David H. Yarn Essay Contest

Philosophical Essay Contest Winter 2020

Winners announced!

David H. Yarn, Jr. began teaching religion at Brigham Young University in 1946.  Having received the personal encouragement of Harold B. Lee, then of the Council of the Twelve, and of LeGrand Richards, then Presiding Bishop, Brother Yarn interrupted his teaching career to study philosophy at Columbia University.  Upon completing his doctorate degree, he returned to BYU and, on 1 August 1950, initiated the program in philosophy that continues to this day.  When he retired in 1985, Brother Yarn had been a professor of philosophy and theology for nearly four decades.  He has served as Dean of the College of Religious Instruction, as President of the BYU Eighth Stake, as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, and as President of the Atlanta Georgia Temple; he has also held numerous other ecclesiastical and professional offices.  Brother Yarn has written or edited more than a dozen books and about fifty articles.  He has delivered hundreds of special lectures on philosophical and religious topics.  Throughout his life he has been an outstanding example of the highest gospel principles.

In recognition of Brother Yarn’s dedicated service, the Department of Philosophy is pleased to offer the David H. Yarn Essay Contest. Entries are based on any philosophical topic and exceptional writing of 3,000-5,000 words. Winners are submitted to our Aporia student journal and receive cash prizes.

2020 Winners:

  • First Place: Jacob Spencer

“A Defense of the Metaphysics of the Divine Simplicity as Explained by Thomas Aquinas” 

  • Second Place: Logan Packer

“The Invisible Exemplar” 

  • Third Place: Christian Lyman

“From Virtue to Freedom: The History of Happiness”