|John H. Groberg|
|First Quorum of the Seventy|
|April 3, 1976 – October 1, 2005|
|Called by||Spencer W. Kimball|
|End reason||Granted general authority emeritus status|
|Presidency of the Seventy|
|April 3, 2004 – August 15, 2005|
|Called by||Gordon B. Hinckley|
|End reason||Honorably released|
|Emeritus General Authority|
|October 1, 2005|
|Called by||Gordon B. Hinckley|
|Born||John Holbrook Groberg|
June 17, 1934
Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States
John Holbrook Groberg (born June 17, 1934) has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 1976. He is the author of The Eye of the Storm, and was the protagonist in the movie made from the book titled The Other Side of Heaven .
Groberg was born to Delbert V. and Jennie Groberg in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1934. He grew up in Idaho Falls during and after the Great Depression. Groberg received a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) and an MBA from Indiana University. He was involved in real estate in the Idaho Falls area.
Groberg served as a missionary of the LDS Church in Tonga. He 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.
Groberg 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.The New York Times explains of Groberg's character, "The narrator and hero of The Other Side of Heaven, is a Mormon missionary dispatched to the Tongan islands in the Pacific Ocean immediately after his high school graduation in the 1950's." A sequel to the film, The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith, was made in 2018 with the same actor, Christopher Gorham, in the role of Groberg.
Groberg 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.
In April 1976, Groberg became an LDS Church general authority. 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. In 2000, Groberg was called into the Sunday School presidency.
In 2005, Groberg was designated as an emeritus general authority.From 2005 to 2008, he was president of the church's Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. Groberg's parents also served as president and matron of the temple from 1975-1980.
Groberg married Jean Sabin and they have had 11 children. Groberg is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had a presence in Tonga since 1891. The Tongan Mission was organized in 1916. However, due to anti-Mormon rumors and government policies, the LDS Church did not grow steadily in Tonga until 1924. Between 1946 and 1956, church leaders published Tongan translations of the scriptures and built a church-sponsored school known as the Liahona School. In 1968, Tonga's first LDS stake was organized and the Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple was dedicated in 1983.
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