Over at FPR, BiV asks, Are Mormons cessationists?
The short answer is no.
Cessationism is the belief that miracles and spiritual gifts played some essential role in the foundation of Christianity (or in its restoration), but that the time of their active appearance has passed. A belief in cessation is one way to resolve the tension between a commitment to the Enlightenment and the rational world we see around us, and belief in scripture and the miraculous accounts recorded there. Cessationism is a discourse, a way of talking about the world, that attempts to include both belief in scriptural narratives and in a non-miraculous present.
Mormon discourse, with its restorationist claims, emphasizes the essential continuity between the founding narratives of Christianity and the present moment. Official Mormon discourse is quite insistent about the presence of spiritual gifts in the church, as is the unofficial discourse of testimony meetings and faith-promoting rumors. As a matter of simple observation, there is no way to label Mormons cessationists.
Now, it’s certainly true that Mormon discourse concerning gifts has shifted over time, and that it currently channels gifts into specific functions and contexts: the gift of healing as a priesthood ordinance, for example, or the gift of tongues or interpretation in the context of mission and international ministry rather than ecstatic glossolalia, or prophecy as ‘personal revelation’ in the spheres of family or church callings rather than predictions of future events. But spiritual gifts have always been embedded in ecclesiastic discourses. In medieval Catholicism, spiritual gifts were claimed both by saints and by heretics. The difference between the two was only how they positioned themselves, or were positioned by others, with respect to the church as institution. It’s trivial to observe that the Mormon discourse of spiritual gifts structures their expression, or that the structure has changed over time: such is the nature of discourse. Mormons have become increasingly noncharismatic since Kirtland, but that is not at all the same as being cessationist.
It’s also entirely possible to maintain that true spiritual gifts are not found among the Mormons because the experiences Mormons report are illusions, or because the Mormon discourse of spiritual gifts is so different from some true manifestation (in ancient Palestine, for example, or nineteenth-century Kirtland) that the Mormon experience is something else entirely. But that is a matter of belief, not analysis. One is free to doubt or reject Mormon claims. But responsibility for that choice rests with the one who makes it and can’t be pushed onto the particulars of Mormon discourse, which strongly rejects cessationism.