Even More Islands and Atolls

Do women preside at church? @ Exponent
  -  Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash Our church places a huge emphasis on the word...

I Know. @ Exponent
  -                     When I was young, I felt...

A look at the UCC Statement of Faith @ Approaching Justice
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Amazing Grace @ Exponent
  -  You might have seen this video when it came out a couple of years ago, but it’s one...

Perfect vs. Enough @ Exponent
  -   I don’t like to learn new things. I like to be already good at things. I’d...

Family Back-to-school Blessings @ Exponent
  -  photo courtesy of ordain women.org A few weeks ago, as the first day of school approached...

Breaking News: Rogue Apostles Plot Take Down of the LDS Church @ kiwimormon
  -  Reports are circulating that rogue Apostles are plotting the take down of the Church of...

Support for our Sisters at FemWoc & FMH @ Exponent
  -  It’s important to amplify this message of support for our sisters at FemWoc Written...

Persisters in Zion/Daughters of Exponent: a Medley @ Exponent
  -     Every year at the Exponent retreat I find myself belting it out at the talent...

Where Did God Go? @ kiwimormon
  -  On a hot late July evening, a group of us were gathered together at Little America in...

On Temples (a religious post) @ Ethesis
  -  I wrote this: https://wheatandtares.org/2017/09/07/asking-about-the-temple/ It follows...

On the 160th Anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre @ kiwimormon
  -  Guest post by Ganesh Cherian, Wellington, New Zealand. On September 11th the LDS Church...

Trump and His Anti-Family Policies: Hurting Mormon Families @ Exponent
  -  Guest post by Chocolate Chip Biscuit   The latest news with Trump’s move to...

Gospel Doctrine Commentary: The Martyrdom of Joseph Smith @ kiwimormon
  -    Guest post by Ganesh Cherian.  Wellington, New Zealand One of the greatest murder...

Exponent II Writing Contest 2018 @ Exponent
  -  For this year’s writing contest, Exponent II wants to honor the women who have provided...

Losing a Lost Tribe @ Mormon Heretic
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President Erying, His Father, and the Letter @ LDS Science Review
  -  In two different General Conference addresses, President Henry B. Eyring has briefly...

September Young Women Lesson: Why do we fast? @ Exponent
  -   FOREWORD: There are some things to be aware of when teaching a lesson on fasting...

Bad Theology in the Nashville Statement @ Approaching Justice
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Donald Trump is Nothing If Not Meticulous About Facts @ LDS Science Review
  -  At yesterday's press conference, when asked why he didn't condemn the hate groups...

When Modesty is a Matter of Life & Death @ Mormon Heretic
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The Paper Plates of Laban @ Worlds Without End
  -   Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for Yahweh, who...

A Common Faith @ Approaching Justice
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Bethel and Progressive Christianity @ Approaching Justice
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How to Be a Mormon in Good Standing: Keep Your Mouth Shut @ kiwimormon
  -  Dirty laundry In 2012 I received a distraught phone call from a local church leader. He...

Baptist Church Problems with Race @ Mormon Heretic
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5 Marks of Theological Liberalism: a Liberal Responds @ Approaching Justice
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Thomas B. Marsh: A Tale of Being Offended or an Act of Integrity? @ kiwimormon
  -  Belonging is a big part of our validation as people. Our groupings give us a sense of...

Coke on Campus @ Mormon Heretic
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Sanders and the Religious Test @ Approaching Justice
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BYU/Studio C’s Interracial Couple @ Mormon Heretic
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On Paris and Tribal Politics @ LDS Science Review
  -  I don't have much to say about President Trump's announcement today that the U.S. will...

Is it Time for Monson to Retire? @ Mormon Heretic
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Religious Voters and the Democrats @ Approaching Justice
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Stop Blaming Victims @ Approaching Justice
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When Will We Ever Learn @ Approaching Justice
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Incommensurable Differences? @ Approaching Justice
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Rich Brown: Speak to the Bones @ Mormon Heretic
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Mormon McDonald’s: An Allegory @ kiwimormon
  -  For a lot of people, McDonald's is enough. They could eat McDonald's all their lives and...

The Arrogance of False Expertise on Church Disaffection @ kiwimormon
  -  These days the LDS Church is trotting out expert after expert on why people leave the...

Indigenous People are More Than their Dance @ kiwimormon
  -  The LDS church recently released an inspirational short reminding us that it’s not...

