Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
John H. Groberg John H. ( Holbrook) Groberg

1934 - living
  • Born 1934 Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Mission to Tonga 1954-1957
  • Married Jean Sabin 1957; eleven children
  • Bishop, Regional Reprentative
  • President of Tongan Mission
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1976-2005
  • Presidency of the Seventy 2004-2005
  • Named Emeritus General Authority 2005

    In April, 1976 Elder John H. Groberg, then newly called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, had many of the classic characteristics of a lifelong member of the Church in the Rocky Mountains: his ancestors were early members in Nauvoo and early pioneers; he was raised in the Church; a turning point in his life was a three-year mission to Tonga which started in a most untoward manner.

    "Back on the Ship!" the imigration officials on the dock ordered the lone missionary on the gangplank. "Not on my Ship!" bellowed the captain from behind him. The Tonga-bound young man had already been subjected to voyages on three ships since leaving California, but at Suva, Fiji, there still was no one to meet him and help him on his way. And now he was forbidden either to land or to reboard the ship. Despite such unpromising beginnings, twenty-year-old Elder Groberg's mission in Tonga would become a profoundly memorable experience.

    After a sucessful mission, he married the girl who waited for him to return; and they now have ten children.

    For the planting of his faith, Elder Groberg credits his parents and upbringing. He was born June 17, 1934, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and his parents, Delbert V. and Jennie Holbrook Groberg, had been president and matron of the Idaho Falls Temple since October of 1976

    At age twenty Elder Groberg was called to Tonga as a missionary. He saw many miracles among the faithful Tongan people, including several in which his life was saved. At one time he was stranded on a hurricane-devastated island for nine weeks, during which time some died from starvation and exposure.

    When he returned from the mission he married Jean Sabin, whom he describes as a wife of “great faith and tremendous support.” Elder Groberg was made a bishop soon after his mission and served five years in the Idaho Falls Twenty-Sixth Ward. He was then called back to Tonga to serve as mission president.

    The Grobergs’ first son was born in Tonga with a kidney defect. The problem was so severe that Sister Groberg took the baby back to Utah for treatment. She returned to Tonga after he had recovered and they didn’t see their son again for over a year. He was cared for by his grandparents.

    Elder Groberg was called as a Regional Representative to the South Pacific in 1969 and returned from his first assignment there just a few hours before another of his children was born. He pays tribute to his wife who encouraged him to go on the assignment and assured him that the baby would not be born until he returned.

    The children include Nancy Jean, Elizabeth, Marilyn, Jane, Gayle, John Enoch, Susan, Thomas Sabin, Jennie Marie, and Viki Ann. They range from a high school senior to a baby in arms. Elder Groberg said they are generally excited about his calling and not all sure what it will mean.

    As a member of the Lamanite Committee, Elder Groberg had been planning to attend conference, but a call from President Kimball brought him to Salt Lake a few days early. He said he promised the Lord at an early age to serve him all his life. His past service was ready preparation for the responsibility he now received.

Elder Groberg served honorably in the First Quorum of the Seventy and in April 2004 was called to the Presidency of the Seventy. The call lasted but a year as he was released from the Presidency in August 2005.

   Having served with honor and distinction for many years, Elder John H. Groberg was honorably released from the First Quorum of the Seventy and named an Emeritus General Authority October 1, 2005.

   The Ensign, May 1976,"News of the Church: Elder John H. Groberg of the First Quorum of the Seventy" (principal source)
   Deseret News Archives, 3 April 2004, "Sunday School, Young Men receive new presidencies"
   The Ensign, August 2005,"News of the Church: Elder Andersen, Elder Rasband Called to the Presidency of the Seventy," p.76
   "New Leaders of the Seventy Sustained; Eleven General Authorities Released," Church news release, Oct. 1, 2005

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