Youth branch provides a gathering place for Chicago-area Mormons

For Katie Mellor, a job offer from Chicago-based Leo Burnett came at an awkward time.

Her parents had just returned from a three-year church mission in Spain. Her brother and sister-in-law were expecting a baby. Everything the 23-year-old Mormon had ever known centered on her family and her spiritual life in Salt Lake City.

But Mellor couldn't shake the feeling that she should be in Chicago.

"I knew I needed to trust the Lord and that he knew the path I needed to be on," Mellor told a congregation of fellow young Mormons recently. "I kept moving forward and praying."

Mellor is one of about 100 single people aged 18 to 30 who attend a branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints designed specifically for them, said Joe Kozlarek, the branch's president. Although community service is the primary goal of the branch, Kozlarek said, "if they happen to find a mate, that's great too."
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