I remember when I starting attending Church that many members, mostly woman carried around large white cardboard tote boxes filled with materials, usually for primary or young women. I tried in vain to find a picture of one of these beauties, but they are no longer sold by the Church and nothing came up during my Internet searches. The men, on the other hand, carried authoritative-looking briefcases and not necessarily those in leadership positions. Just like at work. I can’t say that I ever saw a sister with a briefcase!
There are also those distinctive scripture totes that immediately identify one as a Latter-day Saint. In most other churches they carry one book, the Bible, so often do not need a scripture tote to manage their scriptures. But we have either two books, a Bible and a Triple Combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price), or one large quad, containing all four books of scriptures (five, if you are really picky). Our scriptures come in many sizes and styles, from the small that no one over 40 can read, to the large print edition quad that takes a wheelbarrow or luggage cart to move around.
Anyway, times have changed. Gone are the white boxes and now we have canvas totes, in all styles and varieties! Usually natural canvas color that can be embroidered (Relief Society Enrichment night project) with names or familiar Church mottos like Choose the Right (CTR), Families Can Be Forever, etc. Rainbows are a big favorite as well.
So, just what is in those things? Lesson materials, scriptures, food for the kiddies?
Lest I forget, the perennial diaper bag, which then sometimes makes the Sisters look like a pack mules with the diaper bag, tote bag and purse slung over each shoulder while the husband and kids have their little scripture totes to carry. My wife, the Relief Society President carries a blue, plastic woven basket tote that must weigh 50 pounds! I try to carry it for her or get my son to do it.
I usually just have my handy green, super deluxe scripture tote unless I am teaching and need my backpack and projector. Then I take on the pack mule sort of appearance.
So, what is in your tote?
Oh, and by the way, those guys with the briefcases, they still carry them.