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Motto of Utah quadriplegic author works for everyone, ‘When life gets too hard to stand, just keep on rolling’

By Stephanie Abney

Meg Johnson, a Utah transplant from Idaho, is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a sought-after motivational speaker, author and artist. She is also a quadriplegic. Johnson shares her sunny outlook on getting through life’s rough spots in a new book, “When Life Gets Hard …,” published by Covenant Communications.

When Johnson was 22 years old, she went to St. George with a friend and they were exploring the red rock mountains for which St. George is famous. She was leaping from rock to rock when she fell off a 35-foot cliff. She would never leap again.

After a few months in the hospital, Johnson returned home to embrace her new abilities. The fall left her a quadriplegic. Even though she can move her arms, her hands remain paralyzed and she lacks the use of her back and abdominal muscles. This barely seems to slow her down as Johnson has discovered new ways to get things done.

“When Life Gets Hard …” is filled with personal experiences of how Johnson learned to move on after her accident. Her insights may prove useful to anyone, regardless of their struggles. Video clips of how she manages her daily tasks now, from keeping house, driving, grocery shopping and cooking to putting on her makeup are on her website at

Weber County presented the ATHENA Leadership Award to Johnson this year. It is given for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Johnson inspires men and women of all ages with her speeches, books and video messages.

Managing to hold a paintbrush between her hand, Johnson has illustrated and written a children’s book, “The Coolest Day.” She also has a CD out by the same name as her book, which live talk to a Relief Society group in West Bountiful.

“The book, on the same theme, includes different and more stories,” says Johnson. She also tells how gratitude and service have helped her throughout her life, especially since becoming paralyzed. “The hospital fixed me, but service healed me.”

Stephanie Abney, a retired teacher and freelance writer, lives in Mesa, Ariz., with her husband Jim. They have five children and 18 grandchildren. Her email is and she blogs at

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