John H. Groberg

John H. Groberg
First Quorum of the Seventy
April 3, 1976 (1976-04-03)  October 1, 2005 (2005-10-01)
End reason Granted general authority emeritus status
Presidency of the Seventy
April 3, 2004 (2004-04-03)  August 15, 2005 (2005-08-15)
End reason Honorably released
Emeritus General Authority
October 1, 2005 (2005-10-01)
Personal details
Born John Holbrook Groberg
(1934-06-17) 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.


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).[1]

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.[2]

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.

In 2005, Groberg was given general authority emeritus status. From 2005 to 2008, he was president of the church's Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.[3]

Groberg is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.



  1. Groberg. The Fire of Faith. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996) p. 86.
  2. New York Times
  3. Idaho Falls Idaho LDS (Mormon) Temple Presidents,, accessed 2008-07-27.


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