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BYU Magazine’s Most-Viewed Articles of 2020


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Last year, readers sent BYU Magazine’s website views to new heights by reading up on the First Vision, BYU’s athletic GOATs, and the loneliness pandemic. Check out the top-10 most-viewed articles—including a blockbuster that’s been read more than any other in BYU Magazine history.

10. King of Zoom

While many students started dressing down when Zoom classes became the norm, MBA student Trevor Lemmons dressed up and over-the-top—as a cow, a snorkeler, a Ninja Turtle, and in a dozen other costumes.

A laptop in an empty conference room with a Zoom screen showing BYU MBA student Trevor Lemmons dressed up as Wilson the volleyball from the movie Cast Away, with a Zoom background showing Tom Hanks's character beside him.
When school went remote, Trevor Lemmons made the most of it by dressing up each day in a different costume, including as Wilson the volleyball of Cast Away fame.

9. Seeing Each Other Deeply

Wise words from NYT columnist David Brooks: The merger of self—forgetting where you end and something else begins—can take you beyond happiness to joy.

An illustration of two men embracing.

8. Who Is the BYU GOAT?

There are dozens of contenders for greatest Cougar athlete of all time. Try to pick just one.

Opening image for a magazine article titled,

7. Loneliness: The Shadow Pandemic

Two BYU psychology professors have found that our relationships impact our physical health so profoundly that chronic loneliness and isolation can be as dangerous as a pack-a-day smoking habit.

An illustration of a man with a lonely background of blue sky and white clouds. The man pulls back the

6. Lessons from 1918

A century ago BYU took on a worldwide pandemic that upended campus in remarkably similar ways to COVID-19.

A Classroom of BYU students in 1919 wearing white medical masks
In January 1919 BYU students assembled in College Hall wear hygienic masks to help prevent the spread of a post-war flu pandemic. Classes had been canceled from October to December 1918. Photo courtesy L. Tom Perry Special Collections, UAP 2 F-092.

5. Black at BYU

What is it like to navigate the reality of being a Black person on an overwhelmingly White campus? Students, alumni, faculty, and staff share stories of hope, struggle, and paths forward.

Photo by Bradley Slade

4. Phone Smarts

Want to be a better device user? BYU experts say to focus more on how you use it and less on how much.

An illustration of someone a pyramid with a deck of cards. One of the cards looks like a smartphone.

3. Permission to Laugh

Their life together might feel tragic if it weren’t also so . . . funny. How Chris and Lisa Clark continued laughing through their tears.

Chris and Lisa Clark posing together in the road in front of their home.
Photo by Bradley Slade

2. Fire from Heaven: The First Vision and Its Aftermath

Truman Madsen’s classic talk and six artistic takes by artists with BYU connections tell the story of the First Vision in honor of its 200th anniversary.

A painting of the First Vision of Joseph Smith, engulfed in spiritual fire as he witnesses God the Father introduce His Son Jesus Christ.
The First Visions (2019), by Anthony R. Sweat. BYU professor of Church history and doctrine Anthony Sweat has put his art training to work as he teaches his students, applying his brush to lesser-known or sometimes misrepresented historical events. His depiction of the First Vision harmonizes nine historical accounts of the event (four given by Joseph Smith and five recorded by contemporaries). It includes such elements as angels, the light depicted as fire, and the Father and Son at staggered positions, suggesting that They didn’t appear at the same time. Finally, the grove is shown with sparse foliage, as it would have been in early spring.

1. When Women Don’t Speak

In the most-viewed BYU Magazine article of all time, BYU researchers share a groundbreaking study that shows what it takes for a woman to truly be heard.

An illustration of a group of quote bubbles. All are grey except one that is orange and is a quote bubble in the shape of a woman's head.

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