Best of Show
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“Best of Show,” Friend, Jan. 2007, 28–30

Best of Show

(Based on a true story)

Look up the following scriptures: 2 Peter 1:7, Moroni 7:47, D&C 121:9. Which one do you think fits the story best? Write that scripture on the blank lines.

“Please hurry, Mom, we’re going to be late!” Matthew said as he carried his science project to the car. As Mom opened the car door, Matthew very carefully placed the bright blue poster and experiments in the backseat.

On the ride to school Mom said, “Matthew, I’m very proud of you for the hard work you did.”

“Thanks, Mom, but do you think there’s a chance that maybe … just maybe … I could win first place?” Matthew asked.

Mom smiled. “I’m sure all the other students worked hard on their projects too and the judges would love to give each one a blue ribbon.”

“But, Mom, only one person can get the $15 prize in physical science, and I sure hope it’s me! I know just the skateboard I want to get,” Matthew said excitedly. “With the prize money and what I’ve saved, I’ll have enough to buy the skateboard.”

When they got to school, Mom helped Matthew inside with his project. Matthew quickly saw that there was more competition than he had anticipated—the gym was full of projects for earth science, animal science, plant science, and physical science.

As Matthew and his mom walked down the long aisles between tables, they found a project that caught Matthew’s attention. “This is Aaron’s,” he said. The project was on leukemia, a disease Aaron was battling. “Aaron wears a baseball cap every day, and sometimes he sits out during P.E. instead of playing with us,” Matthew said. He could tell Aaron had worked really hard to get so much information and pictures for his project.

A voice came booming over the loudspeaker instructing students to report to class.

“Wish me luck!” Matthew said to his mom as he turned and waved good-bye.

The judges were to make their decisions after school, and then there would be a program later that night to present the prizes in each category. The day seemed long, but the time finally came.

As Matthew and his mom approached the school that evening, one of his friends called out, “Hey, Matt! I think you won!”

Matthew beamed. “Mom, do you think that’s true?” He pulled his mom faster and faster toward the gym. When they walked in, people stood all around his project. Matthew ran up to the table. There, hanging on the corner of the poster board, was the biggest blue ribbon he had ever seen.

“Matthew, you did it!” Mom exclaimed.

Matthew was so excited he didn’t know what to say. His friends patted him on the back and congratulated him. Then he remembered Aaron. He ran to see if Aaron had won in his category, and pinned to his project was another big blue ribbon!

As the program began, an announcer said, “In one week, there will be a benefit dinner for Aaron to help him raise money for medical expenses. Everyone is welcome. Any donations will be appreciated.”

Then one of the judges started naming winners. “From the physical science category, the winner of the $15 prize is Matthew!”

The judge held the check up high as Matthew made his way to the front and accepted it. He couldn’t wait to show it to his mom.

“Do you know what I want to do with this money?” he whispered to her.

“Yes,” Mom said. “I’ll take you shopping tomorrow to get that skateboard.”

“No, Mom,” Matthew said. “I want to give this money to Aaron.”

Surprised, Mom looked down at Matthew. “I think that’s a wonderful idea.”

Matthew was so excited that he barely heard the announcement of the last award. “The Best of Show goes to Matthew,” the judge called. Matthew jumped from his seat again and ran to get the beautiful plaque.

The next week, Matthew went to the benefit dinner with his mom and placed his prize money in the fishbowl of donations. On the way home, Mom said, “Matthew, that was a very kind, unselfish thing you did.”

Matthew smiled. “It felt better to give it away than it did to win it.”

That night he looked up at his bulletin board as he lay in bed. Hanging next to his favorite baseball card was his big blue ribbon and plaque for Best of Show. He knew that each time he saw them, he would remember how it felt to make a small difference. He would think of his friend Aaron and hope that a cure for leukemia would be found.


President James E. Faust

“Our search for happiness largely depends on the … degree of selflessness we acquire [and] the amount and quality of service we render.”
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Our Search for Happiness,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 6.

Illustrations by Mark Robison