Dear Mormon Patriarchy @ kiwimormon
  -      Dear Mormon Patriarchy, I hereby and absolutely revoke any consents taken...

Being Grateful for Boring Church @ Mormon Heretic
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FIRM: The Misleading of Latter-day Saints by Latter-day Saints @ LDS Science Review
  -  Last week, while on vacation, my attention was called to an article in the Salt Lake...

Having “The Talk” with your Parents @ Mormon Heretic
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Drunk Driving in Utah @ Mormon Heretic
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Lesson in church today @ Ethesis
  -   -Women need to be faithful to themselves.:how do they do that?:how do...

Bible Lessons @ Ethesis
  -   May you be like Ruth and like Esther, Marry someone of a different race, All will...

Mitt Romney Supports A Carbon Tax / Dividend @ LDS Science Review
  -  Earlier this month, Mitt Romney posted the following message on Twitter:Thought-provoking...

The day my dad got arrested @ Ethesis
  -  In the hospital. While donating blood. There was a police officer bleeding out, and...

Embrace the Weirdness: Review of ‘The Garden of Enid, Part 2’ @ Worlds Without End
  -  Review of Scott Hales, The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl, Part Two...

BYU and the Reconstruction of the Legend of the First Vision @ LDS Science Review
  -  Last year Richard Bushman generated a bit of a stir when he said,I think that for the...

Day 1: Official Propaganda Begins @ LDS Science Review
  -  On the first day of his presidency, Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, called a...

Obama Did a Really Crappy Job.... @ LDS Science Review
  -  ...of taking away our guns....of setting up death panels....of instituting Sharia...

Joseph Fielding Smith and the Milk Mystery @ LDS Science Review
  -  I have a collection of draft posts in various phases of completion, most of which will...

Shaping History: Joseph Fielding Smith Milks a Cow @ LDS Science Review
  -  I have a collection of draft posts in various phases of completion, most of which will...

A Colorful God: Review of ‘The Garden of Enid’ @ Worlds Without End
  -  Review of Scott Hales, The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl, Part One...

Glenn Beck is Sorry for Paving the Way for Trump @ LDS Science Review
  -  In case you missed it, after years of stoking the paranoia of the right about Barack...

My Post-Election Takeaway @ LDS Science Review
  -  Like just over half of Americans, I am quite distressed and disturbed by the election of...

The Policy on Gay Couples, and the Priesthood Ban: A Comparison @ Worlds Without End
  -  I’ve heard people wonder what relationship there might be between the Church’s policy...

Christ’s Unassuming Kingdom: A Review of “One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly” @ Worlds Without End
  -  A preliminary note on audience: I’m new to the blog as a writer, but I’ve...

The Vision of All: A Review @ Worlds Without End
  -  Review of Joseph M. Spencer, The Vision of All: Twenty-Five Lectures on Isaiah in...

MHA 2017 Call for Papers Deadline Extended @ Worlds Without End
  -  Dear members and friends of the Mormon History Association: Due to recent requests, we...

The Church Has No Official Position on Evolution - New Era @ LDS Science Review
  -  The Church's October 2016 issue of the New Era magazine says the following about...

Council of Fifty minutes: anti-American sentiment, theocratic aspirations, and institutional transparency @ Worlds Without End
  -  Matthew J. Grow, Ronald K. Esplin, Mark Ashurst-McGee, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, and Jeffrey D....

Emma Smith’s ‘Elect Lady’ predecessors @ Worlds Without End
  -  As part of a discussion on the gospel topics essay on Women, Temple and Priesthood, I...

Joseph Fielding Smith: Time Will Level All Things @ LDS Science Review
  -  In the October 1952 General Conference, Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the...

“A nurturing environment for new ideas” @ Worlds Without End
  -  At the fountain by the Free Speech Monument at UoC Berkeley, June 2016 I have a guest...

@ Ethesis
  -   Most organizations face a dilemma. On the one hand, too much factionalism and...

@ Ethesis
  -   Getting Involved Wondering how to get involved? These resources can help you and your...

At the last day the King shall come ... @ Ethesis
  -   This moment does not define the refugees, but our response will help define...

Make America Better by Leaving - A Potent Image @ LDS Science Review
  -  My family and I visited the Statue of Liberty in the fall of 2011. The presidential race...

Lesson 12, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson @ Ethesis
  -   Chapter 12: “Seek the Spirit in All You Do” Teachings of Presidents of the Church:...

