In other words, a cessationist believes the gifts of the Spirit have ceased since there is no more need for them. This individual I spoke with said that these gifts ceased because the apostles died and could no longer pass on these gifts to others. This idea is somewhat reminescent of the LDS concept of the apostasy. However, cessationists believe that it was God's will that these gifts cease since they have served their purpose. This individual further informed me that all we need is contained in scripture (i.e. The Bible). Cessationism is closely related to the (extra-Biblical!) Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (See here and here and here).
Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, c. AD 33 (see Acts 2) and the fulfillment of God's purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle. Its counterpart is continuationism.
Of course, Latter-day Saints are not cessationists. One of our articles of faith states, "we believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth" (Article of Faith 7). Many, if not most, of us LDS have seen such gifts operate in the Church from time to time as needed.
As a LDS I can point to slews of LDS scriptures that declare these gifts to be needed in the Church today as much as 2000 years ago. However, since my cessationist friend does not accept LDS scripture as valid, I will here investigate and analyze the Biblical passages that pertain to this topic.
So, what passages are used to support cessationism?
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.(1 Corinthians 13:8)But when does this scripture say that prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will "vanish away?" Look at the following verses:
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
Further, 1 Corinthians opens with a passage that clearly teaches continuationism.
1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;This scripture indicates that the gifts of the Spirit will be on earth until the second coming of Jesus who will "confirm" (Greek: secure, establish, strengthen) us until the end.
Later in 1 Corinthians Paul exhorts us to "eagerly seek after spiritual gifts, most especially the gift of prophecy" (my translation of 1 Corinthians 14:1). When I pointed this scripture out to my cessationalist friend he responded that the verse refers to interpreting scripture. While my friend is welcome to interpret the passage this way, that is clearly a practice of eisegesis and not exegesis. In the same chapter Paul writes "Wherefore, brethren, with zeal seek to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking with tongues" (my translation of 1 Cor. 14:39). If Paul meant for these passages only to apply to the Corinthians of the first century A.D., he surely didn't say so.
Lastly, what about Jesus' statement that man shall live by "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?" Note that Jesus did not say every word that "proceeded" out of the mouth of God, but by every word that "proceedeth" out of the mouth of God. Surely God's words and works never cease (see Moses 1:4)
While this post certainly isn't exhaustive on such an important topic, I think it is sufficient to start a discussion on the topic if anyone is interested.
As I mentioned previously, LDS scripture has a lot say about this topic. I will not investigate this here, but I point the interested reader to 2 Nephi 28:3-6, 26-31; 2 Nephi 29; Mormon 9; Moroni 7:24-38; 10:7-28. Anyone who does not believe that the gifts of the Spirit exist today would benefit greatly from reading these passages, pondering on their meaning, and seeking the truth of the matter.