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In the Eye of the Storm
John H. Groberg
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In the Eye of the Storm

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  3,895 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Inspirational autobiography of John H. Groburg's "Mormon" mission to Tonga,in 1954, at age 20.

A fascinating story of the three years spent on those beautiful South Pacific Islands amidst a kindly people, who also had a deep faith in God: miraculous healings,protective warnings from the Holy Ghost,perilous voyages,a hurricane,hunger and much more:

This remarkable book paint
Hardcover, Sixth Printing, 303 pages
Published 1996 by Bookcraft, Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah
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This book was so inspiring to me. I remember reading "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom and feeling the same way. They are similar books in that they inspire people to love others and explain how they got through adversity trusting in God. I liked the movie. I thought it was charming. It turns out it was pretty true to the book. But if you saw the movie, you still need to read the book because the movie only covers the first year of Elder Groberg's mission, and his mission was 3 years long. A ...more
I really enjoyed this memoir. What an amazing story. I'm glad he took the time to write it down so the rest of us could learn from it. I've loved the movie since it came out. It was nice to finally read the real thing.

I had heard before I read the book (from a few different people) that some had felt that the analogies and lessons learned from his experience and shared in the book didn't seem accurate based on his age (that he was applying his current wisdom- some forty years later- not sharing
Rachel Wagner
At first Elder Groeberg's experiences seem almost impossible to believe; however, anyone who has been through an experience like a mission knows that they are full of miracles. Maybe they are not all as dramatic as Groebergs but they are equally important to the participants.
Jul 11, 2007 Chip rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
After watching the movie I really wanted to read this book. I'm glad I did because you get so much more detail about John Groberg's experience on his mission. The book is packed with faith promoting stories and is a wonderful book that missionaries will cherish.
I rated this book 4 stars based on the content and in spite of the writing style. I tend to be over critical of how an author writes, though.

What I liked: In the first paragraph of the introduction, Elder Groberg tells us that the main purpose of the book is to emphasize the overwhelming need for faith in our lives. I think Elder Groberg does that very well. While reading the book, I asked myself several times if maybe I couldn't be more faithful in different aspects of my life.

I also enjoyed t
His missionary experiences are amazing. Makes me miss my own mission.
Gary Braham
Last year I discovered the movie for the first time and was very interested to learn more. It was a very easy to read book, divided up into short chapters. I am very impressed with what this young man in his early 20's was able to do. Missionary, headmaster, District leader... and all at the same time! It really is a remarkable story.

Is it something that a non member would like to read? Maybe not, there is a lot of terminology and LDS background you would need to really appreciate it. It's also
Wesley Morgan
An excellent explanation of the feelings and experiences of a full-time missionary. Though I served half on a different hemisphere and many years later, the real core of being a missionary is pretty universal. I love the movie, and it is very accurate with the moments it depicts, but there are many more in the book, some of which offer interesting gospel insights. I think my favorite of the events not in the movie was "The Lord's Wind." He was praying so hard for a good wind to get to an island ...more
I listened to this as an audiobook and really enjoyed it! I found all the stories really interesting and uplifting. Elder Groberg has such a strong and faithful spirit and I was impressed by many gospel and life insights he picked up from all of his experiences. The Tongan people and culture so was so interesting to learn about as well. I thought the book was going to be super different from the movie adaption, but they actually had a lot more overlap than I thought. Of course the movie still le ...more
Jul 23, 2008 Benji rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interesting in learning about Tonga or the life of a young missionary.
Recommended to Benji by: Dad
Shelves: lds, biography
Reading this book was a fantastic experience while my parents and 3 of my siblings are serving a mission in Tonga. Reading Elder Groberg's account of the islands and the people there really helped me visualize what Mom and Dad are experiencing there.

One thing that always frustrates me about this kind of a book is that I often walk away feeling like, "Man, there's no way I can be that good." However, Elder Groberg's portrayal of himself as a missionary seems quite ordinary. He has a lot of regula
This book contained some fascinating missionary experiences from John H. Groberg's mission to Tonga. I wouldn't recommend this necessarily to the non-Mormon crowd, because to fully understand the book and many of the references made by the author, the reader would need to have a more than rudimentary understanding of LDS doctrine / theology / culture.

I enjoyed reading about the experiences, but I found some of the actual writing / organization to be lacking; the book was organized largely chron
Kelsi Luna-llanes
This book is really good. We have a guy that is from Idaho and loving his family and his life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, Jean and an amazing family. Then he is called to serve a two year mission for the LDS church. He is called to serve on the beautiful island of Tonga. As soon as John Starts his exciting mission, he is faced with many trials that test him and what he believes in. He even comes close to death with all the things that he has to overcome. These things only make him stronger t ...more
(After a seemingly endless stint of four and five star ratings, I was hoping to find in this a book to which I could give three stars, bringing my average down. After all, how do you appreciate the really good books if you give everything such high ratings? Alas, I was too touched and inspired by this book, and couldn't give it less than four.)

This book has been divided into easy-to-read-in-a-sitting chapters, which feel like mission stories read over the pulpit. The writing wasn't spectacular,
Raechel Flowers
Characters: 4

The main characters in this novel were the narrator John, and his companion Feki. John does not describe himself much, but the reader can tell much information about him and his personality by the way he writes and how he reacts to certain situations. One thing I noticed about him, is that he is a very deep thinker, and very optimistic. He would sometimes get discouraged, but still "[He] was still contemplating and reflecting, marveling and thanking" (Groberg 225). No matter what ca
John H. Groberg's recollections from his mission to Tonga in the 1950's is filled with great experiences, and profound reflections upon his years there. many of the lessons he learned in his early twenties are lessons I am just now trying to incorporate into my life. Fortunately for the well-being of my ego, he openly admits that it is a shame that those lessons he learned don't easily stick and have to be relearned again and again.