Book of Mormon Genetics: Good News and Bad News @ LDS Science Review
  -  As scientists have uncovered the genetic heritage of Native Americans, they've...

Working on a rough draft @ Ethesis
  -   Changes. Introduction There have been four changes in the Church in the last fifty...

Creationist Smackdown: Pterosaur Edition @ LDS Science Review
  -  While browsing The Guardian today, I came across a fun creationist smackdown. An article...

Lesson Eight -- Overcoming the Walls of our Minds. @ Ethesis
  -   “The purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring about love, unity,...

Memory, Simplification and Lies @ Ethesis
  -  I realized recently that by the standards of some people who insist that all...

The Basis for ABO Blood Typing Undermines Common Design @ LDS Science Review
  -  When Darwin first proposed the idea of common descent there seemed to be no evolutionary...

The Difference Between Ancestry and Race @ LDS Science Review
  -  The current issue of the journal Science has a policy article discussing the pitfalls of...

Earth's Warming Enters a New Pause @ LDS Science Review
  -  Richard Muller is a University of California, Berkeley physicist who took an interest in...

Rough Draft Interview of Jerilyn Hassell Pool @ Ethesis
  -   Welcome to the interview series Ms. Jerilyn Hassell Pool. You are famous in some...

Some Science and Medical Myths are Tough to Correct @ LDS Science Review
  -  Last month the journal Nature published a news article, The science myths that will not...

Finding Faith in Jesus Christ -- January 10th lesson @ Ethesis
  -  When you think about how Howard W. Hunter lost his job about seven months after getting...

On the passing of my father-in-law @ Ethesis
  -   In the end it comes to three things. Did we accept that we needed a Savior? Did we...

Why didn't anyone tell me -- about literal interpretation vs. allegory @ Ethesis
  -  Many people claim to believe "literally" in the Bible.  More or less.  They read it as...

Climate Science and the Republican Soviet-Style Dictatorship @ LDS Science Review
  -  The post title may be a little clickbaity, but the words aren't mine. Conservative New...

Sacrament talk, November 29, 2015 @ Ethesis
  -   Brothers and Sisters, the Apostle Paul wrote: o   But whether there be prophecies,...

Why I Love the LDS Church Enough to Both Criticize It AND Step Away From It @ Clean Cut
  -  In March (2015), on the 50th Anniversary of "the March" in Selma, Alabama, President...

A Call For Simple-Minded Mormons To Repent @ Clean Cut
  -  A family member just shared with me today a public Facebook post by a man named Dustin...

When The Mormon Church Was Dead Wrong And Too Stubborn to See It @ Clean Cut
  -  This past week I've experienced a roller coaster of emotions. My wife and I welcomed a...

The Evolutionary History of Whales Is Doing Fine, Thank You Very Much @ LDS Science Review
  -  Recently I became aware that the evolutionary history of whales is based on fraudulent...

Ben Carson and the Fallacy of the Providential Diet @ LDS Science Review
  -  If you paid any attention to last week's Republican primary debate and the subsequent...

Meat and Cancer: Let's Not Go Overboard @ LDS Science Review
  -  This morning as I was doing my news-browsing rounds, I came across the big news that the...

On LDS Historical Honesty/Dishonesty @ Clean Cut
  -  Last week Brian Whitney wrote a post which did a fine job of telling the...

The General Conference Buffet: Both Good AND Bad @ Clean Cut
  -  I really tried--God knows I tried--to not let my skeptical side taint my desire to simply...

Lesson 19 @ Ethesis
  -   In leading the Twelve, President Benson encouraged quorum members to express their...

Updated Temple Studies Bibliography with 8500+ Items @ Heavenly Ascents
  -  If you have not previously seen the incredible Temple Studies Bibliography put together...

LDS General Conference Is Great...Except For The Bad Parts @ Clean Cut
  -  A metaphor for the Church itself?Most Mormons view General Conference as quite a treat--I...

What I Wish We'd Hear In General Conference @ Clean Cut
  -  This is the testimony that rings most true to me now:"My agenda now is fairly simple: I...

Some thoughts on Constitution day @ Clean Cut
  -  I'm still inspired by the three most important words that begin a masterful preamble: "We...

Musings of an Independent Mormon-Christian-Agnostic-Theist @ Clean Cut
  -  A hodgepodge of thoughts about scripture, faith, and my conception of God (sparked by a...

