The handcart Saints were allowed no more than 17 Ibs. each of belongings (this included bedding and cooking utensils). The handcart captains were serious about the limit. They knew what the handcarts would be passing through and because they knew this, instituted a weigh-in. Today we own more junk then we are willing to admit. One look in the garage knowing that the family vehicle can’t fit in the garage might clue us into this. Knowing how we attach ourselves to our stuff, I’m sure we all agree that we would be horrible handcart saints. Seventeen lbs. is nothing, even for those days. Knowing this, what did the Saints do to cheat the weigh-in?
a. Hide belongings and load them on latter after the weigh-in
b. Have relatives send by pony express packages of belongings to the Salt Lake Valley
c. Protest until the hand cart captains gave in
d. Dressed in extra clothes
D William Bernhisel
From the life of John M. Bernhisel: When he was forty-four, Bernhisel was sealed to ten deceased female friends and relatives by Joseph Smith, but he did not enter into a temporal marriage until 1845, when he married Julia Ann Haight Van Orden, a forty-year-old widow with six children.
Richard S. Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker, A Book of Mormons, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1982), 16.