What keeps the book balanced is that, in the midst of this seemi
this is an amazing true story of a young 19-year-old man who goes to Tonga on an LDS mission. he must have had a great upbringing because he brought with him all of the tools that make a successful leader and missionary. I got to learn about Tongan culture, hurricanes, traveling between islands and all it's harrowing experience. most importantly I learned how attitude makes all the difference when going through the tough times.
I liked the book much better than the movie. It was a little tedious in format--simply because many of the experiences were similar and he used the same pattern for each chapter throughout the book--share insights briefly, share the experience, share what he learned from the experience. All were valuable and uplifting lessons, there were simply a lot of them. I read some other books after I finished about 3/4 of this book, then I came back and finished it with fresh eyes.

However, I liked it bet
Her served his mission in Tonga. Rats ate off the soles of his feet. He became fluent in a foreign language, survived a hurricane, nearly starved to death, nearly drown, brought a dead child back to life, met the King and Queen (who later joined the Church) . . . but the most remarkable thing about the book for me was how much I could relate to the feelings and experiences he described. Fresno, California is worlds apart from Tonga, but things happened to me while serving a mission that are extr ...more
It's been awhile since I read this, but this is an interesting look into the atmosphere, and attitudes of the Pacific Islands at the time that Mr. Groberg served as an LDS missionary (the 1960s?) He had many hardships and adjustments to make. Don't expect it to be a romance (the picture from the movie is deceptive). He gets a few letters from his girl back home. A couple yucky moments when rats are gnawing on his toes and a girl "throws" herself at him. (for older teens and up)
I really liked the book overall. I enjoyed the many stories and insights of Elder Groberg's experience. And I do believe a 19-year-old can have insights that deep, especially given the experiences he had. There were a lot of neat experiences in the book that were very inspiring!

I liked how that each chapter was a story, so I could just pick it up and read just a chapter and not feel that tugging of "Oh, what will happen next?" It was nice, since I don't always have the opportunity to read a bunc
I really enjoy the movie, The Other Side of Heaven. But there are parts in the movie that make me think, "There's more to that." And I became curious as to how much the movie deviates from the reality of Elder Groberg's mission experience. So I started into the book, originally published as "In the Eye of the Storm." I was truly surprised at how much the movie followed the actual events. The biggest difference was that while in the movie, Elder Groberg was on the same island with the same people ...more
Fred D
Apr 10, 2008 Fred D rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: religion, biography
Account of LDS Church leader John H. Goberg's Mission to Tonga when he was a young man back in the 1950's. Classic fish-out-of-water story filled with many humorous culture-shock anecdotes. More importantly though, I was utterly amazed and awed by his amazing experiences. He nearly died several times, always apparently miraculously preserved. He brought a boy back to life afer falling out of a tree, nearly starved to death, nearly drowned, and faced innumerable other obstacles as he went about h ...more
Chrisann Justice
I absolutely love this book. I'd already watched the movie when I first read the book but I was so glad to have read the book. It of course had many things and explained events better than any movie could. So inspiring!!!
More than just incredible stories, Groberg moved me to put more faith into my own life. The lessons he learned in just a few years of missionary service take most of us a lifetime to understand. The sequel is just as powerful.
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, and definitely more than the movie. Groberg had some incredible experiences and as much as I loved reading about each one I loved even more the insights he gained from his time in the Pacific. I know my own upcoming experience will be different but this was a great read in preparation for my departure (I'm moving to the Marshall Islands to teach English for a year). I think I'll appreciate it even more when I get back.
I do not believe in coincidences. There is a God in Heaven that is aware of us and our unique situations. This book gives an interesting insight to that through one young mans journey of faith.
Tom Lindsey
I think when I read this it was called, "In the eye of the storm".

This book is really fantastic. Maybe one day I'll write my mission memoirs?
I found this on the shelf and had a vague memory of seeing at least part of it in a movie. I'm glad I took the time to read this. Not only does Groberg's story offer insight into a people and culture I knew little about, but it is also very inspirational. It was most interesting to see how mission rules have changed over time- and how much trust and responsibility he had. I came away with greater appreciation for those who serve in remote places throughout the world and the pioneers they convert ...more
Ryan and I read this together. We really enjoyed the format, it was more a collection of his experiences than a time-line story.
I read this book when it was called "The Eye of the Storm" which I actually thought was a much more fitting title. If you've seen the movie, forget what you saw (awful movie) - this book is so insightful and worthwhile! My favorite part are the little "commentaries" during each experience where the author tells you what he observed and learned from what he was facing at the time - how to appreicate a culture so very different - how to love - how to get answers from prayer, and so much more. One ...more
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movie 1 16 Apr 07, 2008 11:25AM  
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Elder John H. Groberg has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since April 1976. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served as a Regional Representative. He is the author of The Other Side of Heaven which is the basis for a movie by the same title.
More about John H. Groberg...
Fire of Faith: The Memoirs of John H. Groberg Anytime, Anywhere Refuge and Reality: The Blessings of the Temple Refuge and Reality: The Blessings of the Temple A Christmas on The Other Side Of Heaven

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