emeritus status|
|Presidency of the Seventy|
|April 3, 2004– August 15, 2005|
|End reason||Honorably released|
|Emeritus General Authority|
|October 1, 2005|
|Born||John Holbrook Groberg
June 17, 1934
Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States
Groberg was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in 1934 and was reared there during and after the Great Depression. After a year at Brigham Young University (BYU), and shortly after the Korean War, he served as a missionary of the LDS Church in Tonga.
Groberg experienced much difficulty in getting to Tonga: he was prevented from arriving by strikes, visa problems, and transport issues. Groberg served briefly in Los Angeles, Samoa, and Fiji while waiting for his transport to be finalized. When he finally arrived in Tonga, his first assignment was on the remote island of Niuatoputapu, which had had only limited contact with the outside world in the form of an occasional telegraph and a visiting boat. During the year he spent on the island, Groberg suffered from mosquitoes, a typhoon, and starvation. His missionary companion on Niuatoputapu was Feki Po'uha, who would later serve as district president in Niue, while Groberg was president of the church's Tongan Mission (which at that point included Niue).
After a year on Niuatoputapu, Groberg was assigned to more developed islands and served as a district president supervising smaller branch congregations of the church. Groberg later reported that the branches he dealt with lacked unity and morality. He had little contact with his supervising mission president and nearly drowned when pushed out of a boat during a major storm; he also suffered from exhaustion frequently. Groberg was denied an extension to his mission that would have allowed him to accompany a group of church converts to the New Zealand Temple. He flew home and shortly after married Jean Sabin; together, they have had 11 children.
Groberg received a bachelor's degree from BYU and an MBA from Indiana University. He was involved in real estate in the Idaho Falls area. Groberg also served for five years as a bishop in Idaho Falls.
Groberg later returned to Tonga as the mission president and later as a regional representative. He wrote a book about his mission from his memoirs called, In the Eye of the Storm, which was adapted into the 2001 Disney film The Other Side of Heaven.
In April 1976, Groberg became a general authority of the LDS Church. In the mid-1990s, he was president of the church's Asia Area, where he was closely connected with the initial sending of church missionaries into Cambodia. He later served as president of the church's Utah South Area, where he was responsible for initiating programs for missionary work among the Latino population there, and attempts to ensure that English-speaking wards home taught the Latino members within their boundaries, even if they attended separate Spanish-speaking congregations. Groberg also served as president of the North America West Area from 1990 to 1994. In May 1992, Groberg presided over the organization of the San Francisco California East Stake, the church's first Tongan-speaking stake in the United States.
- Groberg, John H. (2001) . The Other Side of Heaven. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. ISBN 978-1-57008-789-9. OCLC 48617254.
- —— (1996). The Fire of Faith. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft. ISBN 978-1-57008-290-0. OCLC 36362029.
- —— (2004). Christmas on the Other Side of Heaven. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. ISBN 978-1-59038-352-0. OCLC 60354108.
- —— (2006). Anytime, Anywhere. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. ISBN 978-1-59038-643-9. OCLC 68623990.
- John H. Groberg, "The Power of God's Love", Liahona, November 2004
- "Elder John H. Groberg of the First Quorum of the Seventy," Ensign, May 1976, p. 135