Another Important New Book by Andrei Orlov, “The Atoning Dyad: The Two Goats of Yom Kippur in the Apocalypse of Abraham” @ Heavenly Ascents
  -  Prolific author Andrei A. Orlov, Professor of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at...

Two Great Scholars Speak to Interpreter Gathering @ Heavenly Ascents
  -  I had the opportunity to be at a gathering for the Interpreter online journal early in...

Brené Brown on Faith @ Clean Cut
  -  "Faith minus vulnerability and mystery equals extremism. If you've got all the answers,...

A book review of Fresh Courage Take @ Ethesis
  -   Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? 'Tis not so; all is right. Why should we...

Fabulous Insights From A Gay Mormon @ Clean Cut
  -  The ever insightful Mitch Mayne gave a truly fabulous interview at Wheat and Tares. Some...

Mitch Mayne Interview, rough draft (goes live on Wheat & Tares Thursday morning) @ Ethesis
  -   Mitch, you’ve become well known because of how you’ve interacted with the Church,...

Today's Lesson @ Ethesis
  -  I'm following our schedule in our local ward, and teaching the high priests, so my focus...

Lesson on the Family @ Ethesis
  -  “God intended the family to be eternal. With all my soul, I testify to the truth of...

Down at the [Y]MIA ... @ Ethesis
  -   For the last twenty-thirty years the Church has explored alternatives to scouting.  One...

Rough Draft of Nick Literski Interview @ Ethesis
  -  Nick Literski was a blogger at Mormon Matters, ran a site on LDS Temples and was married...

On Authentic Truth and Authentic Faith @ Clean Cut
  -  In 2001, Todd Compton wrote the following response to negative reviews about his book "In...

Lesson Thirteen -- The Temple as a reflection of people who love each other @ Ethesis
  -           President Benson said that a temple is “a symbol of all we hold...

Reflections on my life @ Ethesis
  -  I'm 59 years old.  Since I was about 14 or so I've known and interacted with a constant...

REVIEW: Re-Reading Job @ Improvement Era
  -  What matters more – understanding why people suffer, or knowing how we should...

Dear Elder Oaks and Brother Turley @ Clean Cut
  -  Dear Elder Oaks and Brother Turley:

Advocate For Mormon Intellectuals @ Clean Cut
  -  Dick and Gene PollA month ago I mentioned how I consider Richard "Dick"...

If you could ask the First Presidency a question--any question--what would you ask? @ Clean Cut
  -  "If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it...

The Beauty Of Owning Our Own Post-Certain Religious Life @ Clean Cut
  -  Brent Beal shared some profound insights about those of us who no longer claim to "know"...

Important New Monograph by Andrei A. Orlov, “Divine Scapegoats” @ Heavenly Ascents
  -  Andrei A. Orlov, Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism (Albany:...

The Calderwood's Concerns Should Be The Church's Collective Concerns @ Clean Cut
  -  "When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from...

The Truth: ALL Families Deserve To Be Strengthened @ Clean Cut
  -  The thirteenth Article of Faith states "we believe in doing good to all [mankind]."...

Decalogue for Dissenters @ Clean Cut
  -  The first Sunstone piece I may have ever read was likely Armand Mauss's "Alternate...

A Liahona Latter-day Saint @ Clean Cut
  -  I never knew Dr. Poll (pronounced Paul--the name was English) in person, but through...

The Church's Cardinal Sin of Blasphemy/Idolatry @ Clean Cut
  -  There's a well-known Book of Mormon story in which a humble prophet named Abinadi engages...

Lowry Nelson's Reflections on the State of Academic Freedom at BYU and the Personality of Heber J. Grant @ Clean Cut
  -  Last month I began reading the memoirs of brother Lowry Nelson. Immediately, the...

Polygamy was not, is not, and never will be of God @ Clean Cut
  -  My personal sense is that the LDS Church has paid (and will continue to pay) a high price...

Grace: Like An Oasis in the Desert @ Clean Cut
  -  Like an oasis in the desert, President Uchtdorf's sermon "The Gift of Grace" was itself,...

An Inconvenient Truth: Lowry Nelson was right; The First Presidency was wrong @ Clean Cut
  -   Darius Gray has inspired me to embrace the full truth, not just the convenient...

Recent Resources, Books and Articles of Interest for Ancient Studies and Scripture 1/12/15 @ Heavenly Ascents
  -  This is my second post (in what may become a regular series) of recent items (with links)...

