I go to gyms regularly and I am presently a privileged member of the Deseret Gym (I say privileged because I do believe that to be a member at such an excellent facility is indeed a privilege and a pleasure). I would like to assert that there has never been even one time in my life that I have left a gymnasium or workout facility feeling worse than when I entered. How many other institutions and organizations can I identify that consistently yields such a spiritual dividend? Not very many.
It is a plausible argument that a gymnasium is not what a church is in the business of maintaining - if such an argument were purported. Nevertheless, it can equally be argued, as even many theology majors will assent to, that even the old Hindu religion of yoga had a great deal of respect for physical spirituality, emphasizing health such as proper diet, fasting, meditation, rest, stretch, etc. Often, we Americans, as consummate consumers, think we can buy our way to health with fad diets, medications, rising cost of medical bills, etc., but the preventive measures are here for the asking at not that much of an economical price.Attending a gym or creating the availability of such an institution is a question of fundamental "values." The real question is what values does an organization want to support and appropriate the necessary resources. I doubt that in this city, with a reputation for excellence in medicine and health, that too many community leaders are going to sit by and not notice this debate about gym facilities in the downtown area.
I think that the Deseret Gym is one of the finest health clubs that I have ever been a member of. With health, anything human is possible. You cannot climb a mountain and you cannot grab a star if you do not have an opportunity to exercise your visions.
Brian L. Becker
Salt Lake City