Bernard traveled to California in 1849 by ship and across Panama. His wife was in the Wilford Woodruff company of 1850. She died on the plains. Bernard arrived in Salt Lake City in 1852. At the time of the 1856 Utah Territorial census he was living in the Salt Lake City 12th Ward.
At the end of a mission, Bernard returned home with the John W. Berry Company in 1858. He served as Captain of the Guard.