Meditation on the Word @ Improvement Era
  -  Consider the word Elephant. If I break down the word Elephant, I find many parts. Three...

REVIEW: Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis–Deuteronomy @ Improvement Era
  -   Can a faithful Latter-day Saint accept the possibility that what are commonly called the...

Worlds Without Number @ Improvement Era
  -  One of the most beautiful and profound passages in Adam Miller’s Letters to a Young...

REVIEW: Letters to a Young Mormon @ Improvement Era
  -  The Neal A. Maxwell Institute has just released the first volume in their ‘Living...

Mourning With Those That Mourn: A Homily on the Lord’s Supper @ Improvement Era
  -  The following is adapted from a message I presented as a Sacrament Meeting talk in two...

Testimony tips @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Man, do I love the Book of Mormon.I have for some time. It is a key element of my...

Spiritual Sudoku @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I recently worked my first Sudoku puzzle. If you’re not familiar, Sudoku puzzles have...

On Being One @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  In yesterday’s High Priest group meeting, one of our members led us in a discussion of...

On reading a new copy of the Book of Mormon @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I don’t know how many times I’ve read the Book of Mormon. I imagine (conservatively)...

Balance @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I’m back.I’ve been on a self-imposed hiatus. There was some vacation time, some minor...

A flood of seminary @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I am returning to teach seminary again in the fall.  (I’d posted before that I was...

Testimony and Faith Journeys @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  As I think about my membership in the LDS church (nearly 37 years now), I realize that I...

A series on Addiction Recovery @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I was out last week at a family reunion, so did not post. While I was gone, Real Intent...

Mission Call Madness @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  A recent Salt Lake Tribune opinion piece about Bountiful HS grads who “announced”...

Spiritual Mentors @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  The kernel of the idea for this post came from a comment over at Real Intent. In response...

Revisiting electronic scriptures @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Some time ago, MMM did a great post on electronic vs paper scriptures and I joined...

Let's talk about sex @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  We had an awesome 5th Sunday lesson yesterday.  Our bishop taught us about teaching...

The Big Meeting @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Like many others, I watched the leadership training broadcast yesterday afternoon, and...

"We're just like you." @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  We had a special stake conference this past weekend. Four general authorities (including...

Provider, Protector and Plumber @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Yesterday was an awesome Father’s Day. I had calls and wishes from all my kids, a...

The Boomerang, My Father, and Me @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  When I was 11 or 12, my father and I embarked on a project to build a boomerang.I’m not...

35 Years Later -- Memories of the revelation on the priesthood @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Saturday was the 35th anniversary of the announcement of extension of priesthood...

The Best Kept Secret @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  In the last months of my mission, my companion’s brother was travelling through Europe...

Experience coaches vs. helicopter parenting @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Last week’s Wall Street Journal featured this story on parents’ serving as...

My conversion story @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  Encouraged by MMM’s 2nd Annual Hug a Convert Day, I am sharing my own conversion...

Wow, it's here early! @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  See that button over there to the right?  It looks just like this:If you click on...

Good things come in threes @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  No, this is not a follow up on my Three Good Things post from last week, but I suppose in...

In Defense of "The Orange Shirt" @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I’m still an avid reader of The Friend, even though my youngest graduated Primary last...

Three Good Things @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  I’m dealing with a rather long period of depression. I wrote about it at Real Intent a...

Listen to the still small voice! Listen. Listen. @ A Latter-day Voice
  -  In 12-step programs there are often promises associated with working the steps. ...

REVIEW: War and Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives @ Improvement Era
  -   Title: “War & Peace In Our Time: Mormon Perspectives” Editors: Patrick...

New Youth Curriculum, and the Digital Facilitation of New Revelation @ Improvement Era
  -    [Cross posted over at Worlds Without End: A Mormon Studies Roundtable, a wonderful...

REVIEW and MUSINGS – Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet @ Improvement Era
  -  John Turner’s Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet is an excellent book. An important book....

Book of Mormon, Joseph Spencer, and Collective Salvation @ Improvement Era
  -  I think we’re finally being to see the fruits of what President Benson was really...

My twelve days experience @ Banner, Sword, and Shield
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Christmas Traditions: LDS Style @ Banner, Sword, and Shield
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Midieval English carols @ Banner, Sword, and Shield
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Chapter 6: Spinning wheels @ Banner, Sword, and Shield
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Prorogued @ Banner, Sword, and Shield
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