"Will you please read that again?"
For the second time, David I. Hansen, President of the Nevada Stake, read to Albert Gubler a letter from the First Presidency of the Church. It was a call for Ab to be Bishop of the Lund Ward. President Hansen had read it correctly the first time! The incredulous expression on Ab's face changed to amazement, then to overwhelming humility, and finally to meek yet firm decision. "I'll try," he told the brethren in authority over him.
This event took place 5 Sep 1971. One week later Ab was unanimously sustained as the sixteenth Bishop of the Lund Ward. A similar vote placed Roy Faught as First Counselor and Robert Oxborrow as Second Counselor. Sacrament meeting attendance that day was 127!
Albert Samuel Gubler (Ab) was born 3 Sep 1902 in Lund, Nevada, to Jacob John Gubler and Agnes Mary Horsley, pioneers from Santa Clara, Utah. Ab was the fourth of eleven children. He attended grade school and two years of high school in Lund--all that was available at the time. He went to Logan, Utah and completed three years of accounting and business administration. Next, in Salt Lake City, he completed a year's course at American Telegraph College and a year at Henegars Business College then began clerking in hotels at Pocatello, Salt Lake City, E|y, and Santa Cruz.
Ab married Nettie Ione Hermansen, 28 June 1929. In the fall of 1936, while splitting wood, a splinter struck Ab's right eye and the sight was lost. This ended accounting. In late November he bought a farm in Lund. On 29 Dec 1936, Ione passed away after having suffered with heart trouble for many years. In the spring of 1937, Ab began making over his farm and started buying livestock.
On 6 June 1942, Ab married Margaret Agnes Piercy. They have two children - Albert Samuel Gubler, Jr. of Lund, and Mrs. Charles Thomas Ervin (Gertrude Marion) of Orem, Utah. There are five grandsons and one grand daughter. In 1950, Margaret joined the Church. Ab was inactive until Project Temple and on 1 May 1965 Ab and Margaret were sealed in the St. George Temple. Attending the Temple has given them many spiritual blessings.
On 18 July 1965, Ab was sustained as Ward Clerk. This position he faithfully held until 10 Oct 1971. On 21 Sep 1971, Ab was ordained a High Priest and set apart as Bishop of the Lund Ward by Elder ElRay L. Christiansen.
A rare blessing came 13 Nov 1971 when Ab attended a Solemn Assembly in the St. George Temple. Three years later another such meeting was attended in Reno. Two Prophets, Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball have made lasting impressions through these important, solemn meetings.
Roy Faught and Robert Oxborrow were released from their positions on the Bishopric 25June 1972. On this date, Robert was sustained as First Counselor and Roy Gene Horsley sustained as Second Counselor. On 28 Jan 1973, Roy Gene was released and Max Gordon Reid sustained in his place. The next year on 15 Dec 1974, Wayne Gardner was released as Ward Clerk and Frank Lafayette Reid sustained.
Interviews with young people have particularly affected Ab. He has considered each one important whether for baptism, a Priesthood office, MIA personal interview, a missionary, for college entrance, etc. Excursions make Ab feel proud. Our young people conduct themselves well and 1973 was a "banner" year as two excursions totaled 877 baptisms for the dead. Temple recommend interviews have become more stringent yet always a satisfaction for Ab in realizing Ward members are striving to live the Gospel.
Many things keep a Bishop busy. There are Stake and Regional meetings. Ab attends them all. He has served under two Stake Presidencies. He has been honored with requests to offer prayer at both high school and grade school graduations. He has performed many ordinations. Nine couples have been married by his authority. Six missionaries have served during his term and a seventh committed. Ab has, with his Counselors, tried to visit members who are sick or have sorrow in their homes.
One of the most difficult duties is conducting funerals. So far, there have been 31 and Ab has conducted 28 of them. Many wonderful people and close friends have passed away during this time.
For about twenty years, little had been done to the Lund Ward Building. Ab brought about several major improvements: the east roof has been completely changed, the entire roof painted, ceilings have been insulated, the chapel painted and carpeted, new choir seats installed and new folding doors in the foyer. New outside doors have been ordered and Ab hopes to renovate all concrete work very soon walks, steps, and a ramp made.
When Ab became Bishop, the Ward was under financial stress. He and Philip Carter donated calves and brought relief. Through growth in financial support by loyal members, the Ward's status improved. This was in answer to prayer and careful planning. Ward families donated $472 towards the St. George Temple's new fence in Oct 1975. There exists a savings account from generous member donations for a Ward Building Fund. Ab wants much needed classrooms, a Junior Sunday School and Seminary room, and a library added on to the building.
This Bishop comes to meetings half an hour early. He believes fellowshipping is important, and his gripping handshake is one of heartfelt sincerity. He says, "There are a lot of wonderful, faithful workers in this Ward. Every project, every phase of growth and spirituality we accomplish comes about through devoted members. I wish I could mention them all in this history."
Many memorable occasions have taken place. Ab attended the dedication of the St. George Temple 12 Nov 1975, and also the 100th anniversary of the dedication on 6 Apr 1977. Certainly a highlight for all Bishops is the new revelation giving worthy members of the Church equal opportunities.
The Bishop's office has become a sort of haven. Kneeling in prayer alone or with others has become a habit. Here Ab learned the meaning of President Hansen's caution, "Bishop, you will hear and learn things that will go with you to the grave. They will never be uttered to a living soul. That honest, personal confidence you must give to your Ward members."
Ab says, "I made covenants in the Temple and though I felt inadequate, I accepted the call to be Bishop. I know this Church is true and if a man strives to do his best to keep the Lord's commandments and honor his Priesthood, the Lord will help him."
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