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There are many open questions in nuclear physics which only lattice QCD may be able to answer. A particularly useful application is understanding experimental probes of new physics which utilize nuclei as "laboratories", such as searches for neutrinoless double beta decay. The first step toward building a bridge between the underlying theory, QCD, and nuclear observables is full control over the two-nucleon system. Unfortunately, the history of two-nucleon calculations has generated more questions than answers. In particular, there is a controversy in the literature between calculations performed using different theoretical techniques, even for calculations far from the physical point, chosen due to the exponentially simpler computational properties. In this talk, I will present the history and challenges behind two-nucleon calculations in lattice QCD, as well as advances in understanding and controlling the associated